Is Shakespeare?s original description of Romeo and Juliet as being ?a pair of star crossed lovers? an adequate explanation for their final tragedy?
Shakespeare?s description of Romeo and Juliet as being ?a pair of star crossed lovers? implies that it was pre-determined before their birth that they would fall in love with each other and commit suicide. This idea of fate is not an adequate description of Romeo and Juliet?s final tragedy. This only partially explains the tragedy; the factor?s, which adequately describe the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, include the, involvement of the Friar, the volatility of Tybalt and the Montague?s and Capulet?s ?ancient feud?.
Fate played an important role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and there are many events, which highlight this. Throughout the novel Romeo saw himself being manipulated by fate. This is well shown when he was involuntarily pulled into the fight with Tybalt. In rage over Mercutio murder, Romeo killed Tybalt, after he exclaimed to Benvolio ? I?m fortunes fool?. This suggests that fate was toying with him and there was nothing he could do about it. The Friar noticed this as well, he showed this by telling Romeo after the fight. ?Thou art wedded to calamity?. Other than that, there were many random events, which were good examples of fate contributing to the tragedy. Like when Friar John was locked inside a sick person?s home, this prevented him from delivering the message to Romeo, telling him about Friar Lawrence?s plans. Or Romeo arriving at the site if the Capulet?s monument and committing suicide minutes before the Friar arrived and Juliet woke from the Friars sleeping potion. This makes it obvious that fate was involved, but again fate was not the only contributing factor to the tragedy.
Friar Lawrence was the main reason for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Friar Lawrence didn?t take the best interest of the lovers into consideration, and his involvement at the end, lead to the double suicide of Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo came to the Friar and told him that he suddenly had no feeling for Rosaline, but loved and wanted to marry the daughter of the Capulet?s, Juliet, the Friar was shocked, ?Holy Saint Francis?. The Friar could see that Romeo was too immature for a commitment like that, so at first he refused. As he thought about it he agreed, not for the good of the lover?s, but for Verona, he thought the marriage would stop the feuding between the two families. ?For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households rancor, to pure love?. After the turning point of the play the Friar wrote a note, telling Romeo what his has done and his plan to get him back together with Juliet. Th mistake he made was giving it to a Friar below him, who was unable to send it. It was actually Friar Lawrence?s responsibility to make sure that Romeo acquired the message, if he had done this Romeo wouldn?t have purchased the Apothecary?s ?Dram of poison? to kill himself after hearing that Juliet was dead from Balthasar.
Tybalt was also a major contributor to the tragedy, he always had a score to settle with the Montague?s and his volatility caused the banishment of Romeo. Tybalt loathed the Montague?s, this is well highlighted at the beginning of the play, he told Benvolio how much he hated the Montague?s. ?Talk of peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montague?s and thee?. Tybalt was always willing to pick a fight when a Montague was involved he saw them as villains and the only way he saw to solve the problem, was to kill. A good example of this was at the Capulet?s Party, Romeo came uninvited, Tybalt saw him and exclaimed, ?To strike him dead. I hold it not a sin?. Capulet tried to control him, the only way he knew to control Tybalt was to threaten Tybalt with death, this enraged Tybalt and he swore revenge upon Romeo?s unauthorized intrusion. ?I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall? convert to bitterest gall?. After Tybalt killed Romeo?s best friend Mercutio and flied, Romeo was grief-stricken. As Romeo saw Tybalt returning, ?furious and triumphant?, he came to boiling point ?fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!? he shouted. After he unleashed his wrath, Tybalt was dead and he flied. After the bitter fight, the Prince arrived, he was furious he declared that ?for the offence ? we do exile him?. If Tybalt weren?t as volatile and vengeful as he was, Romeo would not have been banished.
The ?Ancient feud? that was going on between the two families contributed to the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. This feud influenced the decision and actions taken by both Romeo and Juliet. One decision they both made was, not to let their families know about their love. If they told their parents, they would first of all, give their disapproval, and then forbid their love and the Capulet?s would force Juliet to marry Paris he suitor. Because they were so close to their families they did not want to run the risk of being disowned by their families for a Capulet loving a Montague or vice-versa, for instance when Juliet refused to marry Paris her father told her sternly, ?Hang, beg, starve, die in the streets? I?ll ne?er acknowledge thee?. The families being ?foes? made it very risky for Romeo and Juliet to see each other, this is best shown by the warning Juliet gave about the guards. ?If they do see thee, they will murder thee?. The Capulet?s and the Montague?s were very narrow minded, they were never prepare to apologize and make up, the only thing that changed this was the suicide of both the families only offspring?s (Romeo and Juliet). After the first fight in the play, the opportunity could have been taken to apologize, but neither of them took it. At the end of the novel when Romeo and Juliet were dead they immediately forgave and forgot, this didn?t have to happen, because a feud that was going on for that long should have been stopped before it went that far.
The Tragedy Romeo and Juliet was largely the Friars involvement and not thinking in the best interest of Romeo and Juliet. The families feud affected the decisions of Romeo and Juliet , and Tybalt volatility and vengefulness towards the Montague?s. Fate could not be the description of their final tragedy, because of all the other factors which had a greater contribution to the tragedy.