Time and Fate in Romeo and Juliet

Essay by John WilliamsCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 1997

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Time and Fate in Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet, said to be one of the most famous love stories

of all times, is a play anchored on time and fate. Some actions are

believed to occur by chance or by destiny. The timing of each action

influences the outcome of the play. While some events are of less

significance, some are crucial to the development of this tragedy. The

substantial events that inspire the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet are;

the Capulet ball, the quarrel experienced by Tybalt and Romeo, and Friar

John's plague.

A servant to Capulet, who is incapable of reading the list of

guests, asks for Romeo's assistance. Romeo notices that Rosaline, his

lover, is among these names. Benvolio challenges Romeo to compare her

with other 'beauties.' Benvolio predicts, 'Compare her face with some

that I shall show,/ And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.'

(I, ii,

l 86-87) To show his appreciation, the servant asks for Romeo's presence

at the ball. Romeo should have considered the servant's warning; if

Romeo occupies the name of Montague, he shall not be permitted. Once at

the ball, Romeo is searching for a maiden to substitute the unrequited

love of Rosaline. Romeo happens to gaze upon Juliet, who charms Romeo.

Romeo proclaims, ' Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!/ For

ne'er saw true beauty till this night.' (I, v, l 52-53) Since Romeo

declares his love for Juliet, she feels the attraction also. They

believe that they are in love and must marry. However, it is a genuine

coincidence that Romeo and Juliet were at the same place, at the same


Some days after the ball, Benvolio and Mercutio are conversing,

in regard to the quarrelsome weather. Benvolio declares, 'The day is...