is romeo, friar Laurence,fate, or the family fued more responsible for all the deaths in romeo and juliet?is romeo, friar Laurence,fate, or the family fued more responsible for all the deaths in...

is romeo, friar Laurence,fate, or the family fued more responsible for all the deaths in romeo and juliet?

is romeo, friar Laurence,fate, or the family fued more responsible for all the deaths in romeo and juliet?

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ms-charleston-yawp's profile pic

Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

The key to your question is in the phrase "all the deaths."  That is a monumental number, ... if you want to consider the deaths before the play began as well.  We have no way of knowing how long this feud has gone on.  The bloodbath is immense, I'm sure.

Therefore, I would say that if you want to generalize by saying "all the deaths," then it is the feud that is responsible for the blood.  Children have grown up with the feud.  The feud is the reason for wishing ill, even death, upon the opponent.  My guess is that many of the children have no idea why the feud continues and/or how it started.

However, if I were to pinpoint the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, I'm afraid that I can only blame those two (and those two alone) for their own deaths.  Like it or not, both of them committed suicide.  Period.  They took their own lives.  As a result, the ultimate culpability rests with them.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

One point is that wisdom, restraint and common sense filter down or trickle down (like Reagan economics) from the top (and maybe just as effectively). Therefore, a disproportionate degree of responsibility rests with the counselors, overseers, advisers and guides of teenagers. These guides are meant to escort teenagers through the hard tortuous maze of life's hard decisions. In this light, Friar Laurence entirely failed Romeo and Juliet by becoming a conspirator with their impassioned and fevered plans. Therefore, in this light, the greatest responsibility rests with Friar Laurence who is the only one who may have turned their plans to a safer route.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with 2 and 3, even though they disagree. I think that all of these factors are responsible. The irresponsible decisions that Romeo and Juliet made directly caused their deaths. They are definitely partly at fault. Yet society, their parents, and the feud also contributed. They would not have had to make these decisions if the conditions were different. Friar Lawrence does blame himself, and some of the blame definitely lies with him. If he hadn't enabled them, they would not have died the way they did. His motives were not just based on their needs. He also had ulterior motives, such as to end the feud. He did not make the decision based just on their needs.
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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I think that the passion and tragedy which envelopes Romeo and Juliet is centred around the family feud. When we look at lines such as 'my only love sprung from my only hate' we see the depth of emotion surrounding these vulnerable teenagers. There is little of the calm and rational: only voices of passion (be they hatred or love). These young people were enmeshed in a time where life was short, fleeting and lived moment-to-moment. Their deaths are a consequence of their history and context.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Yes Romeo and Juliet chose rashly, but they were enabled by Friar Lawrence. Do not forget that he chided Romeo for his fleeting emotions. One minute he was desperately in love with Rosaline, and the next he is in "love" with Juliet. Friar Lawrence knew this, yet he married them. Friar Lawrence was also the one who encouraged the use of the poison, rather than counseling them to go to their families. Yes, Romeo and Juliet acted rashly, but they were still children acting in good faith on advice given them by Friar Lawrence.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What about the role of fate? Yes, Romeo and yes, the feud obviously a partly to blame, but throughout the play it is fate that is shown to be above all the party responsible for the tragedy. It was fate that made Romeo and Juliet fall in love with each other, and fate at every turn seems to be responsible for ruining any plans to salvage the situation and turn it into a happy ending. Whilst I believe that we can't excuse the other parties from their involvement in the ending, fate I believe is the one to blame overall here.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I disagree.  I believe that the deaths are the fault of Romeo (and I think Juliet is equally at fault).

Sure, there was a feud that made them hide their love.  Sure, they got bad advice from Friar Lawrence.  But when it comes down to it, Romeo and Juliet are the ones making the rash decisions.  They are the ones who are so infatuated with one another that they don't stop to think of the consequences of their actions.  No one forces them to act in the ways that they do -- these are their own choices.

So, the other things are certainly contributing factors, but the ultimate responsibility lies with Romeo and Juliet.

lsumner's profile pic

lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

In Romeo and Juliet, the family feud is responsible for the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. Had there not been a family feud, there would have been no need for Romeo and Juliet to hide their love. Likewise, Friar Lawrence would not have had to devise a plan to help the couple escape.

If the Capulets and Montagues had resolved their differences, both Romeo and Juliet would have lived to have a happy life. The Montagues and Capulets realize the error of their ways a little too late. Nevertheless, both families resolve their differences after losing their loved ones.

It is sad to think that Romeo and Juliet could have lived if two families had not hated each other. All the other instances in the play happen due to the hatred between two families. Although the families resolve their differences in the end, it is too late to save Romeo and Juliet. Two innocent young people die but possibly not in vain. The future will be be better for the remaining Montagues and Capulets.

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