Romeo and Juliet: Fate or Free Will?

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Romeo and Juliet: Fate or Free Will?

This essay will discuss the themes of fate and free will in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” It will analyze how these themes influence the characters’ actions and the play’s tragic outcome. PapersOwl offers a variety of free essay examples on the topic of Free Will.

Category:Free Will
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Pages:  2
Words:  566
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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet has two very prevalent themes. One can cease that the two apposite themes are free will and fate. Within the script of this beloved play, Shakespeare displays a mixed notion of the actual theme which could lead to the assumption that either theme can be lectured. The denotative meaning of fate being … events beyond a person’s control and free will meaning power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate both can be informed as the plausible theme.

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Both themes could suit this calamitous play.

Free Will in Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet, two of the main characters, construct decisions together out of free will and personal choice. When Romeo and Juliet make secret wedding arrangements, they do this with full sovereignty of their actions. For instance, the Juliet claims, Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow And all of my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay which shows that Juliet is willing to jeopardize everything to marry Romeo. These preposterous, quick decisions lead to the downfall of the pair which included Juliet threatened disownment by her parents, and the ultimate death of both Romeo and Juliet. Though tribulations were aroused by the bad decisions made by the couple, some instances were brought upon them by pure fate.

Within the play, the characters encounter situations that are inevitable and fueled in spite of fate. The strongest evidence of fate is when Romeo meets Juliet at the Capulet party. Romeo’s predominant intention was to meet his current infatuation, Rosaline, but instead he landed his eyes on Juliet, and instantly had a change in mind and fell in love with Juliet. Romeo recites in act one scene five, Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night, which demonstrates Romeo instantaneously being struck by Cupid’s bow as soon as he saw Juliet. Fate plays substantial role in this incident because Romeo had no idea that he would meet Juliet. Throughout the play, Shakespeare is sure to write on few occurrences how juvenile Romeo and Juliet were which could play part in some adrenaline fueled instances.

In 2011, scientist came upon the conclusion that adolescents react in ludicrous and impetuous ways rather than adults due to developmental stages. Certain areas of the human brain develop well into adulthood which is why teens and adults may react contrastingly to certain situations. According to the research, Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents’ brains function differently than adults their actions are more guided more by the amygdala and less by the frontal cortex, which the author of this report earlier explains that the amygdala is accountable for instinctual reactions of aggression and trepidation, but on the other hand, the frontal cortex is a later developed section that sways cogent thinking. Using these scientific findings, one could connect Romeo killing Tybalt as a spontaneous reaction to Tybalt killing his close friend Mercutio.

The two rife themes of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet are very strong, viable themes. As well as the scientific research that could also assist why the young characters acted out more than the older characters. Though when collectively putting the evidence in thought, many instances, whether it be fate or free will, defied against the fierce feelings of the star-crossed lovers. Ultimately leading to the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

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Romeo and Juliet: Fate or Free Will?. (2019, Jul 31). Retrieved from