Romeo and Juliet is a play based on love, fate, change and tragedy. It tracks the story of two lovers from opposing families who are involved in an ancient feud, to their death. As in most stories, the major characters play an important role, since the decisions which they make, create the tragic outcome. Yet, the minor characters also have a good deal of influence over the ultimate destinies of Romeo and Juliet.  The first minor character to be mentioned should be Tybalt. He was a bitter enemy of Romeo and, had he not been slain, Romeo would never have been banished. In Act 3, Scene 1, Tybalt kills Mercutio when Romeo attempts to come between the combatants and avert the fight. In a blind rage, Romeo kills Tybalt. "And in my temper soften'd valours see!" Had Romeo not decided to exact revenge on Tybalt, perhaps the Capulets might have accepted him as a son. This would mean that Romeo and Juliet would not have had to hide their love for each other. Tybalt, indeed, had a serious effect on  the lives of Romeo and Juliet, by killing Mercutio.  Another minor character, thought to have shaped the destinies of Romeo and Juliet, is Paris. In Act 3, Scene 5, Lady Capulet announces that Juliet is to marry Paris. "The County Paris, at Saint Peter's church, Shall happily make thee there a joyful  bride." Juliet obviously refuses and goes to Friar Laurence for help. Friar Laurence devises a plan which will prevent the marriage and reunite Romeo with Juliet. However, this plan goes horribly wrong, perhaps causing the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. If  Paris had not wished to be with Juliet, none of the following would have occurred.  Friar Laurence gives a letter to Friar John to send to Romeo about Juliet's plans. But Friar John was unable to find Romeo. "Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, so fearful were they of infection". This is another example of a minor character playing an important role.  Balthasar brings Romeo the news of Juliet's "death." Romeo then goes to Juliet's tomb and lays with her that night. He looks for an apothecary to sell him some poison, and succeeds. Had the apothecary refused to sell him the poison, Romeo might have been  delayed, giving Friar Laurence time to find him and tell him the truth.  The above paragraphs are simply speculation on what might or might not have happened, but it does help explain the view that the minor characters helped shape the destiny of Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps their deaths could not be prevented. Maybe Romeo and Juliet were 'pawns' in a game to end their families' ancient feud. It is possible that a higher force was at work here - fate. One thing is known for certain, there has never been a "story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo."