What does "star-crossed" mean?

The term "star-crossed" means that fate is against the lovers in Romeo and Juliet. Their destiny is written in the stars even before they meet, and they will never have a chance to survive and be happy together.

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Romeo and Juliet are described as "star-crossed lovers" in the prologue , which prophesies their death. This means that they never had a chance to survive and be happy together, since their destiny is already fixed and written in the stars. The belief that people's fates are ruled by the...

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Romeo and Juliet are described as "star-crossed lovers" in the prologue, which prophesies their death. This means that they never had a chance to survive and be happy together, since their destiny is already fixed and written in the stars. The belief that people's fates are ruled by the stars is an ancient one and is still believed by some people today. The phrase can, however, be used in a metaphorical sense to mean unlucky.

The Aristotelian model of the hero with the tragic flaw is often used to analyze Shakespearean tragedies, and students sometimes try to apply this to Romeo and Juliet. There are also many contingent events in the play which make it tempting to blame one of the other characters for the lovers' deaths.

Friar Laurence, Friar John, Balthasar, Mercutio, Tybalt, the Prince, and several other characters could be blamed for the outcome. At the end of the play, the Prince blames both himself and the feuding families. However, both the search for a tragic flaw in Romeo or Juliet and the attempt to find a culprit among the other characters ignore the announcement at the very beginning of the play that the lovers are "star-crossed" and fated to die even before the events of the play begin.

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I assume that you're asking for an explanation of what "star-cross'd lovers" means in relation to Romeo and Juliet. The expression comes from the play's prologue and indicates that Romeo and Juliet's love is ultimately destined to be thwarted by the stars.

In Shakespeare's day, most people believed in astrology—that the movements of the stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies somehow controlled our destinies. As the prologue makes clear, Romeo and Juliet's destiny is to die a tragic death. This is because the stars have not aligned for the two young lovers. As such, they are destined to not live a long and happy life together, no matter what they do and no matter how much they want it. In the end, the play testifies to the fact that one cannot defy fate, and for most Elizabethans, that fate was written in the stars.

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star-cross'd means that the stars were not favorable to the lovers.

At the time Shakespeare lived, any ill-fated venture was considered "not in the stars".  The romance between Romeo and Juliet was certainly ill-fated.

The paradoxical theme of love and death, as announced in the Prologue, indicates the fate of the lovers with such words as “star-crossed,” “fatal loins,” and “death-marked love.” (http://www.enotes.com/romeo/act-scenes-1-2-summary-analysis)

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