Romeo and Juliet – Fate

What effect does the theme of fate have on the play ? Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story where the two lovers meet their unfortunate deaths caused by their feuding families and forbidden love. The play encircles the vital theme of fate, as demonstrated by a series of events that occur. Firstly, the sheer birth of the “pair of star-cross’d lovers” into controversial families is an act of fate. “the fearful passage of their death marked love” purely advises the audience that both characters would meet their deaths.
Located within the prologue, these lines commence the play, jolting it into motion. Shakespeare explores the theme of fate by rendering the audience wonder, to what extent we are able to control our actions. Additionally, the actual meeting of Romeo and Juliet is also an example of fate. At this point, the audience would be torn in two directions. They should be gazing in awe at their true love at first sight, but dread overtakes, as this encounter would eventually lead both to their deaths.
Until death, does their fate continue to pursue and Shakespeare once again questions our ability of free will. “a plague on both your houses” Mercutio exclaims, striking a chord of Romeo and Juliet’s fate. When Mercutio is accidentally slain and as a consequence, Tybalt is killed, a forewarning materializes regarding the lovers’ downfall. After banishment from Verona as a penalty for slaughtering Tybalt, Romeo shouts “O, I am fortune’s fool”, which confirms fate would control his destiny.

Furthermore, fate takes a strike when Friar John was unable to deliver the letter to Romeo on time, therefore leading him to believe in Juliet’s death. Within this love story stars are employed as the metaphor of fate. After Romeo realizes that Juliet is ‘dead’ he cries “.. then I defy you, stars! ” In conclusion, “Romeo and Juliet” validates the theme of fate proficiently as Shakespeare carefully establishes the characters and plot contained by it. Without fate, this unfortunate story would fail to possess such a dramatic emotional outcome on its audience.

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