A blame game in the play Romeo and Juliet.
According to the poet and critic W.H. Auden: “Romeo and Juliet is not simply a tragedy of two individuals but the tragedy of a city.” Everyone in the city is in one way or another involved and/or responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s death at the end of the play. Based on the actions of The Prince, Friar Laurence, and Benvolio, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy of a city not only two lovers.
The Prince’s role in the tragedy starts off as one of ignorance when he punishes the two families for their fighting by threatening the lives of the two old men with death if there is any more fighting. Then he banishes Romeo for killing Tybalt, causing Friar Laurence to come up with the plan. In the end he looses two kinsmen. “All are punished”
Act 5 Scene 3 Line 305
Friar Laurence’s part in the death of Romeo and Juliet is the one that arguably puts all the pieces together. He thought that the affair between Romeo and Juliet could bring an end to their families feud so he gives it his blessings (marries them). He later in response to the Prince’s punishment for Romeo comes up with the sleeping potion idea for Juliet. This is also a counter move to old man Capulet moving up the wedding between Juliet and Paris.
“Take thou this vial, being then in bed. No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest…
Shall Romeo by my letters know your drift and hither he come and he and I will watch thy waking.”
Act 4 Scene 1 Lines 100-125
Benvoilio’s action effectively starts the ball rolling that leads to the bitter end. NE convinces Romeo to go to the Capulet’s ball. He does this so Romeo will get over Rosaline. So if Benvoilio had not spoken about the ball Romeo would not have known about it. And he then in turn would not have met Juliet.
“Compare her face with someone that I shall show, And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.”
Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 93-94
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is not just a tragedy of two lovers or three families (Capulet’s, Montague’s and the Prince’s) but a tragedy of a city. Everyone in the play has a hand in the death of the two main characters. Even the lowly serving man who cannot read has a had in their deaths. So the cast of the play either had a direct impact or an indirect impact on the death of Romeo and Juliet.