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Romeo & Juliet: Fate

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There is a French proverb that reads, "A man often meets his fate on the road he takes to avoid it". For William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, no other quote holds closer to the truth than this. Despite the constant loopholes Romeo and Juliet look to find in their seemingly hopeless struggle to love, they find themselves the victims of a plan they designed themselves. But what exactly is fate? Ask yourself this; what exactly is love? Is it a feeling, or a wish, or dream? Could you not ask the same questions about love as you could about fate? How long must you search until you truly know your fate? How long must you pain before you find love? Have you figured it out yet? Yes... fate and love are one in the same. Because, truly, if you believe fate exists than what does it matter if you find love? After all, fate would imply that love is not in your hands; hence, it matters not who you choose to give your love to since it is not your choice, it has already been decided. Shakespeare teases us with this same sort of riddle in his tragic play of love. Regardless of Shakespeare letting the reader know what will happen, "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life" (Prologue, l 6), we find ourselves constantly falling into the thought that just maybe, Romeo and Juliet can make this work. This symbolizes what the play is all about; Fate, and the fact that no matter what one does to counter his fate, he will always meet it. We see this constantly throughout the play.

From the second the play begins, it is obvious that Romeo and Juliet are destined to die because of their love. The prologue again shows evidence of this, "The fearful passage of their death-marked love" (l 9). While, of course this is to show the reader that Shakespeare did not come up with the plot of this story on his own, perhaps it is more than that. Why wouldn't Shakespeare simply put... this story was borrowed from so and so...? He insists on revealing the tragic end Romeo and Juliet will meet, and yet as seeming dumb as revealing the ending sounds, the readers choose to read on anyway. Why? This is, perhaps, what Shakespeare hopes to shows us. That even when you know without a doubt, or even feel that you know what is to become of your actions, you will pursue them anyway in hopes that the outcome may change. This is the exact path of Romeo and Juliet throughout the story. Despite what they know their fate will be, they constantly fight to find ways around their deaths to be with one another; but it is all for naught.

The masquerade party in Act I is perhaps the most obvious denial of fate we will see in the play. Romeo attends Capulet's party wearing a mask that completely hides his face. Yet, when Juliet sees him, she instantly falls in love with him as he does with her. The fact that Romeo is wearing a mask when Juliet falls in love with him shows the inevitability of the two to deny fate. She falls in love with him before she even knows anything about him or even sees him, and the same for him with her. This shows the fact that, from the beginning, these two were ready to deny fate. Perhaps they knew from that moment that fate would have such a hasty love fail. Perhaps they knew fate would reveal such a strong love that developed so quickly was doomed to end in tragedy. Romeo further supports this when his spirits are suddenly broken when he comes to find that Juliet is the daughter of Lady Capulet, his father's sworn enemy; "Is she a Capulet? O dear account! My life is my foe's debt" (I, v, l 119-120). But even so, when his hope seems shattered, we find Romeo planning his next move to see Juliet again. Perhaps, maybe the fact that they knew their time was short



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