Romeo and Juliet Research Project

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Lee, Ed. Michelle. “Romeo and Juliet.” Literature Resources from Gale. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. .

This critical essay an over view of a few different Shakespearean scholars interpretations of Romeo and Juliet. Each scholar talked about different themes that Shakespeare used in this play.
I will focus on one paragraph in this essay, where T. McAlindon talked about how free will submits to fate.

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“… Shakespeare adroitly combined the genres of comedy, lyricism, and tragedy to evoke a fundamental Elizabethan concern with how individual free will must always submit to immovable fate.”
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Nevo, Ruth. “Tragic Form in Romeo and Juliet.” Literature
Resource Center. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. .

In this article, Nevo showed how Romeo was aware of his free will but really let his fate take over his life. Almost everything Romeo did once he met Juliet was according to his fate rather than his will.
I will use this article to show how even though will power is present, Romeo puts his life in fates hands. Also how the misfortune in his fate caused his death.

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“Bad luck, misfortune, sheer inexplicable contingency is a far from negligible source of the suffering and calamity in human life which is the subject of tragedy’s mimesis”
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“The Friar fears the lovers’ destruction from their very first abandonment, in his view, to unbridled passion, rash impetuosity, and headstrong will.”
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The feud between the Montague’s and the Capulet’s created bad habits in Romeo and Juliet. These bad habits intertwined with bad luck and created the deaths of the play.
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Romeo’s and Juliet’s exercised their freedom by ending their lives so that they could love each other purely until the end of their lives. This what makes the story of Romeo and Juliet an interesting story.
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Matthews, Brander. Literature Resources from Gale. N.p., 1987. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. .

This critical essay was written about the fate in Romeo and Juliet. It describes how their own choices lead to their doom full fate.
I will use this essay to describe how their choices, while may have not been intended, lead to fateful death.

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” In `Romeo and Juliet’ hero and heroine alike, and to an equal degree, have wills of their own and know their own minds and are bent on having their own way. They are not only wilful, but headstrong, and so they rush straight to their doom.”
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“It is the eternal tale of youthful love rushing to its fate, a tale fiery with passion and yet chilly with the sense of impending doom.”
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In Romeo and Juliet, many characters are very strong willed and don’t do what is expected of them by others, but instead they do what they want to do, especially Romeo and Juliet.
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Brander describes that Friar Laurence letter to Romeo was not delivered purely by accident and not by fate. Accidents are human nature and can happen all the time. The non-delivery of this letter was just a natural human mistake.
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Kermode, Frank. “Introduction to Romeo and Juliet.” Modern Critical Interpretations of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Chelsea House, 2000. 117-22. Print.

This essay helps readers understand the play Romeo and Juliet more clearly. Kermode relates the word tragedy to this Shakespearean play.
With in this essay, Kermode uses powerful words to describe the love between Romeo and Juliet.

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“The completeness and self-surrender of the love between Romeo and Juliet is beautifully rendered; but there is hardly a moment when we are allowed to think that permanence or happiness is part of its nature.”
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“The sentences of the Friar are chilled by a sort of benevolent inhumanity—he is not himself familiar with this kind of thing and we are; but nevertheless they sound persistently before the wedding, and the overtones should not be neglected. ‘The violent delights have violent ends, And in their triumph die.'”
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Goddard, Harold C. “Romeo and Juliet.” Modern Critical Interpretations of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. N.p.: Chelsea House, 2000. 25-49. Print.

This author of this critical essay believes that Romeo and Juliet is a story about bad luck and coincidence. Since the beginning of the essay he relates many literary devices Shakespeare uses and refers them to bad luck.
Within this essay I am interested in the section where Goddard describes the prologue’s reference to the ending of the play.

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“One word has dominated he criticisms of Romeo and Juliet: ‘Star-cross’d.’
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
says the Prologue-Chorus
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.

‘Star-cross’d’ backed by ‘fatal’ pretty much surrendered this drama to the astrologers.”

Paraphrase from 5
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Even though the Prologue suggest that the protagonists are fated to die, Goddard states that Romeo and Juliet is a play about bad luck and misfortune that are not a result of evil through man.
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Waters, D. Douglas. “Fate and Fortune in Romeo and Juliet.” Literature Resources from Gale. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2012. .

This article is about the fate and fortune within the characters of Romeo and Juliet. Waters describes how Shakespeare relate many, many things, during the play, to the stars.
I will use many of the parts that Waters describes the scenes were Shakespeare describes astrology.

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“Fate in collaboration with fortune (chance), human contingency, and accident upsets the timing of the events in their efforts to live together as husband and wife. The tragedy is that fate as cosmic and social circumstance works against them and does not allow them to prosper.”
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Within Romeo and Juliet, many characters refer to astrology. Romeo defies the stars once he hears about the death of Juliet, but as he reaches her body, he places his body way beyond the stars to be with Juliet.
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Some critics believe that fate is an infinite force and Romeo and Juliet are their own reason for their death.
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Lee, Ed. Michelle. “Fate and Fortune.” Literature Resources from Gale. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2012. .

Lee describes the fate, fortune, and lives of humans in Shakespearean dramas. He used the views of many Christian critics towards the concept of fortune and fate in Romeo and Juliet.
The part when Lee talks about Romeo and Juliet being a tragedy of fate rather then a tragedy of character would be great for my paper.

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“The concepts of fate and fortune have also been interpreted as one’s inexorable destiny, quite simply as the end result of divine providence, or more problematically in the context of human free will.”
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Lee describes that Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy of fate rather than the more common tragedy of character. Fortune and fate is what greatly influenced this play.
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Lee disscuses the views of John F. Andrews. Andrews argues that the death of Romeo and Juliet was not based on the stars but on there own pure free will.
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Flow, Erind. “”A Pair of Star-cross’d Lovers Take Their Life”: Does Fate Control Our Actions or Does Man’s Free Will?” HubPages. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. .

This article talks about how Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet changes the world of plays. He was the first to write about free will instead of fate.
The talking of free will within this article is exactly what i need for my research paper.

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“The audience is told of Romeo and Juliet’s fate in the opening lines of the play: “a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.” (Romeo and Juliet, Prologue, 6) The audience is urged to contemplate fate and free-will by being placed in a bird’s eye view from the beginning. This technique that Shakespeare used allowed people to unconsciously question their traditional beliefs about fate.”
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Many people, in the Elizabethan era, believed that life was based on fate and astronomy instead of free will. Shakespeare was the one of the first to create a story where ones fate depends on ones actions, or free will.
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The suicides of Romeo and Juliet, the fight between Romeo and Tybalt, the feud between the Montegue’s and Capulet’s, and the choice between Romeo and Juliet to marry are all examples of how the characters free will determined their life. These choices where made on the characters own and were not influenced by anyone else.