The Role Of Fortune In Romeo And Juliet
Uploaded by taz on May 13, 2008
“O Fortune, Fortune ,all men called thee fickle” as said by Juliet in the third Act of Romeo And Juliet ,shows that she believes that fortune or fate dictates the course of people’s lives.
It is clear that fortune will control the course of Romeo and Juliet’s romance, as in the prologue, the chorus refers to them as “star-cross’d lovers”. Purely by chance, Romeo and Benvolio encounter the Capulet’s servant, Peter and read the party guest list. Romeo decides to gate-crash the party in order to see Rosaline, upon whom he has a crush .However, at the party, Romeo falls instantly in love with Juliet Montague, the daughter of his father’s enemy! Coincidentally, they meet in the Capulet orchard and make plans for a hasty marriage after professing their love.They are secretly married by Friar Lawrence. The irrational hatred of the old Montague and Capulet feud causes the adolescent couple much adversity .Romeo’s friend ,Mercutio is killed by Juliet’s cousin Tybalt and Romeo is exiled to Mantua after he defends Mercutio’s honour and kills Tybalt.
Fortune shows its face again when Count Paris asks for Juliet’s hand in marriage and her father agrees. Juliet is defiant and hatches a plan with Friar Lawrence to fake her own death by drinking a sleeping potion. Unfortunately, the letter explaining the plan never reaches Romeo as the messenger, Friar John is quarantined .Romeo hears about Juliet’s ‘death’ and is devastated. He purchases poison and decides to commit suicide at Juliet’s tomb. For him, life without his beloved wife, Juliet is not worth contemplating.
Romeo returns to Verona. He fights with, and kills, the grieving Count Paris whom he discovers outside Juliet’s tomb. He sees the ‘dead’ love of his life and is overcome with despair which leads to him swallowing the poison. Had Friar Lawrence not accidentally tripped over some grave stones on his way to the tomb, this catastrophe could have been averted. When Juliet awakens, she is devastated to discover Romeo dead. She rejects Friar Lawrence’s plan of escape and kills herself using Romeo’s dagger. This fulfils their tragic destiny which fickle fortune had ordained.