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The Choices Of Romeo And Juliet

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1335 words Published: 12th May 2017

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When we talk about great love plays, we usually talk about Romeo and Juliet. A play written by Shakespeare in 1595 , which is jumping across the time and cultures and is applicable for any historical time and any type of situation. The plot is simple -boy meets girl, girl meets boy , they fell in love from first sight and than they realize that their love is not allowed and doomed. Thus they decide to fight against the obstacles, try to save their romance and experience their love to the fullest extent. This story is well-known and intimate to every human being. Shakespearean play could be easily staged in infinite ways and thus it is what makes it universal and understandable to the mass of the people .The tale of the two lovers could be seen as the love between a black guy and a white girl, rich girl and poor boy, Muslim woman and catholic man , communist and capitalist , model and a geek. Everyone wants to believe in the existence of impossible love and quite often it happens and ends with “…and they lived happily ever after”. That sentimental understanding of “Romeo and Juliet” made it so popular and even tough a lot of other great stories have involved the theme of the forbidden love , this play is the pattern on which all the further are build. Even though the love is one of the main ingredients of this play , Shakespeare put much more flavor into it , than just leaving the straight line of the love story .In contrast to the Hollywood movies , which usually end with a happy end for the struggling couple , Shakespeare left a pile of dead bodies , in the end of this comedy/tragedy. Somehow here it is where this story leaves its sugar lovely line and goes in deeper meaning. In the end there is that sour feeling that great love left dead and sorrow afterwards , just to give a lesson to two rivalry families. It is perplexing because the idea that their great love overcomes everything is lost somewhere between the dead bodies of Romeo and Juliet. There is something else there , because if that was what Shakespeare wanted to tell to its readers , he would have left Romeo and Juliet live and love each other. Thus “Romeo and Juliet” is much more complicated as a meaning that its initial sugar feeling. It is a play that talks for the unknown patters of fate as much as it points out the human mistakes , which were equally faulty for the tragic end of the couple. Because fate is an abstract term , every person builds its own fate with the different choices he or she makes. Although the usual approach towards “Romeo and Juliet” is sympathetic and blames the events that led to the tragic end only on the fate and the “bad” characters of the play , such an approach is too extreme. “Romeo and Juliet” is not a field of the extremes , there are no saints or devils , no good or evil , just variations of alikeness of the human beings. Therefore the common view of Romeo and Juliet , being the innocent “star-crossed” lovers , who hadn’t a choice against their predetermined destiny is too shallow. In that epic story of love ,the tragic end was outcome of different decisions which were supported at some moments by the fate.

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The play begins with explanation of the situation between the two families of Romeo and Juliet , without mention their names , but here on the first lines we can feel the fate is leaving the two lovers without choice. The prologue says that the two lovers are “star-crossed” and at the same time “mark’d” by “death.” Basically Shakespeare could have left the whole play as prologue, if he intended to only show us how their love is going to have an tragic end. The prologue here serves more as a informational piece, which tries to lead the mind of the reader into the direction of their doomed love. With the prologue Shakespeare plays with the mind and the emotions of the reader in a way to challenge them on further thinking of the reasons that led to the tragic end of the story.

The first time that a fate could have had crossed the paths of Romeo and Juliet is when the illiterate servant asks Romeo to read the message that his Master Capulleti has given him connected to the ball in the night. My master is the great rich Capulet, and, if you be not / of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a / cup of wine” (I ii, 86-88) Here the fate is on the side of Romeo , he could see his beloved Rosalina , but still that is the first time that he needs to decide on his actions. Here the young spirit of Romeo could be sensed, he is not scared to go the a party in the house of the Capulet , although this could create some complications and unwanted situations. The character of the young boy is even excited by the idea of the night to come and it blames it all to the starts , thus to the fate for the events that will follow. Some consequence yet hanging in the stars / shall bitterly begin this fearful date”.

Another interesting line mentioning the fate is Juliet’s line connected with the her question if Romeo is married or not she states that if Romeo is to “Go ask his name: if hebe married.

My grave is like to be my wedding bed.” Therefore she is using strong words to compare her wedding as a death , which happens later in the play. But in this early stage of the acts , her words are more words of an young teenage girl , who is overreacting and using too strong words to explain how much she likes the unknown stranger at the party.

Than in the balcony scene they are already aware that their love is impossible which , even makes their love stronger , but in reality their decision for marriage is too childish and fast , and if not could have resolved the tragic end of the play.

The cross-moment of fate versus choice in Romeo and Juliet is when Romeo kills Tybalt in a duel on the street . “O, I am fortune’s fool!(3.1.11)”. In this line a big controversial question could be found , was the fate the one guilty for the death of Tybalt or it was Romeo who killed him? Fate has only met them , the decision was in the hands of Romeo , and thus he made a mistake , because if he hadn’t killed Tybalt , the Prince wouldn’t have exiled him and the tragic end of the story still could have been fixed. The role of the fate is only a percent in the whole play , as rational decisions of the characters could have changed with their actions the outcome of the play.

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Maybe one of the strongest sentences in the tragedy is when Romeo learns about the “death” of Juliet. “Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!(5.1.2)” Here he implies that probably Juliet’s death was predetermined to happen , but still he wants to defy the stars . His sentence putted out of the context could have sounded as an statement of a mad person , because no one could defy the stars (their fate). But although at this moment Romeo didn’t knew he still had the chance to “defy the stars” , to go and try to understand what happened with Juliet and hopefully to understand about her plan. Thus finally Romeo is talking about choice , and that even the fate , which in Elizabethan time was important factor of the century ,could be defied.

The choices that the main and the second characters in Romeo and Juliet , were the one that mainly defined the tragic outcome of the play. From Romeo and Juliet were two kids , who made a lot of wrong choices in the name of their great love , which was immature , and left people dead and in the end brought them the same to the Friar or the Nurse , who never acted maturely enough and supported strangely their decisions. Fate is important factor in “Romeo and Juliet” , but in many turns of the story Romeo and Juliet could have turned their tragic end in a different direction.


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