Free Will In Romeo And Juliet

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The conflict between fate and free will manifests itself through the turmoil caused by the lovers in Romeo and Juliet to go against what is expected. The two families in the play have a longstanding feud, when two children from different sides fall in love by chance. These star­crossed lovers go to extreme lengths to be together, even going against what seems to be their apparent fate of never being together. This eventually results in their demise. Their apparent fate is that they will forever love each other, but never be able to be together. They arguably know this deep down, but attempt to go against this; this is the conflict between fate and free will. “I fear, too early, for my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars…show more content…
In lines such as “From ancient grudge break to new mutiny...A pair of star­cross'd lovers take their life; whose misadventured piteous overthrows do with their death bury their parents' strife” the reader is told how the fate for Romeo and Juliet is mapped out from the start (ROM. Prologue.1­14). Since it is clear that fate is present, one must ask if it is a non threatening force or an inevitable one. It seems as though it a mixture of both, fate is clearly something that is unavoidable, but seems only somewhat imposing from certain standpoints nonetheless. Throughout the play, fate presents itself in different situations, many times preventing the couple from being together. Their love is forbidden because they belong to families who despise each other, preventing Romeo and Juliet from making their love publicly known. Fate gives an inability for the couple to be together. In other ways, such as the miscommunication between Romeo and Friar Laurence after Romeo is banished from Verona, and Paris supposing to marry Juliet (after Romeo and Juliet get married) further show fate separating Romeo and Juliet (ROM.…show more content…
Although Romeo himself knows he is “fortune’s fool,” meaning he is a puppet of fate, free will is still immanent (ROM. III.i.94). Romeo chooses to go to the party, and then later abandons his friends to see Juliet the same night. In a fit of anger he chooses to kill Tybalt, aware that the Prince made that act punishable by death (ROM. I.i.72­94). Juliet chooses to side with Romeo afterwards, over her own cousin. It is hard to argue that Romeo and Juliet choose many things throughout the book, one thing being to get married. Nearly everything bad that happens to Romeo and Juliet is a direct result of their choices. Tybalt wanting revenge on Romeo was caused by Romeo going to the Capulet party.
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