Dec 11, 2012 - Communication    1 Comment

How does Shakespeare explore the concept of fate in Romeo and Juliet

Fate, in the play Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare uses this style a lt, through out the play there are loads of hints and speeches about fate and what is going to happen later on in the play. There are certain methods he uses to to incorporate fate into his writing, the way he made characters speak in the play helps a lot because one of his main methods for using fate are metaphors.

In the play Shakespeare uses metaphors consistently, he would construct a sentence using words that have different meanings to what he wrote, that is what a metaphor is. For example a in speech said by mercutio a chraracter in the play goes on to say “Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,Which is as thin of substance as the air” ., this means that in romeos head is in the clouds probably saying he is nieve , saying that fantasy is as thin as air is basically saying that you shouldn’t trust your fantasy and stay I the real world because you won’t do no good up there in your own little world. In this paragraph mercutio is trying to talk sense Into Romeo and trying to snap out of it. But Shakespeare also uses a lot of metaphors to relate to fate. Early in the play Romeo says a very famous speech, this speech is packed with metaphors but there is one line in this speech that I would like to pick up on “some yet consequence hanging in the stars” . This means that Romeos fate is not in his own hands, and that there is nothing he can do to stop it. But in this case Romeo does not know if his fate is bad or if it is good. This metaphor is also a reference, a reference to God.

” Some consequence left hanging in the stars” like I said before this means Romeo has no control of his fate. So if Romeo has no control who does, well another thing that Shakespeare likes to use in his writing are references. In the play Romeo and Juliet he especially uses references to religion, because many people were very religious back then it was very believable to use this type reference. When Romeo says left hanging in the stars he is referring to God, of course you know this because there is no one that he could be referring to. There are a lot of examples of  this in the play but the most that stands out is ” but he hath the steerage of my corse direct my sailor lusty gentleman” this is a very good example of references to God because it is his Life he is actually talking to him saying direct my sail oh lusty gentlemen. In this quote Romeo says that his life is like a ship and that God is controlling it and for him to hurry up and just give him his destiny. I find it very interesting how Shakespeare lets his characters basically know what is going to happen to them. But at the very start of the whole show not the play the words of the chorus tell you what is going to happen and he delivers the climax before the play even starts

“Two households, both alike in dignity in fair Verona where we lay our scene from ancient grudge break to new mutiny where civil blood makes civil hands unclean from forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star crossed lovers take their life whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows doth with their death bury their parents strife the fearful passage of their death mark’d love and the continuance of their parents rage which  but their children’s end nought could remove is now the two hours traffic of our stage the which if you with patient ears attend what here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend” these are the words said by the chorus at the start of the show, he said this in the prologue. Shakespeare gives many hints through out but in the prologue he actually tells you what happens and delivers the climax. this is interesting and another style of writing shakespeare uses. The chorus isn’t a character in the play and unlike the characters he does not hint about future he just says what is going to happen and Shakespeare uses this for the audience to I watch it to the end and find out how they manage to kill themselves how they fall in love and why the families hate eachother. This works because in the speech by the chorus you could say he leaves a lot of questions unanswered. But in the play fate works in a lot of ways, it’s not just the characters talking about there fate another thing that happens through out the play are co-incidences.

In the play Romeo and Juliet co-incidences happen many times and like said before its controlled by God. The co-incidences that happen are unusual because when they happen it leads to a series of what you could call bad events. Like for instince when the invitations for the capulet party were getting given out by the serviceman it just so happens that he could not read and when he asked someone if they could read it, it was Romeo who he came across. Romero read it and saw the guests list and Rosiline was on it, Rosiline was a girl that Romeo thought he was in love with but could not be with because she had chose to be celibate, and when his friends saw this they said that he should go and see her. Romeo did go to the party but did not see Rosiline but instead he fell in love with Juliet and Juliet fell in love with Romeo. In a matter of days they found out they could not be together so they ended up committing a double suicide. It was by co-incidence that the service man could not read and the man that could read it was Romeo. Fate works in very strange ways in the play Romeo and Juliet but it looks like the main way Shakespeare does explore fate in the play is a mixture of methods some more out there than others .

How does Shakespeare explore the concept of fate in Romeo and Juliet? Well he uses many  methods some of the best are all of the above. But the way I think he explores it is by set fate like by using a deity. I think in religion is the main way he explores fate this is because all of the other methods he uses are somewhat linked to his method of using religion to explore fate. Also I think Shakespeare is very smart in how he keeps you interested. First he tells you what’s going to happen but not how it happens by using dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows something in the play that the characters do not know. He uses this consistently when the characters speak for example the words said by the chorus tells you that there going to die so the audience knows something but not the hole story. So I conclude this essay on how I think Shakespeare explores the concept of fate, he uses a mixture and a good mixture of dramatic irony and references to religion to make the concept of fate in the play Romeo and Juliet.

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