Free will and destiny in Romeo and Juliet was one of the more significant theme in the story. Were they free to do what they wanted? or were their fates already planned from the beginning and were destined to participate in such sorrow and destruction? In Romeo and Juliet, the storyline shows that both free will and destiny were evident in the play. At the start of the play, fate was noticeable at the beginning of the play as the opening prologue declared Romeo and Juliet as a pair of star-crossed lovers meaning their relationship are doomed by fate “a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life”.
In this case, Romeo and Juliet’s relationships are doomed by fate because of their family feud, and due to their bad luck they were both destined to die, which their deaths ended the families feud “Doth, with their death, bury their parents’ strife”. Before the Capulet ball, Romeo had a dream prediction his own death, “I fear too early, for my mind misgives. Some consequence yet hanging in the stars. Shall bitterly begin his fearful date. With this night’s revels, and expire the term Of a despisèd life closed in my breast. By some vile forfeit of untimely death” meaning he has a bad feeling about the party and it may be the start of something bad, something that will end with Romeo’s own death. Despite having a bad feeling about the party, he says “but he that hath the steerage of my course, direct my sail.
On, lusty gentlemen” meaning whoever is in charge of his life can steer him in where ever they want. This quote shows clear evidence of free will because despite having a bad feeling about the party he still goes. Fate did not make him go to the Capulet ball he acted upon free will even though he had a bad feeling. Free will in Romeo and Juliet expressed on the idea that they acted upon their emotions for each other and are responsible for their own actions. An example of this would be when Romeo finds Juliet dead on the bed, and decides to drink the poison thus acting upon free will because fate did not make him drink the poison, be wanted too because he doesn’t want to be alive without Juliet. Upon Juliet waking up, she finds that Romeo has taken the poison and immediately breaks down into tears, she sees Romeo’s dagger and proceeds to kill herself “Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger,This is thy sheath.
There rust and let me die”. This would be an example of free will because Juliet voluntary took the dagger and stabbed herself due to Romeo’s death. In the end, free will and fate play a big role in the dark and sinister story of Romeo and Juliet, characters had to option to act upon their will and their own actions but somethings were meant to be destiny like the end of the star-cross lovers life.