The Effect of Fate on the Outcome of a Drama

1090 Words5 Pages
Every day, humans wonder whether they control the choices they make or if a greater force controls them. From the first page of Shakespeare’s romantic drama, The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, fate is out to get the players. This deplorable catastrophe is set in Verona, Italy, where two feuding households war with each other. Romeo and Juliet, children of the fighting heads of the households, secretly wed each other and eventually kill themselves because society declares the couple cannot be together. Most individuals like to attribute blame on people when bad occurrences happen. Even though most people blame personal responsibility, they do so because they cannot control the actions of fate. Humans accuse others solely because they wish to completely disregard the impact fate has on the tragic outcome. In fact, circumstance alone is the reason Romeo and Juliet suffer a tragic ending. Since before the birth of Romeo and Juliet, fate knows of the impending doom approaching and affects the turn of events to ensure the ‘correct’ outcome. Even Romeo knows that he is doomed to some “consequence yet hanging in the stars” (Shakespeare I.iv.114). He begins to recognize that he is a pawn in this play and has no real affect on the outcome due to this supernatural feeling. Chance has control over this play’s course and does not relinquish its grip until the end. Later in the play, Romeo and Tybalt battle and the latter dies, causing the foolish Romeo to be banished to Mantua. The young man realizes that “[he is] Fortune’s fool!” (III.i.142). The gallant lover is now sure of fate’s plan to make an example of him. Chance avoids the boy’s pitiful attempt to escape with Juliet by “seal[ing] up the doors [of Friar Joh... ... middle of paper ... ... Michael. “Suicide.” Internet Shakespeare Editions. University of Victoria. 4 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 Jan. 2012. <>. “Elizabethan Women.” William Shakespeare Info. 2005. Web. 14 Jan. 2012. <>. Lehmann, Courtney. Screen Adaptations: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: The Relationship Between Text and Film. London: Methuen Drama, 2010. Web. Marlowe, Christopher. “Hero and Leander: A Poem”. Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. 2011. Web. 15 Jan. 2012. . Risen, Jane L. “Why People are Reluctant to Tempt Fate.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 95.2 (August 2008): 293-307. Web. 3 Jan. 2012.>. Shakespeare, William. The Strange and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009. Print.
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