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Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Essay William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story with themes such as impatience, mistrust, miscommunication and many more, which all resulted in many deaths. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet are caused by all the characters actions. Friar Laurence’s actions are not solely responsible for their deaths. In fact Friar Laurence, Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet, and the nurse are all at fault for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. But, the main people responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths are of course, themselves.
Even though the Friar isn’t the only person to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s death, he plays a huge role and is partly to blame for everything that happens. The Friar agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet when they’ve only known each other for less than a day. He agrees to this because he thinks that it would end the feud between the two families that has been going on for years. As he says to Romeo “come, young waverer, come, go with me/In one respect I’ll thy assistant be/For this alliance may so happy prove/To turn your household’s rancor to pure love” (R+J3. 2. 9-92). When Romeo gets sent away for killing Tybalt, Friar Laurence comes up with a plan to have Romeo and Juliet be together so he gets Friar John to deliver a message to Romeo. Little did Friar John know that that letter meant life or death. As Friar Laurence says “Unhappy fortune! By my brotherhood/ The letter was not nice but full of charge/ Of dear import, and the neglecting it/May do much danger” (R+J 5. 2. 17-20). The second part of the Friars plan is Georgieva 2 to give Juliet a “sleeping potion” and have everyone think she is dead. The Friar makes this utrageous plan because he wants Romeo and Juliet to run away and be together. Not only is the Friar partly responsible, but so are Juliet’s parents. Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet, and the nurse as well, all plan an arranged marriage for Juliet and Paris. Lord Capulet does not want Juliet to marry as she is only 13 years old, but as soon as he hears it would be to a family with royal connections, he quickly agrees. Juliet was quite upset due to the fact that she loved Romeo, not Paris. Not only do her parents want her to marry Paris, but Lord Capulet hreatens her and tells her that if she doesn’t marry Paris then she will be disowned and no longer be allowed in their home. As the Capulet says “To answer ‘I’ll not wed; I cannot love/ I am too young; I pray you, pardon me. ’/ But, as you will not wed, I’ll pardon you/ Graze where you shall not house with me. ” (R+J 5. 3. 186-189). Not only are Juliet’s parents threatening her, but the nurse is also very disloyal to her as well. When Juliet asks the nurse for her advice for Juliet’s refusal to marry Paris the nurse sides with her parents, and this is why Juliet feels betrayed.
However, the people who are to blame mostly for Romeo and Juliet’s death are in fact, themselves. These two main characters get everyone in their lives involved in their mess and the results end in them taking their own lives. Their quick and rash decisions are what lead them to commit suicide. When Romeo see’s that Juliet is “dead”, he can’t imagine what his life will be like without her. His first thought is that he needs to take his life away because he has nothing to live for anymore. The two main themes in this play are “impatience” and “miss communication”.
They are portrayed by every single character at least once. Friar Laurence tells Friar John to deliver the letter to Romeo, but he doesn’t tell him what is was about, or how big its importance Georgieva 3 is, so it never gets to Romeo. Moments after Romeo dies; Juliet wakes up and she couldn’t believe what she was seeing in front of her eyes. There Romeo was dead, all because of miscommunication and rational decisions. Then Juliet says: What’s here? A cup, closed in my true love’s hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end: O churl! Drunk all, and left no friendly drop To help me after? I will kiss thy lips;
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Haply some poison yet doth hang on them, To make die with a restorative. (R+J 3. 5. 160-165) They take the easy way out of things and kill themselves rather than standing up to their family and friends and fighting for what they really want. Yes, Friar Laurence has something to do with the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but he is not the only one. Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet, the nurse, Romeo and Juliet are all to blame. Hence, this is why the Friar is not solely responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s death. In conclusion, the tragic deaths of all the characters in this play, is of more than one persons fault.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Romeo and Juliet-Who’s at Fault?
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WHO IS TO BLAME
“Romeo and Juliet” is a young couple’s play about love and hate, adolescent angst and death by Shakespeare. The continual feud between the Montague and the Capulet families results in ongoing conflict. There are many factors that are responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Friar Lawrence, fate and their parents can be held responsible for their tragic demise. But the lovers too, especially Romeo, makes some poor decisions. Miscalculation and accidents also play a part.
See some Sample paragraphs based on TEEL structure for text response.
THE FEUDING FAMILIES
The feud is responsible for the tragic deaths. They are born into enemy families and it is expected that both marry a person from the same family. There is a lot of ill-feeling and hatred between the two clans. The feuding families creates a malignant context for the lovers. The play is about ‘The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love, And the continuance of their parents’ rage, which but their children’s end nought could remove.’
When Juliet first meets Romeo she knows that their relationship is cursed because it is her fate to fall in love with a member of the enemy household. Juliet and Romeo are both determined to find a way to be together and get married despite their enemy status. Juliet regrets that Romeo is a Montague, but she asks, “What’s in a name”. She tells Romeo, “doff thy name … and take all myself.”
Lord Capulet insists on the marriage. (Act 4/1 and Act 3/5)
Lord and Lady Capulet force her to marry Paris without asking her opinion because they assume that she will obey them. They misunderstand the extent and purpose of her grief following Tybalt’s death. They think it is simply unhealthy.
When she does not obey their orders, Lord Capulet gets angry “Hang you, you minx! You disobedient wretch! I’ll tell you now: Go to the church on Thursday, or never look on my face again!” He is very arrogant and shows little concern for Juliet’s feelings. He accuses her of being ungrateful. This makes Juliet extremely unhappy and gives her further reason to be disobedient. As a result she consults Friar Lawrence.
MERCUTIO AND TYBALT
The continued brawling between clan members such as Tybalt and Mercutio directly leads to Romeo’s exile. BOTH Mercutio (Montagues) and Tybalt (Capulet) are troublemakers. Shakespeare constructs the two figures as mirror images of their different families. Both and Mercutio incite hatred and inflame the tension between the two clans. Both bear a grudge against each other. They both use words and phrases to deliberately offend each other.
Mercutio is just as provocative as Tybalt. When they meet in Act III, Mercutio states that “I care not” that Tybalt is coming and that they must prevent a fight. His language and his words are very inflammatory. In response to Tybalt he states “a word and a blow”. He deliberately misunderstands/ misinterprets Tybalt’s words, “consortst” as an insult. Tybalt deliberately uses the word “consort’st” because of its double meaning. As a result, Mercutio interprets this offensively. He is the one who draws his “fiddlestick” or sword first and prompts a fight. He refuses to listen to reason from either Benvolio or Romeo. He also refers to Romeo’s words of peace as “vile submission”.
Likewise, Mercutio hates Tybalt and provokes him to a fight when he asks if Tybalt, the “Good King of Cats”, is a coward, “Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk” (3.1)
Tybalt is also provocative and greets Romeo with the phrase “here comes my man”. Tybalt has a grudge against Romeo from the time he comes to the ball. He is stubborn, hot-tempered and provocative. Tybalt says he hates “peace” as he hates “hell, all Montagues, and thee.” He says to Romeo, “thou art a villain”, which refers to the fact that he is intended as an insult and refers to a man of inferior birth, as a peasant. He tells Romeo, “turn and draw”.
He also feels slighted that Lord Capulet seems to protect Romeo and state that he is a “virtuous” and “well-govern’d youth” with a good reputation. This seems to fuel Tybalt’s sense of inferiority, and, feeling slighted and aggrieved, he is constantly looking for an outlet to vent his anger on Romeo.
He derails R’s attempts to mediate between the clans. He exacerbates and aggravates the tension between the clans. He refers to Romeo as his “man” which is a pun on servant; it is demeaning. He states that he cannot excuse the “injuries that thou hast done me”.
Tybalt refuses to take Romeo seriously, when he states that he “loves thee better than thou canst devise”. He goes against the Prince’s orders when he provokes the brawl and kills Mercutio, thus provoking Romeo. He is so hot-tempered that he takes advantage of Romeo’s attempts to restrain Mercutio and stabs him. He recklessly and impulsively stabs Mercutio thus precipating a chain of action that leads to the death of both Romeo and Juliet.
When Romeo kills Tybalt, Romeo must flee. Because of his fiery nature, he becomes the catalyst for the ensuring tragic events. He lacks Romeo’s charitable attitude and peaceable nature.
Both Tybalt and Mercutio play a major role in Romeo’s downfall. They refuse to settle for peace. They deliberately use inflammatory words. They both want to fight.
ROMEO has a tendency to be impulsive and this contributes to his exile. Even Friar Lawrence tries to warn him that it is not good to be impulsive. Friar Lawrence is shocked that Romeo has so quickly changed his affection from Rosaline to Juliet. However, Romeo does display his love for Juliet when he tries to restrain Tybalt and states that contrary to expectation he “love(s) thee better than thou canst devise”
After Tybalt kills Mercutio, he decides that he must defend his honour and no longer shows control and restraint. He imagines that his love has weakened him. He worries that Juliet’s “beauty hath made me effeminate” and is determined to change this. He says let “fire-eyed fury be my conduct now”. Only when it is too late, he realizes how foolish he has been. He realizes he is “fortune’s fool” and doomed by their feuding families. Sadly, Romeo also panics when he sees Juliet in the casket.
THE TRAGEDY is a catalogue of errors originating in Fr L’s ill-hatched plan.
- it was too sophisticated and risk-laden (despite its worthy aims) and ends up with disastrous consequences
- he encourages Juliet to deceive her parents; she fakes death which is a very upsetting experience for her parents.
- F L does not have any back-up plans; Friar John was waylaid by authorities and FL fails inform Balthasar who hurries to tell Romeo about Juliet’s death.
- R ends up distraught and unable to think clearly: Romeo is too young and impulsive to evaluate the situation when it backfired
Friar Lawrence’s scheme is not well planned and is perhaps too sophisticated for the young lovers. Juliet blindly places her faith in Friar Lawrence and when the plan backfires both Romeo and Juliet are too young, naive and innocent to think of other remedies.
Friar Lawrence instigates the dangerous plan that has disastrous consequences, although love and peace are his main aims. He states that “this this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancour to pure love’. Friar organises the risk-laden scheme which seeks to avoid Juliet’s hasty marriage to Paris. (Also he knows that Juliet is threatening to kill herself if he does not find a solution.) The plan appears simple, but it is full of risks.
It encourages Juliet to deceive her parents. She feigns death which leads to disaster upon the lack of communication with Romeo. Friar Lawrence’s scheme is not well planned and is perhaps too sophisticated for the young lovers. Juliet blindly places her faith in Friar Lawrence and when the plan backfires both Romeo and Juliet are too young, naive and innocent to think of other remedies.
He does not have any back-up plans. Friar John is held up by the authorities. He is unable to give Romeo the letter about Friar Lawrence’s scheme because he and another monk were delayed by the authorities and quarantined. (“Where the infectious pestilence did reign, Seal’d up the doors, and would not let us forth”.)
Friar Lawrence fails to inform, Romeo’s servant Balthasar, who hurries to Romeo with the news that Juliet is dead. He begs Romeo to show patience, which may have led to a different outcome. Pale and wildly impetuous, Romeo decides to go straight to her tomb.
When he learns about her “death” Romeo rushes to buy poison. In front of Juliet’s body he remains with their memories. He remembers the memory of her kiss: “Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath.” After his death by “true apothecary”, Juliet wakes up and kills herself with a “dagger”
The rivalry between the M and C were the main reason for the death of Romeo and Juliet. Discuss.
The simmering brawl between warring clan members such as Tybalt and Mercutio directly precipitates the chain of tragic events that leads to Romeo’s exile and the lovers’ death. Shakespeare constructs the two figures as mirror images of their different families which bear an ancient grudge that is difficult, or impossible, to resolve. Both Mercutio, a Montague, and Tybalt, a Capulet, are clearly troublemakers; both are antagonistic towards the Prince’s decree that … “if you ever disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the price of it”. Initially at the masked ball, Tybalt is warned by Capulet to bury his resentment, but instead he is left smouldering from what he feels as an offensive intrusion by a Montague. During the later street encounter, Mercutio is just as provocative as Tybalt. When they meet in Act III, Mercutio states that “I care not” that Tybalt is coming and that they must prevent a fight. Shakespeare constructs the scene in such a way to show how their continued enmity obstructs reconciliation and peace. He employs puns that are used by both Tybalt and Merc to inflame the situation. For example, Mercutio deliberately misunderstands/ misinterprets Tybalt’s words, “consortst”, used because of its double meaning, as an insult. M is the one who draws his “fiddlestick” or sword first and prompts a fight. He refuses to listen to reason from either Benvolio or Romeo. He also refers to Romeo’s words of peace as “vile submission”. Likewise, Mercutio hates Tybalt and provokes him to a fight when he asks if Tybalt, the “Good King of Cats”, is a coward, “Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk” (3.1) Eventually the death of M and then Tybalt leads to Romeo’s exile and the ill-hatched plan of Friar Lawrence.
If Mercutio and Tybalt act as catalysts, Shakespeare also depicts Lord Capulet as a contributing partner to the tragedy owing to the misuse of his power and authority. His misguided arrogance and despotic nature seal her fate owing to the hasty order to marry Paris, in complete disregard of her wellbeing. Whilst there are some redeeming features to Capulet such as his conciliatory attitude displayed towards Romeo at the masked ball, Shakespeare does place considerable emphasis on his unreasonable order to hastily marry Paris. He clearly misunderstands Juliet’s wishes and the purpose of her grief following Tybalt’s death. Shakespeare depicts Tybalt as clearly sharp despotic ordering her to marry. “Hang you minx …” (quotes…) Shakespeare continues to show how the misuse of his authority and power, which could have been used to solve the feud, instead contributes to the tragic chain of events that leads to the death of the lovers
Whilst most members of the feuding families have a direct influence on the outcome, Friar Lawrence’s ill-hatched plan has an indirect influence on the hasty deaths of the lovers as Romeo is bound for exile. However, in the scheme of the play, Shakespeare would suggest that his role, whilst unfortunate, is less blameworthy because of his motives to secure peace. Also, he acted in the best interests of the lovers aware of the depth of their feeling. (Quotes for F L …) However, the plan was nevertheless too sophisticated and risk-laden to withstand the degree of bad luck and unfortunate circumstances. … the passionate lovers took drastic and impetuous measures.
See some Sample paragraphs based on TEEL structure for text response.
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