Fate Versus Destiny In Romeo And Juliet

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As a human every person makes choices and their decisions always have a result of the effect. Individual choice determines or leads to their fate which is inevitable and will happen regardless of the choices made. In the play Romeo and Juliet, this applies and fate plays a major role in Romeo and Juliet’s life. Star crossed lovers, families sworn enemies, but yet they still loved each other and fought their hardest to work their way around their fate. Choosing to defy their families and be together anyways, but fate, in the end, was victorious. No amount of countless attempts to run from or get around fate worked. In the play from the beginning, the audience knows that Romeo and Juliet’s love was doomed “ A pair of star crossed lovers…” ( Shakespeare,1). Romeo and Juliet’s choices set their fate in stone.

For example, At the beginning of the play the characters Romeo and Juliet were referred to as “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their own life.” (Shakespeare,1). From the start, this predicts that they have a star-crossed ending meaning their fate is unpleasant. The fate of the lovers is what leads to Rome’s and Juliet’s demise. Romeo and Juliet knew that their life together wasn’t going to go as they planned, they wished to get married but with the barriers between them, that wasn’t their fate. Both Romeo and Juliet failed countless times trying to trick fate or work around it when it was bound to happen to both. “Hold! Get you gone be strong and prosperous in this resolve. I’ll send a fair with speed To Mantua, with letters to thy lord” (Shakespeare, 59). Juliet being so desperate to run off and marry Romeo instead of pairs gets father Lawrence to come up with a plan after threatening to kill herself, to fake her death for 42 hours. Juliet doing so thought it would change her fate but because of her ignorance and lack of concern for the plan, it just gave fate the upper hand. Juliet failed to ask questions, she failed to ask, have we thought this through? the plan failed everything that possibly could have gone wrong and this was because their fate was in and no matter how many schemes weren’t meant to be.

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Furthermore, In the play Juliet knew that her and Romeo’s fate was not going to be good, she and Romeo were still trying to run away from the fact that things weren’t going to end sweet. Juliet knew there would be conflict because she asked “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name, would smell as sweet” ( Shakespeare, 22). Witch shows that Juliet knew their fate wouldn’t be pleased with her being Capulet and Romeo being a Montague. Her saying this displays how she chose to ignore the fact that their families were sworn enemies, but chose to focus more on Romeo as an individual because she felt that was what mattered more. Her choice to ignore the facts and try to go ahead and relationship set her and Romeo’s fate in stone. Going back to when Juliet took the potion there were so many obvious possibilities of things going wrong but she didn’t look deeper and make sure it was planned out correctly Romeo and Juliet made all these choices hoping to get ahead of fate when they were just planting themselves in fates path.

Nevertheless, Fate is a power beyond anyone’s control. Fate is a constantly recurring problem for Romeo and Juliet’s love and the life they wished to have together. Many characters including the star-crossed lovers throughout the play acknowledged this. This tragedy happened within five days and everything wasn’t a coincidence. There were choices made by characters but everything pointed in the direction of fate. Romeo, in particular, knew he couldn’t get around fate, Romeo was the only one who had a “star talking habit he talked to fate as if it was a person. Romeo was well aware of fate. He even calls out to defy fate and he talks about fate or to fate itself. “I fear too early, for my mind missives; Some result, yet hanging in the stars, Shall bitterly begin” (Shakespeare, 16). When Romeo agrees to attend the ball, he fears that this will make a lot of bad things occur and in the play, there’s a strong sense that Romeo and Juliet cannot escape their fates. When Romeo says that the consequences of his decision are “hanging in the stars,” he implies that his punishments depend on fate reminding the reader of Romeo and Juliet’s ill fate. Romeo also calls out to fate or the greater power when he thinks Juliet died “I defy you, stars!” (Shakespeare,68). Romeo is in denial about Juliet’s death. He decides to return to Verona, but his attempt to disobey the “stars’ only further brings his tragic fate, which strongly shows that their destiny was inescapable. There was a sad fate awaiting them, and their inability to avoid it, no matter how hard they tried.

On the other hand, Free Will is and does have an impact on that play as well. Individual choice is when no one is forcing things or that an individual is making decisions on their own, basically that nothing is meant to be unless you make it. In the play, there are countless examples of free will and not only from Romeo and Juliet. When the Nurse decides to help Juliet see Romeo because she loved him. In Act 3 when Juliet was in her room the Nurse provided her with a rope ladder so Romeo would climb the wall into her bedroom. Also in Act 3 when Romeo got banished and the nurse suddenly decides to not help Juliet see Romeo anymore because she feels as though Paris is a better man or choice. When Romeo saw Juliet fake dead in the tomb in Act 5 he killed himself willingly, this was by choice. Romeo could have walked away from the tomb and just let himself be in grief. This goes for Juliet as well when she wakes up she decides to kill herself instead of leaving when she has the chance. In this whole story fate wasn’t the only thing involved there were a lot of bad choices that lead to their demise.

To conclude, In the play, Romeo and Juliet’s fate had a greater impact than free will did. From the beginning, the audience and anyone reading knew that Romeo and Juliet’s love was doomed. The reassuring events and failures in the plot only showed the layout of how it all came crashing down. The characters Romeo and Juliet were “star crossed lovers” who came together by fate and were ended by fate as well. Romeo and Juliet knew that their life together was not going to end happily. Romeo and Juliet could not escape their fates. In the play, there are countless examples of this. In this whole story fate was not the only thing involved there were a lot of bad choices that lead to the lover’s sad end as well.


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