Who is to Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death

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About this sample

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Words: 1349 |

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7 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

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Words: 1349|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

Who Is To Blame For Romeo And Juliet’s Death
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This essay examines the culpability of Juliet's parents in the tragic demise of the young lovers in William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." It underscores the critical influence of parental support and guidance in a teenager's life, highlighting the detrimental impact that lack of such support can have on a young person's mental health and future. Utilizing instances from the play, the essay pinpoints Lady Capulet's blatant disregard for Juliet's feelings and wishes regarding marriage, as well as Lord Capulet's impulsive and authoritarian demeanor as contributory factors to the tragic end. While societal norms and the longstanding feud between the Montagues and Capulets provide a hostile backdrop for the love story, the essay posits that a more supportive, understanding, and communicative parental approach could potentially have altered the tragic trajectory of Romeo and Juliet’s love story. Consequently, the parents’ lack of genuine emotional engagement and respect for Juliet’s autonomy are criticized as pivotal elements influencing the catastrophic conclusion.

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Who is to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s death? Essay on this question will focus on parent’s role in the tragic death of Shakespeare’s main characters. Parental support and guidance play an integral role in the development and nourishment of a child’s character during their teen years. Child neglection can cause mental health issues which can be detrimental to the child’s future. Parental support and involvement in a child’s interests and academics both contribute to their self-esteem and efficacy. The lack of support from Lady Capulet, the lack of communication and distant relationship between Juliet and her parents, and Lord Capulet’s impulsive and short-tempered decisions are ultimately at blame for the tragic events between the two star-crossed lovers in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

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Firstly, Lady Capulet’s lack of motherly support and effort to build a caring relationship with her daughter is displayed throughout the play and is one of the reasons for the death of Juliet. In the third scene of the play, Lady Capulet is trying to pressure Juliet into marriage by telling her “What say you? Can you love the gentleman? / This night you shall behold him at our feast. / Read over the volume of young Paris’s face, / And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen”. Even though Juliet has already told her mother that she’s not interested in pursuing marriage, Lady Capulet still urges her daughter to talk to Paris at the Capulet’s feast later that day. She goes on to inform Juliet to examine the facial features of Paris and how she’ll realize that he is one of Verona’s finest men, further pressuring her to wed Paris. Lady Capulet indirectly pressures and urges Juliet to accept Paris’s hand in marriage. This action by Lady Capulet portrays her lack of compassion and understanding towards Juliet, as she completely disregards Juliet’s say on getting married. This shows that Juliet’s mother does not value or even consider her daughter’s opinion about marriage and would not provide moral or physical support if she were to find another husband or remain celibate. Secondly, when Lord Capulet threatens to disown Juliet after she rejects Paris’s hand in marriage, Lady Capulet, instead of defending or understanding Juliet’s situation, states “Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word. / Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee”. Juliet, who is shaken from her father’s harsh words and threats, turns to her mother for help who in turn acts very selfish and cold-hearted and storms out the room. She completely dismisses whatever Juliet has to say as she believes that it will bring shame to the family and her status as a Capulet. This quote portrays that Lady Capulet cares more about her status than she ever did for her only daughter. Furthermore, this quote is a perfect demonstration of how Juliet’s mother shows no support or sympathy for Juliet whatsoever. Lady Capulet’s failure in providing Juliet with support and encouragement is partially the cause of the tragic events that take place in Romeo and Juliet.

Secondly, Lord and Lady Capulet’s failure in building a strong, parent-child bond with Juliet is ultimately what leads to the tragic event of Juliet’s death. Throughout the play, Lady Capulet does not make an effort to build a close relationship with Juliet, which keeps the two distant from each other. Lady Capulet is always busy and never has enough time to spend with Juliet. Lady Capulet’s question, “Nurse, where’s my daughter? / Call her forth to me” directed towards the Nurse informs the reader that Lady Capulet is not aware of Juliet’s whereabouts and what she does in her spare time. Due to the detached relationship between the two characters, Juliet does not have anyone close that she can seek advice from other than the Nurse. The use of the word “daughter” by Lady Capulet demonstrates a lack of mother-daughter connection and formal feeling between the two characters. The tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet could have been avoided if someone she trusted had counseled and given her advice on how she should have handled her love with Romeo. In addition, Lord Capulet’s lack of communication and interaction with her daughter led to Romeo and Juliet’s death. Lord Capulet agrees to accept Paris’s hand in marriage with Juliet in an instant and tells him “Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender / Of my child’s love. I think she will be ruled / In all respects by me. Nay, more, I doubt it not”. Although this quote contradicts his earlier statements in the play where he stated that Paris will have to win over Juliet’s heart, he believes that the best cure to Juliet’s depressed state will be being wed to Paris. Little does he know that the main reason for Juliet’s mourning is not about Tybalt at all, it is actually the banishment of her beloved husband, Romeo. This tragedy could have been avoided as a whole if Lord Capulet was more understanding and interacted with his daughter. In the end, it came down to trust, and Juliet did not trust her father by informing him about her true love and how she felt about marrying Romeo instead of Paris. In conclusion, Lord and Lady Capulet’s absence of interaction and communication and the Capulet’s haste in getting their daughter married ultimately cost them their daughter’s life.

Lastly, Lord Capulet’s impulsive and short-tempered decisions and his ego and pride pave the way for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Firstly, when Juliet denies marrying Paris, Lord Capulet gets extremely furious and states “Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch! / I tell thee what – get thee to church a Thursday / Or never after look me in the face. / Speak not, reply not, do not answer me! / My fingers itch”. This quote perfectly demonstrates how infuriated Lord Capulet gets at Juliet’s ungrateful behavior especially because the Capulet’s have worked extremely hard to get the best possible match for their beloved daughter. Lord Capulet is so enraged that he states “My fingers itch” meaning that he is itching to slap her. He also threatens to disown Juliet if she does not marry Paris. If Lord Capulet had not forced Juliet to accept Paris’s hand in marriage, Juliet would not have plotted a demise with Friar Lawrence to find a way out of the marriage. This way Romeo wouldn’t have committed suicide and both of the lovers would still be alive. In addition, the whole series of unfortunate events that takes place in the play could have been easily prevented if Lord Capulet had listened to Tybalt and decided to dismiss Romeo, as he is a Montague. When Tybalt hears Romeo’s voice at the Capulet feast, he believes that he has visited just to disdain the Capulet’s. Tybalt decides to take immediate action and goes directly to Lord Capulet himself and informs him about the unwelcomed guest, Romeo. Instead of getting infuriated, he states “He bears him like a portly gentleman, / And, to say truth, Verona brags of him / To be a virtuous and well-governed youth. / I would not for the wealth of all this town / Here in my house do him disparagement”. This quote portrays how proud Lord Capulet is of himself and how highly he thinks society views him. Even though Lord Capulet and Romeo are from different families who loathe each other due to a centuries-old feud, Lord Capulet still justifies and defends Romeo’s visit to the feast. He believes that expelling Romeo from his house will create an enormous outburst and commotion, he prefers that Romeo just stays at his house and enjoy the feast. If Lord Capulet had set aside his ego and social status, Romeo would have never met Juliet, therefore preventing their deaths. In conclusion, Lord Capulet’s impulsive decisions and his self-esteem are the main reasons for Romeo and Juliet’s death.

In conclusion, Lord Capulet’s impulsive decisions and self-esteem, absence of communication and parent-child bonding, and Lady Capulet’s failure to support and comfort Juliet ultimately led to the death of the cursed lovers. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare could have ended differently if Juliet’s parents encouraged and supported her throughout the play.

Romantic love stories always end up with a happy ending, but sometimes they probably wind up in a tragedy such as the loss of a loved one. These horrific tragedies like the loss of a loved one can be caused by a person’s actions. The tragic love story, ‘’Romeo and Juliet’’ by William Shakespeare explains how rushed ‘’love’’ can turn tragic. Romeo Montague is 14 years old and rebounds between girls as he is hopelessly romantic. He meets Juliet Capulet who is desperate to get out of an arranged marriage. After meeting at a party, they decide to get married a few hours later despite learning their families are enemies. The Nurse, who instead of attempting to discourage Juliet and Romeo from marrying, encouraged Juliet to go ahead with her plans with Romeo, and Lord Capulet, who insisted Juliet marry Paris without her permission, are the characters most responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. However, some may blame Friar Lawrence because he had participated in marrying Romeo and Juliet and provided Juliet with the sleeping potion that resulted in death.

It can be argued that the Nurse is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because instead of discouraging marriage between Romeo and Juliet, she participates in the plan. Juliet’s nurse talked her through the process of meeting up with her soon-to-be husband Romeo without her parent’s consent. The nurse gives Romeo a ladder so that he can spend time with Juliet, even though he’s not allowed to do it at all. She knew that the families of Romeo and Juliet were enemies, and she went along just to help them be together. The nurse states’’Then hurry up and rush over to Friar Lawrence’s cell. There’s a husband there who’s waiting to make you his wife. Now, I see the blood rushing to your cheeks. You blush bright red as soon as you hear any news. Go to the church. I must go by a different path to get a rope ladder. Your love will use it to climb up to your window while it’s dark. I do the drudge work for you.’” It is apparent with the evidence stated the Nurse was acting irresponsibly in terms of giving Juliet advice that would lead to her death. The nurse was one who took part in helping Juliet with her secret lover Romeo. This shows the nurse was responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because of her participation and role as an immature mother to Juliet.

Furthermore, Lord Capulet becomes very aggressive with Juliet when he learns about her rejecting Paris as a husband. Juliet begs him to cancel the wedding. Lord Capulet is already preparing for the wedding. Lord Capulet even has a set date for Juliet and Paris to get married. He is sure Juliet will not doubt marrying Paris. Lord Capulet is rushing them to get married as possible knowing that she is still a child and Paris is way much of an older man. He states that’’ But get yourself ready for Thursday. You’re going to Saint Peter’s Church to marry Paris. And if you don’t go on your own, I’ll drag you there. You disgust me, you little bug! You worthless girl! You pale face!”Good father, I’m begging you on my knees, be patient and listen to me say just one thing. This shows Lord Capulet was insisting for Juliet to marry Paris in a forceful way. Which led to Juliet thinking of ways for her to avoid having to marry someone she didn’t want to. Lord Capulet led Juliet in planning a secret plan so that she wouldn’t have to deal with her father. Which gave onto Juliet having thoughts of faking death.

On the other hand, there are many who may think Friar Lawrence has a stronger responsibility in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet because he agrees to marry them. He knew that the families were enemies. However, he thought that marriage might be able to bring the families together. Not only did Friar Lawrence agree to marry them but he also had a plan for Juliet that would prevent her from marrying Paris. Which was the sleeping potion that made Romeo and everyone else think she was dead and led to Romeo’s death. Also, he failed to get the message of Juliet taking that potion to act like she was dead. The text states that ‘’ I’ll help you with your secret wedding. This marriage may be lucky enough to turn the hatred between your families into pure love.’’ This may explain how Friar Lawrence was to blame for marrying Romeo and Juliet, assisting Juliet in fleeing a forced marriage, and failing to receive a message that could have saved another loved one’s life. Friar Lawrence was more responsible because the first step in Romeo and Juliet expressing their love was to marry, which Friar Lawrence did amid the chaos between the two families. He was making choices without thoroughly understanding the consequences, resulting in the deaths of young adolescents who were simply trying to express love for one another.

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The Nurse, Lord Capulet, and Friar Lawrence are responsible for the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet by helping or interfering with the teenage lovers’ plans to show affection for each other. The nurse is responsible for helping Juliet mislead her parents and arranged marriage by her parents. The capulet, because of him, pressed Juliet into a forced marriage which just led to a sleeping potion plan. Every character had such a part in their Romeo and Juliet’s marriage and in their way of cherishing one another, but Friar had a big say in the death of Romeo and Juliet. That’s because he’s been more involved in their relationship. He had the potential to stop the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but with the choices he made, he caused their death. This means that you should stop thinking about the actions you are taking before you end up acknowledging that you were part of the tragic event of a loved one.

Works Cited

  1. Shakespeare, W. (1597). Romeo and Juliet. In The Norton Shakespeare (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 1127-1183). W.W. Norton & Company.
  2. Brinnin, M. (1988). The nervous system: The poetic parentage of Romeo and Juliet. The Kenyon Review, 10(1), 59-70.
  3. Corbett, M. (1997). Juliet's nurse and mothering in Romeo and Juliet. In N. Maslen (Ed.), Shakespeare and Women (pp. 99-116). Cambridge University Press.
  4. Westlund, J. K. (2009). The tragic compass of Juliet: Examining patterns of parental failure in Romeo and Juliet. Comparative Drama, 43(4), 433-454.
  5. Neely, C. T. (1993). Paternal discipline in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare Quarterly, 44(1), 25-42.
  6. Levenson, J. R. (2013). Families and households. In The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy (2nd ed., pp. 45-62). Cambridge University Press.
  7. Howard, J. E. (1989). Family and feudal law in Romeo and Juliet. In The Authority of Experience: Essays in Feminist Criticism (pp. 29-52). University of Massachusetts Press.
  8. Marcus, L. (2008). "What say you? Can you love the gentleman?": Maternal authority in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare Quarterly, 59(2), 127-152.
  9. Williams, J. M. (2011). Capulet masculinity and the politics of domestic authority in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare Studies, 39, 123-139.
  10. Lupton, J. (1996). Citizen Romeo: The politics of fatherhood in Romeo and Juliet. In Shakespeare and the Politics of Community (pp. 57-89). Cambridge University Press.
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Expert Review
This essay presents a coherent argument regarding the responsibility for Romeo and Juliet's tragic end. The author's ideas are well organized and supported with examples from the play. The language used is clear and precise, with an appropriate level of formality for the topic. The essay's structure is logical, and the author maintains a consistent focus on the central question. Overall, this essay demonstrates a good understanding of the play's themes and characters.
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What can be improved
The essay "Who is to Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death" presents a compelling argument that both the Capulet and Montague families share responsibility for the tragic end of the young lovers. However, there are a few areas where the essay could be improved. Firstly, the author's sentence structure can be repetitive at times, which can lead to a lack of variety and interest for the reader. For example, the phrase "It can be argued that" is repeated several times throughout the essay, which could be replaced with synonyms such as "One could contend that" or "It is possible to maintain that." Additionally, there are a few instances where the author's grammar could be improved. For instance, in the sentence, "The Capulets' hatred for the Montagues is as intense as the Montagues' hatred for the Capulets," the use of "is" instead of "are" is incorrect as the subject is plural. Finally, while the author's focus on the central question is commendable, the essay could benefit from more engagement with the play's themes and characters. For example, the author could have delved deeper into the psychological motivations of the various characters and how they contribute to the tragic outcome. To improve the quality of the essay, the author could vary their sentence structure more, pay closer attention to grammar, and incorporate a more nuanced analysis of the play's themes and characters.

Cite this Essay

Who Is To Blame For Romeo And Juliet’s Death. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 3, 2023, from
“Who Is To Blame For Romeo And Juliet’s Death.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
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