Whether the entire universe composed of its brilliant cosmos and artful living beings are all wound into an intricate pattern of fibrous fates and compassion is beyond present knowledge, but the power and influence this abstract concept has on the worldly desires of humans is unimaginable. Fate is felt like an ornate cloak of unknowing over their heads and drives them to do the unthinkable as they strive to escape it or manipulate it, rather than disregarding its existence. The effects of this supposed cloak are felt on Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo and Juliet as they feel its pressure on their love, and their response to this pressure is to be impulsive, befitting their teenage personas. Having been born in the midst of a powerful feud between the two leading families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, an interpersonal relationship between the two of them had been a cruel trick from the start.
The effect of fate on love, conveyed through Romeo and Juliet, expresses the theme that fate’s influence exhibits control over human happiness, which can be achieved by feelings of love. Throughout the play, allusions to the lovers’ unfortunate end are made and the probable preordained demise waiting ahead of them stimulate the characters to generally exhaust their own happiness. In the prologue of the play, the Chorus foredooms, “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” (1.Prologue.4-5). Shakespeare introduces fate as an antagonist to their love from the beginning through the term “star-crossed.” This references the stars, a metaphor to fate in accordance with their belief that the stars dictated fate. Since Shakespeare chooses to start their story with their cursed end, the main purpose of the story is not to be a tragedy or drama for the audience to empathize with, but rather an insinuation to how fate influences day-to-day decisions and a warning for the audience that they should break free of the binding mind control of fate as to not end up unhappy like Romeo and Juliet.
He uses love as a metaphor for happiness to this end, since Romeo had said, “Some consequence yet hanging in the stars / Shall bitterly begin his fearful date / By some vile forfeit of untimely death” just prior to him meeting Juliet, his love (1.4.109-110, 113). Again, stars are referenced as Romeo discusses his bad luck.
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