SAMPLE EXCERPT:

Thus, Romeo places the blame of Mercutio's death on fate, but he could have stopped it, and made the wrong personal choice. Thus, fate intervenes in the family's life again, and leads him right into the arms of Juliet, his sworn enemy and his sworn love. However, critic Bloom sees the family influence differently. He writes, "The feud between Montague and Capulet is 'quite unconvincing'; Fate is thus 'nothing more important than a matter of sheer bad luck'; and the protagonists have 'weakness of character' (principally a lack of 'mature poise and balance')" (Bloom 51). It is this weakness of character that prompts them to make unfortunate choices in their lives, allow their family feud to rule their hearts, and lie about their love which creates situations that are impossible to deal with. While their family feud is certainly quite important to both the families, it does not warrant death, and after the two lovers die, the families "bury the hatchet" so to speak in their grief. It is true their families might have balked at their love, but they would have survived. Their family feud did not justify their deaths. The families loved their children, and obviously their feud was not so strong that they could not put it past them when something truly terrible happened. The lovers were fearful of their families and their reactions, but they also acted like children who were naughty, rather than like rational adults. It seems that the feud between the families may have been childish too, and so encouraged everyone to behave badly and not take responsibility for their actions, and ultimately led to tragedy. Even in the modern film, the two families and their feud seem to be petty. It seems like they have been feuding for so long, they do not quite remember why -- they simply know they are supposed to hate each other. The force of the family can be a very strong force, but there is nothing in the feud that should have led to so much death and unhappiness.

In conclusion, as Shakespeare created them, Romeo and Juliet were fated to become lovers, and fated to never live long enough to give each other the life they dreamed of together. There were many choices and decisions that led them down the path to their destiny, but ultimately, no matter what they or their families did, their story could not have ended any other way. They were "star-crossed lovers" and their story would not have been a tragedy had it ended any other way. Shakespeare was trying to make a point, and show that the actions of people and those around them are what lead to their ultimate fate. There were many things that Romeo and Juliet could have done differently to escape their fate, but then, Shakespeare would not have had a story to tell or a moral to make about the tale.

References

Bloom, Harold, ed. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000.

Brians, Paul "Romeo and Juliet." Washington State University. 2 Feb. 2000. 10 May 2005.

Editors. "Romeo and Juliet." Twentieth Century Fox. 1996.…