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.
Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!
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.
Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?
I could not send it,—here it is again,—
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.
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.)
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 chamber-maids; O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh.
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.