The Significance of Romeo and Juliet’s Parents on Their Deaths Essay Example
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a romantic tragedy written by William Shakespeare based around the storyline of two lovers whose deaths are viewed as an end to the feud between their families. Shakespeare wrote this story as an example of what happens when love and hate collide and ends in suicides of two young and essentially innocent characters. In the time period, this was just relevant in their society as it was in ours because of the amount of hatred and fighting in those days. Shakespeare is trying to make a point of what happens when the hatred between two sides hurts people in unintended ways. Romeo and Juliet’s parents, Capulets and Montagues, are the most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because of the lack of support and high tension between the two families.
The feud between the Capulets and Montagues negatively affects both Romeo and Juliet. Romeo had just witnessed Tybalt kill Mercutio and remarked, “This day’s black fate on more days doth depend.-This but begins the woe others must end” (Shakespeare 3.1.81-82). Romeo acting violently towards Tybalt is ultimately what caused Romeo to get banished, eventually ending his life, shortly followed by Juliet. Furthermore, Kerschen explains, “The love affair may be only as a device to bring about an end to the feud and show how terrible the consequences can be of such violent and indicative behavior” (Kerschen, Paragraph 3). Romeo and Juliet were essentially set up from the start with families that hated each other with the encouragement of violence from either side. The true reason as to why the feud continues between the families is because the parents never gave either of them adequate advice or guidance.
Neither of their parents supported or gave advice to their children about being in love. The nurse tells Juliet, “No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men” (Shakespeare 1.3.480). This kind of joking from the nurse contributes to the problem at that time of how women are thought of as jokes and are made fun of. As a result, Juliet grew up with this kind of environment around her, causing issues in the future with her perspective of self-value. Douglas wrote in his article about Romeo and Juliet, “The Fryer, or the religious authority, at one point refers to fear as “womanish” and tells Romeo that his tears, or his emotional feelings, are “womanish” implying disrespect for both feminine and for Romeo's romantic feelings” (Dupler, paragraph 6). This kind of advice given also contributes to the problem of uncontrolled romantic love that cannot be regulated due to the people around them, taking it lightly. Due to the lack of parental advice, they were led to take inadequate advice from others. Although, some people believe that there is another reason as to why the story ends the way it did.
While some people believe that Romeo and Juliet's parents are responsible, others would blame fate because they think Romeo or Juliet really had no say in the reason of their deaths. Lois Kerschen emphasizes, “It can be said that part of Romeo’s character flaw is that he believes in the fates and therefore feels powerless to help himself” (Kerschen, Page 2). This mentality is why he ends up killing himself because he believes there is only one option. Even though fate could be considered responsible, Romeo and Juliet's parents are ultimately responsible. This is due their family feud and absent advice they gave their kids. Romeo explains,“Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.-Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.-Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate” (Shakespeare 1.1.179-181). The way he was taught to hate the Capulets is what causes his irrational decisions in the end along with his love for Juliet. This is why fate would not be the ultimate reason as to why Romeo and Juliet killed themselves.
All things considered, the suicides of Romeo and Juliet are caused by Romeo and Juliet’s parents showing a lack of support for their children and the constant feud between the two families. Romeo and Juliet were given insufficient advice and bad influence growing up which led to their view on the other family and ultimately their view on life. If Romeo and Juliet received valuable advice from their parents and were not always caught in a conflict between their families, they would not have been forced to take their lives. As seen, this story is a representation as to what happens when strong love and hate come together. Throughout the whole play, it can be seen that Romeo and Juliet’s parents are ultimately to blame for the two lover’s deaths.
Lois Kerschen, Critical Essay on Romeo and Juliet, in Drama for Students, Thomson Gale, 2005.
Douglas Dupler, Critical Essay on Romeo and Juliet, in Drama for Students, Thomson Gale, 2005.
Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Georgia Collections, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.