How does timing play fate in Romeo and Juliet?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As the other answers have noted, timing at least seems to be everything in this play. The tragedy that kills the two lovers appears to have been caused as much by the ill-timed sequence of events as by the feud dividing the two families.

It is a case of if, if, if. If only Juliet's wedding had not been moved up, forcing her to take the sleeping potion earlier than planned; if only Romeo had gotten word of the plot so that he would have known Juliet was not really dead; and if only he hadn't immediately and impulsively killed himself, all would have been well—at least potentially. Of course, we learn in the Prologue that the lovers are fated to come to a tragic end, so we have to believe that if this series of mishaps had not ruined their chances, something else would have.

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Timing plays such a huge role in Romeo and Juliet that it no doubt became frustrating at points for the audience to watch. There are so many "perfect timing" moments that lead up to the eventual tragedy that it would lead the...

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