Determinism In "Romeo And Juliet" Essay

1399 words - 6 pages

"Romeo and Juliet" is a play that really makes the audience wonder if the two young lovers had any chance for a life. In the prologue, Shakespeare states that "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life" ((37). There is a debate in philosophy that applies very much to this play. The debate is concerned with two opposite ideas about human beings, free will and determinism. If you have free will, then you can do something else besides what you did. What happens in the play is important because it could happen to two people today. The thesis of this paper is that Shakespeare set this play in such a way that there is absolutely no way Romeo and Juliet could have done otherwise.Romeo and Juliet are young teenagers who were born into a very negative situation. Romeo is of the house of Montague and Juliet belongs to the house of Capulet. The worst part of their trouble is caused by the feud between their families. However, there are a number of complicated events and much more confusion that leads to their deaths. One of the most important events in the entire play is just a small one. It is when Friar John is delayed and cannot get the message to Romeo in time. This is actually the main reason that Romeo kills himself. However, there are much more important reasons that lead to the tragedy. The main one is when Romeo kills Tybalt.The love between Romeo and Juliet is intense. The language that Shakespeare uses makes their love unforgettable. Romeo literally risks his life to see Juliet. When she warns him of the danger, he replies: "With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls/ For stony limits cannot hold love out,/ And what love can do that dares love attempt" (65). From the very first words of the prologue, everything in the play is working against their love. Shakespeare manages to make the negative events that much worse by breaking them up. "Before their love can be consummated, the lovers become entangled in the chain of events which leads to their deaths" (Best 3). The main event is when Romeo becomes involved in the duel with Tybalt.With all the tragic events, Romeo and Juliet have just one night of happiness, and even that is really only a few hours. As Romeo prepares to leave, Juliet mentions that in a few hours they will meet to be married. As she puts it, "It is twenty years till then" (68). Then she speaks the very famous words: "Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,/ That I shall say good night till it be morrow" (68). Juliet mentions just before that point that she could kill Romeo with too much cherishing. At another point, she speaks of cutting him into little stars. The passion that they felt for one another was almost violent in its strength. They also seemed to have some idea of what might happen. The only way Romeo can see Juliet is in disguise and climbing over orchard walls. Romeo very clearly realized exactly what was going to happen. ""I fear, too early;...

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