William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

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William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

According to the dictionary, fate is the “inevitable destiny or necessity destined term of life; doom.” This means that fate can be described as a pre-planned sequence of events influencing ones life. Romeo and Juliet would have been performed to an Elizabethan audience who believed very strongly in “fate” and “fortune”. Fate was destined to happen and no one could alter it. Throughout the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare constantly utilises the motif of stars to convey and develop the prominent theme of fate. Even and early as the prologue, the words “A pair of star-cross’d lovers…” reveal Shakespeare’s intent in conveying the association of fate
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Had Romeo and Benvolio not run into the servant, he would never have met Juliet.

On the way to the Capulet party, Romeo admits, “My mind misgives. Some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date with this night’s revels, and expire the term of a despised life clos’d in my breast by some vile forfeit of untimely death.” Here Romeo seems to be foreseeing his own death. He calls upon the one “that hath the steerage” of his “course” – he who guides the path of his life, to direct him to safety. The sea is often used by Shakespeare as a symbol of the powerful and unpredictable forces of fate and the audience already knows that Romeo’s fate is fixed for he is “star-cross’d”.

Once at the ball, Romeo is searching for a woman to substitute Rosaline. Romeo happens to gaze upon Juliet. He proclaims, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” Since Romeo declares his love for Juliet, she feels the attraction as well. However, it is a genuine coincidence that Romeo and Juliet were at the same place, at the same time.

Fate is then brought up by Juliet after the Capulet dance when she realises Romeo is a Montague, “My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too
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