Romeo and Juliet.
“Two star-crossed lover’s take their lives”. This is the iconic line from the famous play of “Romeo and Juliet” written by William Shakespeare. In the play Shakespeare shows that fate is no more unusual than the sun rising from the east, and setting in the west. Throughout the story the theme of fate is rich and is shown through out. From the things that may seem small like two people meeting, but turn into a situation which would seemed impossible a few scenes back which really decide Romeo’s and Juliet’s future. Let the journey begin.
In the play “Romeo and Juliet” many of the main characters say many lines that relate to God and his power in all of their lives and in this case Shakespeare chooses metaphors to show this. One of these examples is when Romeo goes to the Capulet’s party. Romeo however holds the name of a Montague which is arch enemy of the Capulet’s. He is now unsure whether he should attend the party and says “…He that hath steerage of my course,direct my sail”. This is a very good use of metaphor because Romeo is referring him self as a ship and is letting the captain to have full control over his choice his course. In other words the captain will decide what will happen to him. The captain is referred “He” with the capital letter meaning that the captain is God. We can justify this because this is only done when we refer to God. Romeo is now prepared to embrace Gods choices for what is best for him. Also Romeo may feel that if God didn’t want him to go to the party God would do something to stop him. This is fate because he is allowing something that doesn’t physically exist have power and control over his life.
Fate in the play is used by many different types of language techniques and one of the most obvious is metaphors. As the play goes on Romeo’s life is turning to the worst and he makes two statements that expresses that he regrets letting God have control over what happens in his life. “Thou desperate pilot, at once on the dashing rocks, thy seasick weary bark”. Romeo is now referring that a ship has crashed on the rocks. Because he is the ship ,he means that the he has crashed on the rocks. In other terms his life has gone for the worst and is leading to his doom. “Thy seasick weary bark” This could also mean that “seasick” is referring that he is sick of the sea. Because Romeo is the boat and God is his captain this could mean that the captain has led the boat into unsettled waters and he wants the captain to walk the plank. In other words he is sick of the things God is doing to him and he wants to take control back over his life. Second statement is “I defy you stars” .Romeo says this after he hears some news that Juliet is dead (which she obviously isn’t). The stars are anther reference to God. So when he says I defy you stars he is saying that I rebel against you God which is most likely because he is hating the decisions God is making for him. Shakespeare shows fate through metaphors and other language techniques by showing that Romeo is unhappy with the things that God is deciding on what happens in his life and now wants control back.
Shakespeare also shows fate being used directly in speech also known as dialogue. “i would the fool were married to her grave”. This shows strong anger within someone at the heat of the moment because most people wouldn’t go cursing other people to die. This quote is said by Lady Capulet when she is angry that Juliet Rejects the offer to marry Paris.This is dialogue because it is a direct reference to death.This proves fate because it is a direct reference to death. This can be labeled a coincidence because Juliet does eventually kill herself while already married. The whole play is building to the fact on how could two love birds come to state that they would want to kill themselves.This is mostly constructed through the weird events that the characters encounter.
There are many times within the play that Shakespeare shows fate by the events charters face and many of them are through coincidences. One of these coincidences is used right at the beginning of the play while the Capulet’s are organizing a party and Head Capulet gives his servant a guest list with all the people invited. But the servant can not read so he finds someone who can. And out of complete luck he runs into Romeo who reads the letter to the servant.As a reward the servant then invites Romeo to the party as long as he’s not a Montague. Romeo only wishes to go to the party because Rosaline his crush, is going. But only at the party does he meet Juliet. “Now I’ll tell you without asking. My master is the great rich Capulet, and if you be not of the house of Montague’s, I pray come and crush a cup of wine. Rest you merry”! This is a great example of coincidences because if the servant never asked Romeo to read the letter to him, Romeo never would have been invited to the party and in turn never meet Juliet there. Also it is very lucky that the servant didn’t know that Romeo was a Montague because if the servant did recognize him then he would have never invited Romeo to the party. This is a strong example of fate because if the servant never asked Romeo to read the letter he never would have gone to the party or meet Juliet and this is all by chance.
As Shakespeare illustrates us the play “Romeo and Juliet” you may notice that a whole lot of things happen out of complete luck or coincidence. Shakespeare does this through out the play but perhaps the one with the greatest effect which really determines what happens to Romeo and Juliet is when Frair Lawrence(Romeo’s friend and Priest) constructs a letter to Romeo explaining a plan which says Juliet is alive. It is with bad luck that the letter never reaches Romeo because there was a plague in a local town.This ultimately stopped Friar john(Mail man) from delivering the vital letter.”Here in this city visiting the sick,And finding him, the searchers of the town,Suspecting that we both were in a house.Where the infectious pestilence did reign,Sealed up the doors and would not let us forth”. This is again a coincidence because the chance that there was a Plague in Mantua right when Friar John was delivering the letter to Romeo would have been low.But Friar John also says that the searches of the town quarantined him by mistake. The chances of this happening would be astronomically small. This would strengthen the idea that the whole plague scenario was a coincidence. This would be known as fate because it would seem that a power like God deliberately did this so Rome and Juliet would kill themselves but Shakespeare also uses things even as silly as dreams to show fate.
Shakespeare shows fate in many aspects of the play like plot events or even dreams known as Premonition. One of these examples is when Romeo and Juliet are saying their goodbyes to each other. As Romeo leaves Juliet has a strange vision.“O God, I have an ill-divining soul.Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale”.In this vision Juliet sees someone dead at the bottom of a tomb. When Juliet says “I see thee” She is meaning Romeo. This can be proved because Romeo was the only one in the room at the time and she is looking at him because Romeo is talking to her. This is premonition because Juliet is having a seeing something that has not happened yet. At the end of the play this does happen and Juliet’s does see Romeo dead at the bottom of the Capulet tomb.Also when she says “I have an ill-divining soul” she is saying that she thinks she may have an evil soul that is predicting the future. Near the end of the play Romeo has a near identical vision to the one Juliet had.“I dreamt my lady came and found me dead—Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think—”. Romeo dreamt that he was dead and Juliet was there. The chances of two people having almost identical visions is ironic and could also be called a coincidence. This would be known as fate because it would seem that a power like God deliberately showed them so Romeo and Juliet would kill themselves.
A very interesting point in the play “Romeo and Juliet” is that the whole play could be considered a Paradox. At the end of the play Romeo and Juliet kill them self by suicide. But in many religions including Christianity it is forbidden for you to take your own life because God has given you the gift of life.” Here’s to my love! (drinks the poison) O true apothecary,Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die”.So the question is why would God want Romeo and Juliet to kill them selves. This is a Paradox because at first it would prove that free will existed which is not the message Shakespeare was trying to get across.But if Shakespeare is trying to show fate then it would make no sense for God to go all means necessary to let the two fall in love with one in other and kill them selves. For example the plague that stopped Friar John getting the letter to Romeo. But the twist or paradox here is it would have been in Gods best interest to make the two kill themselves because in the end it stopped the family feud. If it was not stopped it could have caused more and perhaps more devastating destruction. This is a very strong example of fate because it clearly shows that Shakespeare believed that God has near total authority of our lives and that we do not have free will.
Many times in the play Shakespeare links fate to paradox. One example of this is when Juliet says “My only love sprung from my only hate!”. This is suggesting that she loves Romeo but hates him at the same time. This is a paradox because normally it would seem totally Impossible for someone to both have feelings of love for someone but hate them at the same time. But in this case it is possible because Juliet does love Romeo but her family ,The Capulets and Romeos family, Montague are arch enemy’s.
Now that are journey is over we can see the true importance of fate within the play. Also how Shakespeare intended for us to belive God being a higher power would do what is necessary for the overall greater good. whether this is true in our world we may never know. But for me as the reader and for some of you reading, we can see that most of the characters in the play reflect their beliefs to fate in some form.”For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo”.
Essay guidance :http://henryashoweld.student.edutronic.net/2015/12/17/english-lit-controlled-assessment/