Romeo And Juliet Research Paper

2155 words - 9 pages

Fate's Iron GripThere are 86,400 seconds in one day; 86,400 chances one's life could change. It only takes a second for a bullet to enter a soldier's body, a game-winning shot to fall into the basket, a man to propose to his future wife. Even on a smaller scale, it only takes a second for two people to meet, which could change the course of their lives. They could become best friends who share every experience or worst enemies who share a mutual hatred. But who dictates and regulates what happens during these seconds? Who decides who will and will not have altercations? No one human being has full control over every single event that happens; so, there is only one viable answer, fate. When Shakespeare wrote one of his most famed plays, Romeo and Juliet, those in the audience believed that fate controlled them. Whether it is seemingly unimportant or pivotal to the plot of the play, viewers eventually realize that nothing happens by coincidence. There is always that "something" governing the characters. Although some may argue that Romeo and Juliet may be responsible for their tragic demises, it is clear, through Shakespeare's use of foreshadowing, fate's planning, fate's agents, and fate's intervening that Romeo faces his end due to matters that escape his control. Throughout the play the demons of coincidence plague Romeo and Juliet, which consistently and negatively affect the plot and characters of the play. Fate hounds Romeo and Juliet and leads to their downfall.Shakespeare introduces the foreshadowing motif throughout the play in order to signify fate's iron grip on Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare relies on star imagery to foreshadow their destiny. From the beginning, Romeo and Juliet are introduced as "star-crossed lovers" (Shakespeare prologue 6). Further on in the play, Romeo even challenges fate and its power by saying, "then I defy you stars" (Brenner 70) and "… yet some consequences hanging in the stars…" (Shakespeare 1.4.113-114). In addition to star imagery, Shakespeare also uses foreshadowing to suggest their tragic end. Romeo has a dream that is ominous to his future; after the dream he says "by some vile forfeit ultimately of death" (Shakespeare 1.4.117). Additionally, he even dreams of Juliet and foresees his and her demise, by saying "I dreamt my lady came and found me dead" (Shakespeare 5.1.6). Finally, Shakespeare uses foreshadowing to hint to the reader that their love will ultimately come to an end. "Beauty too rich for use, fir earth to deer" (Shakespeare 1.4.160) hints towards the universe's inability to handle each of them and their love. When Friar Lawrence warns Romeo "these violent delights have violent ends… therefore love moderately" (Shakespeare 2.6.9-14), Shakespeare makes it clear that their love will come to an end, and so will their lives. Clearly, Shakespeare uses foreshadowing to show that fate maintains a consistent hold on Romeo and Juliet.Both Romeo and Juliet have set paths before fate...

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