William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet there are two rival
families, the Capulets and the Montagues. Romeo and Juliet, the two
star-crossed lovers, meet at a Capulet party. They immediately fall
in love after meeting each other for the first time. They decide to
get married, but it is soon spoiled by Romeo getting banished to
Mantua for killing Tybalt. Juliet’s parents decide she has to marry
Paris to make her less sad about Tybalt. Juliet consults Friar
Laurence for a plan so that she does not have to marry Paris. She
uses a potion to make herself look dead. Romeo does not receive the
letter telling him of Juliet’s plan, he thinks that Juliet is truly
dead. When Romeo goes to Juliet’s tomb, Paris is there, and they get
in to a fight, Romeo kills Paris. Then Romeo kills himself because he
cannot live without Juliet. Juliet wakes from her slumber and finds
Romeo dead, and decides to take her own life. After the Capulets and
the Montagues find their children dead they decide that they want the
feud to be no more. There were a lot of people that had to do with
their deaths. Firstly, Romeo and Juliet, they are irresponsible
teenagers that do not know the meaning of love. They think that they
love each other after meeting one time and barely talking. Secondly,
Friar Laurence is to blame, he is very unreliable, and realizes the
consequences, but does not care. He does not think about his actions;
he leaves Juliet alone with Romeo dead, in a tomb. He also marries
two people from rival families, which he should not have done.
Thirdly, the whole Capulet family deserves a ton of blame for their
actions. Capulet himself does not think about Juliet’s feelings, and
does not realize how unhappy she is. He also threatens to kick her
out of his house and let her die if she does not marry the man that
he wants her to marry. Also, the Nurse, the only person who Juliet
always trusts, tells her to marry Paris when she is married to Romeo.
Therefore, there are many guilty people in this play, and they all
have connections to Romeo and
Shakespeare, Page 2
Romeo and Juliet have the blame for their fate because they rush
their relationship and do not take their time. They meet each other
once and barely know each other. Immediately after the party they
decide they want to marry one another. They do not even know if they
like the other’s personality because they barely talked. They are so
infatuated with one another it clouds their judgement, and makes them
act stupidly. They do not even think about what they are doing and if
they really love the other. Next, when Romeo kills Tybalt it plays a
big part in the death of him and Juliet. If Romeo would not have
killed Tybalt, then he would not have been banished. If Romeo was not
banished than Juliet would not have to go to Friar Laurence to get a
ludicrous plan. Also, if Romeo was not banished and Juliet still went
through with the plan Friar Laurence could have told Romeo about the
plan himself. Juliet could have also discussed the plan with Romeo.
If Romeo would not have killed Tybalt than he would not have said
that he became weak because of Juliet. Romeo says: O sweet
Juliet,/Thy beauty hath made me effeminate/And in my temper softened
valor’s steel! (III. i. 75-77) Him saying this weakened their
relationship. This is him saying that if he was not with Juliet he
would not have let his friend die. Therefore, he is not being loyal
to Juliet, if he was really in love he would not say something like
that. Finally, Juliet trusts Friar Laurence too much, she thinks he
is very trustworthy, but he is not. She does not even think that
Friar Laurence’s plan is stupid or may be flawed. She just does not
want to be with Paris, so she just takes the first plan that she
hears. She also trusts the Friar to get the letter to Romeo; she
could have tried to tell him face to face. She could have also got
the Friar to tell him face to face. Juliet even questions if the
potion is actually poison showing that she does not trust him
completely. She is too desperate to realize that the plan is faulty,
and that it may not work as well as she thinks.
if, when I am laid into the tomb,
Shakespeare, Page 3
wake before the time that Romeo
to redeem me? There’s a fearful point.
I not, then, be stifled in the vault
whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?(IV.iii.31-36)
shows Juliet being reasonable and actually thinking about the
consequences, although she soon forgets and continues with the plan.
She does not realize that she just listed so many reasons not to go
through with the plan. Therefore, Romeo and Juliet have a lot of
blame for their deaths.
second person who is guilty of making Romeo and Juliet kill
themselves is Friar Laurence. Firstly, when Friar Laurence learns
that his letter to Romeo does not make it he does not rush. When he
learns of this news he does not think to go straight to the grave to
make sure he does not miss Romeo. He could have also told Romeo face
to face about his plan . Therefore, there would be no confusion over
must I to the monument alone.
this three hours will fair Juliet wake.
will beshrew me much that Romeo
had no notice of these accidents.
I will write again to Mantua,
keep her at my cell till Romeo come.
living corse, closed in a dead man’s tomb! (V. ii. 24-30)
says that he is going to write to Mantua again, but it would not get
their in time. He obviously is not quick because Romeo gets the news
of Juliet’s death, and has the time to go to the apothecary. He is
able to do all of this, find Juliet dead, and kill himself before
Friar Laurence arrives. Secondly, Friar Laurence knew the
consequences of marrying Romeo and Juliet, but still did it. He knows
that these families are rivals and would not allow a marriage between
a Capulet and a Montague. Romeo manipulates him into thinking that
this might help stop the feud.
she knew well
love did read by rote, that could not spell.
come, young waverer, come, go with me,
one respect I’ll thy assistant be,
this alliance may so happy prove
turn your households’ rancor to pure love.( II. iii. 87-92)
Laurence talks about their true love making the families mend, even
though Romeo and Juliet do
plan on telling anyone. Their relationship will not stop a feud if
they do not tell anyone, in their case it would have made it worse.
Lastly, He leaves Juliet alone to grieve, not knowing the fatal
consequences of this act. If he would have told Juliet to immediately
get out of that tomb he could have stopped her from making a huge
mistake. If he at least stayed to hear her talk to herself he could
have figured out that she wanted to kill herself, and he could have
stopped her. He should have known that Romeo killed himself over
Juliet, and that Juliet might do the same thing. For these reasons
Friar Laurence clearly has a ton of blame in this situation.
parents of Juliet, the Capulets, have a large part of this blame for
this tragedy. The Capulets are very unsupportive of Juliet and her
decisions. They do not really care what she has to say near the end
of the play. They decide they are going to force her to marry Paris,
and if she does not her parents will kick her out.
as one’s thought would wish a man—
then to have a wretched puling fool,
whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,
answer “I’ll not wed,” “I cannot love,”
am too young,” “I pray you, pardon me.”—
an you will not wed, I’ll pardon you.
where you will, you shall not house with me.
to ‘t, think on ‘t, I do not use to jest.
is near. Lay hand on heart, advise.
you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend.
you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,
what is mine shall never do thee good.
to ‘t, bethink you. I’ll not be forsworn. ( III.v.183-196)
basically tells Juliet that she is being childish, and being very
ungrateful. He also tells her that if she does not marry Paris she
will be kicked out of the house. He says that he will not go back on
his word and let her starve on the streets. If he gave Juliet a
choice she may not have killed herself.
Shakespeare, Page 5
the Nurse tells Juliet to marry Paris, even though she knows that
Juliet is married to Romeo. The Nurse is the only person that Juliet
trusts, and Juliet is very upset when her nurse goes against her. The
Nurse helped Juliet marry Romeo, and then she changed her feelings
after finding out about Paris.
Juliet felt the Nurse’s sympathy she might not have killed herself.
She has no one to talk to about her plan, and whether it is logical
or not. She leads Juliet to thinking she is alone, helping her more
want to kill herself. Lastly, the Capulets are oblivious to Juliet’s
unhappiness and her feelings. Capulet does not care what Juliet
thinks and says he wants her to be happy, at the beginning of the
play. Although, when a good opportunity came along Capulet did not
think twice about his daughters feelings. He thought about what would
be good for him and his wife, as he wanted to be royalty. Capulet
says: “Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender/Of my child’s
love. I think she will be ruled/In all respects by me. Nay, more, I
doubt it not.”—(IV. iv. 12-14) This shows him thinking Juliet
will do whatever she is asked even though that is not the case,
showing his poor judgement of Juliet’s feelings. All these reasons
clearly point the blame to the Capulet family.
Therefore, the death of Romeo and Juliet was not just caused by them
killing themselves, as there were many people involved. Though they
are still to blame, Friar Laurence, for example, was not very
responsible, dealing with these children’s lives. He came up with a
foolish plan, quickly, that got nobody anywhere. The Capulet family
were oblivious to what was going on around them and rushed a marriage
so that they could get something out of it. They did not think of
Juliet’s feelings and that ended up making the situation worse.
Finally, there were so many people to blame for this but overall
these were the people who were the most to blame.
Oxford, NY: Oxfords School Shakespeare 1982. Print.