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Who Or What Is To Blame For The Tragedy Of ‘Romeo And Juliet’ Essay, Research Paper

The deaths of

Romeo and Juliet appear needless, as it was mainly the people around them who

were fighting and disagreeing about the relationship. Romeo and Juliet mainly

kept out of the fighting but their lives were made miserable and unhappy by the

people around them who were interfering, and because they were so deeply in

love with each other, they refused to be split up and therefore took risks to

stay together which eventually led to their deaths. The Prologue at the

beginning of the play suggests it was mainly fate that was to blame,

?star-cross?d lovers and ?death-mark?d love? are examples of this. ??????????? Romeo is a young teenager, a member of the Montague

household, who unfortunately falls in love with Juliet, a Capulet whose family

are bitter enemies of the Montagues. He blames Fate or misfortune for nearly

everything that goes wrong; after he kills Tybalt, he then realises the

seriousness of his action but prefers to blame the stars rather than himself. ?O, I am fortune?s fool?. I think killing

Tybalt was the biggest mistake Romeo made as it led to his banishment and it

meant he could no longer see his beloved Juliet, without the risk of being

caught. I do not think though that you can blame Romeo for killing Tybalt as he

was determined to fight Romeo and when he refused, Romeo?s closest friend

Mercutio stepped in and drew his sword. They fought and Romeo intervenes trying

to stop them but this according to the dying Mercutio gave Tybalt the opportunity

to kill him, ?I was hurt under your arm?. Romeo then fought and killed Tybalt.

Later when he hears from Balthasar the news that Juliet is dead he says, ?Then

I defy you stars?, meaning he is not going to let Fate dictate what happens to

him anymore. It seems that

Romeo is either not afraid to take risks or just doesn?t think about any of his

actions, in the balcony scene he risks getting caught by the Nurse, and then

later in Juliet?s bedroom when Lady Capulet is looking for her. Juliet is a young

Capulet not quite 14 years old, she is gentle, loyal, obeys her parents and

thinks for herself. When she first meets Romeo she falls for him instantly. She

is practical in that she quickly asks Romeo to marry her which would be against

her parents? will as they want her to marry Paris whom she does not love. She

is also like Romeo in that she does not think of the consequence of her

actions. She is loyal to Romeo, as she is worried about him getting caught in

the balcony scene ?The orchard walls are high

and hard to climb And the place death,

considering who thou art,? (Act 2 Scene 2) She is different from Romeo

in the fact that she does not blame fate for the things that go wrong, she

blames her birth as we here in these rhyming couplets ?Prodigious birth of love is

to me, That I must love a loathed

enemy.? (Act 1 Scene 5) ??????????? Whereas friends and Friar Laurence talk to and advise

Romeo, Juliet is on her own and has to make her own decisions, with the Nurse

offering little or no help. Romeo?s parents seem very caring and loving, but

Juliet?s parents especially Lady Capulet are very cold hearted and uncaring,

they force Juliet into marring Paris without giving her a choice. ?She shall be

married to this noble earl?. (Act 3 Scene 4) Juliet visits Friar Laurence and

is pleased to about his plans for herself and Romeo as she is at this time

distressed at the thought of having to marry Paris for she says ?Oh bid me leap, rather than

marry Paris From of the battlements of

any tower?. (Act 4 Scene 1) Friar Laurences plan for

Romeo and Juliet was that Juliet was to take a potion to make her appear dead

on her wedding day she would then be taken to the Capulets? vault meanwhile

after receiving a letter from the Friar Romeo would return to Verona from

Mantua and would be with Juliet when she wakes up. Juliet was very pleased to

receive the potion from Friar Laurence ?Give me, give me! Oh tell

me not of fear! (Act 4 Scene 1) The Friar is a

man with good intentions but is persuaded to make risky decisions by Romeo and

Juliet, such as agreeing to marry them without their parents? consent. I think

he gets too involved and it is then left up to him to ensure that everything

goes smoothly as planned. ??????????? He goes behind the backs of Juliet?s parents by agreeing

to marry Romeo and Juliet but he has a good reason for this. ?To turn your

households rancour to pure love?, to reconcile the two feuding families. Though

the Friar is concerned about what he is doing, ?These violent delights have

violent ends?, the plan to reconcile the families soon comes to grief as Romeo

is banished. This time he makes another plan that is as risky as the first.

Romeo is to go to Mantua where he will then try to arrange a meeting between

Romeo and Juliet. The plan goes wrong and he accuses fate, ?Unhappy Fortune?. ??????????? Juliet, who now faces the rest of her life with Paris

turns to the Friar for a solution, he supplies her with a ?sleeping potion?

which she uses to make it look like she is dead so she does not have to marry

Paris. I think it is fair to say that Friar Laurence is one of the main people

to blame for the tragedy, as it was his plans that went wrong. But from Romeo

and Juliet?s view he was very helpful and always had a solution for their

dilemmas The Nurse is one

of Juliet?s closest friends, apart from Romeo. She is not particularly clever

or sensitive and does nothing to warn Juliet of how an involvement with a

Montague might cause problems to Juliet and her family. In Act 1 Scene 3 when

Lady Capulet is discussing the possibility of marriage to Paris she makes jokes

and finds it very amusing, ?A bump as big as a young cockerels stone?. Even

though the Nurse may be very simple minded and talkative she is very loving and

fond of Juliet ?Well sir my

mistress is the sweetest lady? (Act 2 Scene 4) The Nurse

appears to have got too carried away with the situation with Romeo and is eager

for Juliet to marry, but she offers no advice or caution to what Juliet is

doing, although she clearly knows that Juliet is young and inexperienced. She

makes no effort to suggest that this will be a problem. Like Friar Laurence she

goes behind her employers? backs acting as Romeo and Juliet?s messenger, such

as when she is asked by Juliet to discover Romeo?s identity. At first the Nurse

admires Romeo, ?Why he?s a man of wax? (Act 1 Scene 3), but warns him not to

lead Juliet into a ?fools paradise? (Act 2 Scene 4), mostly because Juliet is

young. ??????????? After Tybalt?s death she turns against Romeo ?Will you

speak well of him that killed your cousin? (Act 3 Scene 2), ?Shame come to

Romeo? (Act 3 Scene 2). Finally when Juliet needs the Nurse most ?Comfort me,

council me? as her parents tell her that she must marry Paris, the Nurse lets

her down by simply telling her to forget Romeo and marry Paris. It is at this

point that Juliet dismisses the Nurse, ending their friendship. I think that

the Nurse was partly, to blame. I don?t think she seriously realised what could

happen if things got out of hand. The Nurse was well intentioned but in her

concerns for Juliet?s welfare she became very excitable and could not hold her

tongue. Benvolio is one

character who seems to realise the potential dangers such as when he tries to

dissuade Mercutio from starting another street brawl. He also urges Romeo to

leave the scene of the fighting as he has a good idea of the Prince?s reaction,

the prince enters the scene after the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt, he shouts

angrily, ?Romeo slew him; he slew

Mercutio. Who now the price of his

dear blood doth owe?? (Act 3 Scene 1) I think Benvolio is not at

all to blame, if anything he actually tried to help the situation; he is a

peacemaker. Tybalt is a hot

tempered and aggressive person. His view of the Montagues and his part in the

play is summed up in one sentence ?What, drawn and talk of peace ! I hate the word

/As I hate hell, all Montagues and thee? (Act 1 Scene 1). Again at the ball

when he overhears Romeo he is angered and looks for his sword but is luckily

stopped. Tybalt is always looking for trouble and will not back off, he tries

to make fun of Romeo by saying things like, ?Romeo, the love I bear thy

can afford No better term than this -

thou art a villain.? (Act 3 Scene 1) Lastly, he challenges Romeo

to a duel. Mercutio steps in but Tybalt is happy to fight him as well. Romeo

attempts to sort out the situation peacefully but Tybalt is uninterested. In

his anger over the death of his dear friend Mercutio, Romeo takes revenge and

in his anger kills Tybalt. I think Tybalt should take some blame in the tragedy

as it was his actions that killed Mercutio which in turn led to his own death

and Romeo?s banishment. Mercutio is a

lively character who tries to resolve Romeo?s problems and advise him in a

lighthearted way, he says to Romeo, ?Thy wit is a

very bitter sweeting; it is a most sharp sauce.? He is loyal to Romeo in the

way he steps in when Tybalt challenges Romeo. His death is a turning point in

the play as Romeo, then avenges his death by killing Tybalt. All these deaths

add more fuel to the fire. I think maybe that Mercutio should not have intervened,

but being that type of person he did. I do not think he can be to blame for the

tragedy as neither Tybalt nor Mercutio new of Romeo and Juliets love for each

other. Also Tybalt would probably have fought Romeo anyway and one of them

could have been killed. The Prince is

the ruler of Verona. He tries quite hard to keep the peace, but not enough to

stop the tragedy, he is big in his threats but does not carry them out for – he

has the chance to enforce the death penalty on Romeo. For example after the

deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt the Prince tells the citizens of Verona ?who now

the price of his dear blood doth owe?? (Act 3 Scene 1) in other words he seeks

justice for these murders. If he had tried harder to prevent the quarrelling

and carried out more of his threats the feud might not have got as bad as it

did. However at the end of the play he accepts some of the responsibility for

what has happened by ?Winking at their discords? (Act 5 Scene 3). He also tries

to bring the two sides together by, ?What a scourge is laid upon your hate,

/that heavens finds means to kill your joys with love? (Act 5 Scene 3). I do not think

there is one single person who is wholly to blame but Friar Laurence plays a

large part in the tragedy, mainly through his complicated plans, which require

accurate timing, and in the end simply did not happen. Romeo did not receive

the letter, so when he heard the bad news from Balthasar, he thought Juliet was

really dead. Friar Laurence need not have granted the requests of Romeo and

Juliet without carefully considering the consequences. I do not think fate

played a part in the play as there were too many mistakes made by the main

characters.By Stephen Bond


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