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The characters themselves all believe that their lives are controlled by destiny and luck, and Romeo is a prime example of this.When Romeo and his friends journey to the Capulet’s ball in Act I, scene iv, Romeo hesitates to go because he has had a bad dream: ...[M]y 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 despised life, closed in my breast, By some vile forfeit of untimely death (I, iv. Romeo not only acknowledges the power of the stars, which tell what fate has in store through astrology, but he also believes that his destiny is to die.In Act V, scene i, Romeo demonstrates his belief in the power of dreams to foretell the future once again when he believes that he will be reunited with Juliet on the basis of another dream. Other characters in the play believe in the power of fate as well.
While the parental figures of the play, most notably Old Capulet, act as tyrants, civil authority is wanting in Verona.
That being so, the cause of the ongoing mutiny that is played out before us does not stem solely from strong parental domination but also from the weak authority of the state as embodied in Prince Escalus.
The play moves directly from the Prologue to a lower case example of the mutiny as a confrontation unfolds between servants of the Capulet and Montague households.
As Sampson and Gregory square off against Abram and Balthasar, the vulgar obscenities and gestures which they exchange undercut any sense of real danger.
In the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet, the Chorus tells us of an "ancient grudge" between two households of equal dignity that has broken out into a "new mutiny" that will cause blood to flow in the streets of Verona and will ultimately result in the deaths of the "star-cross'd lovers." The Chorus points to the heads of these two families as the source of the strife at hand, the rage of their parents causing the deaths of their children.
We soon learn the surnames of the warring clans, Capulet and Montague, and both patriarchs (as well as their respective ladies) appear in the flesh in the play's first scene.The comic aspect of the feud is reinforced when Old Capulet arrives in person in his gown, calls to his wife for a "long sword" and is punctured roundly when she tells him that a crutch is all that he can handle at his advanced age.Montague arrives, mimics the mindless behavior of the servants and is duly restrained by his wife.Although Tybalt of the Capulets is the most aggressive character on the stage, Mercutio's twice-spoken curse, "a plague a' both houses! ll.91, 106), makes it plain that the sides are equally to blame for his death, and by extension, for the tragedy that befalls the lovers.Beyond this, however, we are never told what the original cause of the war between the Capulets and Montagues was.When Romeo runs to his cell after killing Tybalt, Friar Laurence acknowledges that Romeo does indeed have bad luck: “Affliction is enamored of thy parts, / And thou art wedded to calamity” (III, iii. As a priest, Friar Laurence naturally believes that destiny exists, as God has planned out all events.However, the friar will also become a victim of fate by the end of the play.This strategy, which seems odd considering the end has been spoiled for the audience, serves two purposes: it allows the introduction of the power of fate and fortune over people’s lives by declaring the fate of Romeo and Juliet at the very beginning, and it also creates tension throughout the play because they very nearly succeed despite this terrible declaration.Thus the opening prologue sets up the fate/free will problem.Friar Laurence recognizes the power of fate to overrule his good intentions when Juliet awakens: “A greater power than we can contradict / Hath thwarted our intents” (V, iii. The fact that Friar Laurence, Juliet, Romeo, and the other characters in the play believe so strongly in fate and fortune is not surprising, given...(The entire section is 1,902 words.) Light and darkness usually have very definitive meanings in human psychology.