Essay on Theme of fate in Romeo & Juliet - GCSE coursework

1262 Words Oct 27th, 2013 6 Pages
Shakespeare Controlled Assessment - Draft
Despite fate’s grasp on Romeo and Juliet being clear from the beginning, their choices in the play cause fate to build momentum and accelerate their lives to their inevitable end. Shakespeare’s original presentation of fate is of an inescapable event, but how the characters get there is less certain and more chance. Whereas Luhrmann’s fate is cruller and more controlling, but both interpretations of fate have the result of uniting the feuding families.
Fate commands the lives of the characters from birth, with their deaths predetermined by generations of feuding and violence. In the prologue Shakespeare reveals the traumatic ending, that “a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” before
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Luhrmann choses to have a close up of Prince’s face, showing the seriousness of the threat, followed by the two families separated with a door between them signifying a possible peaceful reconciliation. The families’ separation is not permanent and fate will ultimately end the feud. The door is Luhrmann representing Shakespeare’s teaser of a nonviolent end to the feud. However violence is apparent throughout the families and it is this violence which will allow fate to succeed. In the script Gregory, a Capulet servant, says “The quarrel is between our masters and us their men” The inclusive pronouns give the impression of union and pride within the families, that leads to the willingness to engage in violence, which must inevitably end in death. It is this foolishness that forces their fate upon Romeo and Juliet. This scene is changed in the film so that the line is split between two Montagues, and instead used to show not everyone wants to fight, presenting fate as more chance.
Due to recklessness, chance, and ill-fated choices, fate is allowed to succeed. When we first meet Romeo, he is madly in love with Rosaline “oh brawling love, oh loving hate” the oxymoronic language suggests Romeo’s recklessness, meaning he will fall victim to fate and not be able to prevent it. In the script he speaks this line to Benvolio, in the film adaptation Romeo writes this in a diary, with his non-diegetic voice reading it for the audience. The secrecy created here

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