Romeo and Juliet are two lovers who are kept apart by their feuding families and as a result, Romeo and Juliet both commit suicide as they cannot be together. The Capulets, Juliet’s family, and the Montagues, Romeos family, are the two families that are at war. Romeo and Juliet are not to blame for this but the other people in the play make the situation for the two lovers even more difficult.
Capulet, the father of Juliet, may be responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because if it were not for the quarrel between the two families, Romeo and Juliet could have been together without the fear of their families.
“My sword, I say! Old Montague has come and flourishes his blade in spite of me.”Order now
Capulet is saying that Montague is motivating a war with him in defiance of him. This shows the two families are at odds with each other. By doing this, Capulet keeps the feud between the two families alive and even strengthens it. He can also be seen as a character who wishes peace among the two families because when Romeo comes to his party as Tybalt wants to fight him but Capulet tells Tybalt to leave Romeo alone.
“Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone;”
This shows that Capulet doesn”t want Tybalt to fight Romeo. It was also Capulet tried to make Juliet marry Paris against her will. This is because she was in love with Romeo. When Juliet objects to marrying Paris, Capulet says
“Hang thee, young baggage! Disobedient wretch! I tell thee what, get thee to church o” Thursday, or never after look me in the face.”
Capulet is so disappointed with Juliet’s decision because he wants her to marry Paris. He wants her to marry Paris because he is a well respected character and is also very wealthy. You could also say that another reason he wants her to marry Paris is because he knows what is best for her and so he is trying to give her the best husband and in his eyes Paris is the most suitable. He is so disappointed with her decision that he gets very angry with her and also tries to black mail her by saying that if she doesn”t get married to Paris, then she is not allowed to talk to her father again or look him in the face. This decision may have pushed Juliet to committing suicide.
Montague, the father of Romeo, is also one of the many people responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet as he was also keeping the feud between the two families alive. If Montague was not in a quarrel with the Capulets then Romeo could have been with Juliet without having to hide their love for each other from everyone.
“Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not; let me go”
This shows that Montague dislikes Capulet and wants to fight him but he is being restrained by his wife. He also calls Capulet a “villain” which shows that Montague is insulting Capulet to show his dislike towards him. Other than the quarrel between the two families, Montague isn’t involved much in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet and can be seen as someone who is caring not violent. In the opening seen he says
“Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew,”
This shows that he is concerned about Romeo and wants to know why he is sad. He also says
“We would as willingly give cure as know.”
This means that he would be glad to cure his sorrow if he knew what the problem was as he cares for Romeo. This proves that Montague is a caring parent.
Fate is also another factor that can be blamed for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Firstly I will answer the question: what is fate? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, fate is the ‘inevitable destiny or necessity destined term of life; doom.’ This just basically means that fate is a series of pre-planned events which cannot be avoided.
At the beginning of the play it says
and when two stars cross each other there is an explosion which suggests already that Romeo and Juliet are going to die. This is one of the many examples of fate acting in the play. The prologue says
and this shows that their love was destined for death as it is ‘death-mark’d’. This is also because of fate. Another example of fate is when Romeo says
“I fear, too early: for my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date”
This reference to fate shows that Romeo wasn’t happy about going to the party hosted by Capulet. This shows that if he didn’t go to the party then he and Juliet wouldn’t have died because they wouldn’t have met. Romeo, although against his instinct, went to the party and this suggests his death was destined by fate. The last example of fate is when Friar Laurence says
“A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents.”
The ‘greater power’ that Friar Laurence is referring to in my opinion, is fate. What Friar Laurence is saying is that fate has stopped Romeo, Juliet and himself from achieving what they wanted and what they wanted to achieve was a happy marriage for Romeo and Juliet.
Friar Laurence also played a part in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. It was he who married the young couple without their parents consent. The Friar knows what he is doing may end in death as he says
“These violent delights have violent ends.”
He is saying that the marriage between Romeo and Juliet will end in a violent manor. This also shows the Friar could have stopped it before it got to the stage where Romeo and Juliet died.
The potion that Friar Laurence gives to Juliet to help her fake her death causes a lot of problems. If he didn’t give the potion to Juliet then Romeo would not have committed suicide. Romeo sees Juliet and thinks that she is dead, when really she isn’t and so Romeo commits suicide.
“Here’s to my love! O true apothecary,
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.”
Romeo has committed suicide by drinking poison he obtained from an apothecary.
Friar Laurence tried to help the troubled teenagers with good intentions but he just caused them even more problems. I think he played a big part in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet even though he only tried to help them.
Romeo also played a part in his own death by killing Tybalt. When Romeo killed Tybalt, he was banished and so he was no longer allowed to see Juliet without the risk of getting caught. Not being able to see Juliet pushed Romeo over the edge and forced him to commit suicide because he felt though was no other reason to live except for Juliet. Although Romeo killed Tybalt, it wasn’t really his fault. This is because Romeo says
“Villain am I none.
Therefore farewell; I see thou know’st me not.”
This shows that Romeo doesn’t want to fight Tybalt and says goodbye as he doesn’t want to cause any trouble. This is when Mercutio, Romeo’s best friend, defends him and starts a quarrel with Tybalt. Romeo tries to be the peacemaker and stop the fight but Tybalt ends up fighting and killing Mercutio.
“Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio.”
To try and stop the fight but nothing happens. When Mercutio is killed, Romeo gets angry.
“Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-ey’d fury be my conduct now!”
This tells us that Romeo has got angry and he will let his anger guide him and when his anger guides him he kills Tybalt. The fact that Tybalt was killed was not really the fault of Romeo as he tried to walk away from the fight but his anger got the best of him when Mercutio was murdered and so Romeo killed Tybalt.
Juliet is the young daughter of Capulet who tried to defy her father by not marrying the man he chose for her, who was Paris.
“Not proud you have; but thankful that you have.
Proud can I never be of what I hate;
But thankful even for hate that is meant love.”
This shows that Juliet is thankful that her father has chosen a husband for her but she doesn’t want to marry him because she is in love with Romeo. If Juliet had gone through with her father’s orders to marry Paris then she and Romeo may not have died as the potion would not have been taken and the rest of the events that lead to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet would not have taken place.
Juliet’s mother and father are very cold hearted towards her and don’t even ask her what her views and opinions are on marrying Paris even though she is the one who is marrying Paris, not her parents. She is forced into marrying Paris and is told
“She shall be married to this noble earl”
So as you can see she doesn’t have a choice. Juliet is in love with Romeo and is even willing to die rather than marry Paris. She says
“Oh bid me leap, rather than marry Paris
From the battlements of any tower”.
This shows she may really be in love with Romeo because she is willing to die rather than marry Paris. Juliet rejects her father’s proposal of marrying Paris as she loves Romeo. Juliet is so desperate to get out of her marriage with Paris that she leaps at the chance when Friar Laurence offers her the magic potion which will help her fake her death.
“Give me, give me! Oh tell me not of fear!”
This shows that if she rejected the potion then Romeo would not have thought she was dead and would not have committed suicide.
In conclusion, there were many factors that caused the deaths of Romeo and Juliet but I think the main one was fate. Fate controlled all of the events that took place and even at the start there are references to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Even though some of the characters try to go against fate, Romeo and Juliet still die as it is impossible to change fate. If something is going to happen then it is going to happen and nobody can change it. I think the only person that realized this was Friar Laurence as he says that a greater power than he contradicts has disenchanted the intentions of Romeo and Juliet.