Friar Lawrence- Friend or Foe?
An Examination of Friar Lawrence’s Role in Romeo & Juliet
Tuesday, October 25th 2010
Romeo and Juliet is a remarkable play. Besides it being magnificently written, it is also exceptional because of its enduring relevance and fascinating characters. As the tragic story of two young lovers unfolds, the importance of each character’s role in the play becomes noticeable; especially that of Friar Lawrence. Friar Lawrence provides the pathways which direct the destinies of Romeo, and his bride-to-be, Juliet. This holy man opens many windows for Romeo and Juliet even though many of the ideas he supports and suggests contradict the desires of the Montague’s and Capulet’s (excluding those of Romeo and Juliet). This connection with Romeo and Juliet plants the roots for his character to grow, making him all the more intriguing and compelling. What makes him such a key character is his ability to give Romeo and Juliet opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise and how his choices affect their fates. Unfortunately these opportunities bring on terrible misfortunes that end up creating, and concluding the tragic story, his good intentions end up having horrific influences on the lives of others... Or were they good intentions? The most powerful man of all, who some may consider an unimportant character, once controlled numerous lives in the palm of his hand.
When Romeo and Juliet meet, and fall in love, they go to Friar Lawrence in hope that he will marry them against their parents’ wishes. You can immediately infer from this that Friar Lawrence is trusted and respected. Friar does not agree with the children’s wishes, but ends up marrying them because he wants to end the feud between both of their families. Friar Lawrence: “... In one respect I’ll thy assistant be,
for this alliance may so happy prove,
to turn your households' rancor to pure love.” (2.3.90-93) This action shows positive...
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