Discuss the role that Fate plays in "Romeo and Juliet".

Essay by luxmianJunior High, 9th gradeA-, November 2006

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In "Romeo and Juliet" Shakespeare uses the contemporary superstitious beliefs and plays on them using the main characters Romeo and Juliet. For the duration of the Elizabethan era, people rested on their beliefs on God, superstition and fate to get through their everyday lives. They contemplated the fact that the world, in general, had had a stability of both good and evil. There are many specific examples which illustrate how the subject of fate had impacted on the public at that point in time. For instance, Religion was varied in England during the Elizabethan Age. There was much conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics. Elizabeth restored the Protestant service but kept many features of the Catholic religion. She hoped this negotiation would produce unity, but instead the Catholics revolted. In the last years of Elizabeth's reign, Catholics were cruelly persecuted and many were put to death. The people of England believed in many supernatural artifacts, including ghosts, witches, and magic.

For all of these signs of wickedness, the community were certain that only one thing could trigger all these events to either take place or not - fate. In a comparable manner, Romeo and Juliet are witness to seeing fate as having a significant amount of control over many of the key events of the whole play. I will now discuss the role that Fate plays whilst referring to the following scenes: prologue, Act 1 scene 4, Act 1 scene 5 and finally, Act 5 scene 3.

The prologue in Romeo and Juliet contains a number of references to fate, which tells the audience that Romeo and Juliet are in for a terrible future ahead. As the play commences, the audience's attention refers directly to the prologue. Shakespeare has already told the audience of how he decided the...