Jerod Kimbrell Ms. Darras Honors English 1, R 30 April 2012 Romeo and Juliet: Fate or Free Will? In Shakespearse’s classic play The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the two star-crossed lovers created one of the most notorious tragedies known to man. Romeo and Juliet met as an act of a single force known as fate. Fate is the idea used to describe a circumstance when it is meant to happen; fate is the living body responsible for controlling everything, except the decisions you personally make.
Act I indefinitely demonstrates Romeo and Juliet met as an act of fate. Fate was able to force its way into Romeo’s mind, in order to plant a seed, a seed in the form of a dream in which a girl who he met at the Capulet’s party would direct him to his death. Upon telling his friends of this vision, Mercutio responded: “O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you . . . Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love”(1. IV. 754). After fate had put the plan into motion, Mercutio then set the scene for the two to be lovers before they had even met.
Another reason Romeo and Juliet must have met as an act of fate is because it is so opposed that the two meet and be together: (After Romeo had finished talking) “This, by voice, should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy! What dares the slave come hither, covered in an antic face,” (1. V. 757) Tybalt spat in disgust. Only a force with limitless power could possibly compel Romeo to make it through such tough odds to bring him to ever seeing Juliet; this force was fate. Without the work of fate, Romeo and Juliet would never have met.
Acts II and III continue to undoubtedly show the doomed lovers meet according to a being besides their own plan. Romeo did control his will to go and attempt to see Juliet, yet he did not perfectly time it all on his own to be passing through the Capulet orchard at just the right moment to hear Juliet, standing upon her balcony, speaking affectionately of Romeo. To her surprise, someone interrupts Juliet and she inquires back, “What man art thou, that, thus bescreened in night, so stumblest on my counsel? ”(2. II. 768).
Romeo did not just stumble upon Juliet, these repeating coincidences intertwining Romeo and Juliet’s destiny can only be acknowledged as an act of fate. Another sign Romeo and Juliet met as an act of fate is because as soon as fate brought the two together, it tested their love with challenges outside of either of their control to change or stop. One way fate tested Romeo and Juliet’s love was by making their relationship even more difficult than just having opposing families; Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, kills Mercutio, Romeo’s friend, and Romeo retaliates by killing Tybalt.
Another way fate tested Romeo and Juliet’s love was by forcing Paris to be so eager to marry Juliet. The challenges and strong love Romeo and Juliet are presented with were never part of their plan and therefore must have been an act of fate. It seems as though fate goes extremely out of its way to insist on making the lover’s relationship even more difficult. As time progresses with Romeo’s banishment, Paris becomes more and more anxious to marry Juliet. In effort to get out of the arrangement, Juliet sought out the friar who schemes a plan to free Juliet from the upcoming union. Hold, daughter. I do spy a kind of hope . . . If, rather than to marry Country Paris . . . And, if thou darest, I’ll give thee remedy. ” (4. I. 821). The will of Paris and the friar devising this plan were not under Romeo, nor Juliet’s control, and therefore must be viewed as an act of fate. It seems as though some characters begin to realize who is behind all these extreme and unlikely circumstances, JULIET SAID “Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again. ” (4. III. 824).
Juliet knows it is not up to her what will happen, that rather another force has control over her destiny. The tragedy unfolds with Romeo slaying himself because he finds Juliet dead; yet, he does not realize Juliet is really not dead since he never got the letter addressed to him from the friar. Juliet’s reaction to waking up and seeing this was to also kill herself. This tragedy is filled with messages that were never supposed to be delivered, letters that were, and many other circumstances that should never have happened, yet did.
Fate was behind it all the entire time; we are only left to wonder if fate controls everything else besides the decisions I make, then who’s to say my thoughts are anything different then being driven by fate as well.
Works Cited Dictionary. com “Fate and Free Will in Romeo and Juliet. ” eNotes Publishing. Ed. Scott Locklear. eNotes. com, Inc. , . eNotes. com. 8 May, 2012 <http://www. enotes. com/romeo-and-juliet/>