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Romeo And Juliet - Parents Making An Impact - With A Free Essay Review



Parents today are an important influence on their children. It is their job to teach them right from wrong, do the right actions, and make the best decisions. Parents have a huge impact on our lives. In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Romeo and Juliet, two star-crossed lovers fall in love despite their feuding families. Their love meets many obstacles- deaths, banishment, their parents and friends- on their journey to the end. Through all of this, the Capulet and Montague parents are most to blame for the gruesome deaths because they feud with each other, force Juliet to marry Paris, and change the wedding to a day earlier than planned.

One reason that the parents cause the tragic deaths in the play is how they have been feuding with each other for many years. As the tragic play opens, Sampson and Gregory, two Capulets, walk the streets of Verona talking about the Montagues. Sampson exclaims, “I / will push Montague’s men from the wall and thrust his / maids to the wall” (Rom.1.1.15-17). This expresses the utter most hate that the two families have for each other. It is obvious that the parents are to blame from this instance because if they did not feud with one another, then it would not be a problem for Romeo and Juliet to fall in love. Also, if the families had not been fighting, the fight between their servants, Sampson, Gregory, and Abram, would never have happened. This brawl led to amplified hate because it brought back age-old problems the reader is uninformed of. The actions in the play cause a domino effect, and in other words, if one action did not happen, the ones afterwards would not either. For example, if the fight in the streets of Verona did not happen, then Benvolio would not have had to break it up, bringing Tybalt into the mess. The fight that started in the beginning of the play was initiated with an ancient feud between the Montagues and the Capulets.

The next reason the parents are to blame for the deaths in the final scenes of the tragic play is because they force Juliet into marrying Paris. Juliet’s father angrily explains, “Be fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next/ to go with Paris to Saint Peter’s church, / or I will drag thee on a hurdle there” (Rom.3.5.158-160). Being pressured into becoming the wife of Paris, Juliet felt upset and exploited. She begs at her fathers knees in an attempt to change his relentless mind. The mixed feelings of her undying love for Romeo and her distress in doing something she does not want to do cause her to solicit advice from Friar Lawrence. He comes up with a plan that involves a potion. If Juliet was not forced into becoming the wife of Paris by her parents, then Friar Lawrence would not to of had to make the plan that blew up and ended up killing the lovers. Capulet and Lady Capulet’s decision of marrying Juliet and Paris led to the many deaths in the tragedy.

The last reason Romeo and Juliet’s parents are to blame for the outcome of the play is that they changed the wedding day. As the Capulet house organizes to tie the knot with Juliet and Paris, Juliet enters. Capulet thinks it will make her happier because he thinks that Juliet is sad about the death of Tybalt, her cousin. He thinks this because he does not know of Romeo and changes the wedding day a day earlier and orders, “Send for the county. Go tell him of this. / I’ll have this knot knit up tomorrow morning” (Rom.4.2.25-26). This proves that the parents are to blame for the fatalities because if the wedding date was not changed, Friar Lawrence’s plan would have had enough time to play out and unravel. There are many miscommunications in the development of the plan following through. Romeo did not get the letter from Friar Lawrence informing him that he could go get Juliet from her tomb because his messenger got held back and there was not enough time. The parents caused this because if they had not changed the wedding date, the plan seems as it would play out correctly and end with Juliet going to Mantua and being with her husband, Romeo.

In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Romeo and Juliet, the parents’ numerous actions lead to the many despondent deaths in the final scenes. Throughout the play, Shakespeare reveals that feuding and fighting with somebody is never right and will just bring affliction in return. Not ever should one hold a grudge for so long, because it could stop good things from playing out.

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ESSAY REVIEW

To say that the parents are to blame seems to say that they caused the deaths in one way or another, and indeed you use the word “cause” in the first sentence of your second paragraph. Your first argument then attributes their blame to the fact that, in the prehistory of the play, they have maintained a long feud with each other. Obviously the parents, their mutual hatred and their consequent actions, have a hand in the way the tragedy unfolds. The only problem with your specific argument, a problem which persists throughout the essay, is that you seem to think of those actions as causes. At the same time, you say things like “if they had not done X, then Y would not have happened.” In such a case, however, X is not necessarily a cause of why but merely an event that is necessary for Y to happen (we can call it a condition of the possibility of Y: It makes it possible for Y to happen, but it doesn’t make it necessary for Y to happen; it doesn’t cause Y).

It will seem, perhaps, that I’m being pedantic in drawing this distinction, but it’s an important one in light of your opening paragraph and your specific thesis. Your opening paragraph acknowledges that there are many obstacles faced by the young lovers. Your thesis “the ... parents are MOST to blame for the gruesome deaths” suggest the possibility that other persons or other forces might have a share of the blame. One of the weakness of the essay is its one-sided approach to the question of who or what is to blame. Your essay does not in fact show that the parents are most to blame; it just shows that they have a hand in bringing about those circumstances in which the tragedy could unfold.

Now if you want to speak strictly in terms of “causes,” and so apply a stricter measure of “blame” or “responsibility,” then it would be more difficult to make a strong case against the parents. (They would not be convicted in a modern court of law of killing their children.) They are obviously to blame (as your essay shows) for many of the specific circumstances that engendered the tragedy (and if _that_ were a crime, they would surely be convicted of it), but the answer to your larger question (who or what is responsible for the deaths of the young lovers) is necessarily more complicated. You might say that you are not interested in those complications, but rather just in clarifying how the parents contributed to the tragedy. But, on the one hand, that seems like a rather small slice of the play to be interested in, and, on the other hand, it’s not exactly true: your essay does acknowledge the role of other forces. For example, you call the lovers, as they are called in the play itself, “star-crossed” (which means something like “screwed by fate!). You also note that the tragedy was brought about by virtue of “miscommunications.” Certainly you also say the unraveling of the Friar’s plan is a result of the changing of the wedding date, but that unraveling was of course also an unintended result. That is all to say, there is a good deal of misfortune involved.

To say that misfortune is involved can amount to saying that the lovers are merely unlucky; or it can mean instead that they are cursed by fortune or by fate (i.e., that they are star-crossed). Typically in tragedies those who are cursed by fate tend also to have a hand in their own destruction (hence the expression: “character is destiny,” which means that our fated destiny is in accord with our character, or, in stronger temrs, we are ourselves responsible for the tragic end that fate has in store for us - yes, it’s ambiguous). The role of luck or fortune or fate, and the possible role of the character of the lovers themselves, in bringing about the tragic end really ought to be given greater consideration if it really is your aim to establish that the parents are “most to blame.”

That phrase implies other persons or things have a share of the blame also. To say that the parents are most to blame is to say they have the greatest share of the blame. To prove that, you need not only to make the positive case, which is what you do in this essay by identifying the ways in which the parents are responsible, but also to compare the role of the parents with the role of whatever else might be said to contribute to the tragedy. That will make your argument more nuanced or complex, of course, but that is exactly what you should be aiming for: greater nuance, greater complexity.

Best, EJ.

P.S. “of” is not a form of the verb “to have”; so: not “of had” but “have had.”
Submitted by: leahhhhhx
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Comments
Leahhhhhx
+1

I really need help with this, will someone please help me?!
May,24 2012

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