Whom should we blame for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths?

Answering this question, it is important to say that people all over the world read and reread this masterpiece about true love, and all of them have their own opinion on this matter. If to carefully analyze the actions of each character throughout the play, it becomes clear that each of them can be accused in death of Romeo and Juliet to some extent.

Obviously the main culprit of the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet is inveterate feud between two families, as well as misunderstanding of young people’s feelings from the side of parents. A lot of people and the destiny itself can be blamed for the tragic ending of the story. First of all, society at those times approved obedience to parents and their will, while disobedience of children would be considered unacceptable. During the Renaissance, society was rather severe on young people. Nobody asked their opinion, and those who were in love had no chance to defend their feelings. By the will of God, Juliet’s father accepted the proposal of Paris, a young noble and handsome man, who fell in love with beautiful Juliet. It was not in the nature of Juliet to disobey her father. For this reason, her relations with Romeo could not be announced in public, let alone to their parents. Her father thought that Paris was the most suitable husband for her daughter, for he was wealthy, good-natured and respectful. Unfortunately, her father did not consider it necessary to ask his daughter’s opinion. He told her:

I tell thee what get to church a Thursday or never after look me in the face. Speak not, reply not, do not answer (3.5.119).

We may presume that her father was absolutely convinced that it was a right decision, and he believed that in future his daughter would be grateful to him. He considered his daughter too young and not yet able to make right decisions. People of her age were too light-headed, and in this regard he was right. It proves that from the very beginning such factors as family and social disapproval hindered the happiness of Romeo and Juliet.

But it was getting worse and worse as it went on. Soon there came a fateful fight. The sweltering heat of Verona made blood of young men boil, and in a blaze of anger, Tybalt, Romeo and Mercutio started quarrelling. It resulted in the death of innocent Mercutio, Romeo’s best friend. He passed away with the fateful words:

A plague o’ both your houses! (3.1.102)

Driven mad with sorrow, Romeo killed Tybalt, and was eventually forced to leave Verona. Otherwise, he would be executed. This unfortunate incident caused the most irreparable harm to the future of Romeo and Juliet, as they could no longer meet and enjoy moments of mutual happiness, at least secretly. Who could be blamed in this situation? Perhaps, Tybalt, who began to mock at Romeo, and initiated the fight, but on the other hand, all three young men acted thoughtlessly. Tybalt was probably more hot-tempered and prejudiced to the Montague family, than others. He said to Romeo:

Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford

No better term than this, – thou art a villain (3.1.104).

Again we see the vehemence of young men, who tend to make split-second decisions without careful thinking.

Mercutio can also be blamed, as he was reckless enough to drag Romeo to the ball, where he first met Juliet, and he also caused the separation of two lovers by participating in the fight. His death enraged Romeo to kill Tybalt, for what he was forced to live Verona and fall apart with his beloved. In such a way, it is clear that many characters could be blamed for the tragic ending of the story, although some of them had greater influence than others.

But on the other hand, how can we blame someone in the death of Romeo and Juliet, whose love was doomed to fail from the very beginning? Be that as it may, no one can argue that a lot of characters influenced the course of events. S

ome people claim that Friar Lorenzo can also be accused in the deaths of two lovers, as he acted irresponsibly by giving a sleeping drug to desperate Juliet. The young woman would rather die, than marry Paris, whom she did not love. She knew that she could not be happy with Paris, despite all his noble traits. On the one hand, Friar Lawrence was not guilty, as he could not predict the tragic consequences, but wanted to help young people unite and be happy.

He hoped that their marriage would be strong enough to put an end to the groundless feud between two families. Friar Lawrence wanted to hope for the best, and tried to do as much as possible to help the young lovers. He said:

In one respect I’ll thy assistant be; for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancor to pure love (2.3.93).

Unfortunately, his assistance aggravated the situation. No one knows what would happen if Friar Lawrence did not marry Romeo and Juliet and did not elaborate a plan of Juliet’s fake death. Maybe, Romeo and Juliet could have found a better way out. But if we are to blame Friar Lawrence, it would be better to say that he should never have given his consent to a secret marriage of Romeo and Juliet. Although they considered themselves adults, in reality they were still too young to make wise decisions. Juliet was engaged with Paris and ought not to be so haste in her choice. The very fact that Romeo and Juliet were from feuding families ought to stop them the very moment they got to know about it. Nonetheless, love is often blind, and Romeo and Juliet were also blind in their passionate feelings.

From this point of view, both lovers could be blamed for their own deaths. In most cases Romeo was not only unlucky, but he also acted too hastily, especially when the problem was to be dealt carefully. Romeo should not have rushed to Verona after hearing the news of Juliet’s death. But he felt so miserable and desperate, that it made him thoughtless and indifferent to his future. Young people often lack caution in their actions and nothing can be done about it.

Summarizing the arguments stated above, we should say that the major factors that led to the tragic deaths were fate and light-headed nature of main characters, although there were some other factors of minor importance. No one could predict the course of events, and we cannot put blame on anything, but fate. If Romeo and Juliet were luckier they would probably never fell in love with each other, and there would be no innocent deaths. Unfortunately, cruel fate decided differently.

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