Who is responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s death?

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We, humans, tend to find the guilty parties for any situation in the world that goes not according to plan. For example, in the classic love story, “Romeo and Juliet,” created by the genius William Shakespeare, the opinions of readers have divided as to whom to blame among Verona’s finest for the deaths of two young and innocent lovers.

While no one, in particular, attracts attention as the main evil to be blamed for everything that has happened in the story, there are still many arguments for and against various characters. The most hated figures are Friar Lawrence, Juliet’s Nurse, and even Romeo or Juliet, as the two impacted their future.

Any character you pick from the story has made even the slightest contribution to Romeo and Juliet’s death in one way or another. So who is the most guilty in Shakespear’s classics? In this essay, I will discuss the 3 characters and what their actions have contributed to the tragic ending of the love story.

The role of Romeo in his and Juliet’s deaths

The first character to blame is Romeo himself. To begin with, the whole story of Romeo and Juliet starts with Romeo and his gang sneaking into the Capulets’party uninvited. If they decided to keep to their business and not party at the enemy’s home, Romeo would have never laid his eyes on Juliet, and Tybalt would never have found out he was there. Moving on, the fact that Romeo decides to get revenge for Mercutio’s death by murdering Tybalt. Romeo should have been able to contain his rage and run away together with the love of his life. Instead, he got thrown out of Verona for his actions. Finally, Romeo makes a rushed decision to kill himself at the end of the story. Romeo could not overcome knowing that Juliet had died. Romeo should have paused and evaluated his decision to realize it was not the best plan to end his life at that point. The tragedy could have been avoided if Romeo had put more effort into making the decisions.

The contributions of Friar Lawrence to the tragedy of the lovers

Friar Lawrence is the second character who could be found guilty of the death of two young lovers. Friar Lawrence should be blamed because he marries Romeo and Juliet while well aware of the relationship between the two families. The man knows this marriage can impact lovers negatively. However, he disregards that he also could get in a lot of trouble if the families find out. Since Romeo and Juliet were married, their love grew stronger daily, enriching their bond. Another reason why Friar Lawrence is guilty is that he gives Juliet the sleeping potion. Unfortunately, the friar does not even consider the negative consequences of his actions.

The friar should have been more responsible with his plan. The last reason Friar Lawrence is wrong is that he could not make a servant deliver the news of Juliet’s death to Romeo. Instead, he could ask several servants at different periods or just go himself to ensure that his message reached Romeo. In conclusion, Friar Lawrence should have thought better throughout the story and could prevent the tragedy from happening.

How Tybalt’s temper played out in the story

The last character I would blame for Romeo and Juliet’s tragedy is Tybalt. First, Tybalt can be considered guilty because he took part in the fight at the beginning of the play, which once again contributed to the families’ hostility against each other. The vendetta between the two families would not have been so brutal if members of each family had opened the floor to negotiations and understanding. The next reason Tybalt can be blamed is that he sees Romeo at the Capulet party, gets furious, and turns to threaten to kill the son of Montague. If Tybalt had a heart and could see something apart from his anger, he would be able to understand that Romeo was harmless as all he wanted was a happily ever after with Juliet. The final reason Tybalt can be blamed for the lovers’ tragedy is that he murdered Mercutio. Killing Mercutio was a completely unnecessary step in this story, as it only worsened the case. Mercutio’s death made the city council banish Romeo from Verona, not allowing Romeo and Juliet to be together after they exchanged vows. Eventually, Tybalt should have been able to hold his temper and not be so cruel out of nowhere.


Summing up, people should care about who is guilty because no one should go unpunished for the wrongdoings that led to the death of Romeo and Juliet. At the end of the play, Prince Escalus states: “Some shall be pardoned and some punished.” Two young lovers cannot just die without anyone getting punished for influencing that decision. One’s death influences the lives of many people surrounding the deceased. The person who causes pain to family members should be punished for their harmful actions. Many characters in the play made wrong choices that ultimately led to the star-crossed lovers’ death. If the characters in the play had been more thoughtful, there would be no tragedy. No one would be guilty if there were no tragedy in the first place.

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  1. Shakespeare, W. (1993). Romeo and Juliet. Dover Publications.
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