In Romeo and Juliet, what obstacles do the main characters face?

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One obstacle that Romeo and Juliet face is the feud between their two families, which makes it impossible for them to marry openly. The feud creates another obstacle when Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished from Verona. A third obstacle arises when Juliet fears confiding in her father that she is married to Romeo. Finally, Romeo's rash reaction to the news of Juliet's death leads to suicide. All of these become part of a "star-crossed" fate that creates tragedy.

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The main obstacle that Romeo and Juliet face is the feud that divides their two families. On the broadest level, the feud makes it impossible for them to go to their families and request to marry each other, as they know it would never be allowed.

Second, the feud becomes the catalyst for the street fighting between Mercutio and Tybalt that leads to Mercutio's death. Feeling he is responsible for his best friend's death then leads Romeo to kill Tybalt. Once more, the tentacles of the feud have risen up and put an obstacle in the path of the lovers: Romeo is banished from Verona on the pain of death.

The lovers' misjudgments also become obstacles. Juliet is too fearful of her father's temper and fatefully does not confide in him or her mother that she is already married to Romeo when her father announces she will marry Paris. She is unable to see the love her father has for her beneath his volatile temper.

Likewise, Romeo's temperament becomes an obstacle. He is, in true form, too rash in buying poison and rushing back to Verona the minute he hears the news of Juliet's death. He acts impulsively, without stopping to think, meet with Friar Laurence, or get more information in other ways. It is completely within character for Romeo to act this way, but his character is his undoing.

Finally, fate plays an important role in the "star-crossed" lovers' tragedy: the prologue tells us a happy ending was never meant to be.

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The most obvious and significant obstacle faced by Romeo and Juliet is the feud between their two families. This feud means that their respective parents will never agree to a marriage between them, and it also means that if the families find out about their relationship, more "civil blood" might be spilled in anger. Accordingly, Romeo and Juliet have to conduct their relationship in secret.

Another significant obstacle that Romeo and Juliet face is fate, or destiny. We are told immediately, in the prologue which opens the play, that their love is "death-marked" and "fatal." There are also reminders throughout the play that their love is fated to end in tragedy. For example, in act three, scene five, Juliet has a vision in which she sees Romeo "as one dead in the bottom of a tomb."

Perhaps the third most significant obstacle faced by Romeo and Juliet is the recklessness with which they love one another. Friar Laurence repeatedly warns them against this recklessness. He describes their love as violent, implying that they love too extremely, and he warns them that their "violent delights (will) have violent ends." Friar Laurence advises Romeo and Juliet to "love moderately," but, perhaps because they are so young, they do not heed his advice. Arguably, if they had loved more moderately, the tragic end of their love might have been avoided.

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Romeo and Juliet face a number of obstacles. Most obviously, their two families are feuding and neither Romeo's nor Juliet's parents approve of their courtship, so they must keep it secret.

Secondly, they face the irrationality and unpredictability of Capulet in particular. Once Capulet arranges for Juliet to marry Paris and she refuses, Capulet becomes hostile and violent, threatening to throw her out and disown her. Further, once the plan is in place for Juliet to escape her home and elope with Romeo, she pretends to submit to her father's wishes, at which time he becomes very happy and moves up the date of her wedding to Paris. This creates problems for the escape plan, and becomes one of the catalysts for the end tragedy.

Thirdly, the two face an obstacle via the plague. Once Romeo has fled to Mantua, Juliet and Friar Laurence come up with the plan to fake Juliet's death. The Friar sends a message to Romeo, explaining what is to happen (so that he won't believe she has actually died), but the message never gets to Romeo because the carrier is suspected of being contaminated with the plague, so he isn't allowed into Mantua to deliver the message to Romeo.

Finally, another obstacle for the doomed couple is their own impulsivity. Theirs is a very quick courtship. It begins the very night that Romeo is obsessively pining for Rosaline. His friends take him to Capulet's party to cheer him up because he can't stop thinking about how much he loves Rosaline and will never be able to live without her. Yet upon first seeing Juliet, he immediately forgets Rosaline and decides that Juliet is now the end all, be all, key to life and breathing. Juliet, too, reacts very impulsively. When her super-impulsive father tells her the plan for her arranged marriage, she gets very upset and lashes out. While she has every right to do so, it sparks him to fall into a rage and retaliate with a number of ridiculous threats from disowning her to beating her. This isn't her fault, of course; clearly Capulet has issues, but it presents another obstacle to her union with Romeo.

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How could Romeo and Juliet overcome the obstacles that stand in their way of happiness?

There are a number of ways Romeo and Juliet might have made their path to happiness more smooth. First of all, both could have acted more maturely and told their parents of their love for one another. Instead, they immediately choose to subvert their parents, assume the worst, and enlist others in their immature cause.

Romeo, for his part, could have come clean. He moons over the loss of Rosaline, is coerced into attending the ball incognito, and falls in love at first sight. Juliet, too, is far from blameless. She impetuously throws away her life and family in order to be with a crush she knows nothing about and to whom she is attracted merely be sight and a few polite words. When the love-struck young man appears unbidden at her balcony, she swoons and hopefully implores: "Deny thy father and refuse thy name. / Or if thou will not, be but sworn my love / And I'll no longer be a Capulet" (2.2.34-36).

The pair continue with their plan of subterfuge, endangering those whom they claim to love (Mercutio, the Nurse) and those whom they can manipulate (again, the Nurse, and the Friar). When their best-laid plans are thwarted, they take the melodramatic, insecure way "out."

Although many characters share culpability, it is ultimately Romeo and Juliet who stand in the way of their own happiness.

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How could Romeo and Juliet overcome the obstacles that stand in their way of happiness?

In the long run, they do not overcome the obstacles that stand in their way, of course.  During this time period, it would be nearly impossible for Romeo and Juliet to be together due to their families' fued with each other.  Despite their intense love and desire to be together, Romeo and Juliet, in the end, could not overcome the obstacles that the family fueds brought to them.  They felt overwhelmed and helpless and had no hope to be together...the end result was that both of them died.  They were together in death, which is ironic.

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How could Romeo and Juliet overcome the obstacles that stand in their way of happiness?

I don't think they did what they could... especially Romeo. The prince was very vocal about wanting to end the feud, and given that he had the ultimate power, Romeo could have appealed to him for help.  The prince very well might have either A) talked sense into Romeo by asking him to take things slower while he approached the issue with Capulet or B) give the young couple permission to marry.  Because the prince was so involved in this feud, I think an older and wiser perspective on matters could have helped both the couple and the families.

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How could Romeo and Juliet overcome the obstacles that stand in their way of happiness?

I think they did everything they could do in their era. They might have run away together, but their parents would have hunted them down, and the family feud would have gotten very nasty. In an ideal world, they might sit their parents down and try to talk sense into them, but this is not an ideal world.

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