Who or what is to blame for the death of Romeo and Juliet

There are many alternating reasons as to what could be blamed for the death of the two “star-crossed lovers”, Romeo and Juliet, whether it be the long running family feud between the Montague and Capulet families, the risk of adolescent love, or simply the hast and secrecy in which the romance developed, through Shakespeare’s captivating tale of two predestined teens held in a captive love we are taken to the extremes of every emotion.In this essay I plan to look at the reasons why the adversity happened and if anything could have stopped it from happening.A popular theory into the reasoning of Romeo and Juliet’s death is that it is due to the older generation, through many threads and stages; the adults of the age seem to contribute towards the tragedy in a somewhat major fashion. Firstly if we look at Juliet’s family, the Capulets, we can see a strong pressure placed upon Juliet to do the family’s will.Her father, to begin with, places a strong weight upon Juliet to marry a good man. He believes Paris is the perfect match for Juliet to unite with and so will not hear of Juliet’s disagreement in the matter. Capulet is unaware of Juliet’s admiration for Romeo and completely blinded to their surreptitious love. He cannot understand why Juliet does not want to marry Paris, a wealthy, charming, attractive young man, perfect for a girl of her standard and class. He becomes extremely exasperated at the fact of her censure in Paris’ hand and so upsets Juliet dearly by shouting and telling her “Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!”In this quote Capulet seems to change from a loving father to being a figure controlled by rage. This seems to provoke her to the decision that she shall either be able to lead a life with Romeo or she shall die, she becomes extremely upset that her father disagrees with her in such an unpleasant way, this may be used as another reason as to why the deaths occurred. After the nurse has left her, Juliet begins to feel sorry for herself and become very over the top about her situation, crying”Do thou but call my resolution wise And with this knife I’ll help it presently”Shakespeare seems to show the child in Juliet as this point by showing her sulking and looking for sympathy from the nurse, the language used helps to describe her desperate state of mind for sympathy and all to be right.When Capulet loses his temper, we feel somewhat sorry for Juliet and angry with him for acting in such an aggressive manner but the reality of this scene is that, in the era of which Romeo and Juliet was written and set, it was any young girl’s father’s job to find his daughter a husband who he thought was eligible and someone that would do his family and daughter proud. When Juliet quickly turns down Capulet’s idea of Paris, one of the most respectable bachelors in Verona, Capulet feels that she is just being immature, selfish and reluctant to the idea of marriage because, of course, he had no idea of Romeo and Juliet’s secret liaison happening behind his back. He was only trying to do the best thing for his daughter; the audience feel a sense of dramatic irony when these confusions and haste-ridden words occur. We know about Romeo and Juliet’s passion, where as the characters do not.Another character in the older Generation who seems to play a major part in the loss of the young, infatuated teens is Friar Lawrence. Romeo and Juliet seem to confide in him throughout the play basing their worries on his shoulder and so he takes a major positioning in the hope that their love will work and the long-fighting Capulets and Montagues will be united as though the feud had never occurred. He comments upon Romeo’s request for marriage to Juliet “In one respect I’ll thy assistant be; for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your households’ rancour to pure love.”He is extremely eager through the play’s stages to unite Juliet with Romeo and so, when Romeo is banished from Verona he tries to help the couple to reunite with one another again.Some people may say Friar Lawrence is asinine in his haste to get the couple married behind their families’ backs, he is the reason for what happened, if he had just left the two pining teens to work their own love out for a while, they would have realised that they needed to tell the truth or that their love was not really true. These statements only look at one side of the argument though, Friar Lawrence may have worked in haste to get the couple married but that was only because he had to, they had no time to wait a few years before the couple were sure that their love was true, the essential idea was they either had to marry either around that time or risk never being able to be together. Friar Lawrence produced these complex plans through hope that it would bond the Capulets and Montagues together once again. This vision does seem a little too far-fetched and difficult to achieve but if the plan had worked then the vision does not seem a full impossibility. The only thing that some can say against Friar Lawrence would be that he seems to be a dreamer and so never really thought through the happenings, he seemed to think all would go according to plan even when all seems to go wrong, “Hold; get you gone, be strong and prosperous In this resolve”. Friar Lawrence is heard to say this after the plan all starts to go wrong and he begins to start his attempt of resolving the issues.Yet another character of the older generation that seems to play a role in the relationship of Romeo and Juliet is the Nurse. She holds a very close bond to Juliet and is entrusted with much of Juliet’s problems, love and tantrums. She knows about the secret affair going on behind all’s eyes but yet does not seem to do anything about it in the earlier stages before it could spiral out of control. She seems to just let Juliet carry on with it and doesn’t seem to take it all that seriously. When Juliet and Romeo are to be married she does though seem enthralled, much like Juliet. This shows that perhaps the nurse wasn’t thinking everything through as much as should have been done in such a delicate circumstance of the heart. She too like Juliet was caught in the moment and felt a strong passion surrounding the forbidden love affair, “Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell; There stays a husband to make you a wife”The nurse seems to do whatever Juliet wishes until Capulet’s complete disapproval of Juliet’s refusal to marry Paris, the nurse gradually and reluctantly sides with Capulet and informs Juliet that she thinks it best if Juliet did marry Paris. “I think it best you married with the county. O, he’s a lovely gentleman!” .The nurse begins to see the reality of the confused matter in this statement and tries to tell Juliet she feels it would be easier if Juliet finally gave in and married Paris as her family wishes.Juliet is certainly not happy with this decision and so takes out her anger on the nurse, the nurse takes this well despite receiving all of the grief from Juliet and leaves her to think it over but it seems all Juliet can exclaim is “Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend! Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn, Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue”Juliet shows her childish behaviour in this quote and so, unwillingly emphasises the case against her showing she may not be mature enough to make her own decisions. The language used here also highlights the language she uses when she is upset earlier in the play, Shakespeare uses the similar language to help express Juliet’s personality and need for sympathy, a common characteristic found in younger adults and children.The nurse is entrusted with all Juliet’s sorrow, it is a plan that the nurse should have considered the side effects of simply letting Juliet do as she will and should have tried to take a lesser part in the bond of Romeo and Juliet. If she had left them, they may have found their hearts were not connected and the two were just not meant to be, all would be too difficult to handle.The older Generation, from this evidence, seem to have influenced a part of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic demise but could the influence placed by their elders on themselves really have caused two young adolescents to take their lives?One other reason as to the passing away of the couple is the influence of the younger Generation, the age of Romeo, Mercutio and Tybalt. The angry generation are too quick to make decisions and give away their heart.Tybalt is an obvious influence on the heartbreaking affair tangled in the book. He is an old fashioned member of the Capulet family and despises the Montagues in what seems every way imaginable, just one breath by them seems to drive his nerves in to a pitiful strain. When he realises a member of the Montague family is at his family party at the beginning of the tale, he comments, “Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave come hither, cover’d with an antic face, to fleer and scorn at our solemnity?”When Tybalt spots Romeo hidden among the guests at the Capulet’s party and realises it is he who has trespassed, he is outraged and wants to make sure that Romeo is taken out of the party immediately.”It fits, when such a villain is a guest: I’ll not endure him.”This quote expresses Tybalts and old-fashioned behaviour. He feels it is a disgrace to him and his family for Romeo to be there.Even after Capulet has told him not to be angry about Romeo’s unsought entry to the party, Tybalt aimlessly plots to take revenge on Romeo. He will not let the matter come to ease and so as we draw into the play; Tybalt decides to take his vow into place.When Tybalt and the Capulets meet Romeo in a crowded public place (Act 3 Scene 1), Tybalt taunts Romeo and edges him to fight with him but Romeo will not lay a finger on him for any amount of words given. Tybalt, seeming violent and ruthless in this matter doesn’t understand why. The audience understand that Romeo has just secretly married Juliet, Tybalt’s cousin. None of the characters at this time understand that only the audience do, this is another scene containing dramatical irony.When Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt, rather than following Romeo’s example and letting the matter rest, Tybalt becomes even more so filled with angst and Mercutio steps in to fight with him. After Romeo steps in to stop the fight, Tybalt kills Mercutio and flees the scene, showing at once how he was a strong fighter but now appears to be cowardly and defenceless. This suggests maybe Tybalt was not as strong as he thought he was, it was all just an act although this strong “act” did help lead to the death of Romeo and Juliet. If Tybalt hadn’t started a row on that day and killed Mercutio, Romeo would not have had the anger to kill Tybalt and therefore the tragedy may have been avoided.Another character from the younger generation who seems to have affected the happenings is Mercutio, if he had followed Romeo’s good example of simply refusing to fight and walking away, he would not have been killed and so Romeo wouldn’t have felt he needed to kill Tybalt in an act of revenge. Mercutio also curses both households, Caplet and Montague on his dying breaths. Some may suggest this curse could have caused the unfortunate happenings of the two young lovers lives. “A plague o’both your houses!”Mercutio also takes Romeo to the Capulet’s party, if he had not Romeo would have never met Juliet in the first place and so the spark of love would not have chance to come to part.Probably one of the strongest characters concerning to the deaths is Romeo. He appears to be very hot headed and does not think before he takes his actions in to part. When the story firsts opens, we hear he adores Rosaline but the moment he lays eyes on Juliet, he becomes infatuated with her. The couple only meet about once and Romeo is desperate to become married to young Juliet, as is Juliet. He believes this love he feels for Juliet is of the highest calibre and no love has ever been so strong or pure. When Romeo is in love with Roseline we hear him often-exclaiming thoughts such as “She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair, to merit bliss by making me despair: she hath forsworn to love and in that vow do I live dead that live to tell it now” but yet when his heart changes to Juliet he is heard to exclaim “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night. “This causes the audience to feel that Romeo isn’t possibly as infatuated with Juliet as he thinks; perhaps because he cannot have her, due to the family feud, he wants her more. He has not thought through what could happen due to the romance and just wants Juliet as his own, he risks being caught by guards when after his first meeting with Juliet he craves to see her again “Can I go forward when my heart is here?Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out.” In this quote, Romeo decides that he must go and see his young lover once again, he feels he cannot leave while his heart still longs for Juliet showing a lack of self control and a force of immaturity causing him to impatient and greedy.Romeos immaturity is also highlighted when Tybalt kills Mercutio; Romeo is full of anger and rage. Without thinking, he runs after Tybalt’s footsteps and kills him. If Romeo had thought through the consequences, he would not have been banished and Tybalt would have been punished for his actions in an orderly way. Romeo may have been angry but Tybalt would get what he deserved for the event and Romeo and Juliet’s love may have a chance to bloom without the hurt, pain, suffering and death involved with it.When Romeo learns that Juliet is “dead”, he is distraught and so straight away tries to go and see for himself that she is gone, he flees out of Mantua and in to Verona, breaking his banishment. Romeo should have waited just a few minutes really as that was all that was between Juliet’s awakening and Romeo’s death.Perhaps one of the strongest arguments as to why the couple were cruelly snatched is the idea of fate. Maybe the couple were simply destined to die, maybe nothing could stop the terrible events happening.The story suggests this quite frequently throughout the tale, opening with “Two star-crossed lovers”, when looking at that language, the words star-crossed stay in our minds. The lover’s fate was decided by the stars and nothing could stop its line of being.Another example of how fate is suggested is in the matter of at the beginning, a Capulet servant, of who cannot read, asks Romeo to read the invitation for him. If Romeo had not been asked to read that simple invitation, he would have never gone to the party and so would have never met Juliet or his cruel fate.There also seem to be premonitions between Romeo and Juliet as to their fate. Juliet often is heard saying of how she feels like the events will all end badly and how she can feel something in the air that is changing and all will not go according to plan.Although the whole play contains reasons of fate and destiny perhaps one of the most frustrating elements found in the book is when Romeo, upon seeing Juliet “dead”, takes his life using a deadly poison. Just a couple of minutes later, or a second later in Baz Lermen’s 1997 interpretation of the play, Juliet awakes to see Romeo dead. If Romeo had entered the tomb of Juliet just a couple of minutes later, the two may have pulled through and survived the incident. But, it seems, fate was not on the young couple’s side when they came to the end of their love and so lives were taken, blood was spilled and tears were wept for the gentle tale of Romeo and Juliet’s love.In conclusion I feel there is not a particular being or group of beings in particular that brought the tragic events told in this tale to happen. I believe that each particular point and group played a part in the situation and lead step by step to the final reckoning. It seems the deaths were just meant to be and no one could stop it. Romeo and Juliet’s love was just too strong to make it work, their passion of just meeting one another and not wanting to lose each other eventually cost them their lives. If the characters had not been so blinded by hate and by love and if they had thought about the situation held before them and taken more consideration to their actions then the tragedy may not have happened.

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