Health & Lifestyle

Who’s to Blame for Romeo and Juliet’s Death


Novice essayist Keithan Thao is a 9th Grader of Osseo High School in Osseo, MN. His fascination for literature has progressed immensely since his grade school days. Probing with the task to write an essay about who is to be blamed for Romeo and Juliet’s Death in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, here is going into the mind of a 9th grader. Read on as he dissects this tragic love story to ascertain who the real offender is that had become the catalyst to their death.

 Who’s to Blame for Romeo and Juliet’s Death

A typical story portrays a valiant protagonist earning accolades through perseverance and adversities from the twists and turns of an allegorical plot with a climatic end to find the protagonist heroic from all odds while intact, safe, and winning the hearts of the readers. With a macabre imagination in William Shakespeare’s story telling in Romeo and Juliet where this innovative dramatist ends with both main characters dying in their endeavor to find love; love that had become an entrapment for their death. Their love, their enigmatic end! Who is to blame? To point the finger is to find the root cause of the issue. If I can rewind back to the very beginning I can tell you who I would choose as the sole perpetrator. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is to blame for his own along with Juliet’s death because he initially pursued Juliet knowing she was a Capulet, he had too much trust in his confidence in Friar Lawrence, and lastly, had relied heavily in his naivety.

Everyone and everything has a beginning. A tree doesn’t grow without its roots. Romeo is to blame for his own along with Juliet’s death because the root cause of this incident began with his decision to pursue a relationship with a Capulet household member, which was forbidden. Romeo understood the possible consequences to initiate a courtship with lying with an enemy. He already knew that both households Capulet and Montague were sworn enemies from generations before them. Unbeknownst to them, fated to become an inescapable tragedy that would ensue to their demise. If Romeo didn’t attend the Capulet party, he would never have met Juliet, unfortunately he did. His first sight of her beauty seems a little cliche but warranted the conundrum of the idiom of love at first sight which paved way to giving him the butterfly tingles in his stomach to continue his pursuit. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5. 54-55). He secretly followed her to her chambers, climbed up to her window from outside to meet her, and this was the beginning to what we know now as the ending to this holy matrimony.

Romeo had too much trust in Friar Lawrence, a forerunner to his downfall. Although Friar Lawrence had good intentions to help keep Romeo and Juliet’s relationship a secret, this later led him down the path believing Juliet’s death was real. Although Friar Lawrence seems to see this love as a skeptical one, he says: “Young men’s love then lies not truly with their hearts, but in their eyes” (2.3. 67-68). Friar Lawrence agrees to marry the two in hopes to end their families’ feud. “But come, young waverer, come, go with me. In one respect I’ll thy assistant be, for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancor to pure love” (2.3. 96-97). Juliet confides in the friar who gives her his advice of a possible way for Juliet to get out of the arranged marriage. Friar Lawrence’s proposal to Juliet was to agree to marry Paris; then on the night before the wedding to drink a sleeping potion that will make her seem that she is dead; while Friar Lawrence will send a letter to Romeo to be at her side when she wakes up.  The friar’s letter to Romeo did not get to him before this turned for the worst. Romeo’s trust in Friar Lawrence was Romeo’s fate to die.

Lastly, he relied heavily on his naivety. From the inception, he’s the one who gave birth to the seed that has grown to flourish into roots that would sprout to influencing the bitter sweet love tragedy that has us pointing fingers. Romeo’s naivety in his decisions from pursuing Juliet was his first mistake. Then to having too much confidence in Friar Lawrence in relying too much in his advices. Subsequently, with Friar Lawrence coming to Juliet’s aid in a final plan of a fake a death to deceive her family while sending word to Romeo about the plan, so they can be together at last. Love always triumph over hate. Without receiving the letter from the friar, he made a final impulsive decision to accept death if he cannot be with his love Juliet for his death would mean he can be with her. After seeing his beautiful Juliet in a lifeless slumber, he said: “Here, here will I remain with worms that are thy chamber maids. O, here will i set up my everlasting rest. And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars from this world-wearied flesh! Eyes, look your last. Arms, take your last embrace. And, lips, O, you the doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss a dateless bargain engrossing death” (5.3. 107-114). He kisses Juliet and gives a final monologue, “Come bitter conduct, come unsavoury guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on the dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark! Here’s to my love! Drinking. O true apothecary, thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die” (5.3 115-120). A young, simple-minded virgin without wisdom of age, reckless with youth, innocent in a young love that may have been the disease of infatuation to become susceptible to gullibility in killing oneself for love.

In the case of who killed Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is to blame. I have concluded three facts and reasons on why he is the perpetrator. I have shown you that Romeo pursued Juliet knowing she was a Capulet, a sworn enemy of the house of Montague; which should have been an impasse. Then he gave reliance to a man named Friar Lawrence who eventually gave advice to Juliet to fake her death without confiding in him first. Lastly, his naivety with young wisdom and young love of infatuation had him recklessly killing himself believing that it would unite him with her in death. Consequently, Juliet waking up from her slumber, seeing that her one true love had slain himself for her. Their love, forsaken by their parents’ approval, she would go through the same distance as he had done, to kill herself to be with him. “Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die” (5.3. 168-169). Their love; their tragic end!


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