Theme of Fate and Coincidence in Shakespeare’s Romeo and JulietGet Your
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Romeo and Juliet Do you believe in fate and coincidence? In the play Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakesphere many coincidences occurred that could have changed the outcome of the story if they had not happened. In the beginning of the play the prologue states the words “star-crossed lovers” indicating that the play will not turn out well. There are many instances in which Shakesphere shows these coincidental events in his play Romeo and Juliet. An example of a coincidence in the play is that, Capulet asked the servant to read the invitation list and invite the people.
He couldn’t read, so he went to find someone who could, he came upon Romeo and it just so happened that Romeo’s love Rosaline was on the list. Romeo snuck into the party and ended up falling in love with Juliet. If the servant would have been able to read he would have never approached Romeo, Romeo would have had no knowledge of the party and would have never met Juliet. One of the most important coincidences in the play that keep Romeo and Juliet from being together, is that their families are enemies.
If the two families wouldn’t have been enemies the tragic deaths of the young lovers would have never occurred. Another coincidence in the play is that the wedding that Juliet’s father had arranged was moved up a day. This ruined her plans of faking her death so she could escape with Romeo and turned out with both of them being dead. If the date of the wedding would have not changed Juliet could have succeeded with her plans and ran away with Romeo and they would still be alive. In conclusion, these are only a few instances in which Shakesphere shows coincidental events in his play Romeo and Juliet.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Theme of Fate and Coincidence in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
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Fate or Coincidence in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
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Fate or Coincidence in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare’s plays have sparked many debates. I am going to discuss
the question “Is the tragedy of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
a matter of fate or coincidence?”
Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story of two families who have
always quarrelled. Through a series of events, leading up to the hero
and the heroine committing suicide in love, the quarrel is ended.
However, it is important to consider the historical influence on the
play. The people of all Elizabethan classes were very superstitious.
They believed that it was not them who controlled their own actions.
They believed that the stars controlled fate. Fate was very commonly
believed in as the supposed force, principle or power, to predetermine
all events. So, events in future were going to happen, and no stopping
Right from the start of the play, in the Prologue, Romeo and Juliet
are portrayed as “star-crossed” and their love is “death-marked”. This
tells the audience that during the course of the play, all will not
run smoothly, and for Romeo and Juliet, the outcome of their love will
Act 1 Scene 2 contains the first example of Fate. Romeo reads a list
of invites to a party of the Capulets. It just so happens that the
servant had news of the party. This is actually quite an important
part in the play. It leads to Romeo meeting Juliet.
Toward the end of Act 1 Scene 4, an example of fate and destiny is
mentioned by Romeo: “I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,”
This is showing that Romeo believes a turn of events is going to turn
to his tragic death. A point of key diction in this is “fear”. He
fears something. “Mind misgives” is another piece of key diction,
saying he is unsure of something. Bearing in mind that the stars
supposedly control fate of people, he says, “hanging in the stars”.
The stars have something planned.
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In Act 1 Scene5, Romeo and Juliet meet and talk in a sonnet form:
ROMEO: If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy Shrine, the gentler sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss
The rest of what is said forms a sonnet, a typical love poem, used to
express lover’s words. This is love at first sight, which shows that
there is going to be fate and tragedy as main themes in the play.
Religious imagery is used to add to the impact of love at first sight.
Romeo uses light imagery toward Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2. A quote:
“What Light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet
is the sun.” He compares Juliet to the sun in order to express his
love towards her. It’s as if she is as valuable as the sun to him.
Juliet’s nurse unknowingly states warnings of the future about Juliet
in Act 2 Scene 4. She talks of Juliet being pale, as if she were dead:
“she looks as pale as any clout in the versal world” She also links
Romeo with rosemary, the flower of remembrance: “Doth not `rosemary`
and `Romeo` begin both with a letter”. These are references to fate as
they actually do end up happening, and these events would seemingly
not be a coincidence if they were already mentioned before they
Act 3 Scene 2, has Juliet saying another reference to fate:
“Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine”
This gives the thought that Juliet believes Romeo is going to die by
Tybalt killing Mercutio in Act 3 Scene 1 is an example of fate in the
play. It is set on a mercilessly hot day, where tempers are frayed and
fiery Tybalt is out looking for a fight with Romeo. Fate is involved
in Mercutio’s death. After all, he was not the man Tybalt set out to
kill. Because Romeo had just got married, Mercutio thought he was
being cowardly and had a fight with Tybalt to defend Romeo’s honour.
If it hadn’t been for Mercutio beginning this brawl, perhaps Romeo
would not have ended killing Tybalt, and therefore starting the
events, which led to the conclusion.
Upon Romeo killing Tybalt, in the same Scene, Romeo says, “O, I am
fortune’s fool.” This emphasises Romeo’s belief that the Stars are
controlling his actions.
When Friar Lawrence helped Juliet over her problem with Paris, he
ended up leading to both of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. If it hadn’t
been for Juliet’s parents wanting her to marry Paris, then she would
not have had to take the potion. It was her parents wanting her to
marry Paris that made her have trouble.
Romeo gives a reference to fate in Act 5 Scene 1. He yells, “Then I
defy you, stars!” By saying this, he means that he does not believe
that the stars, which are supposed to be controlling fate, have let
this happen. This is a very important point in the play.
To answer the question, “Is the tragedy of William Shakespeare’s Romeo
and Juliet a matter of fate or coincidence?”, the references to fate
that the characters mention is very useful. The answer here is, the
tragedy is a matter of fate. It was started off by one coincidence,
but the rest of the events were fate.