Role of Fate in Romeo and Juliet

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Destiny drives people’s lives towards a predetermined direction and individuals can do nothing to change that fact. In the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, fate rules all the outcomes, and despite the protagonists struggling to turn it, all their efforts become futile as fate is inevitable. Right from the prologue, the audience is made aware of the protagonists’ destiny “Two young lovers have fate against them.” This essay looks at some of the instances where fate plaid a crucial role to determine the outcome of activities in the book citing examples from the text.

Fate plays a significant role in leading Romeo to meet Juliet. At the start of the drama, Romeo is madly in love with Rosaline, and it is hard to believe that he turns out to develop even stronger affection to Juliet. Meeting with Second Servingman on the street and reading that list of the guests makes him decide to attend the feast due to the presence of Rosaline in its and after little convincing from  Benvolio. Romeo does not believe that there can be another lady as beautiful as his Rosaline but agrees to go and see the girls he will be shown by Benvolio but swears to focus on his love for Rosaline. He says;


I’ll go along no such sight to be shown,

But to rejoice in splendor of mine own. (1.2.87-88)

It is in this dinner at the Capulet’s house that Romeo gets to meet Juliet, had he not gone there, they could not have met, and therefore fate made this happen.

In another instance, the two lovers (Romeo and Juliet) are destined to die just as mentioned in the prologue in Act 1 Scene 1. Romeo suggested of his fears of the unknown misfortune just before he entered the party. Such statements were foreshadowing the event that was bound to happen later on in the drama. Romeo tells the audience that;


I fear, too early: for my mind misgives

Some consequence yet hanging in the stars

Shall bitterly begin his fearful date

With this night's revels and expire the term

Of a despised life closed in my breast

By some vile forfeit of untimely death. (1.4.106-111)

From these words, Romeo depicts that he is aware of his possible fate but is not ready to give in, instead, Romeo decides to carry on with his normal life facing each day at a time. Accepting the destiny is a challenging aspect in life, and therefore most people try to live on denial until the final event unfolds. Juliet also mentions of her death when she sent the Nurse to Romero to ask for his name and prepare for the worst.


Go ask his name: if he be married.

My grave is like to be my wedding bed. (1.5.132-135)

Finally, Romeo ends up killing someone, an action that has never crossed his mind but for his survival, Tybalt had to die. For Romeo, this was not supposed to happen, and he hates himself for it as he says “O, I am fortune's fool!” ( In this case, the protagonist understands that all the things that are happening in his life are controlled by fate, and he has no power to alter the outcome.

In a nutshell, it is evident that fate is a dominant theme in the book Romeo and Juliet after love and it controls all the events that unfold in the play. The claim can be supported by the fact that Romeo gets to attend the party and meets Juliet despite not being among the guests. Moreover, both protagonists predict their death which later comes to pass. Finally, Romero becomes a killer by taking Tybalt life; this is a sign of misfortune.

Work cited

Shakespeare, William, and Neil Giggins. Romeo & Juliet. Kiwi Publications, 2012. Print.

November 24, 2023



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