Romeo and Juliet “A pair of star crossed lovers take their life. ” Everyone has heard this quote before, even if they have not even read or seen the play. Throughout history the play Romeo and Juliet is called the world’s most beloved story ever. One of the reason they have this label is because people say it was fate and chance they met and fell in love. Another theory that contrasts the original one would be that their story was not caused by the stars, but rather each character and actions they choose adding on to the grief during the end of the story.
Over a period of time by reading more of the play the context would just prove that theory. Then while watching both movies they just verified the theory thus making it legitimate. Most people say that Romeo and Juliet came together by chance and died together by chance. The argument here is to go against that theory and rather tell their story was affected by their own mistakes rather by the stars themselves.
While reading the text of Romeo and Juliet the first thought most people have is of course Romeo and Juliet’s love was fate since that is what they are labeled as, but reading more into it you began to realize on how it was really was not fate at all. Each character in the story made somewhat of an impact even if it was tiny on how the two lovers came to be or how they ended up. These characters include Capulet, Lady Capulet, Montague, Lady Montague, Paris, Tybalt, Nurse and Friar Lawrence. Starting off in the beginning, even before Romeo and Juliet were born, their families were in a long generational feud with each other.
The concept Shakespeare may be portraying is that the families are to blame for the Romeo and Juliet not being able to express their love freely. This problem could of been so easily avoided if the hatred between the families did not exist. In the book Romeo and Juliet, Juliet states “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. ” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 100). When most people hear this quote they think she is saying, where is Romeo, but he is actually saying why are you Romeo.
Meaning that once she found out Romeo was a Montague. Which makes her beliefs and knowledge about the feud resent her love for Romeo even though she greatly desires him. In this scene she also says “Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. ” (2. 2. 101). She has come to realize how doomed their love is and that she does not want to be a Capulet if he is a Montague, she also wishes he had a different last name. Instead of having the name Romeo Montague she says get rid of your name which does not matter because it is not what defines you and take my name instead.
Following these thoughts, Juliet would never have had these complications if the parents of both Romeo and Juliet were at peace instead of having this childish feud between them. At the moment they are unnecessarily sworn enemies. Although their families make a very big contribution to the overall end of the story they are not the only ones. Romeo and Juliet are also accompanied by two very wise and trustworthy companions Nurse and Friar Lawrence. Throughout most of the play and two films the Nurse and Friar Lawrence have had a big influence on the two lovers, even more than their own parents.
Juliet was never close with her own mother so she never had that motherly role model around to give her guidance when she needed it. To take her place was the Nurse who was more of a mother figure to Juliet than Lady Capulet could ever be. As a child the Nurse would breast feed Juliet and overtime would care for Juliet as if she were her own. Throughout the entire play Nurse was the only one Juliet trusted enough to tell about her affairs with the handsome Romeo. The text and movies drastically change the character of the Nurse in a way of their personality.
In the book it is noticeable that the Nurse was more fawned of Paris than Romeo and never really showed interest in him for Juliet’s spouse but she rather advised against Juliet’s love towards him. During a conversation with Juliet the Nurse gives her honest opinion of the situation by saying “I think it best you married with the County. O, he’s a lovely gentlemen! ” (3. 5. 219). In this specific scene Juliet asked for advice from the Nurse and she says since Romeo is banished, she thinks he would never dare come back to Verona where he is surely to be caught and killed.
Which means he will never be able to again claim Juliet as his wife. She is implying in this situation that it is best to marry Count Paris and then continues to try and convince Juliet by reminding her of how wonderful and handsome he is. Evidence from the book stated that Nurse was less willing for Juliet to be with Romeo for the sake of only their happiness and would rather have her marry Paris. But in the 1968 film the Nurse gave a completely different decision on the subject matter.
In the movie it showed each character’s emotion very well including Nurse. Romeo says “Some means to come to shrift this afternoon; and there she shall at Friar Lawrence’s cell be shriveled and married. ” (Romeo and Juliet 1968) After this Nurse in the film she opens her eyes wide with a smile saying “ooo, oooo, hehehe. ” meaning she laughs with excitement. (Romeo and Juliet 1968). It’s easy to see how fond Nurse was of Romeo. As Juliet was wooed by Romeo so was Nurse by his charming looks. Although the text it’s hard realized that she was excited at all.
Even though no matter what Nurse’s personality was in either book or film her decisions made a big different for Juliet since she looked up to Nurse as a motherly role in her life. Juliet respected and listened to Nurses decisions so overall Nurse’s decisions affected what Juliet planned to do with Romeo. Overall Juliet’s thoughts and actions are influenced by Nurse, who she looks up to. But not all of these decisions were the best for Juliet which end up with everything going downhill. Moving on to Friar Lawrence, who had a big influence on the both of them.
In the beginning once Friar Lawrence found out about Romeo and Juliet when they went to him, he thought it was a good idea. Romeo one morning after being with Juliet, goes to see Friar Lawrence, who decides to help Romeo but only for one reason. He says “In one respect I’ll thy assistant be; For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households rancour to pure love. ” (Shakespeare. 120). He basically said that he will help Romeo for only one reason that is, he thinks this marriage alliance could turn the hatred between the two families into happiness and end the fued.
He is a character such as Nurse, one that helps Romeo and Juliet during the whole play. Friar Lawrence is actually the one who comes up with the plan. In the movie Romeo and Juliet the 1996 version, he says “Hold, then. Go home, be merry, give consent To marry Paris. Wednesday is to-morrow. Let not the Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber. Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilled liquor drink thou off. ” (Romeo + Juliet 1996). He then goes on by saying her body will be at rest while she goes into a pleasant sleep. After this he explains his plan to Juliet and each detail not knowing what could go wrong.
This plan that Friar Lawrence made affected the most out of everything because this is when things started going downhill even more. He did not think of the many problems that could happen and all the things that could go wrong. Most of the characters are to be blame, even Romeo and Juliet for what happened in the end because it was there doing and mistakes like this big one that set everything out of place. One other character had a big impact on the outcome at the end of the story. Tybalt had somewhat of an impact like every other character as well.
Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin on the Capulet side probably hates the Montague the most in their family. During the play one big impact was the fight between Romeo and Tybalt that ended with two deaths. At first Tybalt was just playfully threatening Romeo to sword fight with him, but Romeo would not because he knew they are family now since the wedding. Mercurio, on the other hand, stands up for Romeo who will not stand up for himself, and fights Tybalt instead. This scene ends with a bloody, deadly war zone that is not the best position for Romeo to be in after being married.
Romeo ends up killing Tybalt out of anger for stabbing and killing his best friend, Mercutio. Rather than blame Tybalt for everything that happened, another character to blame is Romeo for being careless and brainless for one getting involved and getting back for Mercutio’s death. This action is what caused Romeo to be banished and soon developing in the plan and everything going downhill. Overall the stars were aligned against the two lovers from the beginning and are to blame, but rather the action of the characters themselves.
Each character had somewhat of an effect on the end result to the story. Whether it’s Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt, Nurse, Friar Lawrence, Capulet and Lady Capulet or Montague and Lady Montague, their decisions and actions built up on one another and all together made the ending of the story the way it was. The star crossed love between the two was not fate at all. It was decisions and actions that led to them meeting and dying in each other’s arms. Even though their story is based off of cause and effect and not the stars, this beloved story is a true lesson for all of us.
All things happen for a reason, whether it is fate or not, and what happened to Romeo and Juliet is exactly that. This was not for nothing, but rather for learning and grieving from our own actions. One of the most powerful, meaningful lines that really speaks to the audience is “A glooming peace this morning with it brings; The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head. Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardon’d and some punished: For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. ” (Shakespeare. 302).