Friar Lawrence (Ecclesiastical leaders, in addition, should be held to a higher standard.)
1. Self Interest(hidden agenda)
-Friar married them for self interest.(See their household together)
Friar Laurence, through his lack of good judgment, is largely responsible for the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. Rather than being supportive of them and helping them disclose their loving situation, Friar Laurence took the “easy” way out. He succumbed to their desire to elope. He secretly married Romeo and Juliet instead of standing behind them and encouraging them to confront their families with the facts about their commitment to and love for each other. As a result, an even stronger bond between them was created through marriage: "For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone / Till holy church incorporate two in one" (2.6.36-37). Friar Laurence married Romeo and Juliet, hoping that their union would bring an end to the constant feuding between their two families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Though the friar’s intentions were good and above reproach, they were certainly missteps along a pathway to tragedy. None of the tragedies would have occurred if Romeo and Juliet were not married Friar Laurence was the instigator of all these woeful events; he started the tragedies by marrying Romeo and Juliet.
In the beginning, the Friar thinks that "...this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households' rancor to pure love." (II iv 91-92) Which shows that the Friar has a slight hope of their marriage possibly working. Therefore, he decides to marry the two lovers. However, as time moves on, the Friar lets on that he has regrets about the marriage. The Friar feels that "Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow." (II vi 15) In other words, the Friar means that he senses that this whole wedding is happening too fast and starts to have second thoughts. If the Friar had thought this important decision clearly through, he may have prevented many future tragedies. Therefore, the Friar knows all along that, "These violent delights have violent ends." (II vi 9) The Friar knew that this is an impossible situation, which if made possible by himself will without a doubt end up in tragedy in one way or another. Without the Friar the two lovers would not have been married, which would have prevented both depressions and future problems to come.
2. Irresponsible (They are the adults; Romeo and Juliet are just children) Short-sighted plans -Shouldn’t give Juliet the potion
-Letting Friar John send the letter to Romeo
Even after Mercutio's death and Romeo's banishment, Friar Laurence did not see the destructiveness of Romeo and Juliet's marriage. Instead he continued to attempt to keep Romeo and Juliet together. The plan he concocted for this, however, was shortsighted, poorly thought out, and risky. Friar Laurence devised the plan in haste and in desperation because Juliet was there in the friar’s presence threatening suicide rather than marry Paris. “Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it. / If, in thy wisdom thou canst give no help, / Do but call my resolution wise, / And with this knife I'll help it presently" (4.1.51-54). To appease Juliet, Friar Laurence gave her a potion to consume that would enable her to feign death, thereby averting marriage to Paris. He, meanwhile would send a note to Romeo informing him of the hoax that was being perpetrated on the Capulets and Paris, and asking Romeo to meet him at the graveyard where Juliet would greet them alive and well. Unfortunately, the message never arrived. This was revealed when Friar John told Friar Laurence, " I could not send it, here it is again / Nor get a messenger to bring it thee" (5.2.14-15). Friar Laurence obviously had not told the messenger the importance of the letter reaching Romeo. And, if Friar Laurence had followed the original agreement he made with Romeo: "Sojourn in Mantua; I'll find out your man, / Every...