The Theme of FATE in Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET
Description of the Theme
In the tragedy Romeo and Juliet, fate plays a enormous role throughout the entirety of the play. Romeo and Juliet's fate has already been decided for them and it affects them throughout the entire play. They try to change and go around their fate multiple times, but fail and end up going straight to their inevitable doom. The point Shakespeare was trying to make to the audience about fate in the play is that sometimes things are not meant to happen. The result of forcing things to happen that are not meant to be can lead to great misfortune. In the following four scenes, examples of how the role of fate played into Romeo and Juliet will be demonstrated.
Act 1, scene 2
Perhaps you have learned it without book. But I pray, can you read anything you see?
Ay, if I know the letters and the language.
Fate: The development of events beyond a person's control, determined by a supernatural power.
Act 2 Scene 3
What is Shakespeare trying to tell us?
Act 5 Scene 1
One of lord Capulet's servants, Peter, needs to find someone that can read the guest list for his masters party to him seeing as the he is illiterate. Romeo and Benvolio walk in right as this is happening, and Romeo reads the guest list to the servant, which is what leads them to attending the party where Romeo will meet Juliet. If Romeo and Benvolio never ran into Peter, then they would have never gone to this party and Romeo would have never met Juliet.
Act 5 Scene 1
I defy you, stars!
At the end of the third scene in the second act, Friar Lawrence agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet because it may result in the two conflicting families to be brought to peace. Before Romeo departs, the friar tells Romeo to take his time and not rush things, since those who do will fall and face destructive consequences. This is a foreshadowing of Romeo's fate. Romeo is so quick to love Juliet that it will be the cause of his death in the end.
Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.
Oh, let us hence. I stand on sudden haste.
In the beginning of act five before Romeo is informed that his wife is dead, he has a dream that Juliet finds him dead. Then he is brought back to life by a kiss from Juliet and he becomes emperor. This is also another depiction of Romeo's fate because Romeo does die and there is nothing he can do about it. His fate is to die next to Juliet's side so he will do just that.
I dreamt my lady came and found me dead. Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think. And breathed such life with kisses in my lips that I revived and was an emperor.
Also in the first scene of the fifth act, Romeo is told by Balthazar that Juliet is dead. He does not believe she is dead and specifically says, "I defy you, stars". That means he defies his fate and does not except it, but whether he does or doesn't accept the fate he was given, it will happen regardless. he has no control over his destiny no matter how motivated he is to change it.