Romeo and Juliet Secondary Character Essay

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Gus Williams
4/3/2011
Mrs. Renahan
Secondary Character Essay

The role of secondary characters in works is to support and influence the protagonist and also to symbolically reveal behavioral patterns in human nature. Friar Lawrence in William Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, is an important secondary character and it is shown by how he influences the plot, the development of the main characters, and the play's theme.

Friar Lawrence's influence on the play brings the action to the dramatic end. Without the presence of Friar Lawrence in the play, tragedy would not have occurred. By marrying Juliet and Romeo, the Friar can be blamed for the two deaths in the end of the play; "But come, young waverer, come... for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households' rancor to pure love" (II.iii.94). Friar Lawrence steers Romeo at an untimely point where Romeo is unsure about his position in love, and the Friar hopes that this marriage will have a positive effect on the feuding families. Another example of Friar Lawrence's influence on future events is when he gives Juliet the sleeping potion, which was supposed to be used for good intentions; however, the outcome turned bad. "And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death... and then awake as from a pleasant sleep"(IV.i.107). By bringing the plan to life initially helping Romeo and Juliet be together, Friar Lawrence, whose primary goal was to end the feud, ended up contributing to the double suicide.

Friar Lawrence reveals the immaturity of Romeo, through Romeo's own actions. When Romeo first talks of his newfound love (Juliet), the Friar responds with "Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, so soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes"(II.iii.71). The Friar shows how Romeo does not love truly, but believes that Romeo

loves Juliet for her beauty. Romeo is also noted as a quick and impulsive man. Romeo not only falls in love quickly, but also...
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