Is Friar Lawrence a Good Man, Evil Character or Simply a Misguided and Bumbling Individual?

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Friar Lawrence plays a strong central character throughout the play, Romeo and Juliet. The Friar is linked to both the Capulet’s and the Montague’s through religion and the church. Friar Lawrence is presented as a “holy man” who is trusted and respected by the community because he is a priest. Friar Lawrence is an advisor and close friend to Romeo. This is apparent when Romeo addresses the Friar as “father” and Friar Lawrence addresses Romeo as his “son.” Romeo goes to Friar Lawrence for help and consolation, for example, when Romeo speaks about Juliet for the first time, Friar Lawrence speaks to him about Rosaline. This shows that their relationship is close as they seem to know a lot about each other and becomes more apparent throughout the play as he influences Romeo’s decisions. This shows the irresponsibility of the Friar as he has broken the stereotype of a regular Friar because he does not always seem to speak to Romeo as a Friar but more so as a friend. Romeo asks Friar Lawrence “that thou consent to marry us to-day.” Friar Lawrence thinks at first that Romeo is moving on too quickly from Rosaline and does not think he is doing the right thing. “Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” Friar Lawrence’s advice seems to be good because he believes that Romeo just says that he loves anyone or says it when he thinks he is in love until the next woman comes along. A Friar would not usually say that to anyone and this is showing that their relationship is unprofessional. Whilst Friars do advise people, this seems to have been unprofessional. Friar Lawrence quickly changes his attitude and decides to unite Romeo and Juliet in marriage. He believes that this will end the feud between their two families. “For this alliance may so happy, to turn your households’ rancour to pure love.” Friar Lawrence’s first motive was to create peace for their families. Friar Lawrence at the same time could have also thought of...
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