Interesting Literature

‘A Pair of Star-Cross’d Lovers’: Meaning and Analysis

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘A pair of star-cross’d lovers’ is a well-known phrase from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet . The Prologue’s description of Romeo and Juliet as ‘star-cross’d lovers’ has become one of the most emblematic phrases from the whole play, neatly encapsulating the doomed nature of their love affair from the outset.

But what exactly does the Prologue mean when he describes the two title characters as ‘star-cross’d lovers’?

Let’s take a closer look at the words to the Prologue:

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.

In other words, two doomed children from these feuding families, the Montagues and Capulets, fall in love with each other and take their own lives (spoiler alert).

By the way, the first reference to Montagues and Capulets is in the poetry of Dante, not Shakespeare: in his early fourteenth-century masterpiece, the Divine Comedy , Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) makes reference to two warring Italian families, the Montagues and Capulets. This is in Canto VI of Purgatorio , the middle of the three ‘books’ of Dante’s poem. So the families appear to have actually existed in medieval Italy.

But why are Romeo and Juliet ‘star-cross’d’ and why does ‘star-cross’d’ mean ‘doomed’?

In short, it is because it is written in the stars that Romeo and Juliet’s love for each other will be thwarted. Their romance is doomed from the outset. The phrase ‘star-cross’d’ is a reference to astrology : a belief system in which the movements and relative positions of stars and planets are viewed as having an influence on human affairs. Indeed, the word ‘astrology’ is from the ancient Greek for star, aster .

Astrology is discredited as a science – it was largely superseded by astronomy, involving the empirical observation of the stars and planets, but without linking this to human affairs – but many people still check their horoscopes every day or take an interest in what star sign somebody is. A good deal of people view this as a bit of harmless fun, but Elizabethans tended to take it very seriously, as did the ancient Romans and ancient Greeks before them.

Indeed, the word ‘disaster’ is from the prefix dis- and the Greek word for ‘star’, aster : a ‘disaster’ was originally the unfortunate alignment of certain stars (or planets).

There are many astrological references in Romeo and Juliet : references to the idea that the stars govern human fate. This was a common belief in the Elizabethan era, and Shakespeare is drawing on this belief. In Act 1 Scene 4, for example, Romeo refers to the stars and relates them to his current situation:

I fear, too early: for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date With this night’s revels and expire the term Of a despised life closed in my breast By some vile forfeit of untimely death.

In Act 5 Scene 1, Romeo will defy the stars, but the misgiving he had earlier turns out to be right: he and Juliet really are doomed, thanks to the accident of birth which saw them born into warring, rival families.

Shakespeare’s celebrated dramatising of the story of a ‘pair of star-cross’d lovers’ is, of course, the definitive version of a tragic love story which is much older. The Italian story ‘Mariotto and Gianozza’, first printed in 1476, contains many of the plot elements which found their way into Shakespeare’s play. However, Shakespeare’s source for the play’s story was Arthur Brooke’s  The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet  (1562), an English verse translation of the tale.

The moral of Brooke’s tale is that young love ends in disaster for their elders, and is best reined in. But Shakespeare added to this moralising tale, celebrating the headlong passion and excitement of young love (even if Juliet, at thirteen, is very young by modern standards). But through their deaths, and the example their love set for their parents, the two families vow to be reconciled to each other. Those stars were not crossed in vain.

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No Sweat Shakespeare

‘Star Crossed Lovers’ Meaning & Context

‘ Star crossed lover s’ is a phrase from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet that has become particularly well known. Here we examine what ‘Star crossed lovers’ means, and the context of the phrase within the play.

When the audience at the Globe Theatre was all ready and settled to watch Master Shakespeare’s new play, Romeo and Juliet, the stage manager came out and delivered the following sonnet as a prologue:

Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona (where we lay our scene), From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife. The fearful passage of their death-marked love, And the continuance of their parents’ rage, Which but their children’s end nought could remove, Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

In speaking this sonnet before the play started he was telling the audience the whole plot of Romeo and Juliet . What an Elizabethan audience would most have latched on to was that the protagonists were ‘star-crossed lovers’ and the audience knew then that they were in for a good time, watching a series of disasters brought about by preordained bad luck. That the lovers’ stars crossed meant that the tragedy was inevitable because, as they saw it, the stars controlled human destiny.

It’s called ‘astrology.’ It was medieaval science – not just a medieaval science but the medieaval science, a compulsory subject in schools and universities. Its claim was that everything in human life is controlled by the movement of the stars. It was very complicated and a very powerful influence still in Elizabethan life. Human beings who tried to defy their stars always failed because the power lay entirely with the stars. The educated members of the audiences would have studied astrology and the others would also have strong opinions on the effect of the stars on their lives.

And the audiences were not disappointed, as poor Romeo and Juliet experience one piece of bad luck after another. Fate hounds them and ends up killing them.

Right in the middle of the play Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, inadvertently kills Romeo’s friend, Mercutio . Romeo is so incensed that he pursues Tybalt and they fight. Romeo kills Tybalt, and as the unfortunate young man lies dead, Romeo looks up at the heavens and cries, ‘O, I am fortune’s fool!’

Fools were the lowest members of royal courts, completely at the mercy of the king, or prince or duke, who was at the top, and could do anything he liked to the fool. So what Romeo is saying is that he is completely at the mercy of Fate. This is the first evidence of the star-crossed condition of the lovers, now married. Friar Laurence has just married them, but now these two deaths have ruined what may have turned out to be a better future for the couple.

The run of bad luck continues, with miscommunications and bad luck leading to the scene in Juliet’s tomb, where the final act of the stars occurs. Juliet is lying drugged on a bier, but because of misinformation Romeo thinks she’s dead. He kills himself. She then wakes up, sees that he’s dead, and kills herself.

Being star-crossed they didn’t have a chance. However, this would not be Shakespeare if it was that simple. Shakespeare was far more interested in the actions of people than that they should be chess pieces moved about by the stars.

In the first place, the lovers are very young. Juliet is fourteen and Romeo not much older. Juliet is in the care of a nurse, who is responsible for her education and well-being. The local clergyman, Friar Laurence, is responsible for the well-being of his parishioners. Both should have some wisdom and maturity but neither has. They both connive in the marriage of these two teenagers, knowing that any such thing would be strictly forbidden by their parents. That is clearly very foolish and unworthy of responsible adults. In one way of looking at the play one could say that they are responsible for the tragedy.

And again, Friar Laurence could have prevented Juliet’s death if it hadn’t been for his cowardice. When Juliet discovers Romeo’s body Friar Lawrence is with her. He hears the guard coming and says that he can’t afford to be found there. He urges her to go with him but she won’t, and he runs away without her. She then kills herself.

All the way through the play one could point to the decisions made by both Romeo and Juliet. In any one case a different decision would have led to a different outcome.

In the Prologue, Shakespeare sets up the idea that a preordained fate drives the action of these star crossed lovers, and then plays with it by having foolish decisions made throughout by the characters. All tragedies, including Shakespeare’s , come about as the result of tragic flaws in the character of the tragic protagonists and bad judgment on their part. There are no exceptions.

Perhaps Shakespeare was too sophisticated to go along with the established science of his time.

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Star-crossed lovers in the moonlight

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Romeo And Juliet Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on romeo and juliet.

Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love tragedy written by William Shakespeare. This is a story of love and fate. Furthermore, the basis of this tragic love story is the Old Italian tale translated into English in the sixteenth century. The story is about two young star-crossed lovers whose death results in reconcile between their feuding families. Moreover, Romeo and Juliet is among the most frequently performed plays by Shakespeare .

Romeo and Juliet Essay

Lessons of Love from Romeo and Juliet

First of all, Romeo and Juliet teach us that love is blind. Romeo and Juliet belonged to two influential families. Furthermore, these two families were engaged in a big feud among themselves. However, against all odds, Romeo and Juliet find each other and fall in love. Most noteworthy, they are blind to the fact that they are from rival families. They strive to be together in spite of the threat of hate between their families.

Another important lesson is that love brings out the best in us. Most noteworthy, Romeo and Juliet were very different characters by the end of the story than in the beginning. Romeo was suffering from depression before he met Juliet. Furthermore, Juliet was an innocent timid girl. Juliet was forced into marriage against her will by her parents. After falling in love, the personalities of these characters changed in positive ways. Romeo becomes a deeply passionate lover and Juliet becomes a confident woman.

Life without love is certainly not worth living. Later in the story, Romeo learns that his beloved Juliet is dead. At this moment Romeo felt a heart-shattering moment. Romeo then gets extremely sad and drinks poison. However, Juliet was alive and wakes up to see Romeo dead. Juliet then immediately decides to kill herself due to this massive heartbreak. Hence, both lovers believed that life without love is not worth living.

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Legacy of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Furthermore, the play was very popular even in Shakespeare’s lifetime. Scholar Gary Taylor believes it as the sixth most popular of Shakespeare’s plays. Moreover, Sir William Davenant of the Duke’s Company staged Romeo and Juliet in 1662. The earliest production of Romeo and Juliet was in North America on 23 March 1730.

There were professional performances of Romeo and Juliet in the mid-19th century. In 19th century America, probably the most elaborate productions of Romeo and Juliet took place. The first professional performance of the play in Japan seems to be George Crichton Miln’s company’s production in 1890. In the 20th century, Romeo and Juliet became the second most popular play behind Hamlet.

There have been at least 24 operas based on Romeo and Juliet. The best-known ballet version of this play is Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Most noteworthy, Romeo and Juliet have a huge impact on literature. Romeo and Juliet made romance as a worthy topic for tragedy. Before Romeo and Juliet, romantic tragedy was certainly unthinkable.

Romeo and Juliet are probably the most popular romantic fictional characters. They have been an inspiration for lovers around the world for centuries. Most noteworthy, the story depicts the struggle of the couple against a patriarchal society. People will always consider Romeo and Juliet as archetypal young lovers.

Q1 State any one lesson of love from Romeo and Juliet?

A1 One lesson of love from Romeo and Juliet is that love brings out the best in us.

Q2 What makes Romeo and Juliet unique in literature?

A2 Romeo and Juliet made romance as a worthy topic for tragedy. This is what makes it unique.

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Romeo & juliet are star-crossed lovers.

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            ROMEO AND JULIET ARE " STAR-CROSSED LOVERS.              Romeo and Juliet are victims of fate, which is a dominant force from the beginning of the play. In the opening prologue we are told that Romeo and Juliet are "star-cross"d" and "death-mark"d". The audience learns that the young lovers are doomed to destruction and tragedy - "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/A pair of star-cross"d lovers take their life." Many characters believe they are controlled by the stars. The plot stresses the power fate has on Romeo and Juliet's lives. Although the characters foresee the future, they are not able to change the outcome. Even the power of love is not able to over come fate. Romeo and Juliet are destined to die and end their parents" feud.              The characters make references to the stars and express premonitions of doom. Romeo becomes a pitiful puppet in the hands of fate when he says:.              I fear too early; for my mind misgives.              Some consequence yet handing in the stars.              Shall bitterly begin his fearful date .              By some vile forfeit of untimely death.              Proving that Romeo feels uneasy about going to the Capulet party but he does not follow his instincts. Even Friar Lawrence tries to reassure himself with prayers, yet he notes that: "These violent delights have violent ends." As Romeo leaves for exile, Juliet looks down from her window and murmurs: "Methinks I see thee, now thou are so low,/As one dead in the bottom of a tomb." Juliet has a vision of Romeo dead in a tomb, which is where Romeo ends up in the end of the play. Hence, the characters have dreams and omens of what fate has in store for them.              Several preplanned events influence the destiny of Romeo and Juliet. If Romeo and Benvolio had not bumped into the Capulet servant, Romeo and Juliet may not have met. Romeo did not receive the message from the Friar John because of the quarantine in Mantua. Friar Laurence then has the misfortune of accidentally tripping over gravestones while running to meet Juliet.

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Romeo & Juliet – Star Crossed Lovers

“A pair of star-crossed lovers”, Romeo and Juliet. From the opening scenes of the play these two children of feuding families were destined to fall in love together and eventually die together. How does the reader see this? How do we know it was fate which triggered these events? Coincidence caused the death of these two lovers. For this reason Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies. For coincidence to have caused the death of Romeo and Juliet it must have been evident in the events leading up to their deaths. These events include their meeting and falling in love, their separation, their reunion and finally their suicides.

Solving the ancient feud between their families was the only real result of these untimely deaths. How did Romeo and Juliet meet? Was it by fate or could it have been avoided? Romeo and Juliet could not have avoided coming in contact with each other, they were brought together by uncontrollable circumstances. In Romeo and Juliet’s time Verona (a city in Italy approximately 100 km west of Venice) was a fair sized city, and “bumping” into an acquaintance was unlikely. During the course of Act I, Scene II, the contrary had happened, and happened by chance.

As Romeo and Benvolio were nearing a public area they were stopped by a Capulet servant. After Romeo had read the guest list to the Capulet party and the servant was on his way, Benvolio suggested that to relieve himself of his sadness for Rosaline, Romeo should go to the party and compare Rosaline to the other female guests. Romeo agreed Another example of coincidence is evident here. If Rosaline had not been attending, Benvolio would not have thought anything of the party. During the Capulet’s ball Romeo and Juliet had seen each other, once this happened, there was no force that could have stopped them from falling in love.

The encounter with the servant in the city set off an unlikely chain of events. Given the information following, none of these events could have been altered or avoided . “And for that offense immediately we do exile him hence,” (Romeo and Juliet, III, II, 191-192). Romeo’s banishment and the fate involved with it is a prime factor in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Why banishment? In Act I, Scene I the Prince’s words were quite the contrary. Was it intentional that a man of such high standard would go back on his word? Perhaps. Romeo’s exile poisons all possibility of happiness for himself and Juliet.

His exile causes Juliet great sorrow, greater then if he had been executed, as stated by Juliet in Act III, Scene II, lines 130-131. Juliet’s sorrow drives her to obtain a “knockout potion” from Friar Laurence which, in effect causes Romeo to make some important decisions regarding his well being. Romeo’s banishment (brought about by the death of Tybalt) initiated the Friar’s scheme which eventually leads the two lovers to their deaths. In reuniting the two lovers, timing played the largest role in deciding if they would live or die. Friar Laurence had two chances to deliver the message to Romeo regarding Juliet’s present state.

The first and most practical method of sending this message was through Romeo’s “man”, Balthasar. The second method was to send the message with Friar John. Timing was an important factor in both of these events. Friar Laurence had missed his opportunity to send the message with Balthasar and reverted to sending it with Friar John. As fate would have it, Friar John was locked up in a condemned house because of the plague. As a result Romeo received incorrect information. The only information he received from the unsuspecting Balthasar was that Juliet was dead. There are two important points to note in this area of the play.

One being the reference to star-crossing made by Romeo when he heard of Juliet’s death. “Is it even so? then I defy you, stars. ” (Romeo and Juliet, V, I, 24). The second being that when Romeo received the poison he states “Come cordial, and not poison, go with thee. ” (Romeo and Juliet, V, I, 85). This is coincidental to what Juliet had said earlier, in Act IV, Scene III, when she drinks to Romeo. Cordial means hearty, or sincere. When someone drinks to someone else it is usually in good health. The reuniting of the two lovers in such circumstances (Romeo’s unawareness) could only have happened as it did by timing.

One could ask what if the friar had left early? , or what if the friar had caught Balthasar and given him the message? Because of bad timing neither happened. Coincidence is a controlling element regarding the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, more so than in other areas of the play. The following examples also deal with “close-calls”, which involve timing as well as coincidence After Romeo had slew Paris and entered the tomb and found Juliet’s seemingly dead body, he uttered some interesting words. “Death that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.

Thou art not conquered; beauty’s ensign yet is crimson in thy lips and cheeks. ” (Romeo and Juliet, V, III, 92-95. ). Here Romeo is saying how alive Juliet looks. All he had to do was touch her and she may have been awakened and the play would have ended without a tragic closing. As Romeo drank the apothecaries mixture he drank to Juliet, as she had done before in Act IV, Scene III. This minor coincidence does not have much bearing on the course of the play, but changes the way we think of “toasting” to someone. Friar Laurence entered the tomb just less than half an hour after Romeo had killed himself.

If the Friar had entered the tomb earlier he could have explained the situation to Romeo and no harm would have come to anyone. The Friar has proved himself to be a brave man. He married Romeo and Juliet without the consent of Juliet’s father. Then why did the friar behave out of character and leave the tomb when he heard the call of the watch. This gave Juliet the opportunity to get hold of Romeo’s well placed dagger (coincidence? ) and kill herself. If the Friar had not fled he would have convinced Juliet not to kill herself as he did with Romeo in Act III, Scene III.

To prove Romeo and Juliet to be a tragedy we must first prove that the death of the two lovers was caused by circumstances outside of their control or more simply, by destiny. The events which lead up to Romeo and Juliet’s death are all inter-related. If any of the events were absent from the list, the following events could not of happened. The list, as mentioned before is as follows; meeting, separation, reunion, and their suicides. Romeo and Juliet’s meeting has been proved to be by coincidence. If Romeo and Benvolio had not “bumped” into the Capulet servant the events would not have unfolded in the way they did.

Romeo and Juliet had been separated because Prince Escalus had ordered it, what makes this unusual is that in Act I, Scene I, the Prince’s warning indicated that further violent confrontations would result in death. Romeo did not receive the message from the Friar in Act V, Scene I, because of coincidence. If he had received the message, the Friar’s scheme would have gone as planned. Coincidence is exceedingly evident when Romeo enters the tomb to die with Juliet as proven earlier. As the coincidences in the novel build up, the reader’s idea of reality changes, and enables Shakespeare create one of his greatest tragedies, Romeo and Juliet.

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Star-crossed Lovers

Like several other phrases, this phrase has been selected from Shakespeare’s famous play , Romeo and Juliet. This phrase is illustrating a couple whose bond of love is destined to fail. Its origin seems to be astrological, but it is best known for its association with  Romeo and Juliet . In the prologue , chorus uses states, “ A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, / Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife. ” (Lines 6-8) The phrase is about Romeo and Juliet, whose love and affection is destined to end in a tragedy .

It refers to someone having bad luck, because the stars or heavens do not favor him. This phrase refers to those lovers whose relationship is destined to fail, because people who have a strong belief in astrology are of the belief that stars actually control the destiny of human beings. Simply, we can call this couple ill-fated. Star-crossed lovers present a perfect example of archetypes , of how two characters love each other, but are unable to continue due to societal and family conflicts , leading to a tragic end. Romeo and Juliet are also archetypal star-crossed lovers, who fall in love, but face numerous hardships because their families did not agree to this relationship.

We often see the use of this phrase in literature and movies. We find many examples of star-crossed lovers in novels and plays, such as Lancelot and Guinevere in King Arthur’s mystical tale Round Table , Heathcliff and Catherine from Emily Bronte ’s Wuthering Heights , and Lyla and Majnun from the classic love story Nizami Ganjavi . Its use in modern literature includes Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater in the movie Titanic . What we have learned from these examples is that a couple in everyday life, who experience a tragic end to their relationship, could be called star-crossed lovers.

Literary Source

The chorus uses this phrase in the sixth line of the prologue section in Romeo and Juliet . The chorus goes on to say that,

A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife. The fearful passage of their death-marked love And the continuance of their parents’ rage,… What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

(Romeo and Juliet, Prologue, Lines 6-15)

Both the lovers, due to the unfortunate circumstance, predetermined fate, or uncontrollable situations, are destined to face failure in their love affair. This exactly happened to this romantic couple, Romeo and Juliet. When the order of the stars is shattered and “crossed” in Romeo and Juliet’s lives, they face this tragic situation, and their misfortune end their lives. Thus, we can say that destiny proves tragic for their lives.

Literary analysis

As we know from the prologue of this play, which introduces the couple as “star-crossed,” it becomes clear that the couple’s relationship is to face hardships. This phrase has been used as a harbinger of doom and devastation for the couple. You have noticed towards its end how the couple is at the mercy of destiny/fate/bad luck/chance.

In the Prologue section, Chorus uses this phrase by introducing the couple to the Elizabethan audience . This shows that this term would definitely be familiar to the audience. The stars are a part of the chain of being, and if one part of the chain becomes upset, then chaos and disorder replaces the order. Thus, when lovers’ stars are misplaced, things go wrong and destiny alters the order and arrangement of things.

Literary Devices

  • Metaphor : The phrase presents an example of a beautiful metaphor .

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Romeo And Juliet Star Crossed Lovers Essay

The sample essay on Romeo And Juliet Star Crossed Lovers Essay deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.

In Romeo and Juliet, fate is introduced very early and is a key feature throughout the play. Fate is actually introduced before the first act, in the prologue. The prologue is in the form of a sonnet. In Elizabethan times it was used to settle the audience before the play actually begins.

It helps to lay out the plot and predicts what will happen to the characters and it predicts the demise of the star-crossed lovers. Also ‘Chorus’ sounds like the voice of fate and is saying that Romeo and Juliet’s lives have already been written. Chorus says “A pair of star crossed lovers,” this is saying that the couple were fated to disaster as it was in the stars.Today astrology is seen as superstition rather than factual and science.

Whereas in Shakespeare’s time, Astrology was seen and treated by most as a science. Therefore to the Elizabethan audience, Romeo and Juliet being called star-crossed lovers would be seen as a serious omen to the couple. Romeo and Juliet was a very popular play in Elizabethan times because it contained tragedy, comedy, fate, suspense, humour and dramatic irony. Fate and fortune are closely related in this play. In the Elizabethan era people strongly believed in superstition, fate and destiny. People believed they had no influence in their life as everything was already planned out.

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There are references to fate throughout the play. An example of this is when he talks about his belief in fate and destiny, ‘some consequence yet hanging in the stars’ (A1, S4, L107). This shows that Romeo believes that his fate has already been decided and he cannot change it. Another example oh Romeo’s belief in fate is, ‘But he that hath the steerage of my course, direct my sail!’ (A1, S4, L112-3). This is suggesting that something else is controlling the fate of his life, perhaps God, and he is asking them to direct him in the right direction and away from tragedy and disaster, which he eventually encounters. He is allowing himself to become a victim of fate by almost surrendering himself to his destiny. This allows the Elizabethan audience to relate to Romeo as in the Elizabethan era they had very similar beliefs about fate and that someone like God was controlling their lives.Rome and Juliet eventually meet at the Capulet’s ball but it’s entirely down to chance. This is because the servant the Capulet sends to deliver the invitations cannot read, ‘ I am sent to find those persons whose names are here writ, and can never find what names the writing person hath here writ.’ The servant then by chance meets Benvolio and Romeo and invites them to the ball not realizing they are Montague’s. At this time Romeo is desperately in love with a girl called Roseline and attends the party in the hope of seeing her. However he meets Juliet and falls in love with her. This is an example of Romeo and Juliet were destined to meet and destined to fall in love. It also is an example of events in the play ‘fall into place’.Throughout the play Romeo is dramatic and constantly predicts his own death. In Act 1, before he goes to the Capulet’s ball he predicts that his death will be soon, ‘Of a despised life clos’d in my breast, by some vile forfeit of untimely death.’ (A1, S4, L110-1) He is predicting that he will die before his time, which he eventually does. It’s strange that a young, carefree man should be concerned about death. Dramatic Irony is used here, as the audience knows that Romeo will soon have an untimely death, when even though he is talking about an untimely death he doesn’t know its actually going to happen. This also leaves the audience in suspense, wondering what will occur at the ball. Another example of this is at the ball. It occurs when Romeo and Juliet first meet at the ball, when neither of them know that the other is from the opposite family and only once they are in love do they realize that they are from the opposite families. On realizing Romeo is a Montague, Juliet says ‘Prodigious birth of love it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy.’ The greatest dramatic irony of the play is during Act 5 Scene 3. Romeo finds Juliet dead; this is the peak of the play. This is enhanced by Romeo’s actions and words, he says ‘Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath, Hath had no power yet up thy beauty: Thou art not conquer’d, beauty’s ensign yet.’ The final speech sums up his feeling about Juliet and that he is determined to take charge of his own life and fortune as he is in control of his death.Later in the play Juliet talks about fate, ‘Can heaven be so envious?’ (A3, S2, L40) when the nurse tells her of the death of Tybalt, however Juliet at that time thinks that its Romeo that’s dead rather then Tybalt. She then asks the nurse whether their love was meant to be. She then later on becomes completely convinced of the actions of fate. But when she learns that it is the death of Tybalt rather than Romeo, she is not so distraught. Juliet bemoans ‘O Fortune, Fortune, all men call thee fickle; If thou fickle, what dost thou with him that is renown’d for faith?’ (A3, S5, L60-3) She is referring to the fact that fate caused the fight in which Romeo was subsequently banished because of, even though Romeo would not have normally done anything to jeopardize or damage his relationship with Juliet.It is not just Romeo and Juliet that have doubts about whether fate is on their side. It is also displayed in actions and dialogue of the other characters. For example before Friar Lawrence marries Romeo and Juliet, he says ‘So smile the heavens on the holy act’ and ‘after hours with sorrow chide us not!’ (A2, S6, L1-2) He is implying that he hopes that fate is one Romeo and Juliet’s side. Friar Lawrence’s clearly displays increasing doubt about the relationship as he appears to believe that Romeo and Juliet’s love is both destined but yet doomed, ‘these violent delights have violent ends’, (A2, S6, L9). Friar Lawrence’s judgment in agreeing to marry Romeo and Juliet, and his actions later to conceal and protect their love is affected by his desire to end the arguments between the two families, which may have clouded his judgment which may have lead him to making some very poor decisions.Coincidence plays a large role in the play when examining destiny. The first main example of coincidence is in Act 1 Scene 2 when Capulet sends out his invitations. It’s by chance that he gives them to a messenger who cannot read, he then meets Romeo and asks him to do it for him. This then gives him access to the ball where he will meet his love. It is all coincidence that the two should meet in a crowded room full of people and fall in love. In Elizabethan times, they believed that love at first sight exists and that all ‘true love’ was planned and predetermined. Another example of coincidence is when Friar Lawrence tries to send a letter to Romeo who is in banishment. This was because friar John had not been quarantined, ‘I could not sent it-here it is again,'(A5, S2, L14-15). If the letter had been delivered to Romeo, Romeo wouldn’t have over reacted when he had heard the death of Juliet. He would have not then subsequently killed himself with poison, instead everything would have gone to plan and he would have waited for Juliet to wake.Fate plays a large part in the play throughout. Fate gives an ongoing feel of suspense in the play. This is first created in the prologue when it talks about the fate of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare used suspense a lot in order to stop the crowd from getting bored. There were lots of distractions in the Elizabethan theatre; like food sellers, people talking and mainly heckling.Free will is incorporated in the play. One of the first examples of free will is before the ball, when Romeo eventually decides to go to the ball even though his dreams have told him not too. ‘Some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date.’ He is saying that something bad is in the stars and that they shouldn’t go to the ball. Even though he believes this he still chooses to go to the ball. Another indication of free will is at the end of Act 2 Scene 2 when Juliet tells Romeo that she is going to send him a message, she says ‘I will not fail.’ This is her own doing and cannot be affected by fate or destiny. The final main indication of free will is at the climax. Romeo gives a long speech, ‘will I set my everlasting rest, and shake the yoke of inauspicious stars from the world-wearied flesh. Eyes look your last.’ He sums up how he is feeling and that he is determined to out do fate and take control of his life for the last time by being in control of his own death.To conclude, I believe that in Elizabethan times, as fate, destiny and astrology were seen as fact, that Romeo and Juliet would have been seen as victims of fate as there are so many different references to fate through out the play. Although, I believe that in today’s society, as fate, destiny and astrology are seen as superstition and not fact, that the majority of people would see Romeo and Juliet as unlucky because there were so many coincidences that went against them and not that they were victims of fate. Some people though would see them as victims of fate as some people are very superstitious and believe in fate, destiny and astrology and therefore like the Elizabethan audience would have seen Romeo and Juliet as victims of fate.

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Romeo And Juliet Star Crossed Lovers Essay

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Romeo and Juliet

A star-crossed adaptation: romeo + juliet - a critical response anonymous 11th grade.

Ludicrous car chases, intense hot pink hair and a world where Prince songs are sung as hymns; is this what Shakespeare wanted when he wrote Romeo and Juliet over 400 years ago? Baz Luhrmann’s film adaption of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, is a kaleidoscopic, punk version of the story of ‘star-crossed lovers’ that buries Shakespeare’s work amongst the flamboyant scenes. In one catastrophe, Luhrmann has mixed Shakespeare with gang wars, luring both to audiences to this production, yet disappointing all. Despite the ‘huge success’ this film has made in the box office, we can only ask; what was Luhrmann thinking to betray Shakespeare like this?

The tragedy begins with a TV news report on the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. The report is titled ‘Star Crossed Lovers’. We are then shown a quick montage, introducing the main characters before a panoramic shot displays the setting; Verona Beach, dominated by two skyscrapers displaying large lights which read Montague and Capulet. We are then immersed into this ‘future world’ where a standoff occurs between the Montague boys and the Capulet boys. We are shown an extreme close-up shot of the guns, each branded a ‘sword’ and labelled with the family crest. If the rest of the movie stuck to this...

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romeo and juliet star crossed lovers essay grade 10

Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Tragedy — Why Did Romeo And Juliet Die Essay

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Why Did Romeo and Juliet Die Essay

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Published: Mar 5, 2024

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romeo and juliet star crossed lovers essay grade 10

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  1. Romeo and Juliet: A+ Student Essay

    In Romeo and Juliet, which is more powerful: fate or the characters' own actions? In the opening Prologue of Romeo and Juliet, the Chorus refers to the title characters as "star-crossed lovers," an allusion to the belief that stars and planets have the power to control events on Earth. This line leads many readers to believe that Romeo and Juliet are inescapably destined to fall in love ...

  2. 'A Pair of Star-Cross'd Lovers': Meaning and Analysis

    By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) 'A pair of star-cross'd lovers' is a well-known phrase from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.The Prologue's description of Romeo and Juliet as 'star-cross'd lovers' has become one of the most emblematic phrases from the whole play, neatly encapsulating the doomed nature of their love affair from the outset.

  3. Why are Romeo and Juliet referred to as "star-crossed lovers"?

    A pair of star=crossed lovers take their life, Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents" strife. (1.1.6-8) In the Prologue of Romeo and Juliet that is spoken ...

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    William Shakespeare's, Romeo and Juliet, written about 550 years ago, is considered one of the greatest and most iconic love stories of the English language, telling a story of forbidden love and is the first example of archetypal star-crossed lovers. Romeo and Juliet also allowed the readers to imagine what it's like to live in the ...

  5. Romeo and Juliet: a Tragedy of Two Star-crossed Lovers

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  6. 'Star Crossed Lovers' Meaning & Context Of Shakespeare Quote

    Here we examine what 'Star crossed lovers' means, and the context of the phrase within the play. When the audience at the Globe Theatre was all ready and settled to watch Master Shakespeare's new play, Romeo and Juliet, the stage manager came out and delivered the following sonnet as a prologue: Two households, both alike in dignity,

  7. The Role of Fate in "Romeo & Juliet" by William Shakespeare

    The essay explores the theme of fate in Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," emphasizing how both fate and human actions contribute to the tragic outcome of the star-crossed lovers. The analysis highlights that while Romeo and Juliet's love is strong, they are ultimately powerless against the forces of destiny and human errors.

  8. Romeo and Juliet Essay

    "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents' strife." In the prologue of the Shakespearean classic Romeo and Juliet, the reader is already informed of the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet and the pain it will inflict on all parties.

  9. Romeo and Juliet Grade 10 Essay

    Romeo and Juliet , written by Shakespeare, is a novel about two teenagers, Romeo and Juliet, who came from feuding families and fell in love against their parents' wishes. The adolescents belong to the Capulets and the Montagues which are the two rival families in Verona. In the novel during Act 3 scene 1, Mercutio, who is Romeo's friend ...

  10. Star-Crossed Lovers

    William Shakespeare (1564-1616) coined the term ''star-crossed lovers'' in his famous 1590s play, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. In the prologue to the play, Shakespeare refers to the two ...

  11. Romeo And Juliet Essay for Students and Children

    500+ Words Essay on Romeo And Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love tragedy written by William Shakespeare. This is a story of love and fate. Furthermore, the basis of this tragic love story is the Old Italian tale translated into English in the sixteenth century. The story is about two young star-crossed lovers whose death results ...

  12. FREE Romeo & Juliet are Star-Crossed Lovers Essay

    ROMEO AND JULIET ARE " STAR-CROSSED LOVERS. Romeo and Juliet are victims of fate, which is a dominant force from the beginning of the play. In the opening prologue we are told that Romeo and Juliet are "star-cross"d" and "death-mark"d". The audience learns that the young lovers are doomed to destruction and tragedy - "From forth the fatal loins ...

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  14. Star-crossed Lovers

    Origin. Like several other phrases, this phrase has been selected from Shakespeare's famous play, Romeo and Juliet. This phrase is illustrating a couple whose bond of love is destined to fail. Its origin seems to be astrological, but it is best known for its association with Romeo and Juliet.In the prologue, chorus uses states, "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, / Whose ...

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    This trio of quotes advances the theme of fate as it plays out through the story: the first is spoken by the Chorus (Prologue.5-8), the second by Romeo after he kills Tybalt (3.1.131), and the third by Romeo upon learning of Juliet's death (5.1.24). The Chorus's remark that Romeo and Juliet are "star-crossed" and fated to "take ...

  16. Romeo and Juliet: Study Guide

    Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, penned in the early stages of his career and first performed around 1596, is a timeless tragedy that unfolds in the city of Verona.This play tells the story of two young lovers from feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Romeo and Juliet's passionate love defies the social and familial boundaries that seek to keep them apart.

  17. Romeo And Juliet Star Crossed Lovers Essay Free Essay Example

    Views. 528. The sample essay on Romeo And Juliet Star Crossed Lovers Essay deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay's introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on. In Romeo and Juliet, fate is introduced very early and is a key feature throughout the play.

  18. Romeo and Juliet: The Tragedy of Forbidden Love

    Shakespeare portrays fate as an external force that influences the characters' choices and actions throughout the play. The prologue sets the stage for the tragedy, describing Romeo and Juliet as "star-crossed lovers" whose union is doomed from the start. Their love is seen as a victim of cosmic forces beyond their control.

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  20. Star-Crossed Lovers Essays

    William Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, tells about two young "star-crossed lovers" whose deaths were caused by fate, not their parents or themselves. First of all, Romeo and Juliet were from feuding families: Romeo a Montague, and Juliet a Capulet. Romeo was so depressed about his.

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    PROLOGUE: A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life. This quotation from the prologue could show that the outcome of Romeo and Juliet's relationship was inevitable due to the phrase 'star-crossed' which implies fate. As well as this, 'take their life' foreshadows both Romeo and Juliet's deaths and further implies that what happened was fate.

  22. Critical Response to a Modern Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet

    The tragedy begins with a TV news report on the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. The report is titled 'Star Crossed Lovers'. We are then shown a quick montage, introducing the main characters before a panoramic shot displays the setting; Verona Beach, dominated by two skyscrapers displaying large lights which read Montague and Capulet.

  23. Romeo And Juliet Star Crossed Lovers Essay

    Romeo and Juliet: Star-Crossed Lovers Romeo and Juliet are referred to as star-crossed lovers. According to Urban Dictionary, star-crossed lovers are "two people who care immensely for each other, but due to circumstances (beyond their control) they cannot be together." In other words, star- crossed lovers are unable to be together because their destiny was predetermined.

  24. Why Did Romeo and Juliet Die Essay

    The Prologue of the play even states, "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life," implying that their fate was predetermined. This idea of fate is reinforced throughout the play, as events seem to conspire against the young couple, leading to their ultimate demise.