The names "Romeo" and "Juliet" have passed in our language as a symbol for love. For centuries, no story of love has been more influential, prominent and emotional than The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. In the extraordinary track of the play, the unconquerable love, heroic actions, and faithful vows of the two lovers finger our hearts hard like a spiky thorn and soft like the delicate silk. Who is to blame for the deaths in the play? Friar Laurence certainly holds the responsibility. He marries the two lovers, offers Juliet to drink the potion, fails to send the letter to Romeo in time,and runs selfishly away from the vault for fear of trouble.
Friar Laurence marries Romeo and Juliet even though he forebodes that this hasty marriage may lead to a catastrophic outcome. When Romeo informs Friar Laurence about his marriage to Juliet, the Friar hesitates because their love emerges too sudden and too unadvised that it may end just as quick: These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume (II, VI, l. 9-11).
The Friar, in particular, questions Romeo's temperament towards love. The love of Romeo to Rosaline shows that Romeo is fickle, superficial and immature towards love: 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, l. 70-72).
Despite these misgivings, Friar Laurence chooses to marry Romeo and Juliet because this may help end the feud: In one respect I'll thy assistant be,
For this alliance may so happy prove
To turn your households' rancor to pure love (II, III, l. 97-99).
Being a religious and holy man, the Friar always believes the good side of things. However, he should have a second thought, for the feud between the two families has been ancient and brutal. Can the alliance of Romeo and Juliet really help to end the feud? If it can't, then is he aggravating the matter by...
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