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Providence Within Romeo and Juliet

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Providence within Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare writes of a world marred by the petulant idiocy of the Montagues and the Capulets, requiring God to intervene in order for the quarrel to end. Romeo and Juliet are fated to be "A pair of star-cross'd lovers..." and are the living sacrifice necessary to end the feud. Providence utilizes the pressures of society and time to create whirling events established as fate within the play in order to impose a gentle ending for the lovers. Shakespeare establishes a forcefulness of fate and a great will of God in the life and death of Romeo and Juliet as a means to bring peace to the corrupted society of Verona.

The public and private lives of Romeo and Juliet are greatly influenced by God's unequivocal desire to end the disorder and chaos within Verona. Providence utilizes the pressures formed within Shakespeare's society to aid in the death of Romeo and Juliet. The feud between the Montagues and the Capulets creates an undisputed loathing between the two families and yet, Romeo and Juliet manage to look deeper within identity and see beyond a family name. Juliet transcends beyond Romeo's surname and knows that her love for Romeo lies within Romeo's personality. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other word would smell as sweet." (2.2.43-44) Though the lovers express a maturity in being able to come together privately and look beyond identity, the idea of Romeo and Juliet coming together is inconsistent to society. As a result, the lovers form their lives together in secrecy which results in Providence easily manipulating the course of the lovers as their love is unknown and disregarded within society. The secrecy of Romeo and Juliet's love, and later marriage, causes Juliet to hurry into swift action which is later revealed.

Friar Laurence, characterized by his wisdom and philosophy, is swayed in judgment as he begrudgingly weds Romeo and Juliet. The Friar agrees to oversee the marriage as it is his idea that the two families will be united through a sacrament between the couple and God. "For this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households' rancour to pure love." (2.3.91-92) Friar Laurence recognizes the need to end the feud as the quarrel between the two families will otherwise completely disunify society through violence and death. However, Friar is aware that the rash and impulsive decision to marry will cause the couple "[to] stumble as [they] run fast." (2.3.94)- as Shakespeare is referring to the lovers, he evokes the death of the couple.

Shakespeare establishes fairness within the law whilst also establishing Providence's ability to manipulate fate through Romeo's banishment. Romeo acts out of foolishness as a result of vengeance and fate. Romeo, after killing Tybalt in an attempt to avenge Mercutio's death, is sentenced, by the law- giver Prince, to banishment as an acknowledgement of Romeo killing the murderer, Tybalt. Shakespeare evokes Providence's desire to establish unity within Verona as the law is given fairly through Prince and additionally the tragedy of the lover's demise is continued as a means to end the feud and restore order.

Poverty, within Romeo and Juliet, aids in destroying the lives of the lovers. Romeo, stricken with grief at hearing of Juliet's death, wishes to commit



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