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Courtney Hendrix 8

Whos To Blame for the Death of Romeo


and Juliet?
It is well known that in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet that the two star-crossed
lovers die in the end. This disaster is even stated in the prologue, but who is to blame for this
atrocious act? In William Shakespeares The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliets
parents are the cause of their childrens deaths; they constantly fight and are unable to put aside
their hatred, the Capulets force Juliet to marry Paris when she really does not want to, but it is
obvious they care greatly about their children as do most parents do.
Within the first act of the play it is obvious that the Capulets and Montagues despise each
other quite a bit as even their servants are brawling in public. When both Lords arrive they
immediately want to join the fight instead of breaking it up; What noise is this? Give me my
long sword, ho! (I.i.72). is stated immediately by Lord Capulet after he appears on the scene. It
is obvious that he is ready to strike down all who serve and are related to the Montagues. Shortly
after the arrival of the Capulets do the Montagues come, and with just as much gusto as Lord
Capulet, Lord Montague exclaims: Thou villain Capulet!Hold me not; let me go. (I.i.76).
Montague out right proclaims his hatred for Capulet showing the deep hatred imbedded within
each house. From the very beginning it is apparent that the parents of each child hate each other.
Even though Lord Capulet doesnt wish to marry Juliet off in the beginning he later
changes his mind pushing a wedding onto Juliet hoping to have her married a few days after

telling her the news. Despite Juliet telling her parents the she doesnt want to marry the strapping
Paris they still try to force it onto her, going so far as to threaten disowning her, And you be
mine, Ill give you to my friend; /And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, /For by my
soul, Ill neer acknowledge thee, /Nor what is mine shall never do thee good. /Trust tot. Bethink
you. Ill not be forsworn.(III.v.193-197). He assures her that hell throw her out into the streets,
these lines end up causing Juliet to seek help from Friar Laurence who then comes up with the
plan that inevitably fails. Capulet even decides to push the marriage date closer, from Thursday
to Wednesday, helping the plan fall to pieces; Well to church tomorrow. (IV.ii.37). this
causes Juliet to take the potion earlier than expected, in turn not being able to get the letter to
Romeo in enough time.
Though it may seem that the Montagues and Capulets are cold, they do share a love for
their children. Before the marriage to Paris was pushed onto Juliet, Lord Capulet had argued
about letting his daughter be married at such a young age, asking Paris to instead try earning her
love, and that Juliet is the only hope left in Lord Capulets life, And too soon marred are those so
early made./Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;/She is the hopeful lady of my earth./But
woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;/My will to her consent is but a part. (I.ii.13-17). it shows
that he truly cares about his daughters well-being and her happiness is most important him. In
the end Lady Montague, so grief stricken by the news of her sons exile, passes away the night of
Romeo and Juliets death, Alas, my liege, my wife is dead tonight!/Grief of my sons exile hath
stopped her breath. (V.iii.210-211). This moment in which Lady Montague is pronounced dead
due to grief about her son really shows her motherly qualities, it is apparent that she really misses
her son and worries about him being alright so far away from her. Most good mothers would
worry much like this, she cares so much that it has caused her own death.

The parents most certainly had to be the cause of death among their children. Their
centuries old grudge match and lack of respecting their childs wishes caused such a fowl end to
this tragedy. Perhaps the parents were not truly evil though and merely did not realize the harm
they had done at the time, for most parents it is completely inconceivable to be the cause of such
woes. Only after the deaths of the two lovers do both houses realize what they have done,
deciding to set aside their differences in remembrance of their children.