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Romeo and Juliet Fate vs Freewill
Transcript of Romeo and Juliet Fate vs Freewill
Shakespeare defines fate as a predetermined result and no matter what decisions the characters make, it will always end the same. Shakespeare defines free will as making choices that will have different results.
By: Jacob Murphy and Ethan Rokke
Fate vs Free Will
Jacob Murphy and Ethan Rokke
English 1 B P8
May 12th, 2014
Essential Question and Thesis Statement
Fate vs. freewill has been debated for thousands of years. Dating back to 384 B.C, with the famous statements of the philosopher Aristotle about fate and freewill. Fate and free will were an important theme in Shakespeare's works.
Essential Question: How does Shakespeare examine and re-examine themes regarding fate vs freewill?
Thesis: Even though Shakespeare does not clearly show his belief of fate and freewill, his characters can be divided into the belief of fate or freewill.
In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Romeo shows his belief in fate through his words and actions.
Support for Claim #1
In Act III, Scene I, Romeo shows his belief in fate through his words ,"O, i am fortunes fool"(Shakespeare 1049)
Romeo said this after Mercutio's death, and the duels with Tybalt. telling the audience his position in believing in fate.
Romeo's actions and words told us that he believes in fate and thinks that everything that happens happens for a reason.Romeo was showing that his part in Tybalt's death was led by fate and that fate was toying with him.
Support for Claim #2
In Act III, Scene I Romeo says ,"This days black fate on mo days both depend; this but begins the woe others must end" (Shakespeare 1048)
Romeo was saying that this battle is "black fate" , therefore meaning that it was a dark and bad event that was going to happen at some time.
Romeo did not want the fight to happen but he knew that the rage held up in the Montague house and the Capulet house would eventual burst.
Support for Claim #3
In Act III, Scene I, Romeo says,"Beat down their weapons gentlemen, for shame"(Shakespeare 1046)
Romeo didn't want to believe in fate but when he first saw the fight he knew there was no way of stopping it. forcing him to believe in the harsh truth that is fate.
Now that Romeo knew he believed in fate he starts to express it more from his words and actions. for example in the battle between him and Tybalt.
Romeo and Shakespeare
I believe that Shakespeare created the character that is Romeo to express half of himself. The half of him that believes in fate.
In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet shows her belief in freewill through her active choice making.
In the article, Romeo and Juliet, the article states, " Juliet, at the age of 13-old enough, her parents believe, to be married. But Juliet has not put much thought into marriage yet" (Romeo and Juliet article)
Because Juliet ignored her parents wish of her marriage, it shows that Juliet chooses for herself and believes in freewill.
Juliet continues to disobey her parents throughout the play including faking her death just so she didn't have to marry Paris
In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says "O fortune, fortune! If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him. For then, I hope thou willt not keep him long" (Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet 1065)
In this line Juliet is calling fortune,or fate, fickle which means inconsistant. She is calling out to fate but tells fate that it is inconsistant. Juliet is mocking fate and trying to state that fate can't control itself.
Because she calls out to fate, it may seem that she believes in it; however, she is really saying that fate is changing constantly which is closer to freewill.
In the article, Courtly Love, it is stated "An unattainable, extremely beautiful, and perfect courtly lady" and, " Courtly love relationships had to be conducted with the utmost secrecy" (Courtly Love)
Romeo and Juliet shared a courtly love throughout the play and although Juliet's family had other plans, Juliet secretly fell in love with and married Romeo which was against her parents will.
It was Juliet's choice not her fate that brought them together.
Even though Shakespeare wrote many plays and poems, He never gives a clear answer on whether he believes in fate or freewill.
In Shakespeare's play the
, Malvolio says, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them" (Shakespeare Twelfth Night Act II Scene V)
This quote supports Shakespeare's belief of fate because it is saying that some men are born with greatness and do not earn it. With freewill, everyone starts out equal.
Shakespeare gives hints at his belief of fate but, he also says "Some achieve greatness" which points towards freewill.
Shakespeare also hints at his belief of freewill when Cassius in
says "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves" (Shakespeare Julius Caesar Act I Scene II)
Support for Claim #2
"Fatalism is the thesis that whatever happens must happen (Fatalism). Shakespeare's definition of fate is basically the same as the real definition.
Shakespeare defines fate as a predetermined result that cannot be changed. therefor Romeo was meant to meet Juliet and knew nothing good could come out of the result.
This supports freewill because it says the stars, or the gods, don't make our destinies, we do.
This quote counters the first one so there is still no clear answer on whether Shakespeare believes in fate or freewill.
Fate and freewill are opposites. Both could end in a bad way, or both could end in a good way. There is no way of predicting how an event might end.
he says " I all alone beweep my outcast state,and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, and look upon myself, and curse my fate" (Shakespeare's Sonnet 29.)
These lines are describing a tragic event, possibly in Shakespeares life, where the writer is cursing fate for his misfortune.
The tragic lines show that crying out to fate was something Shakespeare might have done.
Because of Shakespeares many conflicting quotes, It is impossible to determine his position on fate or freewill.
Because of the choices Juliet made and her statement about fate, Juliet must of believed in freewill.
Although Shakespeare doesn't tell his readers what his belief of fate or freewill is, he gives his characters certain characteristics that give hints about his beliefs.
During Shakespeare's time courtly love ruled literature. Shakespeare hinted his belief of fate and freewill through the courtly love of Romeo and Juliet.
Statement of Learning
Because of this project, we learned how to identify and search for Shakespeare's hints regarding fate and freewill. We did this through examining his characters words and actions. We also explored the definition of fate and freewill. We learned that Shakespeare connected almost all of his characters with either fate or freewill
Support for claim #1
"Christian theology considers God to have future foreknowledge. also deciding on everyone fate." (Fatalism)
Religion can have an impact on people's beliefs. Shakespeare was baptized in a Catholic Church which leads us to the assumption that he was a man of God. Fate was a part of belief in his religion.
Shakespeare was influenced by his religion and church to believe in fate but there was always a little bit holding him back that wanted to believe in free will
support for claim #3
"Shakespeare explores the theme of fate in this drama. From the opening lines in the prologue to the last act."(Romeo and Juliet article)
Shakespeare actual left he story open for the audience to decide if this final outcome was determined by fate or freewill.
Shakespeare really used fate and freewill as an element to complete the story with an ending that could of differed.
Shakespeare definition of fate and freewill helps bring the tragedy together that is the story of Romeo and Juliet. He used them as tools for the audience to make them think of their own situations and who is really controlling them. a higher power that is fate. or the power of freewill that is in their own hands.
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