Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a famous tragic love story that included many examples of fate, he a has many direct references to fate ,which they thought was God’s plan for the people in the 1600’s. The play is about two star crossed lovers, who are from two rival family’s, meeting coincidentally at a party, get married and take their own lives. If you’ve read the play you’ll already know how fate plays an very important part to the story. Fate is like destiny as Romeo was destined to stumbles on a Capulet servant and was destined to meet Juliet at the party and the two to take their lives later on.
In Romeo and Juliet fate is shown as God controlling them as during Shakespeare’s time most people were very religious, the language also shows fate as people in the 1500’s believed that God had a plan for all their lives and controlled them. For example near the beginning Romeo says “But He, that hath the steerage of my course, Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen.” This is Romeo saying that he lets God guide him in life as he describes himself as a ship.”Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date With this night’s revels” This is Romeo saying that he knows what will happen if he goes to the party where he meets Juliet. Somehow he knows his faith and knows that this party will lead to his death. Fate is also shown on the wedding day when the wedding has ended he goes and murders Tybalt, as Tybalt murdered Mercutio and Mercutio is a Montague like Romeo, not knowing that they were related through this marriage. When Mercutio is dying he shouts at the top of his voice ‘a plague on both your houses’ this does happen like the plague is lousing a child which happens to both households.
An example of fate in Romeo and Juliet is when Romeo stumbles on a Capulet servant who cant read, which is how Romeo finds out about the party that Rosiline is going to be at, coincidentally this is how Romeo found Juliet. Another example is when Friar Lawrence sends the letter to Mantua saying the plan to Romeo, he gets told Juliet is dead before he sees the letter which leads to him going back to Verona to see Juliet to see if this is true. When Romeo sees Juliet in the Capulet tomb he kills himself with the poison just how it said in the prologue. Throughout the play Romeo mentions how he might die or something is going to happen to Juliet that might not be good which coincidentally he turns out to be right, even Friar Lawrence has been known to predict Romeos fate like in act 2 scene 3 where he mentions ‘where the worse is predominant’.’ Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.’ This is Friar Lawrence saying that Evil is going to dominate Romeo and end with his death. As we know this happens as when he buys the poison he knows that its illegal to buy or sell potions but he proceeds and kills himself.
In Act 1 Scene 5 Juliet guessed her death to the nurse saying ‘My grave is like to be my wedding bed.’ she also guesses her death to be on her wedding bed. Fate is also mentioned a lot in the prologue like ‘A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life’ which is in the beginning before the play.’Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean, From forth the fatal loins of these two foes’ this is also in the prologue letting the audience know that this war between 2 families (Capulet’s and the Montague’s) will lead to a death of 2 lovers. Fate is also in the part where in Juliet’s she lies ,supposedly dead, Romeo goes to Juliet to end his life with her. But what he finds is that Juliet wakes up at the last minute after he has taken the potion. After Romeo’s death she looks to her side to see a dagger and ends her life with him.
In Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare often uses a rhythmic patterns, this helps us remember lines of a soliloquy’s and sonnets and keep a steady beat to something that takes long to listen to. He has used rhythmic patterns right from the start of the play in the prologue where he uses a iambic pentameter,which is a stress unstressed, and is each line containing 10 syllables with a rhyme at the end. When Balthasar rushes to Mantuit to tell Romeo that Juliet is supposedly dead, he goes on his knees in a cross and shouts at the sky ‘Is it e’en so? Then I defy you, stars!’ he he shouting that he is not going to follow Gods plan in fate and he is going to do what he wants and to go see Juliet.
Another thing Shakespeare used allot is similes ,metaphors and personification he used them to describe people and objects like ‘Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.’ This is one of Shakespeare’s similes of Romeo talking to Mercutio before the Capulet’s’ party, and compares love to a thorn. He also talks allot about irony like ‘Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath, Hath had no power yet apon thy beauty’ this is Romeo is talking about how Juliet isn’t dead’ when in reality, she isn’t dead. Another technique Shakespeare used was pathetic fallacy, which plays a large role in fate and Romeo and Juliet. This is when the audience/reader knows something that the characters don’t. This happens a lot in the play like when the letter arrives, holding the plan that Juliet has done to get them together, just when Romeo leaves back for Verona. Also this happens when Juliet then takes this potion that puts her in this coma like state, no one knows about this potion except friar Lawrence but the audience knows everything.
In conclusion Shakespeare’s tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet is based on fate, without fate the whole story would wouldn’t be how it turned out to be which is why I think fate plays a huge role in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.