"Some Shall Be Pardoned and Some PunishÃÂd." Who is responsible for the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet"? There are many people involved in the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet", but no one person is directly responsible. The tragedy is initiated by Romeo and Juliet falling in love because fate has pre-destined their meeting. All the other characters play a role in helping indirectly the scenes of misfortune take place. If the feud had never taken place, there would not be the hostility and rivalry between the two families. Overall many things lead to the tragedy, but there is no single person responsible.
The feud causes many problems arising in the play. The prologue supports this when it predicts the forthcoming misfortune "From ancient grudge break to new mutiny Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean" the grudge mentioned means the basis of the feud. The civil brawls mentioned are between Mercutio and Tybalt, Romeo and Tybalt, Paris and Romeo.
If the feud was not started by some grudge or disagreement between the Capulets and the Montagues a long time ago the six people deaths in the play would not arise. At the end of the play he says "Scourge is laid upon your hate That heaven finds mean to kill your joys with love". In that extract, the prince refers to heaven as a means of fate. The fact is that the two families do not know what the feud is about because it has gone on so long. The families have forgotten what the feud is about, yet this does not stop the rivalry between the whole families.
Fate is a major contributor to the deaths in the play. The future is predestined from the stars, at the beginning in the prologue some characters are destined to die. "Doth with their death" their death however ends any future deaths because the two families put the feud behind them and look to the future. Fate is referred to by many characters several times a total of eleven times. Romeo realises what has happened and that fate has decided his future "Oh, I am fortunes fool", at the banquet when he realises she is a Capulet. In addition, at the end of the play the big tragedy that causes the deaths of Paris, Romeo then Juliet can be traces back to Friar Lawrence's letter sent with Friar John to be delivered to Mantua. Containing the vital information saying about the plan, which means Juliet, is asleep in a death like manner. Because Balthasar tells Romeo, that Juliet is dead before the letter arrives. He goes back to Verona and finds an Apothecary willing to give him a toxic potion. He thinks that he can alter what fate wants to happen "I defy you stars". The reason that fate plays a big role in the play has a lot to do with the time the play was written. The play was written in 1595 during the Elizabethan period when fate was strongly believed. If fate was a person, I think that he would be punished severely.
The parents of both families are very much involved in the tragedy. Juliet's parents pressure her in the end to marry Paris, but she does not want to. In the beginning Lord Capulet is protective of Juliet and does not want to rush her to marry Paris. "Let two more summers wither in their pride/ Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride". Yet, in the space of 3 days, those years he talks about disappear. The Montagues are more concerned for the welfare of Romeo, than the Capulets care for Juliet. Lady Capulet seems more family minded, in the status and wealth of the family, than the welfare of Juliet. It is the parents fault inevitably that the feud started from their relatives ancestors grudge. Because of Capulet wanting a companion for his daughter since Tybalt her kinsman was dead the marriage is brought forward two years. Which because Lord Capulet will not be crossed because of his raging inferno of a temper. Juliet's only option is to take the potion, and later because of that Paris, Romeo and herself die. The Montagues are concerned for their son "O where is Romeo? Saw you him today". I think that the Capulet family should be punished for pushing the marriage forward, but they are punished through the loss of Juliet. A fine of some sort should be imposed on the families for not trying to start fresh and forget the grudge, and for the outbursts in public which endangered civil lives. Romeo and Juliet are the key to the play because of that the have a great deal to play in the tragedy. In the Capulet banquet, they see each other. "My only love sprung from my only hate/Too early seen unknown and known too late!" says Juliet. In addition, Romeo says, "Is she a Capulet / O dear account! My life is my foes dept", yet by that time the both have realised the consequences of their love. Juliet matures a lot throughout the play; at the beginning, she will do anything her father and mother tells her to do and will not question it. "I'll look to like, if looking liking more". Yet when her marriage to Paris is brought forward she answers in a different tone to the beginning "He shall not make me there a joyful bride." This change brings out the worst in Lord Capulet. Romeo seems to have a wonder at the Capulets, first Rosaline then Juliet but that is a big difference in status. Romeo is an adventurous person without someone following his every move. Because of this I think Romeo and Juliet are to be blamed for the grief and death of others yet, their punishment is death and not being with their parents and friends. So they have been punished enough.
Mercutio is one of Romeo's only 'best friends', with his innuendo and puns he is always teasing the infatuated Romeo, trying to under stand his emotions. Yet not realising later on that he talks about Juliet not Rosaline. Because Mercutio pressures Romeo into going to the Capulet Banquet, it is there where Romeo finds his love Juliet.
Yet, fate could have made it happen. Because of Romeo going to the Banquet where he is spotted by eagle eye Tybalt. Tybalt draws up a duel, in which Mercutio feels responsible for the challenge because of his actions in pressuring Romeo. Therefore, his actions end up in Romeo killing Tybalt for his (Mercutio) death. After being stabbed by Tybalt, he jests at him saying that it was "a scratch". He jests at Tybalt calling him "King of Cats" and "rat catcher". However, when Mercutio sees the extent of his injury he lays down a curse "A plague o' both your houses". Mercutio is to blame so I think he should me punished, yet he may not because the prince may be sympathetic to his kinsman.
Because the Nurse is the servant to Juliet, she acts under orders to be the courier of her messages to Romeo. However, because she obeys her orders she is indirectly involved in causing the six deaths. The fact she does not warn her masters (Lord and Lady Capulet) about the events of their daughter. The nurse spurs on Juliet "Go girl seek happy nights to happy days", yet when things go wrong and Romeo is banished for the murder of Tybalt, she 'forgets' what she said about Romeo. The Nurse says that Romeo is not worthy to be compared to Paris "I think it best you married with the County/ O he's a lovely gentle man. / Romeo's a dishclout to him". The Nurse plays a great part to Juliet she is almost a second mother to her. The Nurse protects Juliet from her parents, when they are angry with her for not wanting to marry Paris (because she is married to Romeo). The Nurse suggests bigamy to Juliet so she could marry Paris. The nurse can be blamed for the tragedy, but she had to follow her mistress's orders, if not she could be fired and some one else could be Juliet's messenger. The nurse could go and tell Lord and Lady Capulet about what Juliet was doing so they could sort out the problem.
Because of this the nurse should be punished, but not too severely.
Tybalt is a hot-headed character, he acts on reflex, and he uses his sword before his brain. At the Capulet ball, his bad temper shines through. When he spots Romeo in the crowd he goes to see Lord Capulet and wants to send him out of the party and deal with him himself, yet his uncle in a merry mood sees no wrong. This makes Tybalt's anger rage. In a sense they are both out of the same mould, they both want to be obeyed, no one can tell them wrong, and they are both hot tempered and will not be crossed. He is ready to fight anyone who will try to cross him. His conversation is one sided, his side, he judges quickly upon sight "what, drawn and talk of peace? I hate thee word, / As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. / Have at thee, coward". Anyone not on his side or 'one of him' is seen in a different light "Tis he that villain Romeo". I think that Tybalt has a great part to do with the deaths of Mercutio and all the other dead characters.
Because he is the match that lights the fuse on Mercutio to the bomb, he sparks off the tragedy so I believe that he should be punished.
The Friar is very much involved in the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet". If the Friar had not married Romeo and Juliet, this tragedy through the play would not happen.
Romeo's love for Juliet would turn into his infatuation with Rosaline, but the marriage brings them very close together. Alternatively, it would not make them prepared enough to die for one another in the ending scene may not happen because she was not married to Romeo meaning she could marry Paris. Fate plays such a big part it is likely that Shakespeare would involve fate in another way to add a new twist to the story. If the Friar had not given Juliet the 'sleeping potion' the ending scene would not happen or not be as dramatic. The Friar had good intentions and hoped that the houses would be united because of the bondage of name and love. "For this alliance may so happy prove/ to turn you household's rancour to pure love" the plan of his was simple but voluminous with flaws. For example, Balthasar told Romeo, that Juliet was dead before Friar Lawrence's letter was delivered explaining about the drug she was under. Yet, the twist of fate means that it makes a happy conclusion. Because of one letter three people die "Shall Romeo by our letters know our drift". The Friar should have told Romeo about the events himself. I think the Friar is partially to blame but the Prince pardons him because he had good intentions and he was prepared to face the consequences of his actions. "Be sacrificed, some hour before his time/unto the rigour of severest law". The Prince grants him a pardon "We still have known thee for a holy man".
In the play six people die, one dies of grief which is Lady Montague. Four people die of stabbing, they are Mercutio, Tybalt, Paris and Juliet. Romeo dies of poisoning.
No single person is directly responsible, but I think that Mercutio, Nurse and Tybalt should be punished. However, Mercutio and Tybalt are dead, also if fate was a person he would be punished. There are some factors, which go together, and can not be pinpointed on anyone in particular, so everyone in the play is to blame for the tragedy.