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Thread: The Culprit Behind Romeo and Juliet's Death

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    The Culprit Behind Romeo and Juliet's Death

    My assignment for my 9th grade honors english class was to write a persuasive essay explaining who I believed was at fault for both the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Although, I believe that this question kind of sucks, because no one really is fully at fault for the deaths....here's what I came up with.... I was just wondering if anyone could read my essay from an objective point of view, because I would like to very much improve my writing from other people's perspective. Oh, and we also had to incorporate one of the themes that was highlighted in Romeo and Juliet.

    The Culprit Behind Romeo and Juliet’s Death
    It could be said that the person who is responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s death is Lord Capulet. After all, he is the one who forced Juliet to marry Paris, which eventually led her to drink the potion and “kill” herself. Lord Capulet was so intent on saving his reputation; he did not realize all the pain he was putting his child through. However, one could also argue that the Nurse is at fault. When Juliet found that her future was to be with Paris, the Nurse sided with Lord Capulet, advising Juliet that it would be best for her to be with Paris. With the Nurse having abandoned Romeo and Juliet, it puts them in a vulnerable position. Under helpless and stressed conditions, both Romeo and Juliet plan irrational decisions, which prove to be deathly. Then again, Balthasar, Romeo’s page, could indeed be responsible. It is his fault Romeo found out about Juliet’s “death”. Had he kept quiet, Romeo would not have hastily ended his life. However, in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it is inevitable that the person who is responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s death is Romeo himself, for he was over dramatic, he lacked in foresight, and he was awfully impulsive.
    In the play, the readers can infer that Romeo is quite a melodramatic character who cannot control his emotions. It is evident that when ill misfortune swallows Romeo, he becomes a spineless and unnerved person. Friar Lawrence seemed to also think this as well when he chastises to Romeo, “’Thy noble shape is but a form of wax, / Digressing from the valor of a man’” (III. i. 136-137) during the time in which Romeo has just found that he is to be banished from Verona. Friar Lawrence’s words speak of how Romeo’s body is just a cover up for his insecurities and weaknesses within him. Learning that he has to leave Verona and Juliet, Romeo is totally devastated and breaks down into fits of tears. Seeing this, the Nurse demands Romeo to stand up and be a man for Juliet’s sake. However, full of grief, Romeo attempts to plunge a dagger into himself, only to be stopped by Friar Lawrence. It is obvious that Romeo is highly unstable and because of his weakness, Juliet also suffers. One would believe that after seeing Romeo like this, he is far too emotional to take care of himself, let alone be married and look after Juliet. Lastly, when Romeo finds Juliet dead, he is terribly distraught and can’t stand to see her dead. Due to his inability to control his distressed emotions, Romeo finally ends his life to be with Juliet in death. In addition to being overemotional, Romeo also lacks in foresight.
    Besides being quite temperamental, Romeo greatly lacks in foresight. A significant amount of tragedy and suffering could have been avoided had Romeo thought ahead with his plans and actions. When Friar Lawrence tells Romeo, “’Like powder in a skilless soldier’s flask, /Is set afire by thine own ignorance, / And thou dismembered with thine own defense’” (III. iii. 142-144), he meant that Romeo operates his actions like a soldier lighting powder without thinking. Due to Romeo’s own incompetence to contemplate his doings, he is thrown into a whirlwind of problems and despair. One of his major faults was murdering Tybalt, as a result of his ineptitude to process the aftermath of killing him; Romeo goes on ahead, only to realize that he is too late to take back what he did. Further more, it is unmistakable that Romeo is too selfish to realize how his actions negatively affect those around him, especially Juliet. If Romeo hadn’t been senseless enough to kill Tybalt without thinking of the consequences, then maybe, Juliet wouldn’t have “killed” herself and maybe Friar Lawrence’s plan to bring peace would have succeeded. On account of Romeo’s lack of foresight, it led him and Juliet to their demise.
    Romeo’s character in Romeo and Juliet could be viewed as a tragic hero, for he has flaws that steer Juliet and him to their graves. One of them, as said before, is his inability to judge outcomes; another one of his flaws is his impulsive nature. Romeo, after having just met Juliet, decides he wants to marry her. Friar Lawrence even warned Romeo about moving with too much haste when he told him, “’Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast’” (II. iv. 101). Throughout the play, Romeo made many unwise decisions and for all of them, he had to suffer afterwards. Evidence of his impulsive nature is highlighted in his journey to Juliet’s house to express his love for her when he barely knows her. He acts on his impulses when he decides to jump over the wall to the Capulets' house. The thing that was stupid and dangerous was that he never once thinks about whether he would get in trouble or be killed by one of the guards. Even Juliet was surprised that he managed to climb the wall without being caught. Further more, as the play progresses, after multiple impulsive acts, Romeo decides to kill himself when he finds Juliet “dead”. If he had chosen to simply think about what he was going to do or went to Friar Lawrence to make sure that Juliet was truly dead, Juliet would have been able to wake up and none of them would be dead. Ultimately, it was Romeo’s ignorant choices combined with his impulsive ways that ended up killing him and his love.
    In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Romeo is undoubtedly at fault for his own death as well as Juliet’s. He was highly dramatic and emotional to withstand the difficulties that arose as a result of his inability to make wise decisions and plan them thoroughly mixed together with his impulsive character. Additionally, Romeo, as a character, was a great example of one of the major themes that was emphasized in this play. One could point out that he was the epitome of the theme impulsivity of youth. It seemed as though that in every major choice he made, Romeo acted on pure impulse, such as the time when he kills Tybalt, or his speedy marriage with Juliet. In the end, it was his own tragic flaws that truly led Romeo to his destruction and poor Juliet became a victim of his flaws.

  2. #2
    Only one person to blame mate: Will Shakespeare.

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