Fate in Romeo and Juliet Essay
Dictionary.com defines fate as, “the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed or the decreed cause of events.” This view of fate is one of the most prominent themes in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
As early as the Prologue, the chorus speaks “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;” (Prologue 5-6), informing the audience that the fate of the couple is predetermined. Erin Reynolds in her essay “Defying the Stars” points out that Shakespeare presents the idea “that the two foes have fatal loins, a play on the word “fatal with its double meaning of lethal and concerning fate.” The chorus also states,” the fearful passage of their death-marked love/ And the continuance of their parents’ rage/which, but their children’s end, naught could/remove,” (prologue, 9-12). By this passage the idea that the families’ feud is fated to be ended only by the doomed love of their children.
Throughout the play both Romeo and Juliet sense that their destiny is being controlled by forces too great to imagine. After his victory in his duel with Tybalt to avenge Mercutio he utters the words, “O, I am fortune’s fool” (III i 138)! This when interpreted is taken to mean that he is Fortune, otherwise known as fate, is merely toying with him such as a child’s plaything. Romeo and Juliet each at different times refer to” the stars” determining their fate and the direction of their relationship. In act 1 Romeo has a premonition that the flow of his life is being directing by some force. It is stated by him when he says, “Some consequence yet hanging in the stars/shall bitterly begin his fearful date” (I iv 107-...
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...s Romeo’s visit to the grave. Romeo misses Juliet’s reawakening by mere minutes. Once again if he had been just a few minutes late Paris would not have fallen, nor would have Romeo and Juliet.
Fate is a necessary and extremely impacting element in Romeo and Juliet. It works through Romeo and Juliet and the people around them to end this long time family feud and bring the peace that comes with it to Verona. Throughout the play Romeo and Juliet have statements of extreme intrigue into this mysterious force that seems to shape and even end their lives. It is this extreme impact of fate that drives and shapes the plot and details of Romeo and Juliet’s story.
"Definition of Fate." Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. .
Reynolds, Erin. "Defying The Stars." Defying the Stars (n.d.): n. pag. Print.