Romeo and Juliet
Fate in Romeo and Juliet
The concept of fate functions as a central theme in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In the opening prologue of the play, the Chorus informs the audience that Romeo and Juliet are "Star ñ cross'd Lovers" (Prologue l.6). In other words, the Chorus states that Romeo and Juliet are governed by fate, a force often linked to the movements of the stars. Fate manifests itself in all the events surrounding the young lovers: the ancient and inexplicable feud between their families, the catastrophic series of mishaps which ruin Friar Lawrence's plans, and the tragic timing of Romeo's suicide and Juliet's awakening. The structure of the play itself rests upon the fate from which the two lovers cannot escape.
The play opens with a brawl which erupts between servants of the Montague and Capulet families. This initial quarrel illustrates that the "ancient Grudge" between the two families runs so deep that it extends to the servants (Prologue l. 3). Upon their first encounter, Romeo and Juliet remain ignorant to the fact that they are the children of feuding families. Actually, the lovers meet by coincidence. Romeo agrees to attend the Capulet ball because he hopes to see Rosaline, and he consistently...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 848 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6358 literature essays, 1753 sample college application essays, 259 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in