“A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life: Whose misadventured piteous overthrows, Doth with their death bury their parents strife. The fearful passage of their death-marked love, And the continuance of their parent”s rage, Which but their children end.” This quote is from the Prologue, which was said at the start of the play. The quote means the “star-crossed lovers” take their life because they both knew what they wanted just couldn”t happen and so with their death, the parents who had been arguing for so long, just stop and look at their losses. The audience knows the ending and so watch the characters follow through their lives, not knowing what will eventually happen to them but are unsure how. The path of Fate.
In Act 1, Scene II, the idea that when one thing happens, therefore causes another thing to happen. Like a domino effect. The Clown entrusted with the list of the guests, not being able to read asks Romeo and Benvolio for help. If they hadn”t of seen that invitation, they wouldn”t have known about the party and so Romeo would never have met Juliet. Romeo only went to the party, as he saw Rosalind on the guest. Little did he know he”d actually meet a woman such as Juliet.
One of the first twists of Fate that we discover is from a quote Romeo says to his friends just before he enters the Capulet Party. “…Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, shall bitterly begin his fearful date” Taken from Act 1, Scene VI, Lines 107/108. What Romeo means is that he thinks something will happen in the Party that will change his life forever, even cause his “untimely death”.
When Romeo enters the Party, Juliet spots him and says the following quote to Nurse just after she asks her to go and find out who he is; “If he be married, My grave is like to be my wedding bed” Act 1, Scene V, Lines 131/132. This means she predicts that she will die unmarried but with dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is when the character says something and is unaware of its importance. The audience knows something but the character doesn”t. Juliet has also sensed Fate.
As this woeful story continues, the two lovers decide to get married. The Friar, is obviously, weary about Romeo and Juliet marrying so soon. He expresses this opinion by saying the following to them. “These violent delights have violent ends” Act 2, Scene VI, Line 9 What he means is that although they seem to be happy as can be, their love and passion won”t last forever. Again setting the course of the play.
Mercutio”s last words give more indication as to what we should expect as the ending. The last words he says after Tybalt, a Capulet, Juliet”s cousin kills him, were “A plague on both your houses” Act 3, Scene I, Line 4. Mercutio”s uses the word “House” as the word for both the families. Therefore, again backing up all the evidence as to what the conclusion of this tragedy will be. The reason Tybalt kills Mercutio is that he is Romeo”s friend and was there at the Party with him. Tybalt assumed the only reason Romeo and Mercutio were there was to cause trouble.
Romeo is banished after he kills Tybalt as revenge for the death of Mercutio. Juliet then asks for help from the Friar so she can see her beloved Romeo again. The Friar”s plan was to give Juliet a potion of, which has the properties to give the “likeness of death”. After a certain amount of hours, she will wake up with Romeo with her in the family vault where she lay. They would then escape.
To make sure Romeo knows that Juliet isn”t really dead, he gives a Priest a note with all the details on, unaware that a friend of Romeo”s is actually going to see Romeo to deliver the bad news that Juliet is actually dead and not faking it.
Now it has turned into a race in order to make sure Romeo receives the right “news”. Fate plays a part in this. If the Priest gets there first with the letter, Romeo and Juliet will be able to see each other again, if it doesn”t, they don”t.
On the way to see Romeo, the Priest gets caught up with the plague and so can”t travel. Meaning the “letter” is out the race.
When Romeo”s friend arrives, Romeo believes in order to defy Fate, he must go to where Juliet lay and kill himself in order for them to be united at death.
When Romeo arrives at the family tomb, he meets Paris. Paris is the man whom Juliet”s parents wanted her to marry. Paris assumes wrongly that Romeo wants to harm the grave of Juliet because he is a Capulet and so they fight. Paris is killed.
Paris”s dying wish was to be placed next to the woman he loved so Romeo did as he was told.
Juliet awakes to find Romeo dead next to her because he had taken the poison thinking Juliet was truly dead. At which point, the Friar arrived; anxious to prevent the tragedy as he had found out the letter hadn”t got through. He had failed to save Romeo and so focuses on Juliet, desperate to save her from her own death, asking her to live in a convent. Juliet asks the Friar to leave and as he leaves, she takes Romeo”s dagger and stabs herself in the heart.
Juliet”s final words were “O happy dagger, This is thy sheath, there rest, and let me die” Act 5, Scene III, Lines 169/170.
Throughout the play, we know that whatever happens, their fate is pre-determined and that whatever happens, there will be a tragic ending involving death to the “star crossed lovers”. When Romeo sees Juliet after he had come back from Mantua, he assumes the worst and ends his life beside her. If he had stayed put, Juliet would have awoken to see the world around her and not the dismal sight of her lover dead beside her. Fate secured the death of Romeo and Juliet and after that had happened, it brought both the families together in a state of shock and disbelief. Both parents stopped their constant arguing and wept together. The actions of the characters did affect the overall outcome if this tragic story. In total, the amount of deaths is actually quite high. Tybalt kills first, he kills Mercutio.
The effect of this is that Romeo, avenging his friend”s death, gets him banished when he kills Tybalt. Later on in this poignant story, a fight breaks out between Romeo and Paris. Paris is killed and placed beside his love that he believes is dead. Romeo eventually commits suicide after believing too that Juliet is in fact dead and so uses poison to end his life. Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo lying beside her, not breathing. Taking a dagger, she too kills herself. The death you hear about near the end of the story is that of Lady Montague. She isn”t killed by anyone but instead, sorrow.
The argument about Fate is whether its simply ill timing and bad luck but isn”t luck Fate?