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...
... middle of paper ...
...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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