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R & J - Thematic Study of Choice & Fate

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literature database

on 25 September 2012

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Transcript of R & J - Thematic Study of Choice & Fate

Choice Concept humans' ability to determine own destiny through individual action & choice
characters consciously choose their actions & willing condone to fate even though fated circumstances may conspire Characters Mercutio
Juliet Effect death of Mercutio
death of Tybalt
death of Romeo & Juliet How is theme presented?
What are the different types? Theme of Choice & Theme of Fate vs Romeo resigns to cooperate with fate & attends the Capulet masquerade even though he has intuition that his actions may result in his death as can be seen from ' But he that hath steerage of my course/ Direct my sail. On lusty gentlemen.'
Romeo impulsively insists on secret marriage with Juliet, as seen from 'O let us hence, I stand on sudden haste.'
Mercutio refuses Benvolio's advice to peaceably settle his supposed dispute with Tybalt in private,instead adamantly choosing to duel with Tybalt as can be seen from 'I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I.' & thereby causing his own death
Romeo is not fated to kill Tybalt (even though they are predestined to confront each other as can be inferred from Tybalt's recognition of Romeo when he first fell in love with Juliet) but he decides to duel with Tybalt in avengence of Mercutio's death as can be seen from 'Away to heaven respective lenity,/ And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now.' & subsequently murders Tybalt
Juliet, to be united with her beloved Romeo, still chooses to consume the sleeping potion administered by Friar Lawrence, despite her numerous doubts, fears & worries about the later consequences as can be seen from 'Romeo, I come! This do I drink to thee.'
Romeo rashly chooses to commit suicide at end of play as his supposed defiance to his ill fate as can be seen from 'O here/ Will I set up my everlasting rest,/ And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars/ From this world-wearied flesh.' & 'Thou desperate pilot now at once run on/ The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark.'
Juliet, in her self-sacrificial love for Romeo, firmly refuses to abandon Romeo under Friar Lawrence's advice to quickly depart (even though she risks severe punishment by her Capulet family & Prince Escalus if discovered alive) & immediately chooses to commit suicide at end of play to be united with Romeo in death as can be seen from 'Go get thee hence, for I will not away.' & 'Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger!/ This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die.' both move plot along, building development, climax & resolution of play
Romeo & Juliet play of both character choice & fated circumstances Fate Concept stars in astrology believed to control human destinies, esp. death
'fickle' lady Fortune (as referred to by Juliet) spun her wheel of life blindfolded & respective human would ascend/decline by chance
prologue as voice of fate which determines ultimate destinies of characters in play
ominous forebodings of impending doom reinforced & sustained through dreams, predictions & visions Effect reveals subsequent main happenings in plot
appreciates dramatic irony infused into lives & words of characters
aware that play unfolds towards inevitable end as mentioned in prologue
death of Romeo & Juliet web in which Romeo & Juliet become entangled
Romeo & Juliet as helpless pawns directed towards their foredoomed death by ill fate
play full of unfortunate events & untimely coincidences which conspire to doom lovers & wreck their lives
Romeo commits suicide at end of play because he views death as only means of defying his ill fate but he in fact fulfills his ill fate through his death Chorus:
'star-crossed lovers'
'death-marked love'
'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 forfeit of untimely death.'
'My drems presage some joyful news at hand./... I dreamt my lady came and found me dead'
'O I am fortune's fool!'
'yoke of inauspicious stars'
'If he be married,/ My grave is like to be my wedding-bed.'
'Prodigious birth of love it is to me,/ That I must love a loathed enemy.'
'I have no joy of this contract tonight./ It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,/ Too like the lightning which doth cease to be/ Ere one can say,"It lightens".'
'O God, I have an ill-divining soul./ Methinks I see thee now thou art so law,/ As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.'
Friar Lawrence:
'Affliction is enamoured of thy parts,/ And thou art wedded to calamity.'
'The heavens do lour upon you for some ill;/ Move them no more by crossing their high will.'
'A greater power then we can contradict/ Hath thwarted our intents.'
Prince Escalus:
'That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.' Characters mainly
Juliet Peter, as tool of fate
he, in his illiteracy & desperation , consults Romeo to decipher the names of Capulet's guests as can be seen from 'But I am sent to find those persons whose names are here writ, and can never find what names the writing person hath here wit. I must to the learned.'
he subsequently, in his ignorance of Benvolio's & Romeo's identities as Montagues, unwittingly invites them to the Capulet masquerade as can be seen from 'if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a cup of wine.', hence resulting in Romeo's & Juliet's passionate, genuine love & ultimately their death through self-sacrificial suicide
Tybalt's rage against the Montagues & later Romeo, as seed of fate
he, in his hate against the Montagues, believes that Romeo insults his Capulet family's honour through his uninvited attendance of the Capulet masquerade ball
he , in his consequent anger towards Romeo, avows that he will avenge his Capulet's family's honour through offence against Romeo, i.e. confrontation, as can be seen from 'I will withdraw but this intrusion shall,/ Now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall.', hence resulting in all the misfortunes that subsequently befall Romeo, e.g. Mercutio's death, duel, Tybalt's murder, banishment & suicide
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