The Role of Chance in Romeo and Juliet Romeo Julie

t EssaysThe Role of Chance in Romeo and Juliet

In William Shakespeare’s classic Elizabethan Tragedy “Romeo &
Juliet” we are asked to determine what events in the story are chance,
coincidence or fate. Although some scholars are persuaded to relate as to
how chance and coincidence are tools of fate, I feel as though everything
is either chance or coincidence. If everything was controlled by fate then
life would be pointless. We would have no decisions to make, it would all
be predetermined. That is why I don’t believe in fate, and so, naturally I
have determined that “Romeo & Juliet” is not controlled by fate. I was
also told that people in the Middle East believe in fate full out. So much
that they travel at crazy speeds in their cars around corners without
thinking twice. They believe that if there is a car around that corner,
then it was fated to happen and they would still die if they were going the
speed limit. I believe that Romeo & Juliet dug there own holes with bad
decisions.

Chance plays a major part in the story. Everything starts in the
very beginning when Montegue and Capulet servants just happen to cross
paths in a public place. This is a chance meeting. Coincidence cannot be
involved now because it is too early in the story. Also by chance, the
servants are talking of their hatred of the other family and there
unwillingness to bear insults. The opening line of the play is, “Gregory,
on my word, we’ll not carry coals. “(pg.6)” Meaning he will not stand for
any insults. This results in the fight that forces Prince Escalus to make
the decree that “If ever you disturb our streets again your lives shall pay
the forfeit of the peace.” (pg.14) He is saying that the next person who
starts a fight will be executed. This decree results in Romeo’s banishment,
and his banishment is the reason for Juliet faking her death, which caused
both of them to die. Another act of chance is when Romeo climbs over the
Capulet house’s wall right next to Juliet’s room.

The very first coincidental event is on page 4, before the actual
play begins, it is that the Montagues and Capulets are fighting. The first
act of chance was when the Capulet and Montague servants met and fought.
Then an illiterate servant was asked by Capulet to invite people to a ball
at his house who were on a list. When seeking help in reading the list,
the servant found Romeo out of an entire city of people and invited him to
attend if he was not a Montague. Then by coincidence, Romeo meets Juliet
at the ball and falls in love with her and her with him. After Juliet and
Romeo are married the next day, Romeo runs into Tybalt and Mercutio as they
were fighting. If the wedding had been delayed by even ten minutes, Romeo
wouldn’t have gotten there until they had finished. If this had happened
Mercutio might have lived and so would have Tybalt because neither of them
had intentions of killing the other. Also, the fight could have happened
any other day but it just happened to happen on the wedding day. Another
important coincidental event is when Friar John is unable to give Romeo a
letter because he was detained during a visit to a friend. This is the
reason that Romeo kills himself because he doesn’t know that Juliet is
actually alive. The final coincidence was when Romeo meets Paris at
Juliet’s tomb and kills him.

Romeo and Juliet were killed not by fate, but by their lack of
thinking things through. Even when people are madly in love they go slow
enough to plan out an elaborate wedding. If they had planned everything
out and thought ahead, things would have turned out a lot differently. I
do not believe in fate. Your own decisions decide your future. If there
were such a thing as fate no one would even do this assignment because
their success or failure had already been determined. What happened in
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & and Juliet” all happened by chance and
coincidence. They were more unlucky then anything else. The whole story
is a string of unlucky events.