How does timing play fate in Romeo and Juliet?

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julikiyomi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Timing is everything in Romeo and Juliet. The Capulet servant happens to run into Romeo in Act I, scene i to tell Romeo of the Capulet party that evening. In Act I, scenes ii and iii, the idea of marriage is proposed to Juliet, however Lord Capulet has not yet committed his daughter to anything. This leaves her open to the thought of marriage and allows her room to fall in love with Romeo. In Act IV, scene ii, Capulet moves the marriage of Paris and Juliet from Thursday to Wednesday. Because of this, Juliet has to take the potion a day early. This complicates the situation for Friar Laurence when he finds out that the letter never gets to Romeo but has no time to send it again. (If Juliet had gotten married on the day originally scheduled, Friar Laurence would have had more time to get word to Romeo again) Timing plays fate again in Act V, scene iii when Romeo decides to take the poison just as Juliet is about to awake.

gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In many ways. The three I think are most important are the servant running into Romeo in Act I (it is a big coincidence that this servant runs into them, no?), that Friar John was unable to go to Mantua (and contact Romeo, letting him know Juliet is not dead), and that Romeo gets there just before she wakes (if she woke earlier, it wouldn't be necessary for everyone to die).