The Effects Of Decisions In Romeo And Juliet

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Table of contents

  1. Hasty Decisions: The Path to Tragedy
  2. Influence of Family and Friends: A Catalyst for Impulsivity
  3. Fate's Inescapable Grip: Steering the Star-Crossed Lovers
  4. Shakespeare's Craft: Fate and Decision-Making
  5. Conclusion

Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare in the late 16th century is a well-known story about a pair of star-crossed lovers. The plot is centred on the affair of two youthful lovers from long-standing rivals. Romeo and Juliet’s tragedy is either a result of haste or fate. The story’s catastrophe is not restrictedly an outcome of haste or fate, but evidently, both of the themes contributed to the cause of the disaster. Romeo and Juliet’s hasty actions of escapism lead to the sequences of their misadventure. The efforts of Romeo and Juliet’s families and friends aid them to perform impulsively leading to calamity. Romeo and Juliet’s connections to the inevitable and predetermined fate directed them to their tragic end. In Shakespeare’s creation of the play, his writing choices relating to fate, impact the personas’ decisions.

Hasty Decisions: The Path to Tragedy

Romeo and Juliet’s hasty actions of escapism lead to the sequences of their misadventure. At the balcony scene, Juliet thinks “It is too rash, too unadvis’d, too sudden” to exchange “faithful” vows so shortly. She compares it to the “lightening”, how it flashes and disappears before anybody can even say it “lightens”. Shakespeare used this to suggest how quickly their love is drawing up with impetuous haste, displaying Juliet's slight maturity that they should wait longer to determine if it is true “love”. Having said that, Juliet does not stay on her decision about how exchanging promises was too sudden, from this point on it severely affects the play. However, Juliet simply leaves Romeo stating if his “love be honorable”, to send her a “word tomorrow” for their “marriage” to proceed. This foreshadows Juliet indirectly tricking him, to ensure he intends to devote to the wedding (Romeo blatantly takes the chance). Denoting Juliet, herself, swiftly changed her mind and committed to marry him the next day knowing the family dispute may cause violence or separate them. Yet, they still rapidly took measures, promoting their grievous end. Furthermore, when Romeo goes to beg the Friar to immediately “marry” him and Juliet “today”, the Friar questions him how he had “so soon forsaken”, how he gave up on Rosaline. Romeo proclaims “Doth grace for grace and love for love allow. The other did not so.” He overcomes his puppy love with Rosaline, having more of a chance with Juliet as she returns his love. This demonstrates how young Romeo is misinterpreting lust and physical emotion for true love. He stands on “sudden haste” to wed Juliet, the day they met, without even thinking twice about it. They both are trying to get away and forget their other relationships like Romeo’s lovesickness with Rosaline and Juliet’s unwanted marriage with Paris. Indicating that, Romeo moving on so quickly from Rosaline means he isn’t truly in love with Juliet, after all, Romeo attended the ball for Rosaline and he later found Juliet. This not only shows their escapism is one of the causes of rushingly bringing the young lovers together but also how their unwise decisions regarding moving with urgent haste for their wedding and immediately come about a plan to secretly elope caused their tragic end. Romeo and Juliet’s rushed acts in regards to their infatuated love steer the way towards their series of demolition.

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Influence of Family and Friends: A Catalyst for Impulsivity

The efforts of Romeo and Juliet’s families and friends aid them to perform impulsively leading to calamity. When Romeo beseeched the Friar to get himself and Juliet married, he disagrees as Romeo had “another out to have”. This displays how the Friar is modestly wise for a small moment as he thinks Romeo is moving too quickly in regards to who he is loving. As he says “they stumble that run fast” He implies Romeo should slow down mentally and physically in his love or will descend in his life (as he does). Subsequently, the Friar is effortlessly convinced and hastily accepts to get them covertly wedded as he states “I’ll thy assistant be. He does this on the subject of turning the foes’, “rancor to pure love”, which is immoral and utterly wishful of him to do so. Ironically, his plan works out, their family feud does progress from hatred as they come to peace, but only after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. They realize how much destruction it has caused and reconcile each other. Having said that, this exemplifies how the Friar irresponsibly jumps to conclusions rapidly without fully considering them and their consequences throughout the play. His actions are guiding the lovers in making more numerous ill-advised decisions leading them to their decease. After this action, When Juliet asks the Friar for a plan, he advises Juliet to “Take thou this vial, being then in bed” where she is in a deathlike state for 42 hours letting her and Romeo reunite at a certain time in the “Capel’s monument”. The Friar's initial hasty moves to marry Romeo and Juliet means he has no alternative here than to perform a wild plan to assist Juliet to evade having to marry Paris. With this insane plan, the misunderstanding occurs and leads to their demise. Nonetheless, Juliet’s parents were a significant influence leading to their plans to escape. Juliet’s mother rushingly says her “careful father” arranged a marriage with the “noble” “Paris'' occurring in three days. They hastily put the marriage in place thinking it would make Juliet happy in the grieving of Tybalt’s death when she is actually depressed by Romeo's “banishment”. Though Juliet refuses, her parents berate her immensely, Lord Capulet threatening the thirteen-year-old “worthless girl” that she either goes to Church on Thursday or she “shall not house” with him. The audience is shown to illustrate how her social position affects having her voice being heard. She never had a say in expressing her wishes or making decisions which influence her life. This presents how Juliet wants to escape from the pressure of her family to marry someone she does not truly like being around when she has already exchanged vows with Romeo. Her parents gave her such short notice of her marriage with Paris and Lord Capulet even brought it a day closer. Their coercive acts rapidly transformed her thoughts, impacting her in promptly producing a crazy and foolish plan with the Friar; so that she and Romeo can unify and escape, conducting their desolation. Moreover, the Nurse contributed to Romeo and Juliet’s deaths by encouraging their love and being at variance with her advice, she says “I think it best you married with the county.O, he’s a lovely gentleman!”. She completely changed her views and devalued Romeo, comparing him as a “dishclout” to Paris after all the times she “praised” him. Consciously knowing about Juliet being married to Romeo, she suggests Juliet would be just as happy with marrying Paris. Juliet, feeling betrayed, disagrees with the now, untrustworthy confidante. Making Juliet infuriated, she thought she would find her own solutions (such as having the power of taking her life) or find a “remedy” with the Friar. This leads her to not inform the Nurse of her absurd plan to fake her death leading to grave misconstruction. Romeo and Juliet’s families and friends assist them in acting hastily and immaturely which clearly lead to a series of unfortunate events.

Fate's Inescapable Grip: Steering the Star-Crossed Lovers

Romeo and Juliet’s connections to the inevitable and predetermined fate directed them to their tragic end. As Romeo goes to the Capulet’s ball, he “fear[s] too early” and has this sudden feeling of worry that the party would be the inception of something unfortunate which is “hanging in the stars. Something that will end up having his “life” “bitterly “expire”. This conveys Romeo’s notable association with fate as he undergoes multiple episodes of a notion of misfortune throughout the play. He implies his life ends due to suicide in favour of being with Juliet in spiteful death. He mentions “hanging in the stars” as he lets the audience make a connection to the prologue, raising he is “star-crossed” making the stars work against their relationship. As he states in a fearing way, he may go to the monument “too early”, as if he went in normal time, he would be there just in time when Juliet wakes up. Foreshadowing the other early events, being Juliet’s early marriage with Paris, as well as the lovers’ early deaths. Fate being predestined had to make Romeo go early causing their ill-fated tragic events. For all that, before Romeo kills Tybalt after the killing of Mercutio, he says “This day’s black fate” will affect the future, starting something terrible in the coming days. Indicating his action destroyed his future with the beloved Juliet. He cries out “O, I am fortune's fool!”. This firstly foreshadows how Tybalt’s murder was destined, making Romeo a victim of his uncontrollable fate and having his future ruined. When he says he is the “fortune’s fool”, he is referring to how he is being mocked as a model of amusement, by the god or his destiny. This means fate has played him as a fool as he never had great destiny from the moment he was born. His encounters with fate were always negative. All the tragedies that occur from this time forth, is unfortunately determined by Romeo’s terrible mistake. Moreover, when Romeo finds out misleading information about Juliet’s death, he yells out “I defy you stars!”. He declares, openly refusing to obey his destiny or concentrate on the stars’ positions as he would rather be in death, still passionately loving Juliet than imagining life without her. This directed him to his quick action of a suicide prompt from poison, causing Juliet to stab and kill herself with Romeo’s “dagger”. This coincidently satisfies Shakespeare’s disastrous destiny of tragic lovers. While Romeo and Juliet “farewell” each other, Juliet mentions how her “ill-divining soul” sees him as “one dead in the bottom of a tomb”. Juliet entreats fortune, “O fortune, fortune! All men call thee fickle”. Her “ill-divining” soul has a premonition and is foretelling the future where she is visualising Romeo’s death, predicting it is the last time they’ll be together interacting. She predicts this knowingly she’s against her Capulet family values while in a relationship with her exact rival, Romeo Montague. She indeed recognizes this will most-likely, will end up in a tragedy due to the family quarrel. Additionally, Juliet begs for “Fortune” to stop being so “fickle” and unpredictable, to make up its mind by being kind to unvarying “Romeo” who’s known for “faith”. This expresses Juliet’s perspective that she thinks her fortune's fickleness is in control of their affection. She asks the fortune to send Romeo back home soon, but the instability of fortune, the audience’s knowledge of the stars being against their will and the muddled plan doesn’t end up how she wished it to, causing a wake of destruction. This influences the outcome as it was all the stars’ ill-fated plan to reunite the Montagues and Capulets but in a way causing the killings of several people including the tragic young lovers. The bonds that Romeo and Juliet have to the unavoidable fate direct them to their disastrous conclusion.

Shakespeare's Craft: Fate and Decision-Making

In Shakespeare’s creation of the play, his writing choices relating to fate, impact the personas’ decisions. Significantly, the first lines in the prologue mention that a “pair of star-crossed lovers take their life”. Stating their “fearful passage” led to their “death-marked love”. In the play’s starting lines, Shakespeare already reveals the significant message of the play, but this allows the audience to comprehend and appreciate the forms of the predestined fate. As Shakespeare mentions the “star-crossed lovers”, he refers to how the stars were completely opposed to Romeo and Juliet’s relationship, letting the viewers know about the unlucky children’s tragic fate. He included this due to most of the characters believing in fate, the Elizabethan England back in the day, they were fairly superstitious, blaming fate, the constellations’ positions, or heavenly creatures influencing incomprehensible human destiny. They “take their life” indicating that the series of destruction consequently cause the lovers to woefully commit suicide noting their “death-marked love”; Due to fate’s cruel plan, the rival families’ conflict was resolved by nothing but their own “children’s end”. In addition to fate, an important character in the play, Friar Lawrence accuses the fate of his actions. The Friar discovers the letter hasn’t gotten through to Romeo, he cries “Unhappy fortune” was responsible for restricting the letter from him. As Juliet wakes up from her deep sleep and realizes that Romeo is lifeless, without hesitation, the Friar blames it on how “A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents”. This suggests how the Friar doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions, he blames it on fate. Though it is fate’s wicked plot, the Friar significantly contributed to their demise. He encouraged and secretly let Romeo and Juliet married, later, creating an insane scheme that was completely misconstrued. He simply states that an exceptional power (fortune) that “we” cannot contest, ruined their plan of action. This signifies how fate always has a way of coming through. There could have been some small changes and the lovers would be alive. If there was no plague, the letter would have gone to Romeo. Romeo could have gone to the tomb seconds later or Juliet could have woken up seconds earlier. If the Friar went to the tomb before Romeo, both could be saved. This implies fate’s powerfulness and it’s intentions, leading to finally have the lovers die of suicide. This whole story was a failed plan of reuniting the lovers but in another aspect, it was a successful plan, these perfect sequence of events finally reunited the two opposing families, the Capulets and the Montagues but it took several significant lives to wind up to the resolution. The characters’ decisions associated with fate are affected by Shakespeare’s composition of writing in the play.


All things considered, Romeo and Juliet’s rushing actions due to escapism lead to a trail of destruction. The relatives of Romeo and Juliet assist them to perform hasty and impetuous actions promoting their unfortunate end. The associations Romeo and Juliet have with predestined fate conduct their unlucky outcome. Shakespeare’s structure of writing influences the roles played in the story. Romeo and Juliet’s tragedy occurred because of both of the themes, haste and fate. Haste was played by multiple characters throughout the play producing further difficulties and complications, Fate was an inevitable power which many events were caused by. Since the stars were crossed and against the relationship for the lovers, this caused their tragic end but finally unified the families’ feud. Haste and Fate majorly contributed to the powerfully unfortunate story of Romeo and Juliet.

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The Effects Of Decisions In Romeo And Juliet. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
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