“Romeo and Juliet” is a famous work by William Shakespeare. It is a love story about the ‘two star crossed lovers’ Romeo and Juliet, who meet with their tragic end due to dispute between their families. Two young innocent lives were led into the jaws of death due to misguidance given by the Nurse and the immature behaviour of Romeo, but over and above everything was their unchangeable destinies which headed towards their end. This essay will explore the question ‘Who is to blame for the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet?’ .It will first focus on Romeo as the most to be blamed character in the tragedies and then on Nurse, Fate also plays a very major role in tragic death of both the lovers.
Romeo and Juliet belonged to a high class society but unfortunately for them both their families had been into a feud since decades. Romeo is the only son of Lord and Lady Montague and so Juliet the only one to the Capulet’s. At the beginning of the play Romeo is able to keep himself away from the fight between the families because he is deeply obsessed with love. Romeo is desperately in love with Rosaline who is a Capulet and is about to commit a blander by approaching her, which might result in to a big fight between families.
Romeo:” out of her favour where I am in love”
(Act 1, Scene 2, Line 162)
Romeo:”grief of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thouh wilt propagate to have it press’d
With more of thine, this love that thou hast
Shown, both add more grief to too much of
Mine own. Love is a smoke made with fume of
(Act 1, Scene 1, Line 180)
Romeo is supposed to be in unconventional love with Rosaline by his family and friends due to his behaviour. We could have also guessed the same thing from his use of language and description of his feelings. Although he is serious about Rosaline and has faith in his love, he fails when it is put on test.
Romeo changes decisions very suddenly even if it would prove his first love wrong. He made strong appeals for getting married to Rosaline when he was in love with her but then things changed because of Juliet. People didn’t know much about the relationship of Romeo and Juliet; when Romeo confined himself with Juliet they thought he was still in love with Rosaline. People are made fool by Romeo, he things by doing so he can escape from the consequences but he is unaware of even bigger trouble caused by doing so.
Romeo:” Did my heart love till now? Foreswear it
Sight! /for I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”
(Act 1, Scene 2, Line 125)
Romeo says this when he saw Juliet at the ball. After this he suddenly forgets every thing about Rosaline completely. He falls in love with Juliet at first sight, at the Capulet feast but before a couple of hours he was deeply obsessed with Rosaline, this shows his fickleness. Romeo’s love for Rosaline was short lived, his attraction towards Juliet shows how frequently he changed his mind. His changing mind and impulsive behaviour becomes a problem for him later. His immaturity and adolescence can be blamed for his death. This clearly shows why he is to blame for his and his beloved wife Juliet’s death.
Romeo makes decisions in haste and dose not think about the consequences .He rushes for the marriage even after knowing that Juliet is a Capulet
Romeo: “Th’ exchange of thy love’s faithful vow of mine”
(Act 2, Scene 2, Line 125)
Romeo was very well conversant about the fluid between the Montague’s and Capulet’s. Romeo learnt from the Nurse that Juliet is a Capulet, but still he did not hesitate and approached her. He did not think about what destruction there relationship could cause. He became self-centred and did not think things through. Although he met Juliet only before few hours he proposed her to marry him. His rushing decision to marry Juliet in secret became the major cause of there end. Romeo and Juliet got married in secret as Romeo had planed with out there parents getting a hint of it; this was indeed a wrong deal of action. Romeo did not think about the consequences, he became selfish just for seeking sensual pleasures. Romeo’s hastiness and impatient can also be argued as main points for the tragic death of the young lovers.
Romeo is not good at handling situations. He deliberately avoids confrontation with Tybalt to the despair of Mercutio until he is drawn into the fight, which then results in Mercutio’s death
Romeo:” Tybalt, the reason that I have to love tee
Doth much excuse the appertaining range?
To such a greeting villain and I none;
Therefore farewell, I see thou knowest me not.”
(Act 3, Scene 1, Line 60)
Romeo is reluctant to fight Tybalt because they are now related through Romeo’s marriage to Juliet. Mercutio mistakes Romeo’s ignorance to fight Tybalt as his cowardliness. The fact Romeo will not fight annoys and irritates Mercutio and leads him into the feud. Romeo should have informed Mercutio about his secret marriage with Juliet as he was Romeo’s best friend. If Mercutio had known about the marriage before hand he would not behaved so aggressively with Tybalt and the situation would have been under control. Unfortunately this did not happen due to Romeo’s inability to manage things and foresee the upcoming trouble which he caused leaded to Mercutio’s death and the haunting curse. Romeo’s age can also be a cause of his own death, as he’s very immature and doesn’t have the tendency to make the right decisions at the right time.
Romeo fails to balance his relationships because of his impetuous and rushing attitude .He does out of the blue things without taking any account of the consequences .He is prepared to kill any one and even his own self if required. Romeo burning in the fire of revenge kills Tybalt and commits a crime for which he is punished.
Romeo:” And fire-ey’d fury be my conduct now!
Now, Tybalt, take the ‘villain’ back again
That late thou gavest me, for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou or I ,or bouth, must go with him.”
(Act 3, Scene 1, line 120-125)
This shows how Romeo is mentally prepared to take revenge for his friend, no matter what happens. He is ready to kill Tybalt and even him own self. He is not terrified from the consequences he would have to face. When Tybalt kills Mercutio however, Romeo out of loyalty to his friend and anger at Tybalt’s arrogance kills Tybalt, thus avenging his friend’s death. He acts unconsciously and takes decisions in haste. In one ill-fated moment, he placed his love of Juliet over any concerns for Mercutio, and Mercutio was killed. Romeo then compounds the problem by placing his feelings of anger over any concerns for Juliet by killing Tybalt to assuage his guilt. Romeo thus becomes the cause of two deaths and these even results in his own tragedy. Romeo’s range overpowers his sensibility and dose not let him think things through resulting in Tybalt’s death and his banishment. A series of events have been set which definitely leads to tragic end of the two lovers.
Romeo is impetuous. He acts in haste throughout the play .He is impatient and never thinks with pleasant mind.
Balthasar:” I do beseech you, sir, have patience:
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import
(Act 5, Scene 1, line 28)
Balthasar advises Romeo to stay calm and think with a pleasant mind. As taking decisions in haste might lead to mishap. Even though Balthasar makes Romeo aware of what disasters his impetuous and rash attitude can create he takes it casually. Because of his this ignorance he mourns later. If he had thought sensibly and acted accordingly, then he would have made much more sensible decisions than committing a suicide. He should have taken Balthasar’s warming seriously any followed it, instead of rushing back to Verona. Romeo’s ignorance to think sensibly becomes a cause for his death by consuming poison.
Romeo rushes back to Verona from where he is banished, prepared to kill his own self. He does not think with pleasant mind and reacts vigorously.
Romeo:” And if a man did need a poison now,
Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.’
O this same thought bib but forerun my need,
And this same needy man must sell it me.”
(Act 5, scene 1, line 50)
Here again Romeo’s impatient and impulsive behaviour leads him to take serious decisions which should have been thought through clearly. His childish psychological minds make him thinks that he’s superior over everyone else. This leads to his down fault. It is as if Romeo him self tied a robe around his own neck.
The news that Juliet is dead frustrates Romeo and changes his mood abruptly. He takes command on his own life, deciding that if he cannot be with Juliet in life, he will be with her at least in death. He loses his peace of mind. His conduct becomes even more erratic as he has lost what ever he has so fleetingly enjoyed. Impetuously he finds poison and rushing back to Verona. Once there, nothing will stand in his way. Paris dies like Tybalt before him, a victim of his range. Romeo’s haste to consume the poison causes him to die just prior to Juliet’s awakening .If Romeo did not act in haste and rushed back to Verona he would have been able to see Juliet awake from her sleep. Then their lives would be alive and possibly together. It is Romeo’s careless and reckless behaviour to be blamed. Romeo’s hastiness to consume poison and rushing attitude to go back to Verona leads to death of many individuals.
Throughout the play Romeo has acted in haste and impetuously. He does not think about the consequences. He does not learn his lessons. He first became the cause of Mercutio’s death, and then he kills Tybalt and gets banished, but still he does an immoral deed of killing Paris. He does not think things through. Romeo’s rushing and impatience attitude leads to his tragic death
Shakespeare uses Nurse to explore the relationship between comedy and tragedy in the play. The Nurse, despite being a servant in the Capulet household, has a role equivalent to that of Juliet’s mother and regards Juliet as her own daughter. Nurse is closer to Juliet then her own mother. Nurse is to be blamed for the death of the two star-crossed lovers as she misguides the innocent lives.
Nurse is to be blamed for; she helps Juliet to marry Romeo secretly by betraying Capulet family. She no more remains loyal to her masters by doing unwilling acts behind there backs.
Nurse: “Then he you hence to Friar Lawrence’ cell,
There stays a husband to make you a wife”
(Act 2, Scene 5, line 68)
Juliet’s relations with her Nurse are better and closer then her mother. Juliet finds her self more comfortable with the Nurse and reveals her feelings for Romeo. The Nurse, instead of making it clear to Juliet her relation can never be soothing but can only bring destruction, supports Juliet
The Nurse was already aware of the feud between the two families still she encourages Juliet to marry Romeo. She dose not remain faithful to her employer by helping the two lovers. She is no more an ideal maid. She carries on massages between Romeo and Juliet and helps them to marry secretly. The Nurse dose not behaves as a responsible adult. She dose not think about the consequences and dose things which is to be blame. So it is Nurse careless as thoughtless behaviour whish leads to the tragic death.
The Nurse can be accused for not giving a healthy atmosphere for Juliet’s mind to develop, even Juliet’s mother hesitates to talk about sex in front of her young child but the Nurse does not. The Nurse did not give proper sex education to Juliet; she seems to be a bad influence on Juliet. Nurse mocks Juliet on sex all the time we see her in the play.
Nurse:” I am drudge and toil in your delight,
But you shall bear the burden soon at night. ”
(Act 2, Scene 5, line 75-76)
Nurse teases Juliet regarding sex. This shows how Nurse has been giving Juliet sex education in an incorrect way .May be it is Nurse influence that Juliet rushes for the marriage to have fun on her wedding night. Nurse has been making jokes and teasing Juliet on sex throughout the play. It is because of her solid support that Juliet fells confident on her decision to marry Romeo and spent night with him. It seems obvious that it is because of Nurse bad influence that Juliet marries Romeo to spent night with him.
Nurse should have revealed to secret of Romeo and Juliet’s Marriage after Tybalt’s death. But instead she goes and gets Romeo to comfort Juliet.
Nurse: “He to Your Chamber I will find Romeo to comfort you, I
Wot well where he is.”
(Act3, scene3, line138)
Nurse should have acted according to the situation, she should have told Lord and Lady Capulet about the secret marriage of Romeo and Juliet, soon after Tybalt’s death. Tybalt’s being Juliet’s cousin was killed by Romeo. Nurse should have reacted like one of Capulet and demanded Romeo to be punished; instead she went to Flair Lawrence’s cell to get Romeo on his wedding night. She knew he will spend the whole night in Capulet house with Juliet; it was a high risk on her. The Nurse does not bother about the consequences and is confident about her deeds, even though it is against her employers. All this shows how careless she is. She is not at all loyal to her employers. Nurse acting in haste and doing wrong things, indeed leads to the tragic death of both the lovers.
Nurse betrays Juliet by rapidly changing side. When she advises Juliet to forget banished Romeo and marry Paris.
Nurse:” I this it best you marry with county
O,he’s a lovely gentleman!
Romeo’s a dishclout to him. an eagle madam,
Hath not so green. so quick,so fair an eye
As pans hath. Beshrew my very heart ”
(Act 3, Scene, Line2 18-220)
To the Nurse, it seems to be a kind of game she gets excited with Juliet about her love at the beginning and supports the lovers, but as the complications arise she dumps Juliet and wakes away from her like a coward. We can’t believe that Nurse offers such a course of action after all praised Romeo and helped bring the couple together. She has forfeited any closeness with Juliet on top of all this she changes sides and advises Juliet to marry Paris like her mother. The Nurse now criticizes Romeo and admires Paris. Juliet is depressed and shocked by the reaction of the Nurse. Juliet has now got no one on her side to support her and goes through pressure, she has only one option to follow friar’s plan if she wants to be with Romeo. Nurse doesn’t take proper decisions and acts like an irresponsible adult misguiding Juliet. If she had stepped into the trouble with Juliet, it is her responsibility to help Juliet finding a way out of the problem. The Nurse scared of the consequences betrays Juliet and stays safe on her side; this shows how she had played the game which would ultimately lead to a tragic end
Fate follows all over the play .It is fate that Romeo comes to knows about the ball and goes there as Rosaline was suppose to come but instead he meets Juliet and falls in love with her. Fortune plays with both the lovers putting them in situations with no way out. Fate plays a major hand in arranging a conversation between Romeo and the illiterate servant who is with the guest list. It therefore seems quite natural that servant should seek help in reading the names and that Romeo is there to do just that. It is definitely not a coincident that Romeo who does not aspire to go at the ball in spite of his friends insistent changed his mind as he learns from the servants that his beloved Rosaline is expected at the ball; surprisingly Rosaline does not arrive and to our astonishment Romeo falls in love at first sight with no one else at the ball but Juliet, the daughter of the Capulet family. All the cards are laid step by step by the fate as the ultimate win is in its favour.
Rome says his love will become the cause of his death at the ball and that is what happens at the end. His unconventional live for Juliet fetches him towards the edge of his death.
Romeo:” Ay mine own fortune in my misery”
(Act 3, Sene 2, line 58)
The fated destinies of Romeo and Juliet are fore shed through out the play. Romeo’s instinct tells him that he has a bad luck and no mater how hard he tried but fate will never let him succeed, this frustrates Romeo and he keeps on cursing his fate for misshapes. He somehow fore sever his own love will be the cause for his death. Which happens at the end he dies for his love for Juliet it is fate that Romeo and Juliet meet and tell in love.
Mercutio course both the houses at the time of his death. The haunted curse of Mercutio is culpable of destroying Romeo and Juliet as they belong to those houses. It is a measly twist of fate that the curse is soon brought to life.-
Mercutio: “Or I shall faint a plague a’ both your houses!
They have made worms’ meat of me. I have it, as
And soundly to your houses!”
(Act 3, Scene 1, Line 103)
Romeo tries to stop Mercutio and Tybalt fighting and in the confusion Mercutio receives a fatal stab wound, he dies in Romeo’s arms giving a haunting curs, he curses families of Montague & Capulet to death. Romeo is from. Capulet’s and Juliet the daughter of Montague’s so it’s the curse which is carried out resulting into the tragic death of both the star crossed lovers. Mercutio dies frustrated and angry shocked leaving fate upon the lovers. Mercutio’s dying curse upon the houses resonates as the voice of fate itself. All this indicates to only one thing, the young lovers were fated to die. So no matter how hard they try to avoid trouble, they cannot change there destinies.
Romeo through his senses forebodes that fate is not on his side therefore, he gets annoyed and addresses his self as fortunes foe.
Romeo: “O, I am fortune’s fool”
(Act 3, Scene, line 132)
Romeo says this lines getting on his knees as he realises what blunder he has committed by killing Tybalt. At the beginning of the party Romeo has a premonition that he is going to face an untimely death. He ignores this indications made by fate but is unable to do the same when he kills
Tybalt in his spirit to take avenge. There is a hand of fate in making Romeo do series of things which leads to his tragic end. Romeo curses fate because; it is fate that makes him fall in love with Juliet; again it is fate that he becomes the cause Mercutio’s and Tybalt’s death. The out burst on the streets of Verona after Romeo killed Tybalt shows how strongly he believes that fate is responsible for all his wrong deeds.
Romeo staunchly believes in fate and is aware of fate not being on his side, as it always makes him do wrong things because of this he is always course his fate.
Romeo:” Is it e’en so? Then I defy you stars!”
(Act 5, Scene 1, Line 24)
Romeo staunchly believes in ones destiny being already set in stars. Through a series of actions played by his fate now Romeo is knowledge that fate is his foe .Romeo accuses the twist of fate for causing him commit the terrible sin of murdering Tybalt, Moreover, Romeo blames fate as it compels him to be the main cause of conflict resulting into Mercutio’s death. Soon after learning about Juliet’s death Romeo criticizes his fate, as it is his wicked destiny that leads to the death of his beloved. We can blame fate for cycle of actions so that the characters are unable to win the combat with the fate and resulting into there tragic death.
Fate surrounds mainly about Romeo all the time in the play, we wish it to be a bit merciful and awake Juliet before Romeo drinks poison but unfortunately it remains awful to innocent lovers causing them to die. Romeo drinks the venom just seconds before Juliet becomes fully conscious were instigating Romeo to die helplessly due to poisoning in the arms of his beloved Juliet, where he always wanted to be. It is noticeable that fate plays a major role in the tragic death of both lovers.
Although we know that he and Juliet are fated to die, we still hope against fate that the workings of fate might be thwarted and time and again we are disappointed. Fate is merciless and which results in tragic end of two star-crossed lowers. As there destinies are set in by fate.
It is apparent that the death of Romeo and Juliet has been because of some instrumental characters. However I think Romeo is most to be blamed as he dose not think about the consequences and always acts in haste. He takes rushing decisions which creates problems later. So it is ultimately Romeo’s immature and impetuous behaviour which leads to the tragic end of two star-crossed lovers.