In Romeo and Juliet, how does fate lead to the demise of two title characters (Romeo and Juliet)?
Unlike in other plays (Macbeth, in particular), Shakespeare leaves no doubt that fate is at work in Romeo and Juliet. In the Prologue, the chorus tells the audience that by the end of the play, a pair of "star-cross'd lovers" will take their own lives, their love doomed to disaster. So in a way, every event in Romeo and Juliet leads to this conclusion, and we impose this interpretation on the course of the play. But even without this statement in the prologue, we can still point to several key events in the play to show how fate brings about the demise of the two young lovers. First, Capulet restrains Tybalt from attacking and possibly killing Romeo at the masque, a decision that makes it possible for Romeo to meet Juliet. Then, after Romeo and Juliet are married, Romeo kills Tybalt in the streets, an act that ends in his banishment. Perhaps most poignantly, Friar John fails due to plague to reach Mantua with a letter from Friar Laurence explaining that Juliet's "death" is a ruse, but Balthasar, who believes Juliet dead, does. So from the time Romeo and Juliet first meet, it seems that one thing after another goes wrong. Shakespeare makes it clear from the beginning of the play that this will happen, a dramatic decision that makes this play all the more tragic.