How could Romeo and Juliet have lived if they were smart in Romeo and Juliet?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo and Juliet could have avoided tragedy if they had acted more intelligently and more proactively.

Romeo and Juliet’s deaths were mostly the result of impulsivity.  Romeo set off the chain reaction by killing himself when he saw Juliet’s body.  If he had not acted so rashly, she would have woken up and the two of them could have run off together and lived happily ever after.

Juliet could also have avoided Romeo’s death by not faking her own.  She did not have to do it.  She could have run away and found Romeo, or even talked to him about it beforehand.  Taking such a rash action as faking her own death without making sure Romeo knew the plan was not a good idea.  She should not have relied on Friar Lawrence to get the word to Romeo.

Juliet did stop to consider whether taking the poison was a good idea.  She had several careful arguments, even to the point of doubting the friar’s intentions.

What if it be a poison which the friar(25)

Subtly hath ministr'd to have me dead,

Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour'd

Because he married me before to Romeo? (Act 4, Scene 3)

Yet most of her concerns are girlish fears.  She worries about seeing ghosts and being afraid.  She does not stop and think about the real consequences of her action.  If she had, she might have saved them both.

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Romeo and Juliet

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