Culpability in Romeo and Juliet

Prompt:  Explain who is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Discussion of the prompt:  Romeo and Juliet do not begin the play from a point of desperation—a place where they feel that taking their own lives is the only solution.  What are the different factors that result in their poor decision making at the end of the play?  Many characters' actions, including their own, contribute to their final decisions.  Choose one of the organizational formats below and organize an essay arguing who / what are the primary factors that result in their deaths.  The apothecary cannot be used for your argument.

Format 1:  Multiple characters’ actions

Each body paragraph will focus on a different character and how that character’s actions lead to the untimely deaths of our protagonists.  Explain how the character’s initial motivation may have been good, but due to the action and complications of the play lead our protagonists toward tragedy.

Format 2: One character’s actions

Each body paragraph will focus on how different actions taken by one character lead to their untimely deaths.  For example, you could focus on three to four separate actions taken by Romeo which lead to their desperation.  You could focus on different aspects of the Friar’s actions and plans (remember, he even says he should be punished at the end of Act V).

Grading Criteria:  Each essay must include one or two quotes per body paragraph to support your argument.  Long, block quotes are unacceptable so pick and choose wisely.  We are following the schedule below so be prepared with drafts on assigned days.  Late work will be accepted one day past the original due date for ½ credit; absences do not excuse you from work (i.e. you cannot say “I wasn’t here; I didn’t know” because you know from this moment on).

bullet_______________: Draft due @ end of the hour 50 pts
bullet_______________: Final due @ beginning of the hour 100 pts