In this essay I am going to answer the question, what cased Romeo and Juliet to die in the Shakespeare play of the same name. So what did cause them to die? In the play many things are suggested, but none are specifically indicated towards the cause of death of the two main characters; love, family feuding and even the weather have all been suggested as possible explanations, I’m going to try and find which one is the most logical cause of death. Love; Love plays a prominent part in the play, with out it there wouldn’t really be a play.
It is obvious that the two characters are devoted to each other; “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. ” (Act II, scene II, lines 1,2,3) Here Romeo is comparing Juliet to something as mighty and beautiful as the sun, making it quite obvious his love for her is great. And Juliet declaring “Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet. ” Here she is asking why Romeo is called Romeo Montague; not where he is which is the common misinterpretation.
She then goes into a monologue asking herself to ignore her father and change her name from Capulet to something else, causing her to leave the family and be permitted to marry Romeo. Surely to want to disown your family to marry someone proves your love for them. Their love is so great that Juliet would bring on the effects of death to see the Romeo again, whilst Romeo sees death as the only opportunity to be with the ‘dead’ Juliet. Therefore their love for each other caused their deaths. But is this the only explanation?
Family Feuding; as we found out in the last paragraph, Romeo and Juliet were forbidden to marry as their families were effectively at war. If the two lovers’ families weren’t fighting then the Capulets would have never banished Romeo from Verona, Juliet would never had to fake her death to get him to come back to the city, he would have never thought she was really dead and topped him self, so she would have never woken up to find him dead and topped her self! It’s a bit of a mess really! The Weather; Verona is in Italy, well known for being a hot country, in the play it is mentioned that Verona is going through a heat wave.
The heat would have made the two families even more argumentative and therefore even more disgusted with the idea of Romeo and Juliet having a relationship. This goes hand in hand with Family Feuding. Interfering Adults; Friar Lawrence appears in the play to help Romeo, and the Nurse, Juliet, that is mainly the only contribution they are in the infrastructure of the play. To start off with the Nurse walks in on Romeo and Juliet in bed, not a good move, she then goes on (or doesn’t as the case maybe) by letting them carry on with the relationship. Would they have carried on seeing each other anyway?
Who knows, that’s going back to love. Friar Lawrence does effectively the same thing when Romeo comes to see him, he still does not put a stop to it. After Romeo is banished from Verona, the Friar gives Juliet the tonic to bring on the effects of death, which lead onto Romeo topping himself, which lead to Juliet topping herself, for real this time! Haste; The whole of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship starts on a Sunday and ends on a Thursday, that’s from when they first lay eyes on each other, to them DIEING!
Even Juliet herself says their love is ” …too rash, too unadvis’d, too sudden, too like the lightning… ” which is just a Shakespearean way of saying, ‘sorry love but don’t you think this is a bit fast? ‘ Conclusion; Personally, I think their deaths were caused by a mixture of all these factors, the feud forbid their love, and when you can’t have something, you only want it more. Friar Lawrence effectively broke three laws, euthanasia, drug dealing and murder, and it was quite obviously. But on another level, I think Shakespeare would have thought it was their pure, unspoiled love that killed them, it was the whole basis of the play after all.