What is the role of fate in the play Romeo and Juliet? i want to know what is the role of fate in the play of romeo and juliet by the writer William Shakespeare

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brendawm eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Fate, or the belief that a power greater than man guides and controls the lives of men, plays a tremendous role in Romeo and Juliet, in fact, it is infused throughout the play, to the point that the characters are even aware of it, seeing omens in many situations.  Fate works in all aspects of the lovers’ relationship from start with Romeo falling instantly in love with Juliet at a party he never should have attended in an attempt to see another girl.  Juliet is the daughter of the enemy of his family, yet love blooms instantly in spite of the feud; here is an excellent example of fate intervening in the relationship.  Romeo pursues Juliet quickly and relentlessly, driven by love (or lust whichever is more likely in a teenage boy of his age) to propose marriage, and Friar Laurence’s reluctant agreement to perform the ceremony, once again demonstrate fate.  Perhaps the saddest, yet best example of fate in the drama occurs at the end when Romeo misses Balthasar, who carries news of Friar Laurence’s plan and Juliet’s feigned death, only to arrive and kill himself in a cruel twist of fate because he thinks she is dead only moments before she awakens and kills herself because he is now dead.  The whole play is one huge example of how cruel fate can be and how events, small and large, work together to make or break any given event, even a potentially great love, such as that of Romeo and Juliet.  Maybe it all happened to teach the feuding families a lesson. 

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janeyb eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Well you could say that fate played a very big role in Romeo and Juliet. It was fate that Romeo decided to crash Juliet's party and that she was the woman he fell in love with. SHakespeare plays with the idea of fate/fortune and how it ultimatly rules one. This is obvious in this quote, that Juliet says after Romeo leaves. In the end, she is saying, everything is left up to fortune.

"O fortune, fortune! all men call thee fickle:
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him
That is renown'd for faith? Be fickle, fortune;
For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long
But send him back"
(V, ii)

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kingedwards | Student

It also distinguishes Romeo and Juliet's relationship from those of mere mortals.

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kingedwards | Student

Fate demonstrates the limitations of human endeavour.

In 'The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet', Fate absolves the characters from blame and reinforces the audiences sympathy for them.

Fate is linked to Time, and ultimately, Time is the one force that humans cannot control.  Romeo and Juliet's love is ill-timed, 'star-crossed' and 'death-marked'.

Perhaps it is unexplainable.  It is beyond the human.  Although, Aristotle might argue otherwise.  I'd have to check.

Every good piece of Art makes you think further, and Fate is the theme and dramatic device that is used to do just this...

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