At the end of Romeo and Juliet the prince says "Some shall be pardoned and some punished" who is responsible for the tragic outcome of the play ? Which characters should be punished ?
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The events of Act 5 do not provide a clear answer to the question of whether Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy of fate. Instead, one could continue to argue that the tragic ending is the result of individual decisions - most notably, Friar Laurence's complicated plan. The success of this plan is highly contingent on timing and circumstance. What if Friar John had not been waylaid? What if Romeo had arrived at the Capulet tomb two hours later, or if Friar Laurence had arrived one hour earlier? What would have happened had Romeo and Juiet simply been honest..... we'll never know.
Individual punishment has no place here, as each of the individuals involved will be busy enough punishing themselves. The Friar may see an end to the feud, which was his ultimate goal. He didn't support the lovers, as much as he supported what their union might mean to everyone else around them. Thus, his goal was political as much as personal. For him, this might be a double-edged sword. As for the Capulets and Montagues, they have to live with the deaths of their young ones...... family and friends. What could be worse than the loss of a child?