Action Speaks Louder Than Words: Evidence In Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet
They say that actions speak louder than words, which translates to doing something is more important than saying something. This is exhibited in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” written in 1594, which was the beginning and height of Shakespeare’s career. If one has lived under a rock for the past 500 years and has not read the play, they would not know that both main characters, Romeo and Juliet, die at the end of the script, and a popular topic of discussion then and now has been the ultimate cause of this tragic death. Some blame Juliet’s family, some blame Romeo’s family, and others blame Friar Lawrence, but people who really read and understood the play and know how physics work know that Juliet is the one who, in the end, killed herself. Juliet, though not the only one to blame, ended up wielding the knife (or, in this case, the dagger) that ended her life because she lacked judgement, approved and went through with the plan, and was not forced to stab herself.
One main flaw in Juliet’s logic was that she was unwise and unintelligent, love blinding her view of reality. In Act 5, Scene 3, Juliet says “Haply some poison yet doth hang on Romeo’s lips, To make me die with a restorative” then goes on to kiss Romeo, saying “Thy lips are warm”. One example of Juliet’s ignorance was that they did not fill Romeo in on the plan, despite their attempts. This, in turn, resulted in Romeo killing himself, causing Juliet to kill herself. With better explanation, both of these things could have been avoided. Another way that Juliet caused her own timely death, other than not fully explaining the plan to everyone involved, was that she also approved the plan in the first place. There were too many possible negative outcomes in the plan, and Juliet and Friar Lawrence did not work hard enough to work those out, and it resulted in dire consequences.
For example, somebody could have found out about the plan, and made things worse than they already were, and they had to be very confident in their relationship if they were going to risk their past lives with their families for their love; there was no going back from this. Finally, the ultimate risky consequence, was what happened: both of them dying. In Act 5, Scene 3, Romeo says “Here’s to my love! (drinks the poison) O true apothecary, Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die” before killing himself on account of thinking Juliet was dead, when he really saw her under the effects of a sleeping potion. This emphasizes the holes and risks in the plan, and why Romeo and Juliet should not have gone through with it. Lastly, and mostly, the ultimate way in which Juliet caused her own death other than her lack of judgement and logical plan was that she stabbed herself. In Act 5, Scene 3, she stabs herself after seeing Romeo dead, after he sees her “dead” or sleeping because of the potion, saying This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die”. This is direct proof that the only one who caused real, physical harm to Juliet was Juliet herself.
Sure, the others drove her to it, but Juliet’s death was literally at her hands. Despite being drove to risking her life and eventually suicide by those around her, Juliet is the only one that can be ultimately blamed for her own death. This is due to her lack of judgement, unpreparedness with her plan, and physical harm to herself. Her deadly actions spoke louder than Friar’s, Romeo’s, and her family’s words in that they did not physically kill her. The only one who held the knife to her body was herself, and if we break the question down to its fundamentals, it is obvious that she is the one to blame, in the end, for her death.
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