Romeo and Juliet: The Play
Romeo and Juliet: The Play”
Accidentally, incidentally, unintentionally, intentionally; no one ever really knows, but we are for certain one thing: “the heart isits own fate.” For Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, two star-crossed lovers in Shakespeare’s masterpiece play Romeo and Juliet,’ this holds especially true. Romeo and Juliet’s “misadventure piteous overthrow” is fueled by their love for each other and their determination to be together, no matter what. Romeo and Juliet’s love with stands the hate surrounding them. Thus, fate is undoubtedly the most responsible influence for the two young lovers’ heartbreaking tragedy.
A letter, never meant to even graze the hand of a Montague, was indeed read by a Montague. As fate would have it, a servant gets tangled up on the addresses of the letters to be delivered, notifying recipients of Capulets’ masquerade party, and stops the first pedestrian that walks by, hoping that he would direct them to the correct address. Undoubtedly, the first pedestrian he ran across was Romeo, his kinsman Benvolio in tow. When Benvolio learns word of the party, he is eager to go, while Romeo is reluctant. With a little nagging, Benvolio and Mercutio convince Romeo to go. It takes one glance, one intense, meaningful glance, and Romeo is in like with Juliet Capulet, his loathed enemy. With one kiss, they are both in love with each other, without knowing, tragically seal both of their lives into a tomb of confinement, filled only with their love for each other.
Another episode of fate, or rather dramatic irony, happens when Romeo somehow misses getting a letter from Tybalt Capulet, his enemy, challenging him to a duel. Romeo, unknowing of the tragic letter sent to him, but not gotten, goes to tell his friends of his beautiful bride, but, in return, comes face-to-face with none other than Tybalt, his loathed enemy, the kin to his new bride, Juliet. As soon as Romeo shows up, though, he is greeted by Tybalt’s insults, calling him a villain, but instead of stepping up to Tybalt’s challenge, though, Romeo backs down, saying, “Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage to such a greeting. Villain I am none. Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest not me.” After harsh words are spoken, families are disgraced, and names are scorned, Romeo finally just backs away. Mercutio, though, cannot let his man be put to disgrace, so he decides to defend Romeo’s name. What is nothing more than a little playful sword-fighting, Romeo decides that he has seen enough, quickly getting in the middle of his best friend and his worst enemy. Then, as fate would have it, Tybalt’s sword “accidentally” happened to go under Romeo’s upheld arms, striking Mercutio in his chest, killing him. Finally deciding that Romeo couldn’t let Mercutio’s death go to shame, he got revenge on Tybalt, killing him. Instead of being killed, though, as Prince Escalus stated in Act 1, Scene 1, he was only banished from the city. This would have been great news to anybody else, but to Romeo, it is the end of the world. He cannot be with his fair Juliet, so what is a new groom to do? He goes to Friar Lawrence, desperately seeking answers to all of his many questions about his wife, Juliet, they devise a scheme, not knowing that the scheme would only end in bittersweet death.
As if Romeo’s best friend and loathed enemy dying, and Romeo himself being banished from the city of Verona wasn’t enough fate already, Shakespeare decides to slap us again in our faces. Capulet, thinking that Juliet’s distress was that of being depressed because her kinsman has died, he decides to marry his daughter off, even though his only daughter, Juliet, is unknowingly married to his enemy’s only son. Juliet just cannot take this, so she decides to go and talk it over to Friar Lawrence before she does anything too drastic, like kill herself or something stupid like that. Ironically, the Friar and Juliet come up with a scheme that seems without error, too. Juliet is to take a mere sleeping potion, nothing else, and then fall asleep, awaiting her Romeo to show up, wisk her off her feet, and they could just snap their fingers and the marriage would be alright, their families would love each other, and they would live a Cinderella-esque life. It seems perfect, right? Not. As ironic as it sounds, the letter the Friar sent off to Romeo was quarantined, not getting to Romeo, Friar Lawrence unknowing of this. The marriage is pushed up so Juliet has to take the sleeping potion early, so as she guzzles it down, Romeo is clueless about any of this. When Juliet’s Nurse tries to awaken Juliet before her “big day,” she finds, to her amazement, Juliet perceived to be dead in her bed, though in reality, she’s just sleeping until her Romeo wakes her up, though everyone but the Friar is oblivious to this. Everyone thinks Juliet is dead, so, ironically, the wedding turns into a funeral, and instead of getting a letter that says Juliet is just sleeping, waiting for Romeo to come to her, he receives an announcement of his beloved’s death. He goes instantly to her; when he gets to the tomb, after going through Paris and killing Juliet’s pre-death fiancee, he finally gets to his beauty. He pulls out a potion, gotten from a dingy Apothecary, cries out, “Here’s to my love!” and then swallows the potion. One last kiss, and he dies beside his true love. As if written in the stars, Juliet, his love, awakes a couple minutes later to find her love dead! After a few quick, asylum-worthy words about how she loves Romeo so much she just has to kill herself, she grabs his dagger and offs herself, too. It’s a cruel thing, fate is. It takes your heart, rips it right out of your body, and then makes you kill yourself, which is exactly the case in this tragic, heartbreaking tale of two star-crossed lovers, destined to their own fates.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragic fate, filled with dramatic irony and well-written plot twists. It is true, when, at the end of the story, Prince Escalus notifies the people of the young lovers’ death by telling them, “Some shall be pardoned, and some punished; for never was there a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” A wise man by the name of John Ford once said, “Tempst not the stars, young man, thou canst play with the severity of fate,” and its so true. By falling in love with him enemy, Romeo tried to test the stars, tempt them. He tried to defy fate itself and fall into forbidden love, but, as fate would have it, it didn’t allow it. Therefore, we end the play, a story of two star-crossed lovers, trying to re-order the stars, falling in love, and finally paying the consequences, but not completely failing. Their true love was the one thing the Capulet and Montague families’ needed to reconciliate their harsh ways, ending the feud which had binded them for years.