Romeo and Juliet who is to blame?
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Throughout time, there have been many tragedies cause by romance. For example, the play Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, is known for its romantic tragedy between two star-crossed lovers. With all the deaths, who is truly to blame for Romeo and Juliet's deaths? Friar Laurence is most to blame for many obvious, yet overlooked reasons.
The forbidden wedding of Romeo and Juliet could not have happened without the Friar. First of all, the Friar unwisely agreed to marry Romeo and Juliet, even though he knows it will cause later problems. In the beginning, the Friar thinks that "...this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households' rancor to pure love." (II iv 91-92) This shows that the Friar has a slight hope of their marriage possibly working. Therefore, he decides to marry the two lovers. However, as time moves on, the Friar lets on that he has regrets about the marriage. The Friar feels that "too swift arrives as tardy as too slow." (II vi 15) In other words, the Friar means that he senses that this whole wedding is happening too fast and starts to have second thoughts. If the Friar had thought this important decision clearly through, he may have prevented many future tragedies. Therefore, the Friar knows all along that, "These violent delights have violent ends." (II vi 9) The Friar knew that this is an impossible situation, which if made possible by himself will without a doubt end up in tragedy in one way or another. Under these conditions, as the Friar predicts, Romeo sinks into a deep depression; as a result of the fact that he cannot see his wife. Similarly, Juliet becomes depressed and is grieving over the truth of her and Romeo's separation. Without the Friar the two lovers would not have been married, which would have prevented both depressions and future problems to come.
The Friar is responsible for many problems as well, as assisting Juliet with her "death" plan. When Romeo and Juliet realize they can’t be together, and Juliet is expected to marry Paris, she needs an escape plan. Juliet pays a visit to the Friar, who creates a plan for Juliet to fake her death with a sleeping potion. When Juliet asks the Friar to help her break free from her wedding with Paris, he replies that:
If, rather than to marry County Paris,
Thou has the strength of will to slay thyself;
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Blame Star-crossed Lovers Juliet Romeo Friar Laurence Play Romeo Regrets Households Married
Then it is likely thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to elude away this shame,
That cop'st with death himself to scrape from it;
And, if thou darest, I'll give thee remedy. (IV i 71-76)
Therefore, for the second time, the Friar acts unwisely and agrees to give Juliet this deadly potion. The Friar invents this entire plan, which will take total perfection and cooperation on everyone's part to work. The Friar has to make sure that Romeo is informed of the plan. However, the Friar puts too much trust in Friar John, who consequently fails to deliver the letter to Romeo. It is Friar Lawrence's' fault that Romeo is not informed and ends up confused about the recent happenings involving Juliet. The Friar played an important role in this part of Romeo and Juliet. Due to his careless actions, Romeo and Juliet could have been living happily ever after somewhere in Mantua.
Finally, it is the Friars' fault that Romeo and Juliet are dead, which makes him undoubtedly to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s death. Romeo, who is not informed of the Friar's plan, kills himself when he thinks that Juliet is dead. Juliet arises and sees Romeo dead, and takes her own life. The Friar is overcome by guilt and realizes that he has "...a short date of breath." (V iii 229) This could also be a confession that he is to blame. If the Friar was not the reason for the two suicides he would have no reason for guilt.
In the end, the Friar recollects the past events and cannot avoid responsibility for these two tragedies. This simple fact shows just how much of a key role the Friar plays in Romeo and Juliet. Without, the Friar, many important and tragic events would not have happened in Romeo and Juliet. The marriage of Romeo and Juliet, which led to Juliet needing to lie and escape another marriage, finally led to the deaths of Romeo and of Juliet. None of these events would have been possible if it were not for the Friar. In conclusion, the Friar Lawrence is most to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths.
WHO IS TO BLAME
“Romeo and Juliet” is a young couple’s play about love and hate, adolescent angst and death by Shakespeare. The continual feud between the Montague and the Capulet families results in ongoing conflict. There are many factors that are responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Friar Lawrence, fate and their parents can be held responsible for their tragic demise. But the lovers too, especially Romeo, makes some poor decisions. Miscalculation and accidents also play a part.
See some Sample paragraphs based on TEEL structure for text response.
THE FEUDING FAMILIES
The feud is responsible for the tragic deaths. They are born into enemy families and it is expected that both marry a person from the same family. There is a lot of ill-feeling and hatred between the two clans. The feuding families creates a malignant context for the lovers. The play is about ‘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.’
When Juliet first meets Romeo she knows that their relationship is cursed because it is her fate to fall in love with a member of the enemy household. Juliet and Romeo are both determined to find a way to be together and get married despite their enemy status. Juliet regrets that Romeo is a Montague, but she asks, “What’s in a name”. She tells Romeo, “doff thy name … and take all myself.”
Lord Capulet insists on the marriage. (Act 4/1 and Act 3/5)
Lord and Lady Capulet force her to marry Paris without asking her opinion because they assume that she will obey them. They misunderstand the extent and purpose of her grief following Tybalt’s death. They think it is simply unhealthy.
When she does not obey their orders, Lord Capulet gets angry “Hang you, you minx! You disobedient wretch! I’ll tell you now: Go to the church on Thursday, or never look on my face again!” He is very arrogant and shows little concern for Juliet’s feelings. He accuses her of being ungrateful. This makes Juliet extremely unhappy and gives her further reason to be disobedient. As a result she consults Friar Lawrence.
MERCUTIO AND TYBALT
The continued brawling between clan members such as Tybalt and Mercutio directly leads to Romeo’s exile. BOTH Mercutio (Montagues) and Tybalt (Capulet) are troublemakers. Shakespeare constructs the two figures as mirror images of their different families. Both and Mercutio incite hatred and inflame the tension between the two clans. Both bear a grudge against each other. They both use words and phrases to deliberately offend each other.
Mercutio is just as provocative as Tybalt. When they meet in Act III, Mercutio states that “I care not” that Tybalt is coming and that they must prevent a fight. His language and his words are very inflammatory. In response to Tybalt he states “a word and a blow”. He deliberately misunderstands/ misinterprets Tybalt’s words, “consortst” as an insult. Tybalt deliberately uses the word “consort’st” because of its double meaning. As a result, Mercutio interprets this offensively. He is the one who draws his “fiddlestick” or sword first and prompts a fight. He refuses to listen to reason from either Benvolio or Romeo. He also refers to Romeo’s words of peace as “vile submission”.
Likewise, Mercutio hates Tybalt and provokes him to a fight when he asks if Tybalt, the “Good King of Cats”, is a coward, “Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk” (3.1)
Tybalt is also provocative and greets Romeo with the phrase “here comes my man”. Tybalt has a grudge against Romeo from the time he comes to the ball. He is stubborn, hot-tempered and provocative. Tybalt says he hates “peace” as he hates “hell, all Montagues, and thee.” He says to Romeo, “thou art a villain”, which refers to the fact that he is intended as an insult and refers to a man of inferior birth, as a peasant. He tells Romeo, “turn and draw”.
He also feels slighted that Lord Capulet seems to protect Romeo and state that he is a “virtuous” and “well-govern’d youth” with a good reputation. This seems to fuel Tybalt’s sense of inferiority, and, feeling slighted and aggrieved, he is constantly looking for an outlet to vent his anger on Romeo.
He derails R’s attempts to mediate between the clans. He exacerbates and aggravates the tension between the clans. He refers to Romeo as his “man” which is a pun on servant; it is demeaning. He states that he cannot excuse the “injuries that thou hast done me”.
Tybalt refuses to take Romeo seriously, when he states that he “loves thee better than thou canst devise”. He goes against the Prince’s orders when he provokes the brawl and kills Mercutio, thus provoking Romeo. He is so hot-tempered that he takes advantage of Romeo’s attempts to restrain Mercutio and stabs him. He recklessly and impulsively stabs Mercutio thus precipating a chain of action that leads to the death of both Romeo and Juliet.
When Romeo kills Tybalt, Romeo must flee. Because of his fiery nature, he becomes the catalyst for the ensuring tragic events. He lacks Romeo’s charitable attitude and peaceable nature.
Both Tybalt and Mercutio play a major role in Romeo’s downfall. They refuse to settle for peace. They deliberately use inflammatory words. They both want to fight.
ROMEO has a tendency to be impulsive and this contributes to his exile. Even Friar Lawrence tries to warn him that it is not good to be impulsive. Friar Lawrence is shocked that Romeo has so quickly changed his affection from Rosaline to Juliet. However, Romeo does display his love for Juliet when he tries to restrain Tybalt and states that contrary to expectation he “love(s) thee better than thou canst devise”
After Tybalt kills Mercutio, he decides that he must defend his honour and no longer shows control and restraint. He imagines that his love has weakened him. He worries that Juliet’s “beauty hath made me effeminate” and is determined to change this. He says let “fire-eyed fury be my conduct now”. Only when it is too late, he realizes how foolish he has been. He realizes he is “fortune’s fool” and doomed by their feuding families. Sadly, Romeo also panics when he sees Juliet in the casket.
THE TRAGEDY is a catalogue of errors originating in Fr L’s ill-hatched plan.
- it was too sophisticated and risk-laden (despite its worthy aims) and ends up with disastrous consequences
- he encourages Juliet to deceive her parents; she fakes death which is a very upsetting experience for her parents.
- F L does not have any back-up plans; Friar John was waylaid by authorities and FL fails inform Balthasar who hurries to tell Romeo about Juliet’s death.
- R ends up distraught and unable to think clearly: Romeo is too young and impulsive to evaluate the situation when it backfired
Friar Lawrence’s scheme is not well planned and is perhaps too sophisticated for the young lovers. Juliet blindly places her faith in Friar Lawrence and when the plan backfires both Romeo and Juliet are too young, naive and innocent to think of other remedies.
Friar Lawrence instigates the dangerous plan that has disastrous consequences, although love and peace are his main aims. He states that “this this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancour to pure love’. Friar organises the risk-laden scheme which seeks to avoid Juliet’s hasty marriage to Paris. (Also he knows that Juliet is threatening to kill herself if he does not find a solution.) The plan appears simple, but it is full of risks.
It encourages Juliet to deceive her parents. She feigns death which leads to disaster upon the lack of communication with Romeo. Friar Lawrence’s scheme is not well planned and is perhaps too sophisticated for the young lovers. Juliet blindly places her faith in Friar Lawrence and when the plan backfires both Romeo and Juliet are too young, naive and innocent to think of other remedies.
He does not have any back-up plans. Friar John is held up by the authorities. He is unable to give Romeo the letter about Friar Lawrence’s scheme because he and another monk were delayed by the authorities and quarantined. (“Where the infectious pestilence did reign, Seal’d up the doors, and would not let us forth”.)
Friar Lawrence fails to inform, Romeo’s servant Balthasar, who hurries to Romeo with the news that Juliet is dead. He begs Romeo to show patience, which may have led to a different outcome. Pale and wildly impetuous, Romeo decides to go straight to her tomb.
When he learns about her “death” Romeo rushes to buy poison. In front of Juliet’s body he remains with their memories. He remembers the memory of her kiss: “Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath.” After his death by “true apothecary”, Juliet wakes up and kills herself with a “dagger”
The rivalry between the M and C were the main reason for the death of Romeo and Juliet. Discuss.
The simmering brawl between warring clan members such as Tybalt and Mercutio directly precipitates the chain of tragic events that leads to Romeo’s exile and the lovers’ death. Shakespeare constructs the two figures as mirror images of their different families which bear an ancient grudge that is difficult, or impossible, to resolve. Both Mercutio, a Montague, and Tybalt, a Capulet, are clearly troublemakers; both are antagonistic towards the Prince’s decree that … “if you ever disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the price of it”. Initially at the masked ball, Tybalt is warned by Capulet to bury his resentment, but instead he is left smouldering from what he feels as an offensive intrusion by a Montague. During the later street encounter, Mercutio is just as provocative as Tybalt. When they meet in Act III, Mercutio states that “I care not” that Tybalt is coming and that they must prevent a fight. Shakespeare constructs the scene in such a way to show how their continued enmity obstructs reconciliation and peace. He employs puns that are used by both Tybalt and Merc to inflame the situation. For example, Mercutio deliberately misunderstands/ misinterprets Tybalt’s words, “consortst”, used because of its double meaning, as an insult. M is the one who draws his “fiddlestick” or sword first and prompts a fight. He refuses to listen to reason from either Benvolio or Romeo. He also refers to Romeo’s words of peace as “vile submission”. Likewise, Mercutio hates Tybalt and provokes him to a fight when he asks if Tybalt, the “Good King of Cats”, is a coward, “Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk” (3.1) Eventually the death of M and then Tybalt leads to Romeo’s exile and the ill-hatched plan of Friar Lawrence.
If Mercutio and Tybalt act as catalysts, Shakespeare also depicts Lord Capulet as a contributing partner to the tragedy owing to the misuse of his power and authority. His misguided arrogance and despotic nature seal her fate owing to the hasty order to marry Paris, in complete disregard of her wellbeing. Whilst there are some redeeming features to Capulet such as his conciliatory attitude displayed towards Romeo at the masked ball, Shakespeare does place considerable emphasis on his unreasonable order to hastily marry Paris. He clearly misunderstands Juliet’s wishes and the purpose of her grief following Tybalt’s death. Shakespeare depicts Tybalt as clearly sharp despotic ordering her to marry. “Hang you minx …” (quotes…) Shakespeare continues to show how the misuse of his authority and power, which could have been used to solve the feud, instead contributes to the tragic chain of events that leads to the death of the lovers
Whilst most members of the feuding families have a direct influence on the outcome, Friar Lawrence’s ill-hatched plan has an indirect influence on the hasty deaths of the lovers as Romeo is bound for exile. However, in the scheme of the play, Shakespeare would suggest that his role, whilst unfortunate, is less blameworthy because of his motives to secure peace. Also, he acted in the best interests of the lovers aware of the depth of their feeling. (Quotes for F L …) However, the plan was nevertheless too sophisticated and risk-laden to withstand the degree of bad luck and unfortunate circumstances. … the passionate lovers took drastic and impetuous measures.
See some Sample paragraphs based on TEEL structure for text response.
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