Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some fate quotes in Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

calendarEducator since 2016

write7,253 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

As early as the play's Prologue, we learn that fate will play a significant role in the events which are about to take place. The Chorus says,

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life [...]. (lines 5-6)

Here, to be star-crossed means that the love between Romeo and Juliet is doomed from the start, frustrated by the stars which run counter to their desires and are linked to their joined destiny, and so we know that their downfalls are already fated: they will take their own lives as a result of their ill-fated love. Moreover, the Chorus calls Romeo and Juliet's relationship a "death-marked love," again drawing attention to the fact that their individual fates have already been decided: they will both die tragically, and their love will die with them (line 9).

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University

calendarEducator since 2014

write6,316 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

The most obvious fate quote is the opening prologue.  It summarizes most of the play in its 14 lines.  That's probably cheating though.  

Romeo, on his way over to the Capulet ball, tells the reader that he has some misgivings about events that will be set in motion that night. 

"I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels and expire the term
Of a despised life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death."

At the ball, just before Romeo and Juliet meet, Juliet asks her nurse to find out who that guy (Romeo) is.  She makes a prediction then that links her wedding and her grave. 

"Go ask his name: if he be married,
My grave is like to be my wedding bed."

Mercutio screams out the following: "A plague a’ both houses!" Yep, he's right.  There is a plague on both houses.  There has been, and it will get worse before the play is over.  

Toward the close of the play Friar Laurence has a great fate quote in which he talks about a higher power of sorts that ruined his plans.  

"A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents."

check Approved by eNotes Editorial