Could someone please give me some feedback for my Romeo and Juliet essay?

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studenthelp1234
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#1
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I have practiced an essay on fate and free will and the consequences of this in the play and it would be really helpful if anyone has any advice and could possibly give it a grade? (it's the new spec for edexcel)
In 'Romeo and Juliet' fate and free will is questionable for the events of the play. The characters are portrayed to blame fate and preach for it to give their lives positive events. There is also a huge amount of foreshadowing which makes the audience question the character's free will.
Firstly, the prologue discusses fate and free will. Instantaneously, we are informed that the lovers will 'take their lives' so this is inevitable from the start suggesting they have no free will and the events in the play is their destiny. The two protagonists are also described as 'star-crossed lovers' highlighting that their love is almost written in the stars and they are made for each other. This would have been strongly acknowledged in the Elizabethan society as the society were strong believers of religion and fare so the prologue the prologue introduces the idea that it is Romeo and Juliet's fate to fall in love and die. This being true, leads to the escalation of the rest of the play as without them falling in love, none of the tragic events such as Tybalt, Mercutio, Lady Montague, Paris and of course Romeo and Juliet's death. As this idea is discussed at the very start of the play, the Elizabethan audience are forced to question if any of the characters actions are voluntary or if it is just their fate which enforces the tragic end.
Additionally, the family feud is questionable if it is caused by fate and is written in the characters destiny. The 'ancient grudge' is also mentioned in the prologue of how it only ends after the lover's deaths. This could also make the audience question if it is the character's destiny for it to only stop after their deaths at the end of the play. The end of the feud is a catalyst for possible change and realisation in Verona after it has dominated the area for so long. Shakespeare could have used the feud in this way to represent what was wrong with the Edwardian society; the characters were obsessed with retaining their honour that it leads to several deaths and punishment from both families before they realise that it has to stop. Therefore, it is the characters fate for it to only be stopped after so many tragic events so the characters and the audience can learn from the feud. It is also interesting to see how easily the feud could have potentially been stopped; Paris was kingman to Mercutio therefore if he married Juliet it could have brought some peace between the feuding families. The feud obviously lead to many tragic consequences in the play including the deaths of many of the main characters, the secrecy of Romeo and Juliet's relationship; without the feud they would have been a perfect match for one another. Also, the causation of the several streetfights all sprung from hated due to the feud. Shakespeare used the example of the feud which ended due to the characters destiny in the play so the audience could learn from the mistakes and understand the consequences of the honour obesession a lot of the society would have had.
Finally, Romeo clearly is a strong believer of fate in the play. Romeo claims he is 'fortunes fool' when he kills Tybalt. This is interesting as he blames fate for his destiny and refuses to take any responsibility for his own actions even though earlier in the play he doesn't listen to fate as he ignore the bad dream he had about the Capulet's ball which lead to the meeting of the two protagonists. If Romeo had of listened to his fears here it could have ended the tragic events which are caused by their love including the deaths and secrecy. Juliet may have been forced to marry Paris which could have brought a more peaceful,less tragic end to the feud. This was common of the Elizabethan society as they would take any oppertunity to blame fate despite going against it when it warns them. This quote of blaming fate is from central act 3 in the play highlights the importance of this idea to the audience suggesting this occured regularly in the Elizabethan society. Romeo also beleives it is his purpose and destiny to love hence his sadness over Rosaline at the start of the play which suggests his petrarchan lover traits. He is adiment that he will not find happiness until he is in a relationship. As an audience we could question if he really does love Juliet as much as he says or if he just sees it as an oppertunity to find happiness and is obessesed by the idea of love, which was common in the Elizabethan society. However, this is an alternative interpretation which not all of the audience may agree with as they may just believe he matured quickly and found true love.
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maryamahmed367
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#2
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Good points! But doesn't religion state that your destiny is predetermined, so wouldn't fate go against the idea of religion?
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Lucy031
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#3
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(Original post by studenthelp1234)
I have practiced an essay on fate and free will and the consequences of this in the play and it would be really helpful if anyone has any advice and could possibly give it a grade? (it's the new spec for edexcel)
In 'Romeo and Juliet' fate and free will is questionable for the events of the play. The characters are portrayed to blame fate and preach for it to give their lives positive events. There is also a huge amount of foreshadowing which makes the audience question the character's free will.
Firstly, the prologue discusses fate and free will. Instantaneously, we are informed that the lovers will 'take their lives' so this is inevitable from the start suggesting they have no free will and the events in the play is their destiny. The two protagonists are also described as 'star-crossed lovers' highlighting that their love is almost written in the stars and they are made for each other. This would have been strongly acknowledged in the Elizabethan society as the society were strong believers of religion and fare so the prologue the prologue introduces the idea that it is Romeo and Juliet's fate to fall in love and die. This being true, leads to the escalation of the rest of the play as without them falling in love, none of the tragic events such as Tybalt, Mercutio, Lady Montague, Paris and of course Romeo and Juliet's death. As this idea is discussed at the very start of the play, the Elizabethan audience are forced to question if any of the characters actions are voluntary or if it is just their fate which enforces the tragic end.
Additionally, the family feud is questionable if it is caused by fate and is written in the characters destiny. The 'ancient grudge' is also mentioned in the prologue of how it only ends after the lover's deaths. This could also make the audience question if it is the character's destiny for it to only stop after their deaths at the end of the play. The end of the feud is a catalyst for possible change and realisation in Verona after it has dominated the area for so long. Shakespeare could have used the feud in this way to represent what was wrong with the Edwardian society; the characters were obsessed with retaining their honour that it leads to several deaths and punishment from both families before they realise that it has to stop. Therefore, it is the characters fate for it to only be stopped after so many tragic events so the characters and the audience can learn from the feud. It is also interesting to see how easily the feud could have potentially been stopped; Paris was kingman to Mercutio therefore if he married Juliet it could have brought some peace between the feuding families. The feud obviously lead to many tragic consequences in the play including the deaths of many of the main characters, the secrecy of Romeo and Juliet's relationship; without the feud they would have been a perfect match for one another. Also, the causation of the several streetfights all sprung from hated due to the feud. Shakespeare used the example of the feud which ended due to the characters destiny in the play so the audience could learn from the mistakes and understand the consequences of the honour obesession a lot of the society would have had.
Finally, Romeo clearly is a strong believer of fate in the play. Romeo claims he is 'fortunes fool' when he kills Tybalt. This is interesting as he blames fate for his destiny and refuses to take any responsibility for his own actions even though earlier in the play he doesn't listen to fate as he ignore the bad dream he had about the Capulet's ball which lead to the meeting of the two protagonists. If Romeo had of listened to his fears here it could have ended the tragic events which are caused by their love including the deaths and secrecy. Juliet may have been forced to marry Paris which could have brought a more peaceful,less tragic end to the feud. This was common of the Elizabethan society as they would take any oppertunity to blame fate despite going against it when it warns them. This quote of blaming fate is from central act 3 in the play highlights the importance of this idea to the audience suggesting this occured regularly in the Elizabethan society. Romeo also beleives it is his purpose and destiny to love hence his sadness over Rosaline at the start of the play which suggests his petrarchan lover traits. He is adiment that he will not find happiness until he is in a relationship. As an audience we could question if he really does love Juliet as much as he says or if he just sees it as an oppertunity to find happiness and is obessesed by the idea of love, which was common in the Elizabethan society. However, this is an alternative interpretation which not all of the audience may agree with as they may just believe he matured quickly and found true love.
Thoughtful points made, it is a very good essay, definitely heart he top band. However, your intro talks about how the
characters blame fate etc, however in your essay you later go on to state your actual argument which is about honour and how shakespeare uses fate to criticise that. So to make you answer more perceptive put your line of argument into your intro and conclusion, it will make your essay seem more evaluative. Overall, a very very good essay!!
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