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Romeo and Juliet's Deaths as a Tragedy of Fate

Good Essays
Romeo and Juliet's Deaths as a Tragedy of Fate

It is very apparent in many of Shakespeare’s plays, including Romeo

and Juliet, that fate and destiny play a key role. This aspect could

be seen as a main basis of Shakespeare’s acclaimed works, and is

comparable to the Greek tragedies written thousands of years before,

by playwrights such as Euripidies and Sophocles.

In addition, many of these plays contained a tragic hero with a fatal

flaw, which inevitably leads to his death. For example, one character,

Ajax possesses a fatal flaw, and he eventually commits suicide, seeing

it as his only honourable way to die.

I expect Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Greek tragedies. His

plays are also often tragedies, and most of these were tragedies of

fate. A fantastic example is the famous play Macbeth. The witches

predicted the course of events to follow at the very beginning of the

play. It could be argued that, as well as Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet

was in fact also a tragedy of fate, for many reasons.

In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo, who acts too hastily and rushes into

things before really thinking about them, could be seen as the “tragic

hero”. For example, had he not have asked Juliet to marry him so

suddenly, and thought more carefully before rushing back to Verona

after hearing of Juliet’s death, the events which fell into place as

consequences of his actions could have been very different.

For example, had he not have acted so rashly when he saw Juliet lying

on the bed, dead, he wouldn’t ended his life so drastically, and

Juliet wouldn’t have committed suicide either.

Although Romeo’s hasty decisions and rash changes do contr...

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...ng to be part of the ancient feud

kept going only by their anger for one another.

Finally it is fate, destiny and chance that bring the lovers together,

and even in death they are side by side. It is plain to see that Romeo

and Juliet are indeed, “star-crossed lovers”, for fate brings them

together, but fate also tears them apart again, and is responsible for

their tragic end. But the closing moments of the play don’t suggest

that the death of the young lovers ends the feud. The Prince’s

reproach to Capulet and Montague, “See what a scourge is laid upon

your hate”, suggests that the tragedy has a social cause: the feud

that has racked the city. It is a travesty that it took the huge,

awful consequence that was the death of their only children to make

them see how terrible and out of hand their childlike actions were.
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