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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

  

by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet Fate and Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition of the play.

Quote #7

ROMEO
Is it e'en so?—Then I defy you, stars!—
(5.1.25)

When Romeo hears from Balthasar that Juliet is dead (well, fake-dead), he declares "I defy you, stars!" True, he does have a plan to make sure that he and Juliet end up together despite the stars. Too bad it involves suicide.

Quote #8

FRIAR LAURENCE
Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?

FRIAR JOHN
I could not send it—here it is again—
                                                        Returning the letter. 
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Unhappy fortune!
(5.2.13-17)

Friar Laurence blames "unhappy fortune" for preventing Romeo from receiving a letter explaining that Juliet isn't really dead. (We usually blame AT&T, but that's just us.)

Quote #9

ROMEO (to Juliet in the tomb)
I still will stay with thee
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again. Here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chambermaids. O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh!
(5.3.106-112)

Poor, dumb Romeo. He's convinced that he'll one-up the "stars" by killing himself, thus ensuring that he spends 4EVA with Juliet. But, in fact, taking fate into his own hands just means he ends up killing himself for nothing—and ensuring that Juliet dies for hear. If you're looking for textual evidence that Romeo brings about his own "fate" (by making a decision (of his own free will) to kill himself, then this is the passage for you.

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