The Role Of Fate In Romeo And Juliet

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Psychologists from Duke University put a survey on the internet, asking participants to tell how they felt about political candidates. They found that when people are unsure of what decision to make, they tend to believe that fate will take care of it (ie. “Fate will ensure that the best candidate will be elected”). Those who are sure about which politician they want to vote for tend to not believe that fate will deliver the best outcome - they believe that the voters will. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, characters frequently use fate as justification for their actions. The dialogues of the characters in Romeo and Juliet demonstrate that fate is blamed when one wants to get out of an unpleasant situation without consequences, but isn’t believed in when one doesn’t feel threatened. This phenomenon causes disaster - both in real life and in the play. Romeo and Friar use fate to distance themselves from unpleasant situations that they helped create themselves. In Act 3, Romeo’s friend, Mercutio, gets into a fight with Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, and Tybalt ultimately kills Mercutio. Romeo kills Tybalt to avenge Mercutio’s death, but when he realizes the crime he’s committed, he cries out, “O I am fortune’s fool”. Romeo doesn’t want to admit that he killed Tybalt out of spite, because that would reflect badly upon him. Instead, he calls himself a pawn of fate, and insinuates that he didn’t have a choice: he had to kill Tybalt. When Romeo is later banished for his actions,
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