Essay, Research Paper: Romeo And Juliet

Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

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What is love? is it not a feeling, a dream, a look? How long must it take for
one to know he/she is in love? And if it is longer then an hour is it really
love? One could say love is in the eyes, the window to the soul; another could
say love could not be seen by the eyes for they only tell so much. But what
about fate, if fate exists what does it matter if the love is in the eyes or
truly in the heart? And at what point is life swept out of the beholder’s
hands and into those of fate? if Shakespeare would have answered, i believe he
would have said, when those hearts of the beholders do feel love there life is
taken by love. Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, is a love story struck
down by fate and doomed to tragedy. When considering the destruction of Romeo
and Juliet the most significant fact you must think about is fate. Fate, above
all, destroyed Romeo and Juliet. Many instances in the play reveal that the love
of Romeo and Juliet would end in death. "A pair of star-crossed lovers take
their life". (pg.29, Prologue, line 6) From the very beginning it is
evident that they were destined by the stars to bad fortune. Some people may
think that there is no way to control fate or change what is in the stars. It
could be that the love of Romeo and Juliet was destined for death so that their
parent's feud would be over. Also, the prologue states that the dreadful course
of their love was destined for death. "The fearful passage of their death
marked love". (pg.29, Prologue, line 9) Both of these quotes show us that
the love of these two was destined to end tragically from the beginning. The
masquerade party was above all the most important aspect of fate. The fact that
Romeo was wearing a mask and his face was hidden allowed Juliet to fall in love
with him before she saw who it was. If Juliet had known who Romeo was she would
probably have not fallen in love with him. Fate could not have been changed
whatever was meant to be would happen and no one could change that. Some days
after the ball, Benvolio and Mercutio are conversing, in regard to the
quarrelsome weather. Benvolio declares, "The day is hot, the Capulets
abroad,/ And if we meet we shall not ‘scape a brawl,/ For now these got days
is the mad blood stirring." (III, i, lines 2-4) At this point, Tybalt, who
has challenged Romeo because of his appearance at the masquerade, enters,
seeking Romeo. On Romeo’s behalf, Mercutio struggles with Tybalt, while Romeo,
who is filled with love for his new cousin, tries to end their boldness. Before
escaping, Tybalt plunges his sword into Mercutio, causing death to fall upon
him. Mercutio blames Romeo and the feud for his fate. Romeo kills Tybalt, who
taunts Romeo, upon his return. Romeo fears he will be condemned to death if he
does not flee before the arrival of the Prince. Benvolio recalls the events that
have happened, with some embellishment. The Prince declares: “And for that
offence/ Immediately we do exile him hence./ I have an in your hate’s
proceeding,/ My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding;/ But I’ll
amerce you with so strong a fine/ That you shall repent the loss of mine./ I
will be deaf to pleading and excuses;/ Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out
abuses;/ Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste,/ Else, when he’s found,
that hour is his last./ Bear hence this body and attend our will./ Mercy but
murders, pardoning those that kill”. (III, i, l 185-195) Where upon, Romeo has
to leave Verona and go to Mantua, leaving Juliet alone and desperate for Romeo.
Which is another step to the tragic downfall of the lives and dreams of these
two lovers. Juliet, who refuses wed Paris, asks for Friar Laurence’s
assistance, where upon he gives her a poison. The day before the wedding, Juliet
is to drink the poison, which will make her appear to be dead. In forty-two
hours she shall awake, with Romeo by her side. Romeo will then bring her to
Mantua with him. In the meantime Friar Laurence will convey a message to Romeo
in Mantua, telling him the plot. When she gains consciousness, Romeo and Friar
Laurence will be there. Friar Laurence says, "Shall Romeo by my letters
know our drift,/ And hither shall he come; and he and I/ Will watch thy
waking" (IV, ii, lines 115-117) Following Juliet’s intake of the poison,
Romeo is anticipating news from Verona. Balthasar, a servant to Romeo, tells
Romeo that Juliet has died. Romeo, who is told there are no letters from the
friar, seeks a way to accomplish his suicide. Meanwhile, Friar Laurence
confronts Friar John, who was to deliver the letter to Romeo. Friar John informs
Friar Laurence that he was seeking another Franciscan, who was visiting the
sick, to accompany him to Mantua. He says, "Suspecting that we both were in
a house/ Where the infectious pestilence did reining,/ Seal’d up the doors,
and would not let us forth;/" (V, ii, 9-11) Friar John tells that he could
find no one to deliver the letter, for fear they may catch the infection. The
letter is not sent, Romeo knows not of the friars plan, fate rises over all
arrangements, and leads its own paths. Then many will ask, why? Why is the
strongest, most beautiful love crushed my hate? Why can’t a love so strong
conquer hate? And Shakespeare answers it does. The love if these two lovers is
strong enough to end the feud of the families, but only in death. only by death
of young love could the families see the danger of there hate, allowing it to
stop. only the same amount of extreme love and hate could end the feud at such a
drastic fate.BibliographyShakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Eds. Maynard Mack and Robert Bayton.
Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1981
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