However, when Balthasar informs him that Juliet is dead, Romeo once again rails against the power of fate: Is it een so? Then I defy you, stars! / Thou knowest my lodging (V, i. 24). Romeo finally tries to escape from his destiny at the end of the play by committing suicide to shake the yoke of inauspicious stars, ironically fulfilling the destiny declared by the Chorus in the opening prologue. Not only does this heighten the sense of the overwhelming pressure of events and increase the emotional tension by forcing the lovers to consummate their marriage under the shadow of immediate separation,14 but, as Mark Rose notes,15 it enables Shakespeare structurally to balance 'the two lovers' scenes 2.2 and 3.5 one on either side of the centerpiece 3.1'.
Brooke again delays any mention of Paris (1881 ff.) until the plot demands an eligible husband for Juliet to cure her seeming grief over Tybalt's death. As the final block in this expository structure Shakespeare also shows us Juliet with her mother and the Nurse in 1.3, when the marriage with Paris is first broached, a scene that again advances. The earlier history of the Romeo and Juliet story has been treated in detail by a number of critics,2 but since there is no persuasive evidence that Shakespeare knew the Italian or French versions at first hand,3 we may limit our discussion to the two English versions:4 Arthur Brooke's long poem, The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet (1562 and. Fate and fortune are closely related in the play, as they both concern events that are out of human control. By telling us that Romeo and Juliet are destined to die because of their bad luck, Shakespeare gives us the climax of the play before it even begins.