Romeo and Juliet Test

Motif: Light and Darkness One of the most often repeated image patterns in the play involves the interplay of light and darkness. The integration of the language indicates an important motif overall. Romeo compares Juliet to light throughout the play. Upon first sight of her, Romeo exclaims that she teaches “the torches to burn bright” (I.v.43). She is also “the sun” who can “kill the envious moon” (II.ii.3), and later in this scene, Shakespeare says that her eyes are like “[t]wo of the fairest stars in all the heaven” (II.ii.15). But hers is a light that shows best against the darkness; she “hangs upon the cheek of night / As a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear” (I.v.44-45).Romeo is also compared with a light that illuminates the darkness; if Juliet dies, she wants Romeo cut “in little stars/And he will make the face of heaven so fine/That all the world will be in love with night/? And pay no worship to the garish sun” (III.ii.22-25). This quote reminds us that their light shines most brightly in the dark — that it is a muted glow associated primarily with stars, torches, and the dawn, rather than with sunlight, which is almost obscenely bright.Like their love, darkness is associated with mystery, emotion, and imagination. In fact, the day works against them. At the end of their honeymoon night, Romeo says, “More light and light: more dark and dark our woes” (III.v.36); they must part before the light arrived so that he is not caught and killed.
Motif: Nighttime The combination of light and dark makes an interesting motif in Romeo and Juliet. But for our young lovers, the nighttime itself is an important motif as well. The evening hours holds all of the significant moments for Romeo and Juliet. They meet; they pledge their love; they elope; they commit suicide.Nighttime represents a time when a person can let go of their inhibitions. The same hold true for our title characters. They have a boldness at night that doesn’t always show up in the day; this is especially true for Romeo. The night provides privacy and place away from the public’s prying eyes, where Romeo and Juliet’s love can blossom.
Motif: Poison Poison, both sleep inducing and lethal, is the instrument of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. (Technically Juliet stabbed herself, but that never would have happened if not for the sleeping potion.) While poison has a literal purpose in the play, it’s also a symbol. The poison symbolizes the Capulet and Montague feud. Not only is the feud deadly in itself, — recall Mercutio’s death — it’s also the catalyst for Romeo and Juliet’s double suicide.
Motif A distinctive idea, image, word, orphrase that is repeated throughout theliterary work.
Motif: Time Early in the play, Romeo is painfully aware of the passage of time as he pines for Rosaline: “sad hours seem long” (1.1.159). Mercutio is the first to address the problem of “wasted time”, and after his complaint, a sudden shift occurs and time quickens to rapid movement. Capulet laments that the years are passing too fast, and Juliet cautions that her love for Romeo is “too rash, too unadvis’d, too sudden…too like the lightening” (2.2.120). Soon time begins to aid in the destruction of the lovers. Capulet rushes ahead the marriage date, insisting Juliet wed Paris a day early, and thus forcing her into swift and, ultimately, fatal action. “The fast-paced world that Shakespeare builds up around his characters allows little possibility for adherence to Friar Lawrence’s counsel of “Wisely and slow.” In such a world to stumble tragically is surely no less inevitable than it is for Lear to go mad in the face of human ingratitude.” (Cole, p. 17). As with Shakespeare’s manipulation of the theme of light, it can be said that his reliance on time as an increasingly menacing force against the lovers is immature and artificial.
Romeo and Mertucio: Character Foils Mercutio is jovial, sarcastic, optimistic, and does not fall in love. Finds humor in love.Romeo is a hopeless romantic, melancholic, serious, and pessimistic.
Tybalt and Benvolio: Character Foils Tybalt is aggressive, impulsive, quick-tempered, and a Capulet.Benvolio is passive, peaceful, calm, a mediator, and is a Montague.
Juliet and Rosaline: Character Foils Rosaline, the girl Romeo is in love with before he sees Juliet, is a foil for Juliet’s character. Rosaline is aloof, quiet, and has sworn off marriage and pleasures of the flesh. She is uninterested in Romeo and his adoration. Contrast this with Juliet, who is neither quiet and remote, nor disinterested and chaste.
Paris and Romeo: Character Foils Paris is nobility and exemplifies the traits the Capulets find desirable in a husband for their daughter and an ally for their family. He is already a friend of Lord Capulet and is, in all ways, the opposite of Romeo. Paris is very proper and follows the rules of society, while Romeo is impetuous, effusive with his romantic proclamations, and ignores convention by approaching Juliet directly, rather than through family.
Character Foil Character who contrasts with another character to help highlight particular qualities and character traits. Must have some similarities that make the reader compare the two characters.
The Nurse and Lady Capulet: Character Foils Both help raise Juliet, her “mothers” Nurse= common, funny, Juliet confides in her.Lady Capulet= noble, dignified, distant
Romeo The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Though impulsive and immature, his idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love. At the beginning of the play he is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. Thus, Shakespeare gives us every reason to question how real Romeo’s new love is, but Romeo goes to extremes to prove the seriousness of his feelings. He secretly marries Juliet, the daughter of his father’s worst enemy; he happily takes abuse from Tybalt; and he would rather die than live without his beloved. Romeo is also an affectionate and devoted friend to his relative Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence.
Juliet The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city, climb over walls in the middle of the night, or get into swordfights. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Juliet’s closest friend and confidant is her nurse, though she’s willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the Nurse turns against Romeo.
Friar Lawrence A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs.
Mercutio A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays, Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions. He finds Romeo’s romanticized ideas about love tiresome, and tries to convince Romeo to view love as a simple matter of sexual appetite.
The Nurse Juliet’s nurse, the woman who breast-fed Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life. A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches. But, until a disagreement near the play’s end, the Nurse is Juliet’s faithful confidante and loyal intermediary in Juliet’s affair with Romeo. She provides a contrast with Juliet, given that her view of love is earthy and sexual, whereas Juliet is idealistic and intense. The Nurse believes in love and wants Juliet to have a nice-looking husband, but the idea that Juliet would want to sacrifice herself for love is incomprehensible to her.
Tybalt A Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured. Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared. He loathes Montagues.
Capulet The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague. He truly loves his daughter, though he is not well acquainted with Juliet’s thoughts or feelings, and seems to think that what is best for her is a “good” match with Paris. Often prudent, he commands respect and propriety, but he is liable to fly into a rage when either is lacking.
Lady Capulet Juliet’s mother, Capulet’s wife. A woman who herself married young (by her own estimation she gave birth to Juliet at close to the age of fourteen), she is eager to see her daughter marry Paris. She is an ineffectual mother, relying on the Nurse for moral and pragmatic support.
Montague Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet. At the beginning of the play, he is chiefly concerned about Romeo’s melancholy.
Lady Montague Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife. She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona.
Paris A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet. Once Capulet has promised him he can marry Juliet, he behaves very presumptuous toward her, acting as if they are already married.
Benvolio Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend, he makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places, though Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private. He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet.
Prince Escalus The Prince of Verona. A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris. As the seat of political power in Verona, he is concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs.
Friar John A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Juliet’s false death to Romeo in Mantua. Friar John is held up in a quarantined house, and the message never reaches Romeo.
Balthasar Romeo’s dedicated servant, who brings Romeo the news of Juliet’s death, unaware that her death is a ruse.
Sampson & Gregory Two servants of the house of Capulet, who, like their master, hate the Montagues. At the outset of the play, they successfully provoke some Montague men into a fight.
Abram Montague’s servant, who fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene of the play.
The Apothecary An apothecary in Mantua. Had he been wealthier, he might have been able to afford to value his morals more than money, and refused to sell poison to Romeo.
Peter A Capulet servant who invites guests to Capulet’s feast and escorts the Nurse to meet with Romeo. He is illiterate, and a bad singer.
Rosaline The woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play. Rosaline never appears onstage, but it is said by other characters that she is very beautiful and has sworn to live a life of chastity.
The Chorus The Chorus is a single character who, as developed in Greek drama, functions as a narrator offering commentary on the play’s plot and themes.
How old is Juliet? 13
Which character is notable for his witty and satiric commentary? Mercutio
Which emotion motivates Romeo most throughout the play? Love
How are Mercutio and the Nurse similar? They both view love in mainly physical terms.
Which character makes the greatest efforts to help Romeo and Juliet be together? Friar Lawrence
Which gesture starts the fight between the Montagues and the Capulets at the beginning of the play? Thumb-biting
Why does Benvolio draw his sword in the street? To stop the fighting before it begins.
Which character claims to hate peace? Tybalt
Who stops the street battle? Prince Escalus
Why is Romeo so melancholy when the play begins? He loves Rosaline but she doesn’t love him back.
Why does Capulet want Paris to wait before marrying Juliet? Juliet is too young and immature to marry.
Why does Peter ask Romeo and Benvolio to read the invitation list? He is illiterate.
What mistake does Peter make regarding Romeo and Benvolio? He doesn’t realize they’re Montague’s.
Why does Benvolio want Romeo to go to the feast? To compare Rosaline’s beauty to other girls so he could forget about her.
Why does Romeo agree to go to the feast? He hopes to see Rosaline.
How old was Lady Capulet when she gave birth to Juliet? Almost the same age as Juliet in the play.
Which character shows the most authority over the Nurse? Juliet
Whom does Juliet initially want to marry? No one.
What does Juliet agree to do with regard to Paris? See if she can love him.
Which characteristic of the Nurse is most evident in her fist scene? Her humorously vulgar view of sex.
How do the Montagues plan on getting into the Capulets’ feast? By wearing masks.
Why is Romeo anxious about attending the feast? He dreamt that it would be a bad idea.
How does Mercutio react to Romeo’s statements about love? He turns them into statements about sex.
Who is the subject of Mercutio’s long speech? Queen Mab
Which event does Romeo foreshadow as they make their way to the feast? His own death.
Who first discovers that there is a Montague at the Capulets’ feast? Tybalt
Whom does Romeo forget about the moment he sees Juliet? Rosaline
How do Romeo and Juliet metaphorically describe themselves in their first conversation? As a pilgrim and a saint.
How many times do Romeo and Juliet kiss at the first meeting? Two
How do Romeo and Juliet act when each discovers whom the other is? They are both devastated.
Why doesn’t Romeo leave with Mercutio and Benvolio? He wants to see Juliet again.
Where are Romeo and Juliet when they meet for the second time? She is at her window, Romeo is under the garden below.
What does Juliet say she would do if she knew Romeo loved her? Give up her Capulet name.
Why isn’t Romeo afraid to be discovered talking to Juliet? He believes his love will protect them.
What is Juliet worried about with regard to Romeo? That his love isn’t true.
What is Friar Lawrence worried about when he first sees Romeo? That he has slept with Rosaline.
How does Friar Lawrence regard Romeo’s love for Juliet? He doubts the sincerity of his love.
Who challenges Romeo to a duel? Tybalt
How does Mercutio describe Tybalt? Skilled and Vain
How will Juliet sneak away to Friar Lawrence’s cell? By pretending to go to confession.
Why doesn’t the Nurse tell Juliet right away what Romeo said? She claims to be tired and out of breath.
How does Romeo plan on entering Juliet’s room on their wedding night? By climbing a ladder.
Why isn’t Romeo worried about future misfortunes? No misfortune could be as great as happiness.
What advice does Friar Lawrence give Romeo before the wedding? To not love too intensely.
Why does Juliet refuse to describe her love to Romeo before their wedding? Her love is too great to describe.
Why does Benvolio want to get out of the street? He is worried that a brawl will start.
Why doesn’t Romeo want to fight Tybalt? They are now related by marriage.
How does Romeo react when Tybalt and Mercutio start fighting? He tries to break them up.
What does Romeo do after killing Tybalt? He runs away.
What is Romeo’s punishment for killing Tybalt? Banishment
How does the Nurse confuse the story of the fight? She makes it sound as if Romeo is also dead.
hy does Juliet chastise the Nurse? For criticizing Romeo.
What does Juliet give the Nurse to pass to Romeo? A ring.
How does Romeo regard his punishment from Escalus? A fate worse than death?
What does Capulet promise Paris? That Paris will marry Juliet on Thursday.
What does Juliet claim is making the birdcalls they hear? A nightingale
How do both Romeo and Juliet appear as they say goodbye to each other? Like they are already dead and in a tomb.
How does Juliet react to news of her arranged marriage with Paris? With horror and anger
What does the Nurse advise Juliet to do? Forget Romeo and marry Paris
What does Juliet plan to do if Friar Lawrence can’t help her? Kill herself.
What does Paris think has upset Juliet so much? Tybalt’s death
How does Juliet respond to Paris? With indifference
What is Friar Lawrence’s plan for Juliet? She will fake her own death and run away with Romeo.
How does Juliet surprise her parents? By agreeing to marry Paris.
How does Capulet react to Juliet’s decision? He is so satisfied he changes the day of the wedding.
What does Juliet fear may happen when she drinks the potion? She will die or wake up alone in a tomb.
Why does Juliet think Friar Lawrence might betray her? To hide his role in her marriage.
Whose ghost does Juliet see before drinking the potion? Tybalt’s
Who discover Juliet’s seemingly dead body? The nurse.
Why do the musicians decide to stay at the Capulets’ house? To get a free lunch.
Why is Romeo happy when we first see him in Mantua? He had a dream about Juliet.
What news does Balthasar bring to Romeo? Juliet is dead.
What does Romeo plan to do after hearing Balthasar’s news? Kill himself in Juliet’s tomb.
Why didn’t Friar John deliver the letter? He was stuck in a quarantine house.
What does Friar Lawrence plan to do with Juliet? Take her back to his cell.
Why does Paris fight Romeo? He blame’s Romeo for Juliet’s death.
What is the last thing Romeo does before he dies? He kisses Juliet.
Why does Friar Lawrence leave Juliet alone in the tomb? He is afraid of being discovered there.
How does Juliet first try to kill herself? By kissing Romeo’s poisoned lips.
How do Capulet and Montague react to the deaths of their children? They agree to end their feud.
Which subject does the Nurse talk about that makes Juliet uncomfortable? Sex
Which quality does Romeo lack? Self-retraint
How does Mercutio function as part of the play? He mocks and deflates the idea of romantic love.
Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline illustrate which of Romeo’s traits? His initial immaturity and romanticism.
Why does Friar Lawrence marry Romeo and Juliet? To quell the civil strife in Verona
How far did Shakespeare go in school? Grammar School
What was the name of Shakespeare’s theater? The Globe
Which families are feuding in Verona? The Capulets and the Montegues
Where do Romeo and Juliet first kiss? At the feast where they meet for the first time.
Why does Romeo kill Tybalt? Because Tybalt killed Mercutio.
How does Juliet get out of marrying Paris? She drinks a potion that makes her appear dead.
Why does Romeo kill himself? He mistakenly thinks Juliet is dead.
Where is the play set? Verona
Which poetic form does the prologue take? Sonnet
Which characters appear in the prologue? The Chorus
Which important plot point is mentioned in the prologue? The deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Which phrase from the prologue emphasizes the theme of fate’s power? “star-crossed lovers”
How does the play present love? As an intense and overwhelming force
How do Romeo and Juliet defy Christian morality? By committing suicide
Which theme does the chorus introduce at the start of the play? The power of fate
Which best describes the difference between the world of the nobles and the world of the servants? Grand gestures vs. simple needs
Whom does the play ultimately suggest is responsible for Romeo’s and Juliet’s tragedy? Society
What effect does the accelerated time scheme have on the play’s development? Is it plausible that a love story of this magnitude could take place so quickly? Does the play seem to take place over as little time as it actually occupies? Because of the intensity of the relationship between Romeo and Juliet and the complex development of events during the few days of the play’s action, the story can certainly seem to take place over a time span much longer than the one it actually occupies. By compressing all the events of the love story into just a few days, Shakespeare adds weight to every moment, and gives the sense that the action is happening so quickly that characters barely have time to react, and, by the end, that matters are careening out of control. This rush heightens the sense of pressure that hangs in the atmosphere of the play. While it may not seem plausible for a story such as Romeo and Juliet to take place over a span of only four days in the real world, this abbreviated time scheme makes sense in the universe of the play.
Compare and contrast the characters of Romeo and Juliet. How do they develop throughout the play? What makes them fall in love with one another? Romeo is a passionate, extreme, excitable, intelligent, and moody young man, well-liked and admired throughout Verona. He is loyal to his friends, but his behavior is somewhat unpredictable. At the beginning of the play, he mopes over his hopeless unrequited love for Rosaline. In Juliet, Romeo finds a legitimate object for the extraordinary passion that he is capable of feeling, and his unyielding love for her takes control of him.Juliet, on the other hand, is an innocent girl, a child at the beginning of the play, and is startled by the sudden power of her love for Romeo. Guided by her feelings for him, she develops very quickly into a determined, capable, mature, and loyal woman who tempers her extreme feelings of love with sober-mindedness.The attraction between Romeo and Juliet is immediate and overwhelming, and neither of the young lovers comments on or pretends to understand its cause. Each mentions the other’s beauty, but it seems that destiny, rather than any particular character trait, has drawn them together. Their love for one another is so undeniable that neither they nor the audience feels the need to question or explain it.
Compare and contrast the characters of Tybalt and Mercutio. Why does Mercutio hate Tybalt? As Mercutio tells Benvolio, he hates Tybalt for being a slave to fashion and vanity, one of “such antic, lisping, affecting phantas- / ims, these new tuners of accent! . . . these fashionmongers, these ‘pardon-me’s’ ” (2.3.25-29). Mercutio is so insistent that the reader feels compelled to accept this description of Tybalt’s character as definitive. Tybalt does prove Mercutio’s words true: he demonstrates himself to be as witty, vain, and prone to violence as he is fashionable, easily insulted, and defensive. To the self-possessed Mercutio, Tybalt seems a caricature; to Tybalt, the brilliant, earthy, and unconventional Mercutio is probably incomprehensible. (It might be interesting to compare Mercutio’s comments about Tybalt to Hamlet’s description of the foppish Osric in Act 5, scene 2 of Hamlet, lines 140-146.)
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,Who is already sick and pale with griefThat thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. . . .The brightness of her cheek would shame those starsAs daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heavenWould through the airy region stream so brightThat birds would sing and think it were not night. Romeo speaks these lines in the so-called balcony scene, when, hiding in the Capulet orchard after the feast, he sees Juliet leaning out of a high window (2.1.44-64). Though it is late at night, Juliet’s surpassing beauty makes Romeo imagine that she is the sun, transforming the darkness into daylight. Romeo likewise personifies the moon, calling it “sick and pale with grief” at the fact that Juliet, the sun, is far brighter and more beautiful. Romeo then compares Juliet to the stars, claiming that she eclipses the stars as daylight overpowers a lamp—her eyes alone shine so bright that they will convince the birds to sing at night as if it were day.This quote is important because in addition to initiating one of the play’s most beautiful and famous sequences of poetry, it is a prime example of the light/dark motif that runs throughout the play. Many scenes in Romeo and Juliet are set either late at night or early in the morning, and Shakespeare often uses the contrast between night and day to explore opposing alternatives in a given situation. Here, Romeo imagines Juliet transforming darkness into light; later, after their wedding night, Juliet convinces Romeo momentarily that the daylight is actually night (so that he doesn’t yet have to leave her room).
O Romeo, Romeo,wherefore art thou Romeo?Deny thy father and refuse thy name,Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. Juliet speaks these lines, perhaps the most famous in the play, in the balcony scene (2.1.74-78). Leaning out of her upstairs window, unaware that Romeo is below in the orchard, she asks why Romeo must be Romeo—why he must be a Montague, the son of her family’s greatest enemy (“wherefore” means “why,” not “where”; Juliet is not, as is often assumed, asking where Romeo is). Still unaware of Romeo’s presence, she asks him to deny his family for her love. She adds, however, that if he will not, she will deny her family in order to be with him if he merely tells her that he loves her.A major theme in Romeo and Juliet is the tension between social and family identity (represented by one’s name) and one’s inner identity. Juliet believes that love stems from one’s inner identity, and that the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets is a product of the outer identity, based only on names. She thinks of Romeo in individual terms, and thus her love for him overrides her family’s hatred for the Montague name. She says that if Romeo were not called “Romeo” or “Montague,” he would still be the person she loves. “What’s in a name?” she asks. “That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet” (2.1.85-86).
O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you. . . .She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comesIn shape no bigger than an agate stoneOn the forefinger of an alderman,Drawn with a team of little atomiAthwart men’s noses as they lie asleep. Mercutio’s famous Queen Mab speech is important for the stunning quality of its poetry and for what it reveals about Mercutio’s character, but it also has some interesting thematic implications (1.4.53-59). Mercutio is trying to convince Romeo to set aside his lovesick melancholy over Rosaline and come along to the Capulet feast. When Romeo says that he is depressed because of a dream, Mercutio launches on a lengthy, playful description of Queen Mab, the fairy who supposedly brings dreams to sleeping humans. The main point of the passage is that the dreams Queen Mab brings are directly related to the person who dreams them—lovers dream of love, soldiers of war, etc. But in the process of making this rather prosaic point Mercutio falls into a sort of wild bitterness in which he seems to see dreams as destructive and delusional.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife. . . . O, I am fortune’s fool! . . . Then I defy you, stars. This trio of quotes advances the theme of fate as it plays out through the story: the first is spoken by the Chorus (Prologue.5-8), the second by Romeo after he kills Tybalt (3.1.131), and the third by Romeo upon learning of Juliet’s death (5.1.24). The Chorus’s remark that Romeo and Juliet are “star-crossed” and fated to “take their li[ves]” informs the audience that the lovers are destined to die tragically. Romeo’s remark “O, I am fortune’s fool!” illustrates the fact that Romeo sees himself as subject to the whims of fate. When he cries out “Then I defy you, stars,” after learning of Juliet’s death, he declares himself openly opposed to the destiny that so grieves him. Sadly, in “defying” fate he actually brings it about. Romeo’s suicide prompts Juliet to kill herself, thereby ironically fulfilling the lovers’ tragic destiny.