Friar Laurence recognizes the power of fate to overrule his good intentions when Juliet awakens: “A greater power than we can contradict / Hath thwarted our intents” (V, iii. The fact that Friar Laurence, Juliet, Romeo, and the other characters in the play believe so strongly in fate and fortune is not surprising, given...
In the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet, the Chorus tells us of an "ancient grudge" between two households of equal dignity that has broken out into a "new mutiny" that will cause blood to flow in the streets of Verona and will ultimately result in the deaths of the "star-cross'd lovers." The Chorus points to the heads of these two families as the source of the strife at hand, the rage of their parents causing the deaths of their children.
We soon learn the surnames of the warring clans, Capulet and Montague, and both patriarchs (as well as their respective ladies) appear in the flesh in the play's first scene.
His letter to Romeo, which details Friar Laurence’s plan for Romeo to pick up Juliet at the Capulet tomb after she has awakened from the effects of the potion, could not be delivered because of the “unfortunate” quarantine of Friar John.
Friar Laurence then has the misfortune of accidentally tripping over gravestones while running to meet Juliet, which delays his arrival until after Romeo has committed suicide.
Although Tybalt of the Capulets is the most aggressive character on the stage, Mercutio's twice-spoken curse, "a plague a' both houses! ll.91, 106), makes it plain that the sides are equally to blame for his death, and by extension, for the tragedy that befalls the lovers.
Beyond this, however, we are never told what the original cause of the war between the Capulets and Montagues was.
Romeo’s belief in fate also affects his interpretation of events.
When Romeo kills Tybalt in Act III, scene i, he claims that he is “fortune’s fool” by having contributed to his own downfall. 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.
Be fickle, Fortune, For then I hope thou wilt not keep him long But send him back” (III, v. Juliet demonstrates here that she not only believes in the power of luck and fate over her own situation, but that Romeo himself has faith in those concepts.
Friar Laurence also shows his belief in the power of destiny over people.