William Shakespeare was born on 23rd April in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Shakespeare was England’s greatest poet and play writer of all time. He started play writing in 1595 and produced 38 plays in his lifetime. These include titles such as Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Nights Dream. However this essay is focusing on the play of Romeo and Juliet.Romeo and Juliet was one of the earliest plays produced by Shakespeare. It is the tale of a love affair between two children in rival families the Capulets and the Montagues. The two children Romeo (a Montague) and Juliet (a Capulet) met at a Capulet ball and instantly fell in love. They secretly marry in Friar Laurence’s church but their relationship is cut short when Romeo kills Tybalt in revenge for him killing his friend Mercutio.
For this Romeo is banished from the streets of Verona to Manuta by Prince Escalus.Meanwhile the Capulets have arranged for Juliet to marry Paris. However Juliet refuses to marry him and in a desperate attempt to prevent it going ahead she drinks a potion, which makes her ‘dead’ for 24 hours. When Romeo hears of her ‘death’ he rushes back to Verona to see her. When he sees her in the vault he kills himself in a bid to join her in heaven.
Then when Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo dead she stabs herself with a knife so they can be joined together again.There are many reasons for the deaths of these two individuals. It could be the consciences of the people surrounding them both, it could be the feud between their families, or maybe some crucial events that inspired the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet like the Capulets ball, the quarrel between Romeo and Tybalt.I am laying the blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet on nearly all the characters in the play, excluding the citizens of Verona, the masquers, pagers, servants and watchmen, as these were just playing their role in life.Firstly, I blame the Prince. He should have acted earlier to stop the feud between the two families.
Escalus had that authority and it was his duty to use it to Veronas’ advantage. It was unjust of him to send Romeo away from Verona as a punishment for killing Tybalt when the fight was Tylbalt’s fault.Mercutio, one of Romeo’s friends and a supporter of the Montague household, is to blame for the deaths of Romaeo and Juliet’s death. If Mercutio had not argued with Tybalt in town whilst out with Romeo and Benvolio, Romeo would never have got into his fight with Tybalt and therefore would not have been banished.It could be that Lord Montague and Lord Capulet were partly responsible for keeping the feud going. Their attitude towards the fighting was very negative. They could have stopped the quarrelling but both acted quite childish. They were both very selfish as they put their pride and feud between the Montagues before the people of Verona and their own family.
This is one of the reasons why Juliet was so vulnerable. They could have ended the feud and Romeo and Juliet would have been free to get married.The behaviour of Lord Capulet and Lord Montague was very immature and did not send out a good example to the other family members. For example when they arrive at the fight at the start of the play they want to join in but it obvious that they are too old.
They are both very foolish. These quotes show their foolishness and hatred for each other,”What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!” (CAPULET)”A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?” (LADY CAPULET)”My sword I say! Old Montague is come, and flourishes his blade in spite of me.” (CAPULET)”Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not, let me go!” (MONTAGUE)However at the end the two families realise what they bitter rivalry has caused and feel guilty about it. If only had done something early then it could of helped prevent the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.Juliet’s nurse is also to be blamed for the deaths of the lovers because she encouraged Juliet with her romantic ideas.
The nurse acted as a go between, carrying messages, she also helped arrange their marriage. The nurse kept their love, affair a secret and did not tell Juliet’s parents, but helped Juliet disobey their wishes. The nurse also arranged their wedding night.
The Nurse knew that Juliet was too young to get married but offered no advice and was eager for them to get married. While Tybalt was still alive the Nurse would say nice things of Romeo of how he’s a man of wax, but after Romeo killed Tybalt the Nurse turns against Romeo:”Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin”, “Shame come to Romeo”.The Nurse starts to become two-faced because she had told Juliet to marry Romeo and then Paris. The nurse was only thinking of herself and not Juliet’s future.
The nurse got Juliet into this mess and got her confused and heart broken. The nurse played a big part in helping the deaths of the two young lovers and she knew of the feud between their families and the wishes of the Capulet’s. The nurse chose to be a mother of a child that was not her own.
She made bad decisions that caused these deaths.Lord ; Lady Capulet chose to leave their daughter in the care of a nurse who was very selfish and manipulative. The nurse did everything she could to make herself happy, she told Juliet that Romeo was the right man for her and did everything she could to help Juliet see Romeo. Lord ; Lady Capulet didn’t have any idea how their daughter was feeling or what she was doing. They didn’t play their role as parents but let someone else try and do their job for them. If they hadn’t have left Juliet in the care of the nurse, Lord & Lady Capulet would have known what Juliet was doing.Capulet by himself was also to blame for his daughter’s death.
He was a wise and strict man, who tried to do the best for his daughter. He wanted to get Juliet married as soon as possible, it seemed as if he wanted her out of the way. Especially when Tybalt died as he felt that this would help her recover from his death and so that she would not put of marriage any longer, yet he did not know that she was more upset about Romeo’s banishment. Capulet put a lot of pressure on Juliet and did not give her much of a choice; then again we must remember that Capulet was a typical father of Elizabethan time. He gave her no other choice but to go with the Friar’s plan.I also think Lord ; Lady Montague are partly to blame for Romeo ; Juliet’s deaths because they were not understanding Romeo, they never spoke to him but sent Benvolio to speak to him. They never knew what he was thinking or doing.
Lord & Lady Montague said that Romeo was ‘ to himself so secret and so close’. They didn’t understand that Romeo was amused at the idea of being in love. Romeo kept secrets from his parents, so they never knew how he was feeling.I blame Romeo and Juliet themselves. Romeo because he acted too hastily throughout the play.
He should not have asked Juliet to marry him so suddenly, and he should have thought more carefully before rushing back to Verona after hearing of Juliet’s death. This is because he was banished, but since Juliet was ‘dead’, I cannot really blame him too much here. Romeo also acted violently and without thinking when he murdered Tybalt in a blind rage, and then later Paris, out of annoyance and frustration. Juliet should not have disobeyed and deceived her parents. Like Romeo, she was far too hasty in rushing to marry Romeo, when she had an idea that she may be engaged to marry Paris, via her father, at the time of the masked ball. Until meeting Romeo, she had been very happy with her parents’ choice. If she had a little more courage, she could have told Paris she was not interested and left home to live away from Verona with Romeo.
I think that Friar Laurence is also to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. He gets the couple married, offers Juliet the potion, fails to send the letter to Romeo in time and runs away selfishly from the vault.When Romeo first tells him about getting married he hesitated because their love had just begun and it could end as easily as it started.’These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and power which, as they kiss, consume’ (Act 2 V1, 9-11)And even though he knows Romeo well and knows how immature he is towards love:’Is Rosaline, that thou dist love so dear, so soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes’ (Act 2, 111, 62-64Being a religious man the Friar considered the benefits of marrying Romeo and Juliet, which was that maybe through their love, the feud between the two families would end.’In one respect I’ll thy assistant be, for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households rancour to pure love’ (Act 2 111, 86-88) Marx obfuscatedHowever he should have thought about it carefully because then again their love may not have helped end the feud, but he agreed to marry the two couples.
By this marriage he made Romeo a relative to the Capulets and by this: Mercutio would not have been slain by Tybalt and Romeo would not have killed Tybalt in revenge.Later in the play the Friar then offers Juliet the potion, which hypnotizes her for twenty-four hours, so she can avoid getting married to Paris, who is deeply upset when he sees her dead at the tomb and weeps.’The obsequies that I for thee will keep nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep’ (Act 5, 111, 16-17) He lets everyone think that Juliet is dead.
Even though this saved Juliet from marrying Paris it also caused Romeo’s death, as Friar took the duty to inform Romeo of Juliet’s situation but failed to do so. His whole plan depended on the letter to Romeo. He did not think about making another plan in case the original one failed. If it had been different Romeo would not have though that Juliet was ‘dead’ and his state of mind and actions would have been different.The Friars selfishness is also to blame for when Juliet woke up and found Romeo dead she wanted to stay and he told her to escape with him before anyone came.’Come I’ll dispose of thee Among a sisterhood of holy nuns Stay not to question, for watch is coming Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay’ (Act 5 111, 156-159)The Friar leaves selfishly in fear that he will be caught. If he had stayed with Juliet then maybe he could have stopped her from killing her self.
So the hasty marriage, wrongful use of the potion, failure to send the letter and his selfishness stated that the Friar played the biggest role in leading Rome and Juliet to their deaths.Now looking from another view we could say that nobody but fate was to blame for their deaths.For a start what is fate. Fate is the power that is supposed to settle a head of time how things happen. Romeo and Juliet could be an example of fate. It has become the control of this play.For a start Romeo and Juliet believed in fate. They believed that the stars did things, and were the reason behind unexplained actions.
‘Some consequence yet hanging in the stars (107), by some vile forfeit of untimely death. But he hath the steerage over my course, direct my sail’ (Act 1, 1V, 111-114)In this quote Romeo is telling his friends that he had a dream, which tells him that he will die young because of something in the stars and that he has no control over his life, that someone else is directing him. He was like a puppet asking his puppeteer to guide him.Never the less, fate still sets up the scene for the two lovers.
Romeo firstly being in love with Rosalind, then the Capulets servant asking him to read the list of invited people for the Capulets ball. The servant asked him to come and he agrees as he sees Rosalind’s name on the list. This sets everything up for Romeo and Juliet to meet. So if fate did not put all that together than who did?Shakespeare most would say. What was the chance of two enemies falling in love, probably one out of a million? So we could say that fate set up their love, or that their love was predestined as well as their suicides, which they both saw in little dreams and visions. Juliet for example says’Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb’ (Act 3, V1, 55)Which is where Romeo eventually ends up, besides her.
How could Juliet have seen the future if it was already planed put for her? Dreams and visions often hint to what is going to happen and in this case both Romeo and Juliet saw that Romeo would die.Fate often finds to lovers, Romeo and Juliet were lucky enough to find each other so soon, even though their love landed them to their deaths. In this case fate was not only bringing these two lovers together but also ending them as well as ending the feud between the two families.That power beyond their control has spoiled their plans, this power must be fate.I think that God works in mysterious ways and sometimes the bad things in life are actually good. We could say this about fate and the role that it plays in Romeo and Juliet. It turned hate to love although it also turned love to death. So we can say that fate played the most important role in this play.
I believe that it did lead Romeo and Juliet to their deaths, although the ultimate choice was theirs. Fate was leading them to it. I do believe that we do have some say on how we turn out. Fate brought Romeo and Juliet together but it was also their love, their action may have been predestined, but they were their own actions. They did not realise the consequences of their love.In my final evaluation, I will aim to look at this play at several different angles and my conclusion will be very forceful into discovering who is responsible. Not one individual is totally responsible. But the blame should, and will be shared between allIndividuals.
The play from the start was always destined to be tragic. It is the way the play is remembered. Romeo and Juliet- “The classic love story”.
I find several events very ironic and there is hint that these events could be classified as mis-fortunate. One in particular was when Romeo did not receive the telegram. This caused a large confusion and it is inevitable what was going to happen after this event.Not one individual can be held responsible for this tragedy but all the characters come under the spotlight more than others do, the nurse did not advise Juliet to the best of her ability.
When the relationship had started the nurse told Romeo that Juliet felt the same. Yet, when Romeo was banished and the couples were married, the nurse dramatically changed her view. She said that Juliet should marry Paris. Juliet had now been let down by someone who was very close to her, Juliet was now very confused.
Individuals in the play have motives for their actions, Friar Lawrence used love to bring people together.Tybalt was protecting his family name and pride. Mercutio was also playing a protective role towards Romeo. The nurse felt that she was helping Juliet but all she did was give Juliet hassle that she could not cope with. In addition, she wrongly advised Juliet. If the lovers had been honest about their relationship perhaps, the outcome may have been different. If the end it can be said, individuals in the end pushed the couples over the edge.
However, in the end the blame boils down to the two lovers. The lack of maturity shown by the lovers led to their deaths, the couple were left and isolated from both parents so they could not turn to any body. In the end both families were left, to see the damage their feud had caused. One question that will be left unanswered is, did any of the individuals realize the significance of their actions?