Romeo and Juliet is a story about “two star crossed lovers” who fell in love through fate and coincidence, their love was forbidden because their families held an ancient grudge against each other, but their love was so strong nothing could break them apart, their love story was destined to end badly from the beginning.
The prologue gives a short overview of the entire play. Shakespeare shows the hand of fate in the play by first introducing it in the prologue. An example of how fate is used in the prologue is when Shakespeare writes “two star cross lovers take their life” this is an example of fate because in the near future Romeo and Juliet end up falling in love and becoming star cross lovers that take their lives.
There are many times throughout the play that Shakespeare uses coincidences to lay down the meaning of fate. Shakespeare used coincidences multiple times, for example Juliet has a vision of Romeo as if in a tomb “I dreamed my lady came and found me dead” this is a coincidence because later in the play Juliet wakes up from the poison that Friar Lawrence gave her that would make her look and act stone cold dead for 40 hours. When Juliet wakes up just as planned she wakes to find Romeo laying next to her not moving or breathing.
Another example of the hand of fate is when Romeo came across Capulets servant and coincidently learnt of the party, he then goes to the party and he meets Juliet, this is fate because Romeo would never have been invited to the party due to the families hating each other.
Romeo and Juliet is full of metaphors throughout the play, an example of a metaphor in the scene where Romeo finally meets Juliet and Romeo says “If I profane with my unworthiest hand, This holy shrine, the gently is this, My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand, to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss” Romeo is comparing Juliets hand to a religious place which means that when he touches her it is a god like experience and “his lips two blushing pilgrims” is meaning a person who travels to a holy location. So it means that Romeo and Juliets connection is almost religious, its fate that bought them together and its a powerful connection that starts the love story.
In Act 1, scene 5 Juliet is with the nurse and she gestures towards Romeo “What’s he that follows here, that would not dance?, “Go ask his name” The Nurse goes and Juliet says “If he be married. My grave is like to be my wedding bed” this is a great example of a coincidence as Juliet hints at her own death and her grave does become her wedding bed later in the book.
In conclusion Shakespeare presented the hand of fate throughout the play, even in the opening lines of the play we were told what is going to happen, in Shakespeare’s time, fate was taken very seriously right from the beginning Romeo and Juliet had a feeling that things were going to go badly for them. Romeo thinks something is ‘hanging in the stars’, while Juliet says a ‘faint cold fear thrills through my veins’.