William Shakespeare, born in 1564, was famous for many of his fine play that was written in his period of time. Shakespeare’s plays communicate a deep knowledge of the human behavior, revealed through portrayals of a wide variety of characters. Many of his plays included history plays such as The Lancastrian and Yorkist Kings or comedy plays such as The Taming of the Shrew, a comedy of character, or The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He strengthens his reputation with his famous tragedy play Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is a play with a tragic ending of the two lovers destine to be together. It is the heart trembling tragedy ending of the play that lures readers into the play. Many believe that the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is bad luck and fate and could not be prevented. Fate is something that happens beyond the character’s control, Romeo and Juliet have control over everything that they do. The tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet is neither bad luck nor fate, but it is the result of the hasty personality and characteristic. Many, including Henry Alonzo, feel that Romeo and Juliet could not control and overcome their personality and therefor it brought them their tragic ending.
Although many feel that Romeo and Juliet’s tragic ending is fate and can not be change, Henry Alonzo agues against this saying that character flaws cause Romeo and Juliet’s tragic ending. Henry Alonzo Myers feels that “fateis determined by character and not by chance.”(163) Myers states many evidences to show that “character is a deeper and more important influence in human affairs than luck or chance.” (160) Is it true that human character has more influence in human affairs than luck or chance? Yes it is. An example is a story about a man who “broke his right leg when he tripped over the same plank”(161) in his doorstep that broke his left leg a year before. This shows that this man would rather risk breaking his leg than fixing the plank. His carelessness and incautious personalities determine his fate of breaking his leg. A similar story is about a man in Pennsylvania who had been hit by a train three times at the same crossing. This man is foolish for his actions, after the second hit anyone would take any possible precautionary to avoid getting hit again by a train. He ignorance personality determines his fate of getting hit by the train three times at the same crossing. Myers as well as many others feel that fate is result of a character’s personalities and characteristics. If a character doesn’t change his or her personality or characteristic, a result of that personality would sooner or later occur.
In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet show many evidences of their personalities that cause their tragic ending. For example, Juliet threatens to kill herself to be a faithful wife to Romeo when her father forces her to marry Paris. Her hasty action combining with her loyalty to Romeo led her to consider the worst solution that she could take. In addition when hearing the news that he is not allows to be in Verona, Romeo threatens to kill himself. His foolhardy action almost takes his life. His obsession with Juliet cause him to be careless, to reduce the value of his life to nothing. When inform that Juliet is dead Romeo drinks the poison and kills himself. Romeo has extreme personality give the least benefit to him. He would not stop to consider whether his suicide is necessary. Whether he or anyone else would benefit from this. Because of this, he kills himself before Juliet woke up. He could have prevented the tragedy if his extreme personality and action were different. Both Romeo and Juliet obsession are passionate. But their hastiness and carelessness personality got them kill.
Even Romeo actions are foolhardy and careless; he actions also prove him to be a true tragic hero. For example, when Romeo drinks the poison to kill himself, he has many other solutions to choose. He wants to be faithful to Juliet. He chooses to be with her, he choose to kill himself because he couldn’t live without her. Romeo kill himself because his lover die, he also does not want to live if he could not see Juliet. His is obsess with Juliet, he value her more than his own life. His action are foolish, but they are emotional and heroic.
When reading Romeo and Juliet, one might feel that the tragic ending is bad luck or fate. One might even think that it is nature that Romeo and Juliet died, that “the star” had planned this fate from the begginning. The tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet is not fate or bad luck; it is Romeo and Juliet’s character flaw that cause this sad ending. Romeo and Juliet’s extreme characteristic got themselves killed.