The Role Of Fate In Romeo And Juliet

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The Role of Fate in Romeo and JulietThroughout the play of the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the relationship between Romeo and Juliet has been thwarted by something that could be described as an “outside force.” The idea of fate is strong in the play due Capulets’ and Montagues’ ancient grudge against each other. Throughout the entire play, fate plays a powerful role against Romeo and Juliet’s relationship as their undying love is set to end in death and sorrow with the two “star-crossed lovers” having no control of what happened.In a religious aspect, fate is something that is uncontrollable and predetermines the courses of events that will take place. Both Romeo and Juliet are strongly religious and trust that fate is most definitely real.

Multiple characters go as far as to hold fate accountable for some of their mistakes throughout the play. One example is when Friar Laurence finds Romeo and Paris dead. Friar Laurence exclaims, “Romeo! O, pale! What, Paris too? And steeped in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour Is guilty of this lamentable chance!” (Act v, scene 3, lines 144-147) Instead of Friar Laurence acknowledging that he played a part in the outcome of this situation, he immediately blames fate. Romeo, like Frair Laurence, does not take responsibility for his actions, blindly believed that the following was destined for him. After he duels with Tybalt, leaving Tybalt slain, Romeo exclaims, “O, I am fortune’s fool!” (Act iii, scene 1, line 129) By this remark, Romeo is acting as though fortune has made a fool out of him, causing Tybalt’s death, but in reality, Romeo made the decision to fight Tybalt and left him dead. Though the action was a defensive response to Tybalt’s killing of Mercutio, kinsman of the Prince and friend of Romeo, Romeo stills sought vengeance and made the choice to duel Tybalt.

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This reveals fate plays a role in relieving some of the character’s guilt.Acknowledging their household’s extreme feud, Romeo, the son of Montague, and Juliet, the daughter of Capulet, are bound to have their relationship end disastrously. Romeo and Juliet are referred as “star-crossed lovers,” (Act I, prologue, line 6) hinting towards the fact that their relationship will not just end horrifically, but its journey will also be unpleasant. This can be seen as an example of fate in the play, Shakespeare almost sets Romeo and Juliet’s destiny in stone by saying that their relationship will be an atrocious affair and use affair and using fate and chance in multiple events. Numerous affairs support the idea that fate was against allowing Romeo and Juliet to love each other freely. One such event took place when Benvolio, nephew of Montague and Romeo’s friend, saw an opportunity to get Romeo out of his depressed state which was caused by his inability to be with Rosaline, his current love. Lord Capulet, having a party later in the night, sent out an illiterate servant to hand out invitations.

Since she was illiterate, the servant was in search of help to read the paper given her by Lord Capulet when she asked Romeo and Benvolio for help. The chances of this happening are very low, and because of that, this event can be seen as an act of fate. Benvolio, in light, if a favorable time to get Romeo out this depressed state, insisted that Romeo should attend the party to compare Rosaline to other girls with an “unattainted eye.” (Act I, scene 2, line 85) Once at the party, Romeo, looking for Rosaline, see his love, at first sight, Juliet, but he is quickly spotted by Tybalt, the hot-headed nephew of Lady Capulet. The fact that Romeo happened to go to the party and fall mutually in love with Juliet, his enemy while being spotted by Tybalt, also his enemy, at the very same moment is extremely unforeseen and a product of fate.Before Romeo attended the party, where he so easily fell with Juliet, he had some doubts about what the future withheld as he feared, “…for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begins his fearful date…and expired the term of a despised life closed in my breast By some vile forfeit of untimely death.” (Act I scene 4, line 106-113) Romeo had a feeling, which he feared, that something destined is going to happen. Not only does he feel this, but he also mentioned a despised life coming to an untimely death, foreshadowing young death on the play. This thought is proven true once both Romeo and Juliet passed away due to their passion for each other. Once again, Shakespeare uses predetermined destiny when Juliet cries, “If he married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed.” (act 1, scene 5, line 32-33) juliet foreshadowed her own death and her wedding bed does indeed become her grave. This shows how Shakespeare used predetermined destiny to foreshadow events that would later happen in the play.


In conclusion, the tragedy Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses fate to foreshadow future events, relieve the character of guilt, and have a powerful force against the connection of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet are referred as “star-crossed lover” at the beginning of the play, and after multiple tragic events that are highly coincidental, the ending of the love story of Romeo and Juliet is extremely dreadful. Fate can be seen in many of the scenes of the tragedy Romeo and Juliet, and this leads me to conclude that young, impulsive relationship of Romeo and Juliet was destined to be dramatic and sad.

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