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The Question of Fate and Choice in Romeo and Juliet

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Everyone has made bad decisions before, but not all of them lead to a catastrophic future. However, in William Shakespeare?s play of Romeo and Juliet, the main characters Romeo and Juliet, introduced as ?star-crossed lovers,? die tragically at the end of the book due to a series of terrible decisions. There were times when they missed each other literally by mere minutes; however, it is not fate that lets them slip past each other, it was still their choices that lead to the outcome. They were not victims of fate; they were just blinded by love and made bad choices which ultimately terminated their lives. In Romeo and Juliet, choices made by the characters were the most influential thing leading to their death; however, Romeo blames the outcome on fate rather than taking up the responsibility.

Romeo?s bad decisions throughout the play influenced the outcome the most, he uses fate as a scapegoat and it shows how he does not take up responsibility. After learning of the Capulets holding a party, Romeo questions if he should attend, ?Your lady?s love against some other maid/ That I will show you shining at this feast,/ And she shall scant show well that now seems best./ I?ll go along, no such sigh to be shown./ But to rejoice in splendour of my own? (Romeo, 1.3.101-106). One bad decision Romeo makes is to agree to go to the party. As the son of Lord Montague, he knows very well about the ongoing feud between the house of the Capulets and the Montagues; however, he still agreed to attend the opposing family?s party. Romeo was blinded by ?love? here, which shows how immature Romeo?s character is, he forgets about the whole family feud and all the consequences that could happen. After falling in love with Juliet, Romeo blames fate for bringing them together. This also shows him as an irresponsible person, he uses fate as a scapegoat but would not take the responsibility of making the choice. Fate did not conclude to this, it was Romeo?s choice to go to the Capulet?s party regardless of the family feud. Romeo decides on suiciding after hearing the news of Juliet?s death, ?Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,/ Gorg?d with the dearest morsel of the earth,/ Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,/ And in despite I?ll cram thee with more food? (Romeo, 5.3.45-48).

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He rushed to the tomb to kill himself so he can lie next to her, ?…I will stay with thee/ And never from this place of dim night/ Depart again. Here, here will I remain/ With worms that are thy chambermaids? Here?s to my love! O true apothecary/ Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die? (Romeo, 5.3.106-120). Although a series of unfortunate coincidences caused the miscommunication, Romeo made the choice of killing himself alone; nobody forced him to come back to Verona or to kill himself. He could have faced the problem in a more mature way instead of becoming too drastic and choosing to commit suicide rashly in the end. The ?accident? of not having the letter about Juliet?s death being fake delivered to Romeo in time wasn?t controllable. However, his unfortunate event only provoked his intentions, it did not ultimately cause them. Romeo blames fate for taking her life, he does not consider the fact that he was the one who made the choices concluding to this problem as he chose to kill Tybalt which got him expelled from Verona. These two bad decisions Romeo made shows that fate is not what concluded to the misfortune, it was his own choice that led to the tragic ending of the play.


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