The Consequences Of Fate In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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People are responsible for the events that take place in their lives; making fate a scapegoat created by those who find the repercussions are less than favorable. This can be seen in the many lives of the characters of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, an initial comedy turned tragedy. Set in fair Verona, a conflicted prince must counterbalance quarrels between the two wealthiest families; the Montagues and the Capulets. The children of the two houses, Romeo and Juliet, live their lives apart from one another, meeting when Romeo encounters Juliet at the Capulet ball, and are instantly smitten with each other and are engaged in a matter of a few hours. Their marriage ends in disastrous suicides when all of their other plans fail, but this brings…show more content…
Prince Escalus understood this, and when the news of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths breaks, he initially claims that “All are punished”(V.iii.305), but when he realizes that this is untrue (as he finishes up his speech) - he is to blame and so are the feuding houses, but were the citizens really to blame? - he changes his tune, deciding that, “Some shall be pardoned, and some punishéd”(V.iii.319). The Prince’s initial claim supports the idea of the lovers’ deaths being fate, and hence resulting in the punishment of them all. His second, reflected upon, and thought over, claim stands with the idea that fate is simply a scapegoat, a construct created to ease their conscience, and he revises his initial claims of it being everyone’s fault, even when most were not involved. Of course, everyone in Verona can not be to blame for such a disastrous event, and while most did, it would not be just to blame everyone for the act of some. Another instance of a reference to fear is when Juliet and her nurse are discussing her love for Romeo. She claims that she “must love a loathéd enemy”(I.v.155), almost as if she is destined to love him, as she uses the word ‘must’ in the place of another less permanent or definite word. The diction in this particular dialogue indicates a firm belief that this was meant to happen; like it was fate that she loves someone she should
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