What Factors Contributed to the Death of Romeo and Juliet?

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Paying close attention to the final scene, how did Romeo and Juliet die? What factors contributed to their deaths? Romeo and Juliet is considered by many to be the most famous love story ever told. The tragedy focuses on the lives of a young couple from two feuding families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. Their relationship is doomed from the outset, which is made clear to the audience within the prologue, ‘two star- crossed lovers take their life’. There are many factors that take place prior to this scene that can be argued as contributing to the death of the protagonists but overall the family feud seems to play the leading role. The purpose of this essay is to discuss both the feud and the effects of the other factors on the young lovers’ fragile and fate- driven lives. The scene begins outside the tomb with Paris and his page; he is visiting Juliet with flowers because he is under the illusion that she is dead, ‘Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew’. She is in fact only sleeping for 24 hours as a result of a poison she has taken as part of a plan concocted by her and Friar Lawrence in order to ensure her love for Romeo survives. Lord and Lady Capulet arrange for Juliet to marry the noble Paris; however Juliet refuses after meeting Romeo at the Capulet ball, ‘proud can I never be of what I hate’. The pair fall in love at first sight, oblivious to the fact that their love is forbidden as a result of the family feud. Romeo approaches Friar Lawrence to ask him to marry them, to which he agrees in the hope that it may resolve the family feud, ‘To turn your household’s rancour to pure love’. This however goes horribly wrong as their secret love affair begins to surface and they are left in torment as they become separated. In the final scene, Romeo arrives with Balthasar to the tomb in the Capulet’s mansion, with plans to break in because
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