The Theme of Fate in Romeo and Juliet Essay Example


In Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, fate is displayed as a prominent theme and plays a preeminent role in shaping the outcome of the events that take place throughout the play. This is evident through the timing of events, the circumstances surrounding both characters, and the progression of events despite the repeated skepticism shown and premonitions made  by the characters. From the consequences of the play, one can learn that no matter how strong true love is, it must still follow the inevitable course of fate.

The timing of the events has a huge influence on the unfolding of events. Firstly, other people surrounding the lovers eventually lead them to one another. For example, Peter, being illiterate, meets Romeo on the street and asks him to read the list of people invited to the party, unaware of the fact that he is a Montague. This coincidental interaction causes Romeo to discover the Capulet masquerade, which he decides to attend alongside Mercutio and Benvolio. Eventually, he comes across Juliet during the masquerade and they passionately fall in love with each other at first sight. Secondly, Romeo’s emotional behavior takes over and puts him in grief, which leads him into making a bad decision. For instance, shortly after Romeo sees Juliet dead in the Capulet tomb, he says, “Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavory guide! / Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on / The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark!” (5. 3. 116-118). He drinks the poison he brought from the Apothecary and kills himself just moments before Juliet wakes up to find him dead. Ultimately, the timing of events emphasizes their ill fate and shows how precisely destiny is molding their journey.

The progression of events despite the repeated skepticism and premonitions also played a role shaping the final outcome. Firstly, Romeo’s idea that he is ill-fated comes into play. For example, before he enters the party with Mercutio and Benvolio, he says, “I fear too early, for my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars / Shall bitterly begin his fearful date” (1. 4. 113-115). In other words, he foretells his death before any complications develop, but still confidently walks into the party and disregards his premonition shortly after. Furthermore, Friar Lawrence, being a wise and prestigious figure, often gives advice to many in need. Romeo being one who needs guidance, Friar Lawrence advises him to love moderately after he marries both of them. Indeed, Friar Lawrence foreshadowed something terrible to happen, though in his optimism, marries both of them hoping that their marriage will end the long-lasting feud between their families. All in all, the overall progression of events shows that both lovers were the victims of ill-fate and their destiny was undeniable.

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