Essay on Chance or Destiny in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Essay on Chance or Destiny in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet, said to be one of the most famous love stories of all time, is a play anchored in time and fate. Some actions are believed to occur by chance or by 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 this tragedy. The substantial events that inspire the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet are the Capulet ball, the quarrel experienced by Tybalt and Romeo, and Friar John’s plague.


A servant to Capulet, who is illiterate, asks for Romeo’s assistance in reading the guest list. To show his appreciation, the servant invites Romeo to the ball. “My/ master is the great rich Capulet, and if you be not/ of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a/ cup of wine”(I.ii.85-88).   


Romeo, being enamored of Rosaline is in no mood to go to the ball.  His subconscious even tries to warn him against going. “My mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars/ Shall bitterly begin his fearful date/ With this night’s revels, and expire the term/ Of a despised life closed in my breast/ By some vile forfeit of untimely death” (I.iv.113-118).  Once at the ball, Romeo’s gaze happens to fall upon Juliet, who charms him as she herself is charmed by him. Romeo proclaims, " Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! / For ne’er saw true beauty till this night" (I. v.59-60).  It was by trespassing into Capulet territory that Romeo discovered Juliet. “Is she a Capulet? / O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt” (I.v.131-132). When Juliet learns the identity of the object of her love, she exclaims, “Prodigious birth of love it is to me/ That I must love a loathed enemy” (I....

... middle of paper ...

...oison to Romeo, Romeo convinces the druggist to sell it anyway, here again rashly going against the norm without taking time to consider consequences.

The substantial events that inspire the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet are the Capulet ball, the quarrel experienced by Tybalt and Romeo, and Friar John’s plague. The Capulet ball influences the ending of the play by Romeo’s invitation to the ball, which creates the meeting of Romeo and Juliet. The ball also gives birth to Tybalt’s anger and causes his challenge. The challenge causes the banishment of Romeo, which produces much grieving by Juliet and Romeo. Also, the quarrelsome weather is partly to blame for the feuding between Tybalt and Mercutio. Since Friar John did not deliver the letter, Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead, and sacrifices himself. Juliet seeing that Romeo is dead, slays herself also.


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