This piece of coursework is focusing on the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, and who was responsible for them. The people who had a part in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet are Friar Lawrence, Benvolio, Tybalt, Capulet and Nurse. The first person I will be focusing on will be Friar Lawrence, looking at his part in the suicides of both the lovers, what he did to put them under pressure and the things that he shouldn’t have done which may have led to the death. The main reason Friar Lawrence had a part in the suicides of Romeo and Juliet was that he got involved when he knew the consequences wouldn’t be good. It was Friar Lawrence who married Romeo and Juliet; he had the plan to use the sleeping potion so that Juliet could run off with Romeo while the grieving Capulets believed she was dead, and he tried to send a letter to Romeo informing him of the plan, which didn’t reach him.
By marrying the lovers, he took a step in the wrong direction, he only thought of how the consequences would be good, by marrying Romeo and Juliet; he thought that that could bring the two feuding families together so they could make up and be friends he was quoted as saying ” For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households ‘ rancour to pure love”(Act 2 Scene 3/4). But he didn’t think of what could go wrong. By marrying Romeo and Juliet, puts a bigger burden on the Friar and the married couple because it’s a bigger risk of them getting caught, and if they get caught, then the Friar could be sentenced to death. There would be a higher chance of Romeo and Juliet getting caught because if they’re married, then they would have to spend more time together which is a risk. It was because they were married that they spent more time in contact with each other. Because Romeo had been banished to Mantua, it was a bigger burden on Juliet and him because a married couple is so far away from each other, not even being allowed to see each other put the marriage at risk which could lead to stress which could lead to something you regret, like suicide.
The next point is the Friars plan to use the sleeping potion on Juliet. Because Romeo had been banished to Mantua, Juliet was despairing, the Friar had to come up with a plan to bring the lovers back together somehow. His plan to use the potion had been thought over and seemed like a good idea at the time, but once again, he only thought about the good consequences not the bad. If the Friar hadn’t come up with the plan to use the sleeping potion then Romeo wouldn’t be given the news that Juliet had died and he wouldn’t have decided to kill himself, then Juliet wouldn’t have killed herself because she would have known that Romeo was still alive. But the thing is if Juliet hadn’t turned to the sleeping potion plan, then she would have had to marry Paris, and if found out that she was married to two people, she would be killed. The point is that the Friar only seems to think about the good consequences and not the bad ones.
The final point proving that Friar Lawrence had a part in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet is the fact that the Friar tried to send a letter informing Romeo of the sleeping potion plan, and it didn’t reach him causing Romeo to believe that Juliet was dead, taking his life with a deadly potion, then causing Juliet to stab herself because of the loss of her husband. If the Friar had actually thought about what he was doing, then he wouldn’t of sending Friar John to send such an important letter. If Friar Lawrence had done it himself, then he wouldn’t have gone back to Verona; he would have found another way of reaching Romeo. I guess that Friar John didn’t realize how important the letter really was and what would happen if the letter didn’t reach its destination. This proves that Friar Lawrence didn’t really think fully about what do to and was in too much of a panic to realize what would happen if it went wrong, which it did and ended up with Romeo and Juliet taking their own lives.
The reason why Benvolio had something to do with the deaths of Romeo and Juliet is that he more or less forced Romeo to attend the Capulet feast knowing very well he shouldn’t, and in going, he met Juliet. The other is that once Romeo had killed Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, he was the one that told the Capulets and Prince that Romeo had stabbed him. When the Capulet servant Peter mistakenly told Benvolio and Romeo about the Capulet feast, after Benvolio had mocked Romeo about his crush on Rosaline, Benvolio thought that it was a perfect chance for Romeo to meet someone new so as to take his mind off Rosaline, he was quoted as saying ” Be ruled by me, forget to think of her, examine other beauties” (Act 1 Scene 1). He knew very well that it was a Capulet feast and that they wouldn’t be welcome there, but he was up for a laugh. Benvolio thought that by wearing masks, they wouldn’t be recognized as Montague’s because they would fit into the crowd, but once Romeo had seen Juliet then he took off his mask without thinking, Tybalt, which didn’t help, then saw him.
If Benvolio hadn’t talked Romeo into going to the feast, then he wouldn’t have met Juliet and wouldn’t have been seen by Tybalt who then killed Mercutio who was protecting Romeo from the Prince of Cats. This can be quite a harsh decision saying that Benvolio was responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet seeing that he didn’t even know Juliet, but if he hadn’t gone to the party with Romeo, then he wouldn’t have brought them together with the soon to be married couple. Benvolio can also be blamed because of the teasing of Romeo’s crushes on Rosaline. Benvolio was teasing him because she didn’t feel the same way about him that he did for her. It was because of this that Romeo agreed to go to the feast; if Benvolio didn’t tease him then Romeo would have kept trying to force himself into Rosalines’s good book.
The other reason is the one in which he told the Capulets and Prince that Romeo had killed Tybalt. After Romeo had killed Tybalt in a murderous rage, he fled the scene leaving Benvolio there to tell the Prince what had happened. If Benvolio hadn’t told the Prince who had killed Tybalt, then he wouldn’t have known who was guilty or not. The witnesses probably didn’t know who Romeo was so they couldn’t really give evidence; Romeo probably would have gotten away with it. Its because Benvolio told Prince that Romeo committed the offence that he was banished to Mantua, which was one of the reasons why Romeo and Juliet took their own lives. Benvolio could have easily made up a believable excuse, he would be risking his life but at least he would be saving someone else’s, his cousins.
There is not as much evidence Tybalt had something to do with the deaths of Romeo and Juliet but there is something. Tybalt can be blamed because he killed Mercutio. When Romeo was wrongly at the Capulet feast, Tybalt noticed him and vowed revenge,” I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall” (Act 1 Scene 5) he would have taken it out on him at the feast but Capulet stopped him. When Tybalt asked Romeo for a fight, he refused which made him even angrier, in the rage Mercutio tried to defend Romeo and he started fighting with Tybalt. After a tough battle, Tybalt killed Mercutio and ran. Its because Tybalt killed Romeo’s best friend that Romeo filled up with rage. Tybalt returned and fought with Romeo, Romeo then killed him. If Tybalt had chosen to forget seeing Romeo at the Capulet feast, then again Romeo wouldn’t have been banished to Mantua. I’m sure that Tybalt wouldn’t have cared about the death of Romeo but he would’ve cared about the death of his cousin as he was very close to her.
If Tybalt had forgotten about seeing Romeo at the feast, then he wouldn’t have wound up Mercutio later leading to 4 deaths, those of Mercutio, Tybalt, Romeo and Juliet. This shows Tybalt had a short temper and couldn’t just let things go, he had to get his own way, and that didn’t really work, as we all know. The reasons why I’m blaming the Nurse for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet are that like the Friar, she got involved too much, she knew about the love and the marriage and she didn’t tell anybody and she wasn’t very helpful when forced to marry with Paris. The nurse knew from the very beginning when Romeo and Juliet first met that they were in love, so apart from the lovers themselves, she knew for the longest. She was the one who went to find Romeo to find out what he intended to do; she told Juliet that Romeo was planning to marry her, she actually attended Romeo and Juliet’s wedding and she knew about Romeos constant visits to Juliet’s bedroom, well aware that if caught Romeo would be killed.
When Romeo had attended the Capulet feast, he met up with Juliet and was found kissing by the Nurse. From that moment, she knew that Romeo and Juliet were in love, it was Nurse’s job to look after Juliet and was trusted by the Capulets, she went behind their backs. When the Nurse saw Juliet kissing Romeo at the feast, then was the time to tell the Capulets about it, then they would of put a stop to it. But by keeping it a secret, she risked a lot more. If she had told the Capulets about Juliet’s passionate kiss with a Montague, then they could’ve warned her that he was a Montague and discussed the risks, but by keeping it a secret she went behind the Capulet’s backs and that led to lots of trouble. This led to the lovers getting married; to Juliet refusing the marriage to Paris, which caused sparks between her and Capulet and eventually to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
The next point is the fact that Nurse went and found Romeo to find out if he intended to marry Juliet. Again the Nurse went behind the Capulet’s backs but it was worse this time, she went out of the Capulet boundaries especially to find Romeo to discuss what he intended to do, in this case, marry. The Nurse was excited by this news and like all the others, only thought about the good consequences and not the bad; and in this case, the worse happened, this leads nicely to the next point, the Nurse actually expected Juliet to go ahead with the marriage and then she even attended it! By forgetting to think of the bad consequences, she forgot to think what could have actually happened, in this case, they got married then Romeo was banished, the Capulets expected Juliet to marry Paris and because she was already married to Romeo had to refuse to cause arguments and general bodily harm aimed at Juliet.
This then led to the sleeping potion plan and then to Romeo not receiving news from Verona about the plan, and assuming Juliet was dead, killed himself, which then caused Juliet to kill herself in despair. All of that just because of one marriage that could have been prevented if the Nurse would’ve spoken up about it. The final point is that the Nurse allowed Romeo to climb up into Juliet’s bedroom late at night. After Romeo and Juliet had become husband and wife, the nurse thought it was best if she let down a rope ladder so Romeo could climb up into Juliet’s room. Romeo and Juliet could’ve easily been caught by each of the Capulets, which means because the Nurse knew she probably would’ve been punished severely along with Romeo and Juliet. But its because the Nurse allowed Romeo to see Juliet that they became more and more fond of each other, which again was a risk because that meant that they expected to see each other more often and it was because they saw each other so often, that when Romeo was banished to Mantua, they couldn’t cope without seeing each other.
Because they couldn’t live without each other, they had to come up with a cunning plan, and unfortunately, it didn’t work and ended up with the lover committing suicide. And that was all because the Nurse allowed Romeo and Juliet to see each other without telling the people who trusted her. Juliet’s father was partly to blame for her and her husband’s death because he allowed Romeo to attend the Capulet feast knowing that he shouldn’t be there, and he forced Juliet to marry Paris without properly consulting her before making his decision. The point of Capulet allowing Romeo to attend the Capulet feast was a stupid decision by him because look where Romeo ended up. Maybe it was because Capulet was drunk that he didn’t really care Romeo was there but he still should of letting Tybalt deal with him or deal with him himself, “Content thee gentle coz, let him alone, I would not for the wealth of all this town do him disparagement, therefore, be patient, take no note of him” (Act 1 Scene 5). Because Capulet let Romeo stay at the feast where he met Juliet’s he can be blamed for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because he wasn’t as harsh about seeing a Montague in his own house, as he should have been.
The final point is the fact that he more or less forced Juliet to marry Paris a wealthy young count. By the time Juliet was forced to marry Paris, she was already married to Romeo, which is why she had to refuse. Once Capulet had heard her refusal he went mad and hit her. To make things worse, Capulet told Juliet that she will marry Paris or he will disown her. This sudden blast of fury was not what Juliet was expecting; it was because of what Capulet said that Juliet decided to go to the Friar for help. Juliet was only in need of an urgent plan because of Capulets wish for her to marry Paris, if he had a cool head and didn’t lash out as he did, then Juliet could’ve made up an excuse that was believable instead of going to desperate measures. So Capulet can be blamed for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because it was because of him that Romeo and Juliet met at the feast, and his sudden burst out at Juliet when she refused to marry Paris could’ve been the last straw for Juliet because she felt threatened by Capulets wrath that she just felt she had to come up with a plan to get her out of the marriage, which then led to her killing herself.
I conclude that some of these people are more guilty than others, but fate could’ve played its part in both the deaths, it was destiny that Romeo and Juliet met and Romeo had a vision of an untimely death just before the feast, “I fear, too early; for my mind misgives Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, shall bitterly begin his fearful date with this nights revel’s, and expire the term of a despised life closed in my breast, by some vile forfeit of untimely death.” This means that Romeo believes that his fate is written in the stars and the evening’s events will lead to him dying a premature death. Each of the people that I have mentioned is guilty of playing some part in the deaths of the two lovers Romeo and Juliet.