Friar Lawrence Is Responsible for the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, Shakespearean tragedy / Pages: 3 (693 words) / Published: Feb 11th, 2011
In the Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, Friar Lawrence was a monk, and a counselor, who came up with intricate plots and concocted a seemingly magical elixir in order to solve problems that the lovers encountered. Friar Lawrence had a profound impact on the outcome of this Shakespearean play; however, in a way that led to catastrophe. There are many factors that caused the deaths of the lovers, but two of the most important were how Friar Lawrence disregarded his own logic, and how he missed numerous opportunities to save the lovers. First of all, Friar Lawrence explicitly knew better than to do many of the things he did. First, he should not have agreed to marry Romeo and Juliet so quickly. Romeo wanted to marry Juliet after knowing her for less than twenty-four hours, which reveals his reckless personality. The friar knew this, because he said "So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes"(II. iii. 67-68). After Romeo protested, he agreed to marry them in order to solve the family feud. However, if he had simply delayed the marriage, Romeo and Juliet would have had more time for courtship, and Friar Lawrence would have had more time to clarify the situation with Capulet and Montague as well. Moreover, he should have taken the time to think about Juliet's dilemma with Paris when she approached him for help. Instead, he was caught off guard by Juliet's threat to commit suicide, because he hastily responded "Hold daughter! I do spy a kind of hope, which craves as desperate an execution as that is desperate to prevent"(IV. i. 68-70), and gave her the vial. He should not have acted so hastily, especially after he told Romeo "Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast"(II. iii. 94-95). All in all, Friar Lawrence should not have allowed pressure from other people to distort his own judgement. Lastly, Friar Lawrence could have prevented the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. For instance, he could have prevented

References: Shakespeare, William. Hardcourt Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet. 2nd ed. Toronto: Hardcourt, 1999.

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