The play Romeo and Juliet is about two teenagers who fall in love and die due to miscommunications. In this essay I will prove that Romeo and Juliet are responsible for their deaths. I will discuss the actions they take throughout the play, how they end up in their ‘no way’ out situation and why they are responsible for their deaths.
Romeo and Juliet are responsible for their deaths because of circumstance occurring or being ignored resulting in irrational actions. By this statement I mean Romeos situation where he is banished, the increased pressure from Juliet’s parents for her to be married to whom they feel suitable.
As Juliet has already married in secret she finds herself on her last legs and does the only thing she sees as a way out, to play dead.
Juliet’s plan was not actually successful as when Romeo gets word of Juliet’s ‘death’ he kills himself. Juliet’s decision to fake her death at the time would have been seen as a courageous act.
But on the other hand she could be seen as a coward because if she was brave enough to marry someone she barely knew, an enemy of her family, and without consulting her parents she should have also of been brave enough to tell her parents and deal with the consequences which could have possibly avoided both their deaths.
Taking into account that the two are in their early teens they should not have made such an important, life changing decision without informing their parents.
As Juliet is now committed nothing can come between her and her love Romeo. When Romeo is banished she continues to be devoted to him. This could have been an opportunity to tell her parents about their marriage but she decides not to and continues to live a lie.
Knowing that her family and Romeo’s family are incompatible she realises that one of them have to leave home to set their love free.
“O Romeo Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo…… and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”
This statement made by Juliet indicates that her decision to be with Romeo is final and that she is fully aware of her actions and so therefore should have some sort of idea of the risks involved in pursuing their secret relationship.
Knowing about the feud between the two families Juliet creates a separation between Romeo and his name and makes it clear that it is only his name (Montague) that is the problem. This again indicates that she is in no confusion about her actions.
Determined not to let the feud come between her and Romeo it is Juliet that makes the situation more serious by stating that she will marry him if he asks.
“If that thy bent of love be honourable……. And follow thee my lord throughout the world.”
This proclamation conveys her sudden devotion and could also be seen as an act of immaturity because Juliet does not know Romeo, but because she is so attracted to him she finds it necessary to bring the idea of marriage into things.
We can also see that the pair are not mature enough to make a decision on marriage by themselves as when they first meet at the Capulet party, it is not long before Romeo’s desires for Juliet are shared,
“If I profane with my unworthiest hand……. To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”
This is an immature thing to do because he does not know who Juliet is and is declaring his feelings just hours after being declined by Rosaline who he thought he was in love with. If he was being mature about things he would not have been so blatant with Juliet and would have taken the time to work out if his feelings are true and make sure he is not just going after the first thing he sees as a result of being on the rebound .Also because Romeo and Juliet communicated with each other via the nurse, when Juliet sends the nurse out to speak to Romeo about marriage. Their behaviour is portrayed in an immature manner and shows that they do not understand how serious their plans are.
Adolescent passion plays a big part in Romeo and Juliet’s unfortunate death. Although it cannot solely be used as the reason why. Haste, immaturity, a lack of courage, along with adolescent passion can be held responsible.
If the two had taken the time to get to know each other things may not have gone to the extremes they did. It is a theory that can never be proven, but if Romeo and Juliet did get to know each other and had shown their family their love for each other they could have possibly ended the family feud. Had Romeo not been banished to Mantua and revealed their marriage their deaths may have been prevented.
It is clear to see that in a short period of time Juliet is overcome with love as she makes it clear where her loyalties lie when her wet nurse from infancy asks her a question concerning her husband in a negative light.
Nurse: “Will you speak well of he that killed your cousin?”
Juliet: “Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband…….When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?”
This interaction between the nurse and Juliet indicates that Juliet has now put her husband and feelings of love before her family.
The only motives Juliet and Romeo have are to be together and be married without their family’s knowledge. Which they manage to accomplish through secrecy. If they had confided in their parents then they could have possibly got sensible advice.
In a sense you can see reason behind Juliet’s actions as throughout the play all she wants to do is please her parents.
“I’ll look to like if looking liking move.”
Through this statement we can conclude that Juliet does want to abide by her parents but at the same time does not agree with everything that they see to be ‘sense.’
In this essay I have explained that I think Romeo and Juliet are responsible for their deaths and why. I believe they died due to adolescent passion, haste, immaturity and a lack of courage. They should have spent time together, getting to know each other instead of rushing things. They should have told their parents about their feelings even though they may have felt like they were dishonouring their families. I think Juliet’s motives are honourable she is merely acting in the way she sees best, which is why she does not confide in her parents.
William Shakespeare could have wanted the audience to blame Juliet’s parents, the nurse, Friar Lawrence or Romeo and Juliet as he has made it easy to blame any of these characters because each of them have some sort of impact on Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare has portrayed Romeo and Juliet as naï¿½ve because they immediately believe they are in love with each other, head strong because they reject any objections made by the friar or the nurse when they decide to be married and sincere because really they want to please their parents but do not go about things in the right way which lastly shows the immaturity in them. I think Shakespeare may agree with a few of my ideas to a certain degree but not fully as we both have two very different mentalities.