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Sabina Gajimuradov M. McCullough 2150 DG13C/MQ13B February 19, 2002 A play about Romeo and Juliet, by Shakespeare, is a fateful tragedy about two star- crossed lovers who were destined to be both together and apart from the beginning of the play. From the beginning of the story, a fateful chain of events lead Romeo and Juliet to each other. The drive and the force that was leading them to fall in love with each other, in an extraordinary circumstances, and to be apart in life and death, was fate itself. Fate plays a critical role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Both of the star-crossed lovers inevitably realize throughout the play that they cannot be together (as described in the prologue) due to the hate and rivalry in the houses of Capulet and Montague, and due to the fate itself, which wasn't on their side.

Fate played a big part in lives of Romeo and Juliet.

A significant factor in support of this notion is that, importantly, both Romeo and Juliet believed in fate. It might have been a thing of their times, however when people believe in something strongly enough, it has a higher chance of happening. An example of Romeo's strong belief in fate and predestination to have a short life is clearly illustrated by his saying, (1.4.105-110), "Some consequences yet hanging in the stars…by some vile forfeit of untimely death. But he that hath the steerage over my course direct my sail…" "...He that hath steerage over my course..." This example clearly illustrates the fact that Romeo does not believe in the life of his own making. This is not to be taken to believe that Romeo is not confident or self-assured. It is to be understood in a way that Romeo believes that there is some higher purpose, some higher meaning to his life, besides the obvious, which is directed from something or someone above. "…He that hath steerage over my course" illustrates that Romeo does not think that he is controlling his life, on the contrary he is asking for a right way, for guidance, for a right steerage in a right direction. Romeo saw in his dream that he will die a young man and asks fate to direct him in a right way. The fact that Romeo believes in dreams makes us come to a realization that Romeo is also a very emotional young man. His extreme emotionality is going to have a higher significance towards the end of the play.

Fate played an important role in the lives of Romeo and Juliet, even before they met Before Romeo knew Juliet, he was in love with Rosaline. It was obvious when Romeo was pouring his heart out to his cousin Benvolio that he had a lot of unclaimed emotions and loving within him. While talking to Benvolio, Romeo had bumped into a servant, who asked him to read the list for the Capulet's party. When Romeo saw Rosaline's name, he immediately decided to act upon his invitation by the servant and attend the party. Being a Montague, Romeo was taking a great risk by even being there. But when there is fate at work, nothing else matters. At the party, Romeo does not see Juliet right away but when he does, he falls deeply in love with her, and likewise from her side. IT was love from first sight and attraction which was immense. Juliet happened to be a Capulet, and Romeo happened to be a Montague. A Montague at Capulet's party. "Two households, both alike in dignity, in Fair Verona where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge takes new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean…" The fact that Juliet and Romeo, being from enemy households, meet at such an unlikely place (Capulet's party), fell in love despite the fact that Romeo was just in love with Rosaline, and fell in love so hard that nothing else seemed to matter, makes us come to a realization that besides pure chance, something else had played an immense role in the meeting of the star-crossed lovers.

Love between Romeo and Juliet, however strong it was, had no future with the bitter hate and rivalry that existed between the houses of Capulet and Montague. The rage of the families was evident when Tybalt let know his father that he is going to try to kill Romeo. Fate reared its ugly head with this kind of death foreshadowing for Romeo. There are many instances when you could read between the lines of the play, and realize that many words strike a cord of predestination and death, such as.." Friar. These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume." (II, vii, lines 9-11). This line could actually give a philosophical summary of Romeo and Juliet's story. "These violent delights" could mean the tragedies, the emotional Rolla coasters for everyone in the play, and for Romeo and Juliet. Their love was a "delight". However, it was a "violent delight" due to the fact that their families were bitter rivals and due to the fact that their deaths were untimely and forced, thus "violent". And in their triumph, at the height of their love, they die. Romeo and Juliet are like plus and minus, fire and powder, when they "kiss" they disappear, when they are together they "consume" each other, they become one and continue their journey as one.

The most fate driven effect in the whole play, is a misunderstanding of the Juliet's death by the Romeo's ambassador, and inability of the messenger to deliver the message to Romeo. It is a bitter consequence that the messenger could not deliver the note to Romeo. This simple fact predetermined all of Romeo's actions and intentions. "Laurence. Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo? John. I could not send it - here it is again- Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, So fearful were they if infection." Laurence. Unhappy fortune!…(VI, ii, lines 13-17) Unhappy fortune which in way would be on Romeo and Juliet's side. Fate had already predetermined the role Romeo and the role of Juliet and how they would be significant in each other's lives, in the lives of their families, and Verona itself. If only the messenger would have gotten to Romeo, then Romeo would have known that Juliet is not dead, but is on the contrary, artificially asleep and is waiting for him. But Romeo had no way of knowing that Juliet was alive. When he learned about her death, it sent him into a rage and madness that was infinite in its pain. The pain of it is was so real and so full of anger and force, that Romeo did not have any other thoughts within him, but only about death. His love was so strong and so powerful in its source that Romeo could not imagine himself living without Juliet. Romeo did not think twice about his feelings and emotions and decided everything right away. But if only Romeo would have waited with the decision to kill himself, if only it would have taken him longer to proceed with his decision, then he would witnessed Juliet's awakening and they would have been together. However, fate did not work that way with them and it let things go their certain way. " Well Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight." (VI, I, 34) Story of Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy which is not only one of a kind but is also one of a kind in its fatefulness. The predetermination and predestination of roles Romeo and Juliet would play in each other's lives and in the lives of others, is evident throughout this whole play. Two young people falling in love with each other, their houses being bitter enemies , and dying for each other at the end, is an example of fate at work.

"Juliet: My only love, sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and unknown too late! Prodigious birth of love is to me…That I must love a loathed enemy. "(I, VI, lines 139-142) Their tragic lives cut short by unfortunate circumstances, were meant to serve as a higher purpose, a higher meaning to things. Even though the lives of Romeo and Juliet were shattered, the houses of Capulet and Montague found peace in their hearts through the pain of losing their loved ones. The tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet not only served as an example of what should not be, but also amended bitter anger and rivalry between the people of Capulet and Montague. Fate had a higher purpose for this tragic story , making sure that no more lives would have to be sacrificed in the future in a war of the hatred and rivalry. And that was because of bright love that was shared by Romeo and Juliet.