Romeo & Juliet: Fate vs. Free Will

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November 26, 2013 Romeo & Juliet: Fate vs. Free Will Some may believe that the events in William Shakespeare's tragic play, Romeo & Juliet, are examples of Fate. Although fate plays a large factor in the story of the “Star-crossed Lovers”, I personally think many actions of the characters are a clear display of free will. Both Romeo and Juliet believed fate would bring them together; still, it was their free will that gave them the courage to disobey their parents, love each other despite their families’ hatred, and ultimately choose death over life without one another. Free will is the ability to make one’s own choices. Both Romeo and Juliet have the power to make their own decision. Unfortunately, the characters make a lot of poor choices throughout the play. Romeo chooses to marry Juliet in secret, murder Tybalt and Paris, and in the end, take his own life after seeing Juliet dead. Romeo’s choices not only affect him but also those around him. Throughout the play, we never really see him assume responsibility for any one of his choices. Juliet also makes a number of poor decisions including marrying Romeo without telling anyone besides the nurse. One major display of free will or a choice Juliet makes, is her decision to drink the potion. After deciding to fake her own death, Juliet wakes up and sees her husband lying dead. The biggest example of free will is Juliet’s decision to take the poison and end her own life. Each of these events are choices the characters made in their own free will which led to a big tragedy. We cannot place all the blame on Romeo and Juliet, however. Other characters made choices that affected the lives of the people around them. For instance, though Friar Lawrence warns Romeo and Juliet about their marriage, he agrees to marry the pair. Later, he offers Juliet the sleeping potion that leads to both her and Romeo’s deaths.
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