In the play Romeo and Juliet, people have two views on what caused thedownfall of the characters Romeo and Juliet. The first view, that a seriouscharacter flaw caused both Romeo and Juliet to end up dead seems to makesense. The other opinion, that fate caused the collapse and death of Romeo andJuliet doesn’t seem as likely. This essay will discuss whether one determines theirown fate or some higher force decides our fate for us. Henry Myers wrote anessay on this topic, and his argument that one creates their own fate has merit.
Tragic heroes have a major flaw in their character or in the story line, and thereforeRomeo qualifies as a tragic hero. Myers believes that Romeo and Juliet scharacters created their own downfall, and that Romeo fits the description of atragic hero. According to his article entitled Tragedy and Comedy, Henry Alonzo Myersbelieves that one s character determines their fate, and a person s actions developtheir character. In this article, Myers gives his opinion on this topic by saying Character is a deeper and more important influence in human affairs than luck orchance.
Myers believes that what one does affects them more than fate, chanceor destiny. In this article, Myers also compares tragedy to comedy, and shows thereader the characteristics of tragedy. To make their writing interesting, peoplewho write tragedies include opposites. Also in his article, talking about Romeo andJuliet, Myers says the death of the lovers is symbolical of their lives. Eachrealizes at the end the extremes of good and evil. Myers thinks that Romeo andJuliet follows the guidelines of a tragedy, and in his essay explains why.
Romeoand Juliet qualifies as an example of a tragedy because of the many sets ofopposites it has in it. Myers argues that tragedy occurs when an individual scharacter flaws cause them to make poor decisions with unhappy consequences. A person s character greatly effects what they do because when they havechoices, their character determines the decisions they will make. One might arguethat a person doesn’t form their character, but that fate does, however thisstatement can not easily be proved or disproved.
If people s lives had a predestined course, then there would be no real reason for people to try to getahead in life. People s choices about what decisions they make would have nomeaning, however most people believe that their decisions are very important intheir lives. Myers, in his essay, uses a quote from Heraclitus to sum up hisargument; a man s character is his fate. This, along with the rest of Myers essayshows exactly what he wanted to prove: that one s actions result in their fate.
Myers has a good argument that a person s character develops their fate. Romeo and Juliet demonstrates all the attributes of a tragedy, and in itRomeo exhibits all the qualities of a true tragic hero. Romeo experiences ups anddowns and finally goes up against something that seems sure to doom his life. Inthe tragedy handout, the author says The tragic hero need not always have atragic flaw… in the case of Romeo and Juliet, neither rashness nor lust fits theircase, and they are undone by the circumstance.
The author says that althoughno major flaws happened to Romeo personally, many flaws took place in the playthat led to Romeo and Juliet s inescapable downfall. Myers, talking about Romeo,says From this point on every step he takes leads to his downfall… Romeo sdefiance of the outcome hastens it s fulfillment. This shows that Romeo hastaken steps throughout the play that got him in the situation to become a tragichero. Romeo s actions fit the description of a tragic hero by both Myers and theauthor of the tragedy handout, so therefore Romeo must be a true tragic hero.
The play Romeo and Juliet shows all the characteristics of a tragedy, and init Romeo and Juliet and the other characters in the play determine their own fate,but these actions do not qualify as destiny or chance. Henry Myers believes that aperson’s character determines their fate. Romeo’s qualities and actions makehim a tragic hero because of his role in the play, and the outcome of it. It makesmuch more sense to say that one s character determines a person’s fate than tosay that an unknown force such as fate or chance decides the decisions a personwill make or what will happen in their lives.