In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet does Abraham (the Montague family servant) bear any blame or responsibility for the lovers' deaths?I am trying to understand which characters bear responsibility...

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet does Abraham (the Montague family servant) bear any blame or responsibility for the lovers' deaths?

I am trying to understand which characters bear responsibility and blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Asked on by mhulme90

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sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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In Romeo and Juliet the star-crossed lovers are betrayed as much by their own foolishness as they are by any one person. In fact, one could also argue that they are betrayed by their own families, whose ridiculous feud forces Romeo and Juliet to see each other in secret. You mention the character of Abraham as being the cause of their trouble. Abraham is a Montague retainer; he has a brief altercation in Act I Scene I with the Capulet soldiers and is not really in the play again. He is just an example of how deeply the feud runs between the Montague and Capulet families.

The trouble really starts when Tybalt, a Capulet, kills Romeo's friend Mercutio. In retaliation Romeo slays Tybalt. Then he must go into hiding so that the Capulets will not have him killed. Juliet fakes her own death, not knowing that Romeo will return and find her. He despairs when he sees her and kills himself. Then, when she awakens, realizing what she has caused, she, too, takes her own life. Only with the deaths of their children do the Montagues and Capulets finally stop feuding.

If one were to apply blame, it would have to fall on the quirky twists of fate that doom Romeo and Juliet from the very moment they meet.

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