One of the oldest and most debated questions of all time is whether our livesare governed by fate or by our personal choice. William Shakespeare, in Romeoand Juliet, brings this question to the surface. Although fate seems to controlwhat happens to Romeo and Juliet their choices contribute more to their”fate” than fate itself. Although some reasons that Romeo and Julietdie are out of their control fate is not the largest reason that the lovers endup dying.
For example, when Romeo hears of Juliet’s death before he is told thatit is being faked. Romeo heard of his love’s death and rushed to her side tokill himself so he may lye with Juliet. The choice to kill himself is his alone,no one forces him to do it. The unfortunate circumstance that stops the Friar’sassistant from delivering his message also aids the death of the lover’s butdoes not cause it.
Romeo doesn’t need to hear of the Friar’s and Juliet’sdeception to stop them from dying. If he hadn’t have done anything drastic theywould both have been alive and well. Also, Juliet could have told people abouther marriage to Romeo, accepted the consequences and then there would be no needfor the “fateful” message. Still, fate or circumstances above theircontrol do play a large role in determining the fate of the two young lovers. Itseems like Romeo and Juliet have the curse of bad luck throughout this story. Fate seems to cause Mercucio to be killed by Tybalt under Romeo’s arm.
Thiscauses Romeo to want to avenge Mercucio’s death and Romeo then slays Tybalt. Hence, Romeo is forced to leave Verona or die and therefore one morecircumstance out of their control contributes to their deaths. This situation isput on Romeo without his consent. Romeo and the choice whether or not to avengeMercucio’s murder. Tybalt does not attack Romeo. Romeo goes after Tybalt withthe intent to kill him.
To take it a step further, Romeo could stay in Veronaand face the wake of his actions. Many times Shakespeare refers to”fate” as being the reason that they died. When the Chorus uses thephrase “Star-crossed lovers”(1,1,6), this indicates WilliamShakespeare’s thoughts on what kills Romeo and Juliet. This tell the audiencethat Romeo and Juliet are destined for trouble. Romeo saying “I am fortunesfool”(3,1,145) after he kills Tybalt further emphasizes the point.
Romeokills Tybalt yet he tries to blame fortune instead of blaming himself. He saysthat fortune tricked him and he fell for it. “The unlucky manage of thisfatal brawl” (3,1,154), spoken by the Prince after he hears about the deathof Tybalt confirms that Shakespeare feels that luck is what determines whathappens. The fact that they were from feuding families that hated each other andthey still continued the relationship. Yet, Shakespeare doesn’t tell about thepoor judgement that the two young teenagers use.
He tries to make it seem thatthey had no choice in the matter. What really plays the biggest part in theirdeath is not fate but the decisions of the two adolescents. Many choicescontributed to the end of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo’s choice to go to the Capuletparty where he met Juliet was one example of their choice.
He knows that hisfamily and Juliet’s family hate each other. Still, he goes to their party fullyknowing what might happen. Furthermore, Romeo chose to seek after Juliet and tocontinue to see her. He could have just left and not have returned to her houseand gone to her balcony. By making this choice he sets up all the problems thatoccur later. Even if the later events happen by chance and it seem as if fatewas the reason that they died, their choices put them in that position.
Although, Romeo pursued Juliet he isn’t the only reason that they die. Juliet’schoices play a large part in deciding their end. Romeo woos Juliet but Julietcould have resisted. When he sends for her to marry him, she can decide not toshow up. They also could be honest and tell their parents.
The parents might notlike it but at least Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t die. When Juliet chooses to drinkthe potion and not go with Romeo and leave Verona she makes a way for chance tocome into play. She could have left and lived with Romeo, but she