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The Chorus describes Romeo and Juliet as “star-crossed lovers” Do you think that fate is wholly to blame for what happened to them?We are introduced to the idea of Romeo and Juliet being controlled by fate from the start of the play in the chorus, however there may have been other factors controlling their destiny, so was fate wholly to blame, or are there a combination of other reasons why they ended how they did?Shakespeare is the one who first plants the idea of fate into the readers mind by describing Romeo and Juliet as “star- crossed lovers,” This is effective in setting the scene and the main characters relationship. It suggests that it was written in the stars that they should be together and so they cannot escape it.Shakespeare continues to use the idea of fate throughout the play. Before the party, Romeo has a fearful premonition; he is feeling tense and worried. He believes that fate, “hanging in the stars,” is going to make things go wrong at the party. He senses that “some consequence, will, “bitterly begin his fearful date.” He is obviously scared by the premonition as he uses the word “fearful”. He is feeling uneasy and is quite worried as he believes that fate will, “rule his untimely death,” meaning that his death is near, which would worry anyone. The party is where he met Juliet, which is the start to his end as he kills himself over his grief for losing Juliet, so maybe this premonition is truthful.Later in Act III scene 5, Juliet is unhappy about Romeo leaving after their wedding night and she looks down at him and says, “Me thinks I see thee, now art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb.” This premonition gives the effect of dramatic irony, as in the chorus we are told that both characters die, and the play itself is a tragedy. Fate often gives the effect of dramatic irony, as we know it will happen. This would have been a very frightening premonition for them both and as we know it will happen it suggests that it is fate and so there is no stopping it.Later, Romeo tries to comfort Juliet before he leaves to Mantua. She asks if they will ever be together again and he replies;”I doubt it not, and all these woes shall serve for sweet discourses in our time to come.”This means that there will be a future for them, when their troubles have all disappeared. But he is unconvincing to both Juliet and the audience, as we know that it all ends badly because we are told in the chorus. Juliet cannot see them having a future together. This suggests that fate does play a part in what happens to them as they can just tell that it will go wrong and there is nothing that they can do. The audience already know that it will go wrong.Linking to the description of Romeo and Juliet in the chorus, Romeo speaks before he is about to drink the poison and kill himself. He says that he will, “shake the yoke of inauspicious stars.” Meaning that he wants to get rid of the oppression of his unfavourable fate. He is saying that when he is dead he will be free from his bad luck. But he is still being controlled by fate, as it was his fate to kill himself over his love and grief for Juliet.Romeo prepares himself for death, he tells his, “eyes look your last.” This means that he will not be using his eyes again so they should take their last look before he dies. He also says, that he will, “set up,” his “everlasting rest.” So it is there that he will rest forever. These show that Romeo cannot bear to live without Juliet as he thinks that she is dead. Their fate to be together was so strong that it brought them to their ends.Other characters in the play also mention the idea of ‘fate’. Friar Lawrence is upset about finding the bodies of Romeo and Paris. He feels that it was his fault as it was him who came up with the plan to fake Juliet’s death. But he soon realises that it was down to fate, “Guilty of this lamentable chance.” He sees it as a crime that fate and chance have done this. He believes that fate could not have been stopped, “Of death, contagion and unnatural sleep. A greater power than we can contradict.” Friar Lawrence means that all these bad things are controlled by something so great that we cannot control it. He too thinks that their love was down to fate or chance and so were their deaths.However there are other factors that could be to blame for what happened to Romeo and Juliet. Romeo was a very passionate person; he often let his emotions take over his actions. For example, when he killed Tybalt in revenge for Mercutio’s death. He did not think he just let his anger get the better of him and the consequences had dramatic effects and contributed to what happened. If Romeo had not of killed Tybalt then he would not have been banished and Capulet would not have brought the wedding nearer in an attempt to cheer Juliet up. This scene of dramatic irony made the situation worse as Juliet felt that she could not marry Paris and so she then faked her own death. All of the events lead onto another. It was Romeo being led by his heart and not always his head that resulted in him killing Tybalt in revenge and himself in grief.Romeo also had influential friends who persuaded him to go to the party in the first place where he first met Juliet. Romeo did not want to go to the party because of his fearful premonition in a dream previously, “some consequence,” will “bitterly begin his fearful date.” This shows that he is clearly worried about the party but yet his friends persuade him to go. It is due to his friends’ persuasion that he goes to the party and therefore meets Juliet, which is the start of their relationship.It was Mercutio’s hot temper that started the fight with Tybalt the day of Mercutio and Tybalt’s death. If Mercutio had listened to Romeo and not quarrelled with Tybalt then the fight would never have broken out, so Romeo would not have slain Tybalt, which brought on more events.The characters in the play were not always truthful to one another. For example if Romeo and Juliet had confessed their love to everyone then a lot of the events could have been avoided. As Capulet would not have demanded that Juliet marries Paris. His decision to do this brought on many other events resulting in Romeo and Juliet’s death.Both Romeo and Juliet were very young and unadvised. They rushed into things, deciding to marry on the very night that they had met. If they had thought about the consequences of their actions a little more then it may not of ended in the way in which it did. Juliet felt that it was going too fast between her and Romeo, “It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden.” She is overcome with love for Romeo in the previous lines but here she is very practical and starts to worry. If they were older and more mature then they would have both listened to Juliet’s wise words and waited.Romeo’s age and immaturity is also shown by his love for Rosaline. He believed that he was in love with her and he says, “Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.” He cannot escape his love for Rosaline. But yet next day he falls in love with Juliet and in the end dies over his love for her. It would seem that Romeo falls in love very easily, so therefore if Romeo had never met Juliet then he would still be in love with Rosaline and so their lives would not have ended in the way that they did. But others argue that Romeo’s love for Juliet was a different kind of love, and that it was different to how he felt about Rosaline.It is said that fate is told in our dreams, but according to Mercutio dreams are not true. Mercutio says that Queen Mab chooses what we dream about, ” Through lover’s brains and then they dream of love.” He is saying that she should not be trusted and there is no truth in them. He says that dreams are just, “Children of an idle brain,” they are untrue; they play with the mind whilst it is idle.Dreams are also proven untruthful after Romeo dreams of, “joyful news.” He dreamt that he died but Juliet kissed him, which “revived” him and brought him back to life. He is feeling happy and “cheerful”. He says that, “an unaccustomed spirit lifts me above the ground.” This means that something, he does not know what, has made him happy, joyful and in good spirits. But we know that the dream is untrue, as Juliet does not bring him back to life with a kiss. This shows dreams to be untrustworthy.In conclusion both fate and factors concerning the characters played a part in what happened to Romeo and Juliet. I do not think that fate is wholly to blame but I do believe that it did have effects on the outcome of the characters. However, even if they had done things differently it does not mean that things would have ended better. Maybe they could not have escaped their fate, as Friar Lawrence believes, “Of death, contagion and unnatural sleep. A greater power than we can contradict.”

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