Romeo and Juliet-responsibility for their deaths

Essay by ittybittytittay May 2004

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Romeo and Juliet

Throughout the classic story of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare suggests that other characters' actions held them responsible for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet's deaths. Without the unintentional mistakes made by Friar Laurence, or the irrational and harsh behavior of Tybalt and Lord and Lady Capulet, Romeo and Juliet would not have lead themselves into suicide. Therefore, they all made themselves accountable for this tragedy.

Friar Laurence's decisions and actions, even though made with the best intentions, has disastrous consequences for Romeo and Juliet. Friar only wants for the Capulet and Montague households to get along and be at peace. "For this alliance may so happy prove/to turn your households rancor into pure love," he says when he contemplates whether or not to marry Romeo and Juliet (II. iv. 91-92). However he marries them with good reason, it causes much trouble for the lovers down the road.

Friar's first unfortunate mistake was helping Juliet fake her death. "If rather than to marry Count Paris, /Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself, / Then it is likely thou wilt undertake/ A thing like death to chide away this shame, / That cop'st with death himself to scape from it; / And, if thou darest, I'll give thee remedy" (IV. i. 71-76). Here Friar is offering Juliet a "remedy" to rid her from her commitment to marry Paris. Because of the

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sleeping potion that he gave her, she is able to fool her family by faking her death. However, she also fools Romeo into thinking she died which causes him to commit suicide, leading to her suicide also. If Friar had never proposed for Juliet to take the potion, they would have never died. This fault leads him directly to...