William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
'Romeo and Juliet' belongs to the romantic comedy genre. In the play,
there is a series of accidents; which ultimately leads to the deaths
of Romeo and Juliet. The play is constructed in a simple and
straightforward manner. After Act 1, the play focuses entirely on the
love of Romeo and Juliet. Everything is completed in five days, which
provides tremendous dramatic concentration.
At the beginning of the play, Romeo is 'in love' with Rosaline. When
the Capulets hold a party, Romeo gate-crashes with his friends because
he knows Rosaline will be there. However, once at the party, he spots
Juliet and it's love at first sight for the both of them. They each
discover that the other is their rival, and despite this, they
exchange love vows and marry the next day. After their marriage, Romeo
goes to make peace with Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, but it turns into
another brawl. Tybalt ends up killing Mercutio, and Romeo retalliates
and kills Tybalt. Romeo is then banished from Verona.
Meanwhile, Lord and Lady Capulet have decided that their daughter is
to marry Paris, a noble kinsman. Distraught, Juliet goes to Friar
Lawrence for help. He hatches a plan: Juliet will drink a potion the
night before her wedding day, which will induce a death-like state for
twenty-four hours. Friar Lawrence will send a letter to Romeo telling
him of this and that he is to meet Juliet in the vault as she awakens
and the pair will run away.
The letter doesn't reach Romeo in time, though, and Benvolio hears of
Juliet's 'death' and rushes to tell Romeo. Romeo gets to Juliet
believing she is dead and kills himself with a deadly poison. Juliet
then wakes up, sees that Romeo is dead and kills herself with Romeo's
During the course of this essay I will answer the question, 'who, in
your opinion was responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?'.
First I will discuss and consider the contributory factors responsible
for the final outcome.
Of course, a large factor is that of fate and coincidence. There are
several references throughout the text that refer to the inevitability
of the tragedy, for example 'star-crossed lovers' (Prologue, line 6),
and 'the yoke of the inauspicious stars' (5:3:3). From the start,
Shakespeare makes it clear that the relationship wasn't meant to be,
and that Romeo and Juliet themselves were going against fate. Things
would have turned out very differently if Romeo had never gate crashed
the party, if Mercutio had listened to Benvolio and avoided the
confrontation with Tybalt, if Friar Lawrence's letter had reached
Romeo, or if Romeo hadn't been so hasty in taking the poison.
It is possible that no person is to blame, and that what happens in
the play is merely a series of accidents. Certainly the meeting of
Peter, who was...