William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

1385 Words6 Pages
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

According to the dictionary, fate is the “inevitable destiny or

necessity destined term of life; doom.” This means that fate can be

described as a pre-planned sequence of events influencing ones life.

Romeo and Juliet would have been performed to an Elizabethan audience

who believed very strongly in “fate” and “fortune”. Fate was destined

to happen and no one could alter it. Throughout the tragedy of Romeo

and Juliet, Shakespeare constantly utilises the motif of stars to

convey and develop the prominent theme of fate. Even and early as the

prologue, the words “A pair of star-cross’d lovers…” reveal

Shakespeare’s intent in conveying the association of fate with this

motif. Like stars, fate exists in the heavens. It is Romeo and

Juliet’s misfortune that leads to the sorrowful and tragic ending of

the play.

Romeo and Juliet is a play plagued with timing and fate. Some actions

are believed to happen by chance or destiny. The timing of each action

influences the outcome of the play. While some events are of less

significance, some are crucial to the development of the story. The

substantial events that inspire the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet are

the Capulet ball, the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio, and Friar

John’s plague.

A servant to Capulet, who is incapable of reading the list of guests

for a planned party, asks for Romeo’s assistance. Romeo notices that

Rosaline, his lover, is among these names. Benvolio challenges Romeo

to compare her with other “beauties.” He says, “Compare her face with

some that I shall show, and I will make thee think thy swan a crow.”

To show his apprecia...

... middle of paper ...

...there on

time.

In conclusion, I would say that the description of Romeo and Juliet as

“A pair of star-cross’d lovers…” is extremely fitting as the entire

play is based on fate. The concept of fate functions as a central

theme in Romeo and Juliet. The Prologue states that the young lovers

are governed by fate, a force often linked to the movements of the

stars. Fate manifests itself in all the events surrounding Romeo and

Juliet: the ancient and inexplicable feud between their families, the

catastrophic series of mishaps which ruin Friar Lawrence’s plans, and

the tragic timing of Romeo’s suicide and Juliet’s awakening. The

structure of the play itself rests upon the fate from which the two

lovers cannot escape. Fate, from the beginning, had resolved that the

story of Romeo and Juliet would culminate in heartbreak.
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