What are the main ideas in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and how are they conveyed?

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Another of the play’s central ideas relates to fate and free will. Specifically, Shakespeare explores the notion of fate as inescapable. It is this idea that no matter what we do, no matter how strongly we exert our own free will, our lives are destined to follow a course that has been predetermined.

This idea of fate is conveyed through the characters of Romeo and Juliet. When the reader is first introduced to them, for example, it is made clear that they were fated to meet and that, more importantly, that no matter what they do, they are destined to die:

A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.

In addition, Shakespeare conveys this idea through his many references to the stars, which are symbolic of fate. For instance, when Romeo compares Juliet’s eyes to stars, in Act II, Scene II, he is alluding to and reinforcing this idea that they were fated to meet, as first laid out the Chorus . You can...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 558 words.)

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