Does fate play an important role in the lives of young love? Often, because youths’ lives are controlled and guided by their parents’ hands, certain situations are out of their control. Many aspects of Romeo and Juliet’s lives were complete acts of fate, and fate was largely responsible for the outcome of each situation. Fate was directly involved with the young lovers’ meeting, separation and final downfall because there was no way to escape it.
Firstly, it was necessary for Romeo and Benvolio to come across Capulet’s servant and inadvertently be informed of the grand party because this is where Romeo would meet Juliet. Capulet’s servant was unable to read the scroll of invitations he was given, so he went in search of educated people that could. It was an act of fate that the Montagues ran into the servant and found out about the Capulets’ feast. Benvolio’s persistent suggestion of attending the party eventually led Romeo to be love struck by Juliet’s beauty: “ O she doth teach the torches to burn bright…Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!” (I, v, 43 & 46) Romeo and Juliet began their infatuation for one another, which soon transfered into a blossoming love. Juliet’s attention was thus diverted from avoiding Paris’s courting to accepting Romeo’s romantic charm. This was how Romeo and Juliet were destined to meet and begin their forbidden love.
Fate’s will to have Romeo banished from Verona came at the price of Mercutio and Tybalt’s lives. Tybalt was an antagonistic individual with a quick temper. As a result, his actions often led to the undoing of others. Tybalt began quarreling with the Montagues and demanded that Romeo confront him and engage in a duel with him. As Romeo refused this challenge he stated that he had a new love for Tybalt that Tybalt would never understand it, Mercutio stepped in and accepted. Because Romeo got inbetween Mercutio and Tybalt, Mercutio was stabbed underneath Romeo’s arm. As a result, Mercutio declared “ A plague o’ both your houses!” (III, I, 106) This definitely sealed their fate as the responsibility for Mercutio’s death lay with both of them. Romeo avenges Mercutio’s death as he goes in search of the “ Prince of Cats” that took his best friend’s life. Romeo is banished immediately from Verona by the Prince when the citizens find Tybalt slain on the ground. As Romeo is fleeing the town center he realizes he will be prevented from seeing Juliet further. Through all of this conflict, Romeo’s fate is sealed and his life and love for Juliet are greatly endangered.
A plague near Mantua kept the friar’s letter from reaching Romeo and this further endangered Romeo and Juliet’s happiness. It happened that an outbreak of plague struck the letter’s destination place. This event held Friar John quarantined and unable to enter Mantua, and was one of the acts of fate that led to the final downfall of the young lovers. Juliet lay sleeping in her tomb awaiting Romeo’s entrance. As Romeo was unaware that she was not dead he consumed a poison so he did not have to live without her. Juliet awoke moments later and found his body lying prone and growing cold: “ Poison I see hath been his timeless end… I will kiss thy lips;… Thy lips are warm!” (V, III, 162, 164 & 167) Juliet became distraught with sadness and because Romeo died without her she took her own life with his dagger. Fate’s ill timing led to the destruction of their happiness and life together with neither of them aware or able to prevent it.
Fate was responsible for many of the events surrounding Romeo and Juliet and most of their problems. They could not prevent their meeting, Romeo’s banishment, or their tragic endings. It seemed as if everything around them was pre – destined and it was impossible for them to escape their ultimate fate. Why fate chose to bring them together only to tear them apart, no one may know for sure. Perhaps fate did this to make the families aware of the futility of feuding, but could the same point not have been proven with less heartbreak and bloodshed?