In Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene iii, give an example of an event attributed to chance, circumstance, and coincidence.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We may define "chance" as that which occurs by good or ill fortune without planning. We may define "circumstance" as existing conditions due to events and cause and effect. We may define "coincidence" as instances of events occurring at the same time with no planning or cause. Within these definitions, one example from Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene iii, of each type of occurrence is illustrated below.

A chance meeting (occurring by good or ill fortune with no planning) between Romeo and Paris occurs at the door of Juliet's tomb. Neither planned or expected the encounter. It happened purely by the winds of fortune, and for Romeo and Paris it was ill fortune.

n event derived from circumstance (existing conditions due to events or cause and effect) is the laying of Paris's dead body, slain by Romeo, next to Tybalt's, slain by Romeo. An irony is that near to them lay Juliet whom Romeo thought was slain for him.

A coincidence occurs as Friar Laurence is rushing through the graveyard to intercept Romeo. At the very moment that Romeo drinks the poison and, dieing, utters, " O true apothecary! / Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die" Friar Laurence is hastily stumbling his way through the graveyard and says, " oft to-night / Have my old feet stumbled at graves!" He will stumble on more before his night is ended. The Friar's utterances about stumbling on graves occurred with no planning at the same time as Romeo's utterance and death.