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William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

In William Shakespeare's sorrowful play Romeo and Juliet, there are

some very good questions pertaining the story. The one most readers

and viewers discuss is "Who is responsible for the lovers' deaths?".

The problem in Romeo and Juliet is precisely that no one gets off

being uninvolved in Romeo and Juliet's tragic end. It would be too

easy to lay the blame on one person or another and we need to study

the level of implication of each of the characters before drawing a

premature conclusion.

After analysing the different angles of each character's

"contribution" to the fateful destiny of the two protagonists, I will

demonstrate the meaningful importance of such factors as Fate, Time

and Nature.

To study this question correctly, we have to begin with the widest

factor contributing to the tragic end of the play: the era it takes

place in.

The popularity of Romeo and Juliet today is largely due to the theme

it treats, that is, love without chronological or geographical

boundaries. Thus, Shakespeare's play has been adapted various times in

a modern context, the West Side Story for example.

However, the medieval period where the story takes place plays an

important role in the tragic end. We can imagine parents would be much

more understanding today of their children's love. We can also presume

that Romeo and Juliet wouldn't have to rush into marriage. Juliet

wouldn't be thrown in an arranged marriage. Finally, in our times,

authorities (represented in the play by the Prince of Verona) would

have probably already stopped the feud and acted against the

outmeasured hatred of the two...

... middle of paper ...

... cause of Romeo's and Juliet's deaths,

we would have to define "cause". At the first extension, it's the

strength of the poison and the sharpness of the knife that cause the

death of Romeo and Juliet. At a further extension, it's the failure of

Friar John to deliver the essential letter to Romeo telling him of

Friar Lawrence's plan. Beyond that

it might be Juliet's enforced marriage to Paris. Beyond that it could

be the enmity of the families of Montague and Capulet. And beyond

that, there are the causes of this quarrel, and so on. Romeo and

Juliet is one of the most carefully plotted of Shakespeare's plays,

making you constantly ask questions about cause and effect. Perhaps

it's because the causes are so many and complex that I chose to lay

primal blame on the 'inauspicious stars', on their 'star-cross'd'

lives.