Fate and Destiny were big themes in Shakespeare's time all round, not just in the play 'Romeo and Juliet. This is well illustrated by the quote 'star-cross'd lovers.' This means more than meets the eye at first. The stars refer, not just the 'fun' light element of astrology we enjoy today to tell about luck and love lives in the coming month, but was very close to it's scientific discipline - astronomy. In fact the two were much more closely inter-twined than they are today and people took the topic very seriously. What was known in a limited sense about the 'heavenly bodies' was embroidered with stories about ascendants, luck, nascence, and zenith of the stars at any given important time (birth,marriage,death etc.) In 'star-cross'd' people would have understood that the trajectory of the heavenly bodies at this time forebode a certain set of circumstances for those influenced by them at a certain moment in time-Fate or what the future held in store. Importantly, this was truly 'fatalistic' as there was no getting out of it - their destiny was set on an unchangeable course.