Fate or Free Will

analytical Essay
780 words
780 words

Fate or Free Will

The tragic ending to Romeo and Juliet It the result of fate and free will. In the real world, not the world of Shakespeare, everything that happens, happens in reaction to something else. The fact that one butterfly was stamped on would change everything you know today. There is no such thing as fate, nothing is destined to happen, and every decision you or somebody makes affects the future of everything. Aside, Shakespeare uses the ideas of fate to help the story of Romeo and Juliet. In regards to the ending, where Romeo, Juliet, and Paris all die, this would be an example of a mixing of both. Friar Lawrence was the one who instigated everything. Had he not allowed for Romeo to marry Juliet, or had he not set up the plan to have Juliet take the sleeping potion, the book would have ended differently. This would be an example of choice, and not chance. However, Shakespeare writes in the prologue, “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.” (2.3.101) The use of stars usually is related to some reference to a deity. In this case, Shakespeare is saying that a God fated the love between Romeo and Juliet, and was not a choice of either of them. This raises a great argument that the tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet was the result of fate.
Romeo and Juliet is full of hints of a tragic ending, like at 1.4.113, when Romeo senses that something that is not good is about to happen,
“I fear too early, for my mind misgives…
Of a despisèd life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
But He that hath the steerage of my course”
Romeo hints at loving someone who he hates that will ultimately end in death. He then goes on to state that he may as well go because God (referenced to wit...

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...empting to convince himself that he is not the terrible man who killed two people (as of this scene), but is instead a great Friar stuck in the problems of someone else. This further brings out the character of the Friar, a nervous religious man only trying to do good, but who ended up just making things worse.

A great argument could be made any way for this fate versus free will debate, but I feel that Shakespeare decided to show fate in the text as a surface level detail. He had different characters use fate in different ways to convey their feelings. This use of fate, especially with Friar Lawrence, helped show the idea that it was the choices of everyone in Romeo and Juliet that eventually ended in the tragic deaths of Paris, Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt and Mercutio’s death, as well as the death of Lady Montague of grief.

Works Cited

Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare uses the ideas of fate to help the story of romeo and juliet.
  • Analyzes how romeo and juliet has hints of a tragic ending, like at 1.4.113, when romao senses that something that is not good is about to happen.
  • Analyzes how romeo hints at loving someone he hates that will ultimately end in death. shakespeare included this to show how his life and death was fated to be.
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