Downfall Of Romeo And Juliet Essay On Love

The Downfall of Romeo and Juliet in William Shakespeare's Play

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The Downfall of Romeo and Juliet in William Shakespeare's Play

One of the many messages in the play, 'Romeo and Juliet', was if you
follow a love that is not sensible, going against your family, it will
lead to your downfall. In this essay I will show ways in which this is
true, but also that there were some things leading to their downfall,
which they couldn't control. William Shakespeare started writing this
play in 1592, at the end of the Elizabethan period. Around this time
he also fell in love with Anne Watley, aged 18 (same as him), although
in the same year he married Anne Hathoway, aged 23. All this love in
his life would have influenced the way in which he wrote his plays,
especially 'Romeo and Juliet', and is most likely where he was
inspired for his big twists and complications in the plays.

There are many different themes in the play, although they all link
together. Love is linked to death because it is because Romeo and
Juliet love each other that they both end up killing themselves in the
end. Although which of these things are good? The general idea would
be that love is a good thing, but in the play it is love that leads to
death, and death that leads to peace. But it is because of the hatred
between the families that love ends up leading to death. This links to
the question because it is love that leads them to their downfall,
being death, although if it weren't for hatred then this would not
happen. And it was their death, which made peace between the families.
The known moral to the play is 'make love, not war' although probably
also to put peace before love, if you do not want to lead to your
downfall, because if there had been peace between the families in the
first place, then none of the problems would have occurred.

These themes would have been relevant, when the play was written,
probably in a different way to how they are now.

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It is not just about
two families warring, because the Elizabethan audience would have most
likely experienced war and would know what it is like. The message
then was 'instead of war, lets have love' which is what would have
been relevant in that time. Today, the whole concept of two families
at war, with so much hatred between them, without much reason not
caused through this hate, is more of an important theme to the play,
because it is not every day life to the average person. It can only
really be related to modern events of war, which may only be heard
about from the newspaper or television.

It says in the prologue 'a pair of star cross'd lovers'. This is all
about fate. It is saying that they are meant to be together and know
it from the moment they meet, and therefore they do not allow anything
to stop them being together. Although it is fate, the way they deal
with it is one of the factors within their control, which then leads
to their downfall. The fact that they arrange to get married the next
day, no plans or anything. They just decide that they want to be
together, after only having known each other for barely an evening.
Especially after the fact that Romeo came to the party to see
Rosaline, who he claimed at first to love, and then decides she means
nothing to him. Which leads to the question did Romeo and Juliet make
a mature decision? In act 3 scene 1, after Mercutio is killed, Romeo
says 'This day's black fate on moe days doth depend'. What he means by
this is that what Tybalt has done, killing Mercutio, has got the wheel
rolling and has started up what is not going to be the only death. He
is saying that Tybalt has now crossed the line and there is no going
back or stopping what will happen in the future, i.e. the fact that
Romeo goes on the avenging Mercutio's death by killing Tybalt. It also
then says 'This but begins the woe others must end', which is saying
he has started a fight, and what he has done will not be the last
thing to happen as he is saying that it will be ended by others, not
him. Shortly after this, after Romeo has slain Tybalt, he cries out 'O
I am fortune' fool'. He is saying this because he is a fool to fortune
as by killing Tybalt and not controlling his temper he has ruined his
chance to ever have happiness with Juliet as he has made the family
war worse.

Later in the play, in act 5 scene 1, after Balthasar delivers the news
that Juliet is dead, Romeo's quick response is: 'Is it even so? Then I
defy you, stars!' What is being said here is that Romeo is not going
to get down on his knees and cry over her death. He is defying fate by
refusing to mourn. Instead he is going to win over the stars and their
fate by joining Juliet in her death by killing himself. He decision is
made instantly.

I think Shakespeare chose to bring fate into the play as a main theme,
because fate was a bigger thing back when the play was written.
Although a lot of people do not believe in it now, much more people
did then. This was probably because of the way in which society was
different then. There was much more war, and death was considered a
much less serious thing, which happened to everyone. And because of
this, when someone died they believed it was obviously meant to happen
and accepted it, rather than making a big issue out of it, because if
they did they would be upset all the time, as death was a much more
common thing, due to a lower level of hygiene and less cures for
diseases etc.

Probably the main factor outside of Romeo and Juliet's control, which
was the main thing that caused the problems, was the fact that Romeo
was a Montague and Juliet was a Capulet and therefore they were
enemies, by no other reason than past events, most of them forgotten.
It was fate for them to be together but was not allowed, just because
their families were pointlessly at war. Another thing outside of their
control was a friar Lawrence's plots, which although were made with
the right intentions, never turned out how they were meant to, such as
the plan to marry Romeo and Juliet so that the families would unite,
but instead of uniting they just got angrier at each other. Also the
plan for Juliet to agree to marry Paris and then drink the drug to
make her seem dead before the wedding, which leads onto the next point
of the fact that by coincidence, Juliet wakes up just after Romeo
poisoned himself, where if he had done it just a few seconds after, or
she had woken up a few seconds before it would have turned out ok and
they would not have both died.

Although aside from all these things out of their control, there were
still factors which lead to their downfall that were in their control
and they could have changed. A short while after they met they both
found out they were enemies and yet they still got together and didn't
fight their temptations. Although the fighting of their families was
not the right thing, and they shouldn't have just ignored their
feelings because of it, arranging to get married the next day, without
consolation of any of their relatives, was probably not the best idea
and a big thing that lead to their downfall. And yet they knew of the
problems as said by Juliet after the party: 'My only love sprung from
my only hate'. Also, just one hour after the wedding, Romeo avenged
Mercutio's death by killing Tybalt, which was the first big step
towards a major downfall, as it got him banished from town. So now, he
can not only not see Juliet, without breaking the law, but has also
given her another reason to think marrying him was a mistake, even
though she loves him, and another reason for the Capulets to hate him
and not make peace with the Montagues.

Although it was not just Romeo and Juliet who led themselves into
problems. If it wasn't for the existence, or actions of other
characters, things would have been a lot simpler. Tybalt, for
instance, was one of the Capulets who held a strong grudge against any
Montague, even when there was no straight reason for it. This was
shown near the beginning at the Capulet house party, where Tybalt
spotted Romeo, and wanted to make a deal out of it, even though he was
not causing any trouble. On this occasion Lord Capulet who knew that
Romeo was not the sort to cause trouble stopped him, 'let him alone, A
bears him like a portly gentleman', but after this, you knew that he
was not going to step down and not be any trouble to Romeo. And when
he went on to kill Mercutio, it was just asking for it for Romeo to
get angry, even though he was normally against the war between the
families, and so he went on to kill him in his anger which started a
string of problems.

Another character who, not intentionally caused some problems to the
decisions made by Juliet, was the nurse, who did not put much of a
fight against Juliet marrying Romeo or being with him and helped with
some of the Friars plots. Although she was doing what she thought was
best, her keeping everything secret from the rest of the family
probably did not help the situation and the fact that it had been kept
secret by her made the other Capulets even more angry that they had
been betrayed. So her influence on Juliet's decisions was another
thing that did not help the way things were.

The characters of Romeo and Juliet, and the way they responded to
things was another factor that had an effect on the way things turned
out. Neither of them were very big, bold characters although they both
had noticeable characteristics, which changed the way things happened.
Romeo was in general a quiet, peaceful character, with good
intentions, which was shown throughout the play, although the
immaturity, which came with his adolescence was also clearly shown at
some points, starting at the beginning, where he says he is completely
in love with Rosaline, and then after one evening of meeting Juliet,
decides he no longer has any feelings for her, as said in Act 2 scene
3: 'I have forgotten that name, and that name's woe.' Juliet generally
comes across as someone with strong feelings and views although
without the power to use them. She says that she loves Romeo although
she is the one who hesitates to do anything about it at first, as she
is worried about the consequences of him being a Montague. Although
she is younger she is the one who wants to make the more mature
decision, whereas Romeo says that he will change his name if it is
what she wants, 'neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike'. But,
although their personalities are there, most of the decisions that
they make are through their love for each other and not by what they
see as right, so it is not a main thing leading to their downfall.

Act 5, scene 1 is the scene where Romeo is told that Juliet is dead,
even though she is actually just under the effects of the drug to make
her seem dead, and goes and buys poison off of the poor apothecary. I
would present this on the renaissance theatre by giving the stage a
dark atmosphere and making the man look old and rough. This is because
for an audience that does not know the conclusion to the play, it
would be a very dramatic scene as they would all know that Juliet is
not actually dead, and to see Romeo, a character put across as a good
person, buy himself poison to kill himself with, over something which
is not even true would be painful to watch, and they would all be
wanting to tell him to stop. So by giving it a dark atmosphere it
would have an even more dramatic affect on the audience. This would
appeal to the audience because throughout the play a personality for
Romeo would have been built in the audience's minds that he is a
peaceful person who wants the best for everyone and they would
probably look up to and relate to him, and so it would be shocking to
see him in a bad state planning to kill himself.

The structure of the play, and the way things happen is reasonably
simple. Its just love at first sight with Romeo and Juliet, and then
doing all they can do to be together, until through the way things
turned out with the rivalry of their families, they end up killing
themselves through their love for one and other. Although what
actually happens is more complicated. Although it was never very
simple, what with the two families fighting, the real complications
came along when Tybalt killed Mercutio. Mercutio being so close to
Romeo, it led him on to avenge his death and kill Tybalt, and any
chance of the Capulets making peace with Romeo was destroyed. After
this, and Romeo getting banished, things just went downhill. He was
not able to see or talk to Juliet and explain the reasons for his
actions, which left her confused and devastated about what had
happened and not knowing what to think of Romeo. And the lack of
contact between them was also the final misunderstanding, which went
on to be the cause of the death of the two lovers, as Romeo did not
get told that Juliet was not actually dead and was just taking part in
a plan so that she could be with him. So he bought the poison and
killed himself, along with Paris, before he could be told the truth.

Having explored, analysed and evaluated the play, I can conclude that
the factors within and outside of Romeo and Juliet's control were not
the reasons for the consequences of the play, but were just things
along the way that affected the course of their lives. The way in
which it turned out was down to fate, which is the main theme of the
play. I think this because all of the small problems, which came
together to make the bigger problems, were caused by fate, and it is
mentioned indirectly so many times throughout the play. Lines such as
'star cross'd lovers' and 'O I am fortunes fool' are examples of this.
I think that William Shakespeare did this deliberately to make the
play something to think about, as there are so many possibilities and
alternative conclusions, which could have happened if a certain thing
hadn't taken place etc. and the fact that some serious things happened
just because of small actions, which could have been avoided. This
leaves the audience thinking about the different possibilities that
could have happened. Although the only really straight answer that you
can give to say why it all turned out like it did is because of fate,
and that it was all meant to happen. Which also concludes it by the
fact that although there was suffering and death, it all came together
for the better and ended with the families uniting and ending the war
between them.



Fate in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

1094 Words5 Pages

     Fate, for better or worse, interrupts everyone’s daily life, whether he/she chooses to acknowledge it or not. Thinking about fate conjures up different feelings for different people; some people believe strongly in it, some people think of fate as ridiculous, and some do not care one way or the other. However, in many instances, such as in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, far too many coincidences occur to be strictly coincidental. Fate creates a powerful effect throughout the entire play, starting in the prologue, continuing as Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love, and tragically ending in the lovers’ deaths.
     In the prologue, Shakespeare makes it…show more content…

Fate causes Romeo to be at the right place at the right time. If he does not walk near the Capulet’s house or if the servant is able to read, Romeo does not attend the party, thus he does not meet Juliet. After Romeo attends the party, fate strikes again as he stumbles into the Capulet’s orchard while trying to escape his friends. Juliet, after meeting Romeo mere hours before, emerges onto her balcony and, unaware that Romeo can hear her, proclaims her love for Romeo:
Oh Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. (II. ii. ll. 33-36)
After Romeo hears this, he realizes how Juliet truly feels about him, thus responding and proclaiming his love as well. Normally, Romeo does not hear Juliet’s proclamation for two reasons: he does not stumble right into the Capulet’s orchard, right under Juliet’s balcony, and Juliet does not proclaim her love aloud from the balcony. However, fate’s plan causes Romeo to be in the right place at the right time again and causes Juliet to unleash her emotions from her balcony so that Romeo can hear her. Romeo and Juliet now love each other dearly, and fate assumes all responsibility.
     In addition to reigning over their love lives, fate also causes the downfall of Romeo and Juliet. Near the end of the play, it appears Romeo and Juliet have a significant

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