Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does fate affect the tragedy which occurs in Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers info

lizbv eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write158 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

From the very beginning in the Prologue, we are introduced to the theme of Fate as Romeo and Juliet are described as "a pair of star-crossd lovers" (Prologue, Romeo and Juliet).  The idea here is that the two are fated to meet and die together for their love which is misunderstood and may never be accepted by their feuding families. It is not so much that fate affects the tragedy as much as it is the cause for the tragedy.  This concept creates the idea that there was nothing Romeo and Juliet could do to avoid their fate, basically, each other. Because they were meant to meet, it was something that could not be avoided and really it is evident that the stars had to be aligned in some way for them to meet since so many events had to fall into place for this to happen: the servant accidentally giving Romeo and invitation to read, Romeo being heartbroken over Rosaline, Benvolio wanting to take Romeo to the dance to compare other girls to Rosaline ("And I shall make they swan a crow" Act 1, scene 2), Juliet's mother putting the idea of love in Juliet's head (albeit her intention was for Juliet to love Paris).  All of these things had to happen for them to meet, so therefore fate is clearly at hand here.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial