The Criminal Responsible For the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet
In the days of old, a friar was a man to be respected and revered for his relationship with God. However there was the occasional servant of the Lord that would abuse this massive amount of respect and use it to obtain his wishes. A main character presented in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Friar Lawrence, is one of these untrustworthy Friars. He is, undoubtedly, responsible for the deaths of the Romeo and Juliet as a result of being too compassionate, manipulative, and deceiving. As a result of being too compassionate, Friar Lawrence makes rash decisions and is undoubtedly to blame for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. For instance, when Juliet discovers that she has no choice but be married to Paris, the Friar attempts to comfort her by saying that “he already knows [her] grief; / It strains [him] past the compass of [his] wits. / [He] hears [she] must, and nothing may prorogue it, on Thursday next be married to County Paris” (IV.i.47-50). Friar Lawrence proves to be a truly compassionate person, as shown with the usage of the hyperbole “past the compass of [his] wits”. Despite the intended exaggeration made by the Friar, this hyperbole proves itself to be true, later in the play, when Friar Lawrence makes many ineffective plots that only lead the star-crossed lovers closer to their deaths. The extent of Friar Lawrence’s compassion is shown, again, when Romeo threatens to kill himself after successfully ending the life of the Capulet, Tybalt. The Friar chides Romeo’s “rude unthankfulness” and explains that “the kind prince hath turned that black word “death” to “banishment”” (III.iii.24-29). The Friar’s exalting tone toward the lightened punishment causes Romeo to reconsider taking his own life and keeps him alive. However, this compassion of keeping Romeo alive only leads to Juliet’s demise after Romeo regains his want to kill himself and succeeds in doing just that. There...
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