friar laurence

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo Montague Pages: 2 (570 words) Published: November 7, 2013
Friar Lawrence

Friar Lawrence occupies a strange position in Romeo and Juliet. He is a kindhearted cleric who helps Romeo and Juliet throughout the play. He performs their marriage and gives generally good advice, especially in regard to the need for moderation. He is the sole figure of religion in the play. But Friar Lawrence is also the most scheming and political of characters in the play: he marries Romeo and Juliet as part of a plan to end the civil strife in Verona; he spirits Romeo into Juliet’s room and then out of Verona; he devises the plan to reunite Romeo and Juliet through the deceptive ruse of a sleeping potion that seems to arise from almost mystic knowledge. This mystical knowledge seems out of place for a Catholic friar; why does he have such knowledge, and what could such knowledge mean? The answers are not clear. In addition, though Friar Lawrence’s plans all seem well conceived and well intentioned, they serve as the main mechanisms through which the fated tragedy of the play occurs. Readers should recognize that the Friar is not only subject to the fate that dominates the play—in many ways he brings that fate about. Friar Laurence Character Analysis

A mentor to both Romeo and Juliet, Friar Laurence constantly advises them to act with more caution and moderation. But Friar Laurence’s own plans to help Romeo and Juliet end in tragedy. This makes Friar Laurence one of the most complex and interesting characters in the play: we don’t know if he should be blamed or not. The Zeffirelli film version of Romeo and Juliet highlights the irony of the Friar’s role in the play. When the Friar tells Romeo, "Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast," it is the Friar, not Romeo, who trips over his feet immediately afterwards (2.3.101). We think the Friar is running a little too fast in his haste to use these kids (that would be Romeo and Juliet) as tools to patch up a hopeless family feud.

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