HUMAN ACTIONS IN ROMEO AND JULIET

In the play Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, two teenagers are controlled by a
chain of human actions. Act 4, scenes 1,3 and 5, are a good representation of the web of human
actions that cause tragedy between the pair of “star crossed lovers” (prologue).
One example of human actions being dominant in those particular scenes is Friar
Lawrence. His actions, while being in good intent, caused much of the pain for the other
characters in the book. His first action was to offer his help to the depressed Juliet, thinking that
maybe he could “spy a kind of hope” (Act 4, sc i, ll 68). His actions then led him to think of the
fake death which he tells to her. “Hold then, go home, be merry” (Act 4, sc i, ll 89), he tells her,
while he gives her the poison and plans to give Romeo a message describing the plan. He doesn’t
however, make sure Romeo gets the message which is probably the most crucial human action in
the play.
The other example of human actions controlling the plot is Juliet. In those scenes she acts
in ways which seriously affect her life and the rest of the play. First, she comes to the Friar
looking for help. “I long to die, if what thou speak’st speak not of remedy” (Act 4, sc i, ll 66-67)
is her attitude towards her situation. She then accepts the friar’s solution and decides to take the
poison. “Give me, give me! Oh tell me not of fear” (Act 4, sc 1, ll 121) are her words spoken to
the friar. Her actions here are to be brave and to rush into the plan. Her actions are more
important than the friars in this scene because she has all the control. The friars actions are mostly
suggestions and thoughts while her actions are the ones that are physical and are actually put into
use.
This scene isn’t the only scene that demonstrates human actions controlling the play. For
example, in the very first scene, Tybalt and Benvolio fight causing a certain amount of tension that
sets the play up for some of the major events that happen later. Another example of this is when
Romeo and Juliet meet, Romeo goes out of his way to see her again, once more, setting up the
plot. The web of human actions gets larger and stronger until finally, the two biggest human
actions occur and the two main characters lay dead. Lay dead because the actions they took led
them to suicide.
This incident, as tragic as it is, could probably have been avoided. If the actions that were
taken by the characters had been planned better and the consequences had been thought about
maybe a better outcome would have been reached. For example, if Friar Lawrence had thought
about what would happen if Romeo didn’t receive the message in time, he probably would have
taken better precautions. Or maybe if Romeo had thought twice about killing Tybalt, he would
have realized that it couldn’t help getting closer to Juliet. Therefore, my advice in this situation is
to think hard about your actions. Don’t be caught up in the outcomes of them like Romeo and
Juliet did.

Category: English