Whenever something goes wrong, we all tend to point fingers and look for who is to be blamed. The case is no different from the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, a play written by the brilliant William Shakespeare. However, it seems like the controversy is yet to die down. Almost every person out there disagrees as to what the real cause of death was.
Of course, we know that there are specific characters who always have more of an impact. However, in this particular case, numerous elements affected Romeo and Juliet’s decision. However, in hindsight, one must be aware that it’s rarely one person to blame. Instead, it combines circumstances and an inability to fight back.
This piece breaks down the various elements that lead to the famous tragedy. From the individual characters to events that occurred, find out the real reason Romeo and Juliet decide to send their own lives.
The Parents Are to Blame
Juliet’s parents, Lord and Lady Capulet, clearly have a significant role in the tragedy. While it’s typical to blame the parents, there is a solid basis. First of all, one must ask how did Romeo and Juliet die to fully grasp the events that led to the tragedy. Romeo’s death was brought about through poison, but Juliet wasn’t dead at the time. Juliet was merely 13 years old, too young to be married off in our time and age. But how old was Romeo when he died? It’s estimated that he was approximately 16 years old.
Hence, in retrospect, they were too young to fall and love. The lovers knew their parents would not take them seriously. Consequently, Juilet’s parents insist on her getting married to Paris, a wealthy suitor, which could possibly lead Juliet to rebel. Many speculate that the reason she refused to leave Romeo was a mere act of rebellion.
Romeo Was the Leading Cause of Death
We bet you’ll find a research paper on the tragedy that eliminates Romeo and Juliet from the equation. Many believe, or genuinely want to, that neither character had anything to do with the deaths. However, Romeo seems to be a significant part of how things tumbled down, and it boils down to three reasons.
Going Against the Rules
We witness both Romeo and Juliet breaking the rules here and there. The major mistake was them falling in love with each other and hiding it away. But to fully understand Romeo’s implications, we first ask: who is Romeo? We know him as the romantic lover who has been over-romanticized in our time. However, it’s seldom known that he was the first to break the rules. He attends the Capulet party without an invitation.
There are numerous examples of how Romeo could’ve behaved and acted differently. However, one act that stands out is his need to avenge Mercutio’s death. While Mercutio takes Romeo’s place in the fight against Tybalt, he ends up causing his own death. Tybalt initially wanted to merely injure Romeo but ended up killing Mercutio. Not only does this infuriate Romeo, but it leads him to take revenge by murdering Tybalt. This leads to his banishment from Verona. This could have been prevented by the lovers running away together.
Rashly Poisoning Himself
How old was Romeo when he died? It’s assumed that he was approximately 16 years old. As a student, your first assumption is that Romeo was too young to commit all the acts he did. Such speculation is logical, as one could assume he wasn’t mature enough to make radically diverse decisions. Hence, at the very end of the play, when he believes Juliet is dead, he poisons himself.
Friar Lawrence Is to Blame for Romeo’s Death
Friar, who is Romeo’s advisor and trusted friend, is directly correlated to the death of Romeo. There are multiple reasons why his actions led to Romeo’s death. While he was portrayed as the wise individual in the play, it seems like he committed careless mistakes on the way. There are three incidents where he contributed to Romeo and Juliet’s tragedies.
Friar Married the Lovers
Instead of talking them down from their decision, Lawrence was the one who married Romeo and Juliet. While one would initially see this as an act of care, it’s the complete opposite. This led to the couple being more attached than ever, which inevitably led them to not want to live without one another.
Encouraging Juliet to Take the Potion
The ending of the play was not an unpredictable surprise. In fact, the prologue tells us everything we need to know about the end. However, the events in the middle shape the whole play. One incident is when Friar gives Juliet the potion that puts her in a coma. She didn’t want to get married to Paris. Hence Friar’s solution was to provide her with something to take before her wedding night. That put her in a coma. This led everyone to believe she was dead. She was even placed in a tomb.
Not Telling Romeo
Friar Lawrence does send off a servant to tell Romeo that Juliet is, in fact, alive but is currently in a coma. However, the servant does not deliver the message. One could say that Friar had the option of sending multiple servants or even telling him himself.
Bottom Line: Who Is to Blame for Romeo and Juliet’s Tragedies?
When reflecting upon the whole play, there isn’t a particular person responsible for the death. However, while we tend to idolize the couple, they could have changed their destiny. However, after Romeo kills himself without knowing Juliet is alive, she also chooses to end her life. She wakes from a coma, finds out, and stabs herself.
Hence, as they were too young to fully understand the gravity of their actions, they inevitably caused their own deaths. This happens metaphorically and literally, as they both commit suicide. One does so through poison, and the other stabs herself in the tomb.