Determinism in "Romeo and Juliet"

Essay by jamber0662College, UndergraduateA+, February 2005

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 15 times

"Romeo and Juliet" is a play that really makes the audience wonder if the two young lovers had any chance for a life. In the prologue, Shakespeare states that "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life" ((37). There is a debate in philosophy that applies very much to this play. The debate is concerned with two opposite ideas about human beings, free will and determinism. If you have free will, then you can do something else besides what you did. What happens in the play is important because it could happen to two people today. The thesis of this paper is that Shakespeare set this play in such a way that there is absolutely no way Romeo and Juliet could have done otherwise.

Romeo and Juliet are young teenagers who were born into a very negative situation. Romeo is of the house of Montague and Juliet belongs to the house of Capulet.

The worst part of their trouble is caused by the feud between their families. However, there are a number of complicated events and much more confusion that leads to their deaths. One of the most important events in the entire play is just a small one. It is when Friar John is delayed and cannot get the message to Romeo in time. This is actually the main reason that Romeo kills himself. However, there are much more important reasons that lead to the tragedy. The main one is when Romeo kills Tybalt.

The love between Romeo and Juliet is intense. The language that Shakespeare uses makes their love unforgettable. Romeo literally risks his life to see Juliet. When she warns him of the danger, he replies: "With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls/ For stony limits...