The One to Blame
Who is the one? The one to blame? Oh, who is the one to blame for the deaths of the beloved Romeo and Juliet? The one to blame, would of course be the one who played the biggest role in the sequence of events that led up to the major catastrophe. . Friar Laurence is the one. The Friar is the most responsible; marrying the two, giving Juliet the potion, and not delivering the letter of importance by hand to Romeo. Friar Laurence does not follow the policies of priesthood. Friar Laurence knows Romeo and Juliet are not dealt the same hand of cards when it comes to marriage, but when the lovers ask for his blessing, he still gives his full consent. This is Friar Laurence’s first mistake. During the act, Friar Laurence proclaims, “So smile the heavens upon this holy act that after-hours with sorrow chide us not!” (2.5.1-2). He is asking the heavens to approve of what he has just done, while he still knows within him it is wrong. Friar Laurence does not respect marriage or treat it with the sacred holiness it deserves. Marriage only ties Romeo and Juliet closer together, which the Friar knows can only lead to disaster come the end. Friar Laurence’s selfishness pushes him to leave the Capulet tomb. Anxious to leave, Friar Laurence insists, “Stay not to question, for the watch is coming. Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay” (5.3.171-172). He is so transfixed in the possibility of getting caught that he leaves knowing Juliet will harm herself with him not there. Friar Laurence does not tell the truth to please people, but instead uses mischief as a way of guidance. The Friar gives Juliet the fake-suicide potion to use as an escape from her problems. Leading Juliet away from the idea of actual suicide, “Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself, then it is likely thou wilt undertake a thing like death to chide away this shame, that copest with death himself to scape from it; and if thou darest, I’ll give thee remedy” (4.1.80-81)....
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