thesis statement romeo and juliet fate

Romeo and Juliet

William shakespeare, ask litcharts ai: the answer to your questions.

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Though much of Romeo and Juliet is driven by the choices its main characters make and the actions they take, there is a dark undercurrent running throughout the play: the suggestion that fate, not free will, is behind the entirety of the human experience. Repeated references to fate and fortune throughout the play underscore Shakespeare’s suggestion that humans are merely pawns in a larger cosmic scheme—invisible but inescapable fates, Shakespeare argues throughout the play, steer the course of human lives, and any and all actions that attempt to subvert those fates are futile and doomed to fail.

In the world of Romeo and Juliet , fate and predetermined destinies are an accepted part of life and society. From the chorus that introduces the first two acts of the play, commenting upon the events that are about to take place, to the characters’ own preoccupation with the unseen forces that control them, Shakespeare imbues the world of the play with the heavy atmosphere of a “black fate” sitting like a storm cloud just above the entirety of the action. Throughout the play, characters acknowledge—and make “misadventured” attempts to thwart—the invisible forces guiding their lives. Yet every attempt to outsmart, outwit, or dodge fate ends terribly. By having Romeo and Juliet verbally acknowledge—privately and to one another—their fears about their doomed fates, Shakespeare showcases how badly his characters want to believe that their desires and actions stand a chance in the face of fate’s wily hand. “Alack, alack, that heaven should practice stratagems / Upon so soft a subject as myself,” Juliet laments after learning that her parents have arranged for her to marry Paris , not knowing that she is already married to Romeo. Juliet has, at this late point in the play, had to deal with the death of her cousin, the cruelty of her family, and the destruction of her previously held ideals about the nature of good and evil, friend and enemy. She has, she feels, been through enough—and is beginning to believe that fate is “practic[ing]” on her, striking her with terrible news and insurmountable problems for sport. Juliet acknowledges the role fate plays in her life—she knows she is a pawn of the “heaven[s]”—and yet her actions over the course of the rest of the play show that she longs to fly in the face of heaven’s decrees.

“O, I am fortune’s fool!” Romeo screams shortly after he kills Tybalt in a duel; “I deny you, stars !” he shouts when he learns of Juliet’s “death” in the play’s final act. In these two expressions of frustration with fate and fortune, Shakespeare uses Romeo’s anger at fate’s dominion to show that while he hates realizing he is on a predetermined path, he is nonetheless cognizant of his lack of autonomy in the face of fortune’s plans for him. When Romeo calls himself “fortune’s fool” after slaying Tybalt, he laments, perhaps, having committed the act he knew he’d have to commit all along: killing the man who killed his best friend. Now that he has committed murder, however, Romeo feels he has been a “fool” to play into fortune’s hand, and to fail resisting harder the pull of fate’s demands. When Romeo learns of Juliet’s death, he cries out that he will “deny” the stars—in other words, he doesn’t want to believe Juliet is dead, or possibly believes, deep down, that there is something he can do to reverse what the stars have ordained even if she is. As he prepares to ride from Mantua to Verona to investigate the truth of his servant Balthasar ’s news, he is admitting, full-out, that he plans to try to reverse his and Juliet’s fortunes—even as, in the same breath, he tacitly admits that he knows their fates are already written in the stars.

Shakespeare’s argument about fate is a bleak one. The insinuation that forces humans can neither comprehend nor control guide their words and actions is perhaps even more sinister in a contemporary context than it would have been in Shakespeare’s own time. Though debates concerning free will versus determinism stretch back to antiquity, faith in humans’ ability to steer their own destinies did not begin to emerge more widely throughout Western culture until well after Shakespeare’s time. Whether or not Shakespeare himself believed in the total dominion of fate and fortune, he certainly used his plays as an arena to work out his frustrations with the mechanisms of individual destiny—and to suggest that to deny or defy one’s fate is a fatal, calamitous choice. 

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Fate Quotes in Romeo and Juliet

Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows, Doth with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could remove, Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

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Romeo: I dream'd a dream to-night. Mercutio: And so did I. Romeo: Well, what was yours? Mercutio: That dreamers often lie.

thesis statement romeo and juliet fate

Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear, Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessèd my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late!

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

Romeo: Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much. Mercutio: No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.

O, I am fortune's fool!

Is there no pity sitting in the clouds That sees into the bottom of my grief? O sweet my mother, cast me not away! Delay this marriage for a month, a week, Or if you do not, make the bridal bed In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.

Then I defy you, stars!

O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. — Thus with a kiss I die.

Yea, noise, then I'll be brief; O, happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die.

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The Role of Fate in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Were the star-cross'd lovers doomed from the start?

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There's no real consensus among Shakespearean scholars about the role of fate in "Romeo and Juliet." Were the "star-cross'd lovers" doomed from the start, their tragic futures determined before they even met? Or are the events of this famed play a matter of bad luck and missed chances?

Let's take a look at the role of fate and destiny in the story of the two teenagers from Verona whose feuding families couldn't keep them apart.

Examples of Fate in 'Romeo and Juliet'

The story of Romeo and Juliet asks the question, "Are our lives and destinies preordained?" While it is possible to see the play as a series of coincidences, bad luck, and bad decisions, many scholars see the story as an unfolding of events predetermined by fate. 

For example, in the opening lines of "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare allows the audience to hear his characters’ destiny. We learn early on what is going to happen to the title characters: “a pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life.” As a result, the idea of a preordained ending is already on the audience's mind as the story plays out.

Then, in Act One, Scene Three, Romeo is already feeling that fate is planning his doom before the Capulet's party. He wonders if he should attend the party, as "my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars."  

In Act Three, Scene One, when Mercutio shouts “a plague on both your houses," he's foreshadowing what's to come for the title couple. This bloody scene in which characters are killed gives us a glimpse of what's to come, marking the beginning of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic downfall.

When Mercutio dies, Romeo himself foreshadows the outcome: "This day's black fate on more days doth depend / This but begins the woe, others must end." The others upon whom fate later falls, of course, are Romeo and Juliet.

In Act Five, when he hears of Juliet's death, Romeo swears he will defy fate: "Is it even so? Then I defy you, stars!" Later, as he plans his own death in Juliet's tomb, Romeo says: "O, here / Will I set up my everlasting rest, / And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars / From this world-wearied flesh." This brave defiance of fate is especially heartbreaking because Romeo's suicide is the event that leads to Juliet's death.

The idea of fate permeates through many of the events and speeches in the play. Romeo and Juliet see omens throughout, continually reminding the audience that the outcome will not be a happy one.

Their deaths are also a catalyst for change in Verona, as the dueling families become united in their mutual grief and create a political shift in the city. Perhaps Romeo and Juliet were  fated to love —and die—for the greater good of Verona.

Were Romeo and Juliet Victims of Circumstance?

Other readers may examine the play through the lens of happenstance and coincidence, and thus conclude that Romeo and Juliet's fates were not wholly predetermined but rather a series of unfortunate and unlucky events.

For instance, Romeo and Benvolio happen to meet and talk about love on the very day of the Capulets' ball. Had they had the conversation the following day, Romeo would not have met Juliet.

In Act Five, we learn that Friar Lawrence's messenger to Romeo, who would have explained the plan of Juliet's pretend death, is detained, and Romeo doesn't get the message. If the messenger had not tried to find someone to accompany him on the trip, he would not have been held back.

Finally, Juliet wakes just moments after Romeo's suicide. Had Romeo arrived just a few moments later, all would have been well.

It is certainly possible to describe the events of the play as a series of unfortunate events and coincidences. That said, it is a much more rewarding reading experience to consider the role of fate in "Romeo and Juliet."

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Exemplar Essay: Fate

How does Shakespeare present the theme of fate?

Read this extract from Act 5 Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet and then answer the question that follows. At this point in the play the Friar John has returned unsuccessfully from trying to deliver Friar Laurence’s letter to Romeo.

Going to find a bare-foot brother out

One of our order, to associate me,

Here in this city visiting the sick,

And finding him, the searchers of the town,

Suspecting that we both were in a house

Where the infectious pestilence did reign,

Seal'd up the doors, and would not let us forth;

So that my speed to Mantua there was stay'd.

FRIAR LAURENCE

Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?

I could not send it,--here it is again,--

Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,

So fearful were they of infection.

Unhappy fortune! by my brotherhood,

The letter was not nice but full of charge

Of dear import, and the neglecting it

May do much danger. Friar John, go hence;

Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight

Unto my cell.

Starting with this extract, explore how Shakespeare presents fate as a force that controls the characters.

Write about:

• how Shakespeare presents fate in this extract.

• how Shakespeare presents fate in the play as a whole.

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Romeo and Juliet is about how strong emotions have tragic consequences. Through the theme of fate, Shakespeare invites his audience to question how far the characters’ tragic deaths were predetermined and how far they were decided by Romeo and Juliet’s impulsive actions. He also invites the audience to consider how far their future is decided by societal norms - not fate.

In the extract, Shakespeare implies that fate has prevented the letter from reaching Friar John. In lines 5-8, Shakespeare has Friar John state that he was unable to deliver the letter due to an ‘infectious pestilence’, which resulted in the doors of Mantua being ‘sealed’. While Shakespeare does not state explicitly that it is fate that has caused the plague to hit Mantua at the very moment that Friar John needs to deliver an important letter to Romeo, his Elizabethan audience, strong believers in the power of the stars and planets to predetermine our futures, would have seen this as more than an unhappy coincidence. It does therefore seem that fate is working against Romeo and Juliet.

In the extract, Shakespeare also suggests that Friar Laurence blames fate for this unfortunate event. In line 14, Shakespeare has Friar Laurence cry ‘unhappy fortune!’. In other words, Friar Laurence is stating that it is terribly bad luck that the letter has not reached Romeo. Shakespeare’s use of the word ‘fortune’ implies that Friar Laurence blames a higher power for this coincidence. Friar Laurence’s words could echo the Elizabethan audience’s fears that fate has already decided Romeo and Juliet are doomed. Shakespeare’s choice for the letter to be undelivered creates tension for the audience, as they begin to wonder if Romeo and Juliet are drawing ever-closer to their tragic deaths.

In the prologue, Shakespeare makes clear that Romeo and Juliet are doomed to die. The first time the audience is introduced to Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare describes their love as ‘death-marked’, which immediately tells the audience that the lovers will die tragically. An Elizabethan audience, who believed in fate, would have believed it possible for Romeo and Juliet’s fate to be decided from birth. By introducing Romeo and Juliet to the audience in this way, perhaps Shakespeare invites the audience to closely scrutinise the actions taken by all of the characters and decide for themselves how far fate is to blame for the tragic deaths.

However, in the play as a whole, Romeo acts impulsively, which contributes to his tragic downfall. The moment he meets Juliet, Romeo forgets Rosaline, his previous love, and asks ‘did my heart love till now?’. This surprising and impulsive change of mind is a stark example of the tragic flaw that leads Romeo towards his death, and is just the first of many similar actions: Romeo marries Juliet the day after meeting her; he murders Tybalt without thinking of the consequence threatened by Prince Escalus; he rushes to Verona with poison and takes it before Juliet wakes. Shakespeare’s presentation of Romeo in this way indicates that Romeo’s depth of passion and emotion are partly to blame for the speed at which he and Juliet are catapulted towards their deaths. If Romeo had been able to think more clearly and rationally rather than rushing to action before considering the consequences, perhaps some of the tragedy could have been avoided.

Also in the play as whole, Shakespeare explores how the restrictions of arranged marriage force Juliet closer to her tragic death. Unlike Romeo, whose impulsive actions are within his control as a man in the Elizabethan era, Juliet’s future is out of her hands. Before the audience meets Juliet in person, we witness a discussion about her between Lord Capulet and Paris. Although Lord Capulet is protective over Juliet, urging Paris to wait for two more years as Juliet is still a ‘stranger in the world’, he does consent to Paris wooing Juliet before asking Juliet’s views. It is clear, therefore, that Juliet has limited say in her future. The audience cannot help but wonder how the marriage between Romeo and Juliet can end happily, given that she has chosen her own suitor and has gone as far as to choose the son of her father’s arch-enemy. Later in the play, when Lord Capulet decides to speed up the marriage, Juliet is pressured to take action. Knowing that she will ‘hang, beg, starve, die in the streets’ if she refuses to marry Paris, Juliet feels she has no option but to consent, and plan an escape. Perhaps if Lord Capulet had not chosen to bring the marriage forward by two years, Juliet may have had an opportunity to be reunited with Romeo. Shakespeare could therefore be challenging traditional patriarchal attitudes to marriage, in which the daughter has limited say over her husband, because this is arguably a contributing factor in Juliet’s death.

In conclusion, it is clear that there are many references to fate within the play that indicate a higher power could be dictating Romeo and Juliet’s future but Shakespeare’s presentation of Romeo’s tragic flaw and arranged marriage certainly invite the audience to consider how far events may have played out differently if the characters had made different decisions.

In the extract, Shakespeare suggests that fate has prevented the letter from reaching Friar John. In lines 5-8, Shakespeare has Friar John state ‘Where the infectious pestilence did reign, Seal'd up the doors’. In other words, Friar John is saying that he couldn’t deliver the letter because he wasn’t allowed into Mantua dye to the plague. Although Shakespeare does not state that fate has stopped Friar John from delivering the letter, it is hinted at. His Elizabethan audience, who believed that the stars and planets could decide their futures, would have believed that fate stopped Friar John from delivering the letter. Therefore it does seem that fate is working against Romeo and Juliet.

In the extract, Shakespeare also suggests that Friar Laurence blames fate. In line 14, Shakespeare has Friar Laurence cry ‘unhappy fortune!’. In other words, Friar Laurence is stating that it is very bad luck that the letter has not reached Romeo. Shakespeare’s use of the word ‘fortune’ implies that Friar Laurence blames a higher power for this. The Elizabethan audience would have understood why Friar Laurence blames a higher power because they believed in fate. Shakespeare’s choice for the letter to be undelivered creates tension for the audience because they begin to wonder if Romeo and Juliet will soon die.

In the prologue, Shakespeare makes clear that Romeo and Juliet are doomed to die. The first time the audience is introduced to Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare describes their love as ‘death-marked’, which immediately tells the audience that the lovers will not lead long and happy lives. An Elizabethan audience, who believed in fate, would have believed it was possible for Romeo and Juliet’s fate to be decided from birth. Shakespeare could have described Romeo and Juliet as ‘death-marked’ because he wanted his audience to think very carefully about the actions the characters take and decide if it was fate or their own choices that caused them to die.

However, in the play as a whole, Romeo acts impulsively, which contributes to his death. When Romeo sees Juliet at the Capulet ball, Shakespeare has him ask ‘did my heart love till now?’. This question is very surprising because moments earlier Romeo was claiming to be madly in love with Rosaline. This reveals that Romeo is impulsive and quickly changes his mind. We also see that Romeo is impulsive when he kills Tybalt and when he takes the poison at Juliet’s tomb. Shakespeare presents Romeo as impulsive because he wants to show how dangerous it can be when you act quickly on your feelings without thinking about the consequences. It could be argued that Romeo’s impulsive actions are the cause of his death rather than fate.

Also in the play as whole, Shakespeare presents Juliet’s arranged marriage as a cause of her death. Unlike Romeo, Juliet is not able to choose who she marries. When Juliet refuses to marry Paris, Shakespeare has Lord Capulet order her to ‘hang, beg, starve, die in the streets’. Shakespeare’s use of violent language demonstrates how trapped Juliet is because, if she chooses not to marry Paris, she will be thrown out and left to die. As a result of Lord Capulet rushing the marriage, Juliet asks for Friar Laurence’s help to fake her own death. Because of her faking her own death and the letter not reaching Romeo, he thinks she is actually dead and kills himself. Maybe if Juliet hadn’t been told she was going to marry Paris straight away, she might have had time to reunite with Romeo properly, which could have stopped her death. Shakespeare could therefore be suggesting that Juliet’s arranged marriage caused her death, rather than fate. Perhaps he wanted to challenge traditional views towards marriage in the Elizabethan era.

The Role of Fate in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

This essay will explore the role of fate in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” It will discuss how the concept of fate drives the plot, influences the characters’ decisions, and contributes to the tragic ending, reflecting on the theme of destiny versus free will. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Romeo And Juliet.

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Throughout the play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses the detrimental effects of the never-ending feud between the Montague and Capulet families on the young lovers to portray that one can not overcome fate, despite of one’s efforts. Additionally, Shakespeare suggests that although the love between Romeo and Juliet is passionate, the influences of their family will lead to their inevitable fate of death. In fact, much of the story revolves around the struggles of Romeo and Juliet against the intuitions that explicitly opposes the existence of their love.

  • 1 The Fate in Romeo and Juliet
  • 2 What Role Does Fate Play in Romeo and Juliet

The Fate in Romeo and Juliet

The fate of Romeo and Juliet was clear from the beginning; “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” (1.Prologue.5-6). Shakespeare starts the play by informing the audience that fate controls the young lovers. The mechanism of fate works in all of the events surrounding the lovers. For instance, throughout the play, the hatred between the Capulets and Montagues is not explained, but it is merely accepted as a fact. Furthermore, the series of unfortunate events leading up to the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet are no coincidences either.

Friar Lawrence’s well thought out plan to help the lovers be together is in shambles when Friar John comes back and claims, “I could not send it-here it is again-/(gives Friar Lawrence a letter)/Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,/ So fearful were they of infection” (5.2.13-16). Even the young lovers are aware of the tight grasp fate has on their lives. For example, when Romeo learns that Juliet is dead, he cries, “Is it e’en so? Then I defy you, stars!” (5.1.24). As a result, he attempts to defy fate by killing himself, which leads to another manifestation of fate that helps bring about the inevitable end of the young lovers: the devastating timing of Romeo’s suicide and Juliet’s awakening. Through their tragedies, Shakespeare demonstrates the extreme power of fate, and how fate can not be altered. In the play, the lovers are aware of the control of fate over their lives, but they do not realize that their destiny is unchangeable. Therefore, the efforts of Romeo and Juliet to go against their fate only contribute to the events leading up to their deaths, which shows that when one attempts to disregard their fate, one only contributes to it.

What Role Does Fate Play in Romeo and Juliet

Another contributing factor that ultimately leads to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet is the antagonistic role their families played. From the beginning, the Montagues and the Capulets are illustrated as intense rivals, which forces the young lovers to hide their passionate love. After the death of Tybalt, Capulet fiercely claims to Juliet, “But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next/To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,/ Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither” (3.5.153-155), and Juliet’s loyalty to Romeo drives her to extremes. Ultimately, the pressure from the Capulets leaves Juliet no choice but to go through with Friar Lawrence’s plan, which eventually leads to her death.

Even after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, their rivalry deepens before Capulet and Montague learn the truth, for when Capulet witnesses the lifeless body of Juliet, he exclaims, “This dagger hath mista’en-for lo, his house/ Is empty on the back of Montague,/ And it mis-sheathed in my daughter’s bosom” (5.3.203-205). The enmity between the families and the expectation to be loyal to one’s family create a conflict for Romeo and Juliet, and ultimately causing their deaths. Through the play, Shakespeare highlights the consequences of unsupportive parents and the effect they can have on their children. The pressure put on children will force children to make rash decisions, which will lead to undesirable results.

Although the outcome of the play is clear, the main purpose of this play is to highlight the sequence of events that lead up to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, which accentuates the play’s themes. The play Romeo and Juliet features various outside forces such as the inevitability of fate and the role of negligent parents. In the play, despite the young lovers’ efforts to defy their fate, their death was unavoidable. Furthermore, their inattentive parents who failed to understand their perspective contribute to the eventual outcome of Romeo and Juliet as well. By letting the readers acknowledge the ending, Shakespeare puts emphasis on the process instead of the outcome.

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The Portrayal of Fate in “Romeo and Juliet” Essay

Introduction.

Romeo and Juliet are unquestionably the most famous pair of lovers in world literature. Since the play’s inception in the 16th century, they have fallen in love and died in each other’s arms innumerable times. Just as the actors performing the play are bound by Shakespeare’s script, the actions of the characters within it have been predetermined by the hand of fate. There are repeated references to destiny, fortune, and the futility of trying to escape or subvert them. Thus, the play Romeo and Juliet demonstrates that fate is the invisible, unavoidable force behind the entirety of the human experience.

Firstly, the inevitability of fate is coded into the main plot of Romeo and Juliet. The Capulets and Montague have been embroiled in a blood feud with no other reason given than an “ancient grudge” (Shakespeare Prologue 3). The origins of the conflict are inexplicable but accepted as an unavoidable fact by all the characters. Similarly, humans submit to the workings of fate even if it remains inscrutable to them. Romeo and Juliet fail and die in their attempt to escape the family feud; the same tragic ending awaits any person who cannot accept their fate. Therefore, the main characters’ failure to escape the age-old vendetta between their families is reflective of the human inability to subvert destiny.

Secondly, the prologue establishes that the events of the play have been predetermined not just by the author, but supernatural forces. The main characters have sprung from “the fatal loins” of the two rival families, and nothing but their death can put an end to the conflict (Shakespeare Prologue 5). They are a “star-crossed” couple, consumed by love that is “death-marked” (Shakespeare Prologue 6, 9). Thus the atmosphere of the play is imbued with the inevitability of tragedy. The following events, from Romeo’s fight with Tybalt to the lovers’ double suicide, are not just the result of bad luck and coincidence. The prologue has dictated the action from the very beginning. Fate is playing a chess game and slowly pushing all the players into the correct positions. The prologue divests humans of their free will and presents them as ignorant pawns in a larger cosmic scheme.

Thirdly, the characters themselves are preoccupied with the rule of fate over their lives. They do not remain blind to its machinations but verbally acknowledge their fears about its callousness. Juliet laments that “heaven should practice stratagems upon so soft a subject as myself” (Shakespeare 3.5.209-210). Romeo sighs that he is made a “fortune’s fool” after Tybalt is slain (Shakespeare 3.1.127). Both Romeo and Juliet recognize their lack of autonomy and long to flout the decrees of heaven. Once Romeo learns of Juliet’s death, he declares that he wishes to “defy you, stars,” and later “shake the yoke of inauspicious stars” (Shakespeare 5.1.25, 5.3.111). Romeo and Juliet believe that they are choosing to die for their love as a final assertion of personal will. However, the prologue hints that even this decision was predestined in order to finally heal the rift between the Capulets and Montagues. The constant references to the stars and fortune display that humans are cognizant of fate’s power, but that does not save them from falling prey to it.

Fourthly, the characters do not simply fear the possibility of doom but experience direct premonitions of the tragic fate that awaits them. Romeo fears that “some consequence [is] yet hanging in the stars” upon entering the Capulet ball (Shakespeare 1.5.107). Before even discovering his family name, Juliet looks at Romeo and predicts that her “grave is like to be [her] wedding bed” (Shakespeare 1.5.134). On the balcony, she exclaims that she has an “ill-divining soul” and sees Romeo “as one dead in the bottom of a tomb” (Shakespeare 3.5.54-56). Fate in Romeo and Juliet is not just a retroactive justification of the characters’ impulses or ignorance. They predict that their end will be unhappy even before learning that they come from rival families. Therefore, fate is not a rationalization for human foolishness but an active, supernatural force that puppeteers the characters and leads them to their deaths.

In conclusion, the central tension in Romeo and Juliet is not between the lovers and their families but between free will and fate. Shakespeare demonstrates that destiny is an omnipotent force that humans can neither comprehend nor resist. The futility of subversion is coded into the play’s central plot; Romeo and Juliet’s failure to overcome the family feud is reflective of the human inability to deny destiny. The prologue establishes humans as pawns in a cosmic chess game that they cannot escape even if they acknowledge their role. The characters predict their death even before they learn each other’s names, proving that fate is not simply an excuse but an active force. The self in modern Western culture is understood as a self-contained, self-determining, independent unit. However, a story about the calamitous consequences of attempting to defy destiny still retains a strong hold over the Western imagination.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Edited by G. Blakemore Evans, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

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IvyPanda. (2023, April 14). The Portrayal of Fate in “Romeo and Juliet”. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-portrayal-of-fate-in-romeo-and-juliet/

"The Portrayal of Fate in “Romeo and Juliet”." IvyPanda , 14 Apr. 2023, ivypanda.com/essays/the-portrayal-of-fate-in-romeo-and-juliet/.

IvyPanda . (2023) 'The Portrayal of Fate in “Romeo and Juliet”'. 14 April.

IvyPanda . 2023. "The Portrayal of Fate in “Romeo and Juliet”." April 14, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-portrayal-of-fate-in-romeo-and-juliet/.

1. IvyPanda . "The Portrayal of Fate in “Romeo and Juliet”." April 14, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-portrayal-of-fate-in-romeo-and-juliet/.

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How to write Romeo and Juliet Essay? Outline and Topics

thesis statement romeo and juliet fate

Almost everyone has heard of Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" at some point. It is a classic tragedy that has been part of literary and cultural education for centuries. This story is about fate and affection. It was written in 1595 or 1596. Moreover, this play is set in the city of Verona. Many essays are written to describe this play in words. Professors still assign Romeo and Juliet essay to students as a writing task.  If your teacher assigned a task to write an essay about Romeo and Juliet, but you don't know how to compose it, you came to the right place! In this blog, we'll share effective tips for writing essays on Romeo and Juliet as well as Romeo and Juliet essay topics. If you're short on time or struggling with the task, you can always consider seeking assistance from professional writers at Nerdpapers who offer services to buy essay online .

How to write a Romeo and Juliet essay?

Essays about Romeo and Juliet are common in schools and colleges. Most students don't like the idea of reading books of 100+ pages. But that's not a good thing. You should read the book so that you get to know the characters, story, and important characters in it.  This essay follows the same structure as other essays. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay  about Romeo and Juliet.  

Carefully read the play

Even though you may have already read thousands of concise summaries, it is still worthwhile to read the literary work for yourself. It will help you better understand the plot and notice the minor details that are frequently ignored in overviews in order to keep them concise.

Ask questions

Write down any questions you have when you read the play. Try to find out the answer to these questions. This will assist you in forming your own opinion on the individuals and their deeds and may perhaps inspire a brilliant topic or introduction for your essay.

Make an outline

Make an outline of the topics you will cover in your essay once you have compiled all of your questions and their responses. The outline will help you to structure your thoughts and maintain a logical flow between concepts. 

An essay on Romeo and Juliet, like any assignment on a literary work, is ideal to include a few brief quotes from the tragedy. If correctly cited, the relevant quotations will serve as compelling evidence for your arguments and support your line of reasoning. When quoting, always place the text in quotation marks and include the precise page number from where you took the material. Remember that quotes shouldn't make up more than 10% of the text as a whole.

Never hesitate to seek help

It's always acceptable to ask for help! If you need assistance with your essay, you may always contact your teacher for guidance, go to a writing center, check online tutorials, or look for expert writing instruction online. Before implementing any advice, make sure it will be helpful and applicable to your writing process.

Proofread Your Essay

Once you've finished writing your essay, read it multiple times, preferably after a day or two, to get a new perspective on the writing's quality. You can also show your essay to friends or family members so that they can not only point out any mistakes you've made but also tell you if it sounds coherent and professional.

See also: “ Essay Writing Tips ”

How to make an outline for an essay of Romeo and Juliet?

A crucial step in any paper writing process is the outline. It helps in keeping our thoughts organized and properly structuring the text from the very start. You must include the following components in your outline:

Romeo and Juliet essay introduction

The introduction of Romeo and Juliet essay is the attention grabber section in which the writers try to grab the reader's attention. In order to write it properly, there is need to be:

  • As the first sentence of the introduction, this one should pique the reader's interest in the topic. Quotations, relevant information, or even hypothetical questions might serve as effective hooks for Romeo and Juliet essays.
  • Once you have written the hook, give readers some background information about the topic and explain why you chose it. If you use any factual data in this area, be careful to cite it.
  • A Romeo and Juliet thesis statement would be the final sentence of your introduction. List the key arguments that you intend to address in the paper's body in this section.

The body section is the longest and most detailed part of your essay on Romeo and Juliet. In this step, you need to examine each of the previously given arguments and support them with information gathered via research.

Romeo and Juliet Essay Conclusion

How to write a conclusion for a Romeo and Juliet essay? Firstly, restate your thesis statement and summarize the points you have discussed in the body section of the essay. Second, in order to ensure that your essay has a thoughtful conclusion, address the "so what" query. In other words, explain why what you have said so far is important. Lastly, keep in mind that a strong closing line for an essay leaves the reader with a positive impression and encourages them to think about the topic further. Therefore, be sure that your essay's conclusion refers to and restates the most important points you have already made, connects them to broader contexts, or urges the reader to take a certain course of action.

Creative Topics for Romeo and Juliet Essay

Here are some exciting ideas for Romeo and Juliet essays:

  • Literary analysis of Romeo and Juliet
  • Romeo and Juliet themes essay
  • Romeo and Juliet essay on love
  • Romeo and Juliet essay on fate
  • Romeo and Juliet essay on conflict
  • How is love presented in Romeo and Juliet essay
  • Romeo and Juliet movie review essay
  • Who is responsible for the death of Romeo and Juliet essay

What kind of essay to choose?

You can think about working on a variety of essays about Romeo and Juliet. If you are allowed to select any topic and, consequently, any essay form, we advise selecting one of the following: Persuasive essay on Romeo and Juliet: Such an essay's primary objective is to persuade the audience that your point of view is the correct one. In addition to creating a concise argument, it's critical to appeal to people's emotions and sense of logic. Argumentative essay on Romeo and Juliet: Once you've chosen a controversial subject, you'll need to make up your opinion and back it up with facts. Romeo and Juliet Literary analysis essay: You can discuss specific story points, imagery, and literary strategies in such a paper. Compare and contrast essay on Romeo and Juliet: Choose two personalities or circumstances and explain the similarities and differences between them.  Romeo and Juliet critical essay: To conduct a critical analysis, you must assess the source material. Inform readers of what you think about the play and provide evidence for it from the text and other reliable sources.

Wrapping Up

Writing an essay about 'Romeo and Juliet' can be an exciting adventure into Shakespeare's world, but it's also an opportunity to practice and refine your academic writing skills. Just follow the steps we mentioned above, and you'll be able to write a great essay on different aspects of this classic love story. If you still have any confusion, you can ask experts for assistance. Our team of skilled essay writers is ready to assist you in your academic journey. They can offer valuable advice, assist in improving your arguments, and make sure your essay reaches its full potential.

Table of Contents

Persuasive essay topics – how to choose one for you, how to write a persuasive essay- expert tips.

thesis statement romeo and juliet fate

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Fate and Free will - Romeo & Juliet

Fate and Free will - Romeo & Juliet

Subject: English

Age range: 11-14

Resource type: Lesson (complete)

Mrs Ross’ Resource Shop

Last updated

22 May 2024

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thesis statement romeo and juliet fate

I have attached a lesson plan focusing on the themes of Free Will and Fate in “Romeo and Juliet,” along with annotated responses for both Grade 5 and Grade 7 levels.

Students will complete the dual coding planning sheet to help them organise their thoughts and review the material. Using this sheet, they will then prepare and answer an exam question on the topic.

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thesis statement romeo and juliet fate

Rachel Zegler and Kit Conner to Star in 'Romeo and Juliet' on Broadway

A new production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is coming to Broadway this fall.

The show, stylized as Romeo + Juliet, will star Rachel Zegler (of West Side Story and Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes fame) and Kit Connor (who had his breakthrough in Hearstopper ).

"The youth are f*****. Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate,

reads the official synopsis of the show. "The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way."

Here's everything we know so far about the upcoming Romeo + Juliet .

Sam Gold will direct the production.

The production will be directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, who previously directed revivals of Shakespeare's King Lear (in 2019) and Macbeth (in 2022). He is currently directing the play An Enemy of the People, which stars Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli.

"With the presidential election coming up in November, I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope, and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting," Gold said in a statement.

Jack Antonoff will create music for the show.

It's unclear as of yet if the show will be a musical, but Antonoff, a Grammy Award winner who frequently collaborates with Taylor Swift, Lana del Rey, and other high profile artists, will be creating music for the show. In addition, movement will be by Tony winner Sonya Tayeh, who choreographed Moulin Rogue on Broadway.

It joins a long history of adapting Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet has been told on the Broadway stage in close to 40 productions, including a 2013 revival that starred Orlando Bloom as Romeo and Condola Rashad as Juliet, plus numerous films, including Baz Luhrmann's iconic 1996 rendition starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes as the titular Romeo and Juliet. There have also been numerous shows inspired by the star-crossed lovers, ranging from West Side Story —which Zegler starred in on film—and & Juliet , a jukebox musical currently on Broadway.

Notably, this production is different than the Romeo and Juliet which premieres next month on the West End in London starring Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers. It is also looking to head to Broadway. (That one is stylized as Romeo & Juliet .)

Romeo + Juliet will premiere this fall.

The show will play at Circle in the Square Theatre , with previews beginning September 26. Opening night will be on October 24. Tickets are on sale at romeoandjulietnyc.com .

We'll update this as soon as we learn more.

The new production of Shakespeare's play will feature music by Jack Antonoff.

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The making of ‘illinoise’ and the guiding vision of sufjan stevens – tony watch q&a with justin peck, ‘romeo + juliet’ starring kit connor & rachel zegler sets fall broadway opening, venue – update.

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Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler

UPDATED, 7:23 AM: Romeo + Juliet starring Heartstopper ‘s Kit Connor and West Side Story ‘s Rachel Zegler will begin Broadway performances on Thursday, September 26, at Circle in the Square Theatre, with an official opening night set for Thursday, October 24. The run, directed by Sam Gold, is a strictly limited, 16-week engagement.

Producer Seaview also announced today the production’s creative team: scenic design will be by dots, costume design by Enver Chakartash, lighting design by Isabella Byrd, and sound design by Cody Spencer.

Producers Seaview made the announcement today.

The production should not be confused with yet another high-profile revival of the star-crossed lovers = the West End production of Romeo & Juliet starring Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, which also is eyeing a Broadway staging. Jamie Lloyd directs that one.

The Gold fall production will mark the Broadway debuts of Connor, Zegler and Antonoff, who in February won his third consecutive Grammy Award for Producer of the Year.

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Tom Holland’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Will Transfer To Broadway After Tickets Sell Out In Two Hours”

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London Theatre Slams “Deplorable” Racist Abuse Over Casting Of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Production Starring Tom Holland 

More information including theatre, dates, design team and additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Gold said, “With the presidential election coming up in November, I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope, and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting.”

Tickets will go on sale to the public in May.

Official synopsis: “The youth are fucked. Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate. The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way.”

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  4. Romeo And Juliet -Thesis Essay Example (300 Words)

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  6. What's A Good Thesis Statement On How Romeo Changes In Romeo And Juliet

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COMMENTS

  1. Fate Theme in Romeo and Juliet

    Fate ThemeTracker. The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Fate appears in each scene of Romeo and Juliet. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis. How often theme appears: scene length: Prologue. Act 1, Scene 1. Act 1, Scene 2. Act 1, Scene 3.

  2. The Role of Fate in 'Romeo and Juliet'

    The idea of fate permeates through many of the events and speeches in the play. Romeo and Juliet see omens throughout, continually reminding the audience that the outcome will not be a happy one. Their deaths are also a catalyst for change in Verona, as the dueling families become united in their mutual grief and create a political shift in the ...

  3. Romeo and Juliet Critical Essays

    I. Thesis Statement: The elements of fate—chance, circumstance, and coincidence—are used in Romeo and Juliet to advance the plot and bring about the ultimate deaths of the protagonists. II ...

  4. JAC English Revision

    The first time the audience is introduced to Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare describes their love as 'death-marked', which immediately tells the audience that the lovers will die tragically. An Elizabethan audience, who believed in fate, would have believed it possible for Romeo and Juliet's fate to be decided from birth.

  5. The Role of Fate in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

    Thesis Statement Generator . Generate thesis statement for me . ... The fate of Romeo and Juliet was clear from the beginning; "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life" (1.Prologue.5-6). Shakespeare starts the play by informing the audience that fate controls the young lovers.

  6. The Portrayal of Fate in "Romeo and Juliet" Essay

    Main body. Firstly, the inevitability of fate is coded into the main plot of Romeo and Juliet. The Capulets and Montague have been embroiled in a blood feud with no other reason given than an "ancient grudge" (Shakespeare Prologue 3). The origins of the conflict are inexplicable but accepted as an unavoidable fact by all the characters.

  7. The Role of Fate in "Romeo & Juliet" by William Shakespeare

    The essay explores the theme of fate in Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," emphasizing how both fate and human actions contribute to the tragic outcome of the star-crossed lovers. The analysis highlights that while Romeo and Juliet's love is strong, they are ultimately powerless against the forces of destiny and human errors.

  8. PDF Romeo and Juliet

    Outline I. Thesis Statement: The elements of fate—chance, circumstance, and coincidence—are used in Romeo and Juliet to advance the plot and bring about the ultimate deaths of the protagonists. II. Examples of chance and circumstance. Romeo and Juliet are children of parents who hate one another.

  9. Free Romeo and Juliet Essay Examples & Topic Ideas

    Thesis Statement: Despite the heavy hand of fate, the tragic ending of "Romeo and Juliet" is the result of the characters' own choices, highlighting Shakespeare's commentary on free will. Conclusion Example: In conclusion, "Romeo and Juliet" serves not only as a tale of doomed love but also as a profound exploration of the tension between fate ...

  10. What is a strong thesis statement on Romeo's transformation in Romeo

    Thesis: Throught Romeo and Juliet, Romeo fails to advance beyond his passionate, yet irrational and rash self, which leads to his eventual suicide by Juliet 's tomb. It's tough to argue that Romeo ...

  11. How to Write a Grade 9 Romeo and Juliet Essay

    Top tips for structuring your Romeo and Juliet discursive essay. Always begin with a clear thesis statement that sets out your argument: Your thesis statement should be one or two sentences and should focus on the playwright. For a character-based question, consider what the character represents or how they convey a theme

  12. Romeo and Juliet: Choice Or Fate

    This essay on "Romeo and Juliet: Choice Or Fate" makes a strong case that ultimately, choices—rather than fate—are what cause the play's tragic deaths. The essay is organized and focused, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion that support the thesis statement.

  13. Romeo and Juliet Thesis Flashcards Flashcards

    Thesis Statement: Emotional Will (Romeo) Romeo is a tragic hero led purely by his heart. He experiences love with the most intense beauty and passion, but his inability to use logic over emotion is his hamartia (fatal flaw). Thesis Statement: Emotional Will (the lovers) The lovers' relationship is reckless and hasty.

  14. Thesis Statement About Fate in Romeo and Juliet

    Thesis Statement About Fate in Romeo and Juliet - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site.

  15. Grade 9 Romeo and Juliet Essay

    Grade 9 Romeo and Juliet Essay. The OCR GCSE English Literature exam paper asks you to write one essay from a choice of two on the Shakespeare play you have studied. Here you will find an annotated model answer for Question 2, the discursive essay question. "Discursive" can be interpreted as a discussion on wider ideas, so examiners are ...

  16. How to write Romeo and Juliet Essay? Outline and Topics

    Firstly, restate your thesis statement and summarize the points you have discussed in the body section of the essay. Second, in order to ensure that your essay has a thoughtful conclusion, address the "so what" query. ... Romeo and Juliet essay on fate; Romeo and Juliet essay on conflict; How is love presented in Romeo and Juliet essay;

  17. Romeo and Juliet Fate Thesis Statement

    Romeo and Juliet Fate Thesis Statement - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site.

  18. Romeo and Juliet Thesis Statement About Fate

    Romeo and Juliet Thesis Statement About Fate - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free.

  19. Romeo and Juliet Fate Essay

    Romeo and Juliet seem to show fate because it seems like their deaths are marked. The role of fate is turned against Romeo and Juliet and they have no control over what happens to them when they are together. Star-crossed means ill fated, or unlucky. "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life" (Prologue. 6).

  20. Fate and Free will

    Age range: 11-14. Resource type: Lesson (complete) File previews. pptx, 215.53 KB. png, 97.61 KB. jpg, 94.48 KB. I have attached a lesson plan focusing on the themes of Free Will and Fate in "Romeo and Juliet," along with annotated responses for both Grade 5 and Grade 7 levels. Students will complete the dual coding planning sheet to help ...

  21. Rachel Zegler and Kit Conner to Star in 'Romeo and Juliet' on ...

    A new production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is coming to Broadway this fall. The show, stylized as Romeo + Juliet, will star Rachel Zegler (of West Side Story and Hunger Games: The ...

  22. Thesis Statement Romeo and Juliet Fate

    Thesis Statement Romeo and Juliet Fate - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site.

  23. 'Romeo + Juliet' With Kit Connor & Rachel Zegler Sets ...

    UPDATED, 7:23 AM: Romeo + Juliet starring Heartstopper's Kit Connor and West Side Story's Rachel Zegler will begin Broadway performances on Thursday, September 26, at Circle in the Square Theatre ...

  24. Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler-Led Romeo + Juliet Revival Sets Dates at

    Broadway News Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler-Led Romeo + Juliet Revival Sets Dates at Broadway's Circle in the Square. Check out a new music video for the production, which will be directed by Sam ...