"Two households, both alike in dignity, / In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, / From ancient grudge brakes to new mutiny, / Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. / From forth the fatal lions of these foes / A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; / Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Doth with their death bury their parent’s strife. / The fearful passage of their death-marked love, / And the continuance of their parent’s rage, / Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove…" -The Prologue, Romeo and Juliet (by William Shakespeare).
Fate plays a major role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. The prologue describes Romeo’s and Juliet’s fate, which we ...view middle of the document...
In the same scene, Tybalt is infuriated with Romeo. He is ready to kill him and believes that Romeo is his sworn enemy.
Tybalt. This, by his voice, should be a Montague
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What, dares the slave
Come hither, covered with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honor of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold not a sin.
(I, vi, lines 54-59)
And to even worsen the situation, Tybalt, says the following to his father, in the intent to show that he is not joking and that he is going to try and kill Romeo: "I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet; convert to bitt’rest gall." (I, vi, lines 91-92) The two families’ rage here is shown and also fate takes its slow coarse and death is already foreshadowed. It is very important to emphasize at this point that the love between Romeo and Juliet cannot exist because of the rage between the two families. Fate is already taking its place. And this particular event, the first acquaintance between Romeo and Juliet, has started the chain of tragic events that shall eventually bring peace to the streets of Verona. Here is another passage which underlines the effect of Romeo’s and Juliet’s deaths: "For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancor to pure love." Many times there are small reminders between the lines, of the tragic fate that the play is heading towards. Such one is this: "Friar. These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume." (II, vii, lines 9-11) This line tells of sad reality and its consequences. As tough as reality might be, it gets even worse for Juliet and her Romeo. She has to marry Parris because her father wants her to do so. She now has to hide her love and secretly meet Romeo, so that no man in Verona shall know of their forbidden love. Her fate it sealed, as it now seems. But stars have different intents with Romeo and Juliet. As Juliet is in despair, she confronts the Friar Lawrence. They talk of how they shall not allow Juliet to marry Parris. Juliet, in a state of madness, talks of horrible things, and convinces the Friar that she shall go to any means in order to avoid being with Parris. Going back on the events, fate has played its role many times. The quarrel between Tybalt and Mercutio is the aftermath of Romeo’s appearance at the Capulet’s Ball. When Mercutio is slain by Tybalt, Romeo seeks revenge, and in term, slays Tybalt. The tragic cycle of events is leaving Romeo no choice but to flee Verona and live in the shadows until his name is forgotten and he is able to go back. Much is happening while he is gone, and in the midst of all the chaos, Juliet is in great depression, which brings us back to her talk with the Friar. Juliet’s father is a large disappointment, and his practical view of Juliet’s marriage consumes him and pushes his actions to extreme limits. He is so outraged at Juliet...