Romeo and Juliet is the story of two "star-crossed lovers who take their life" (prologue). Their families were ancient enemies based on an ancient grudge no longer known, but still strong. Romeo and Juliet fall passionately in love ignoring the fact they are, by household, enemies. Friar Lawrence joins them in marriage in hope "to turn their households’ rancour to pure love"(p. 43). They married without their families’ permission or knowledge and against their society’s conventions. Neither Romeo nor Juliet could live without the other by their side and were willing to do anything to be with each other. Shakespeare believes that acting in response to knowledge without evidence or thought can lead to disaster in the end.
Misfortunes occurred due to Tybalt and Mercutio’s misinterpretation of Romeo’s reluctance to fight. Tybalt came to pick a fight with Romeo and instead of getting what he wanted, Romeo continued to hold back because of his marriage to Juliet. Tybalt continued to push for conflict not understanding Romeo’s unwillingness. Mercutio also misunderstands Romeo’s reluctance to fight and decides to stand up for him by challenging Tybalt to a dual. Tybalt and Mercutio end up fighting. When Romeo stepped in between the fighting Mercutio believed that the dual had ended. And as Mercutio was taken off guard Tybalt attacked and Mercutio was killed. Romeo wanted to get Tybalt back for what he had done and make Mercutio’s death of some worth. Romeo used his rage and grief to slay Tybalt. All of this had happened because of Tybalt’s and Mercutio’s little misinterpretation of Romeo. Both acted without thinking or waiting for a little sense of the matter or any kind of explanation. Two lives were taken as a result and one banished from his true love.
Romeo’s banishment from Verona resulted in Friar Lawrence’s failure to form a back up plan of any kind in case Romeo would not receive the letter or learn of the plan with Juliet. Right after Friar Lawrence received news that Juliet was to be married to Paris he created a plan right on the spot. The plot involved taking a substance that would make her appear to be dead. He said that he would send a letter to Romeo informing him of the circumstances of the plot so that he could be at her side as she woke after about 20 hours. Friar Lawrence believed that the plan would go smoothly and he never anticipated any problems or complications to occur on the course of the plan. He acted too quickly to the announcement of Juliet’s second marriage not preparing or forming any kind of back up plan of just in case a problem did take place. If Romeo had never been banished Friar Lawrence would never of had to send the letter to him in Mantua or have to had devised the plan at all. Even though, these quick actions of Friar Lawrence helped lead to a disastrous end.
Friar Lawrence’s failure to form an alternative plan led to Romeo’s belief that Juliet had died. This set up his own death. Balthasar had visited Verona to receive news from Friar Lawrence and news of Juliet to return to Romeo. He found out that Juliet was dead and rushed to tell Romeo. Romeo, in a state of shock and immense grief says, "Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight" (pg.100). Romeo decided to kill himself within minutes or even second after hearing of Juliet’s death. He acted ignorantly and way too swiftly not knowing the actual circumstances. He didn't even wonder what had caused her unexpected and sudden death. Romeo didn’t stop for a second to think it through or even bother to ask Friar Lawrence if it was true and how it could’ve been. If he had asked, stopped to think, or not reacted so quickly he and Juliet would be together forever. Friar Lawrence’s swift resolution to Juliet’s proposed marriage to Paris originated Romeo’s belief that Juliet was actually dead and gone for evermore. He only thought of himself and his Juliet. His quickness in responding to Juliet’s death caused both of their lives to be taken. Romeo and Juliet’s death could have been deterred.
Tybalt’s misinterpretation of Romeo’s cowardice led to his and Mercutio’s death and Romeo’s banishment. Romeo’s banishment