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Why are Romeo and Juliet called "star-crossed lovers?"

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hollister145 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 4, 2010 at 10:40 AM via web

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Why are Romeo and Juliet called "star-crossed lovers?"

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manutd153 | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted October 18, 2011 at 8:17 AM (Answer #1)

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what they said ^

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 4, 2010 at 10:45 AM (Answer #2)

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The term means that they are doomed by fate.  The whole idea of astrology (which was much more believed in back then) is that the stars have something to do with what happens to us.  Therefore, if someone is "star crossed" they have been dealt a bad hand by fate.

This has happened to Romeo and Juliet because they have had the bad luck to be born to families that hate one another.  This means that, when they fall in love, they cannot just get married like other people might.

There are numerous other instances of bad luck in the rest of the play, but this is the main one.

So -- bad luck = star crossed.

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discussion | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 5, 2010 at 4:46 AM (Answer #4)

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You know from the prologue that introduces the couple as "star-crossed" that the couple is doomed, hence the title "The TRAGEDY of Romeo and Juliet." By the end of the play, you see how the couple (regardless of how grand their intentions) is at the mercy of chance/fate/destiny/bad luck.

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