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Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Capulet Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: October 19, 2014
To begin, Friar Lawrence’s impulsive actions of marrying Romeo and Juliet and giving Juliet the sleeping potion result in the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet; had he listened to his initial instincts, tragedy could have been averted. First, Friar Lawrence agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet in an impulsive decision that goes against his initial reaction to Romeo’s request. When Friar Lawrence is introduced in Act II, his opening soliloquy shows a balanced character who recognizes the “two […] opposed” or dual qualities present not only in nature, but in human nature (II.iii.28). He reflects on the fine line between virtue and vice, but lets his own vice of impulsiveness interfere with his own good instincts. For example, when Romeo reveals to Friar Lawrence that his love for Rosaline has been suddenly replaced by love for Juliet, he is shocked: “Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!” (II.ii.69). His initial instinct is that Romeo has switched his affection too quickly. Yet, a mere twenty-three lines (of the Friar’s dialogue) later, he agrees to be Romeo’s “assistant” in marrying Juliet (II.ii.97). Cardullo asserts that the Friar agreed without “considering fully the consequences of such a secret marriage between members of feuding families” (63). Of course, the ultimate consequence is the deaths of Romeo and Juliet and this first impulsive action is the beginning of many for Friar Lawrence. The most detrimental impulsive action the Friar commits is providing Juliet with the sleeping potion even though he initially counsels her to accept this turn of events. When Juliet, in desperation, comes to Friar Lawrence’s cell for advice after she finds out about her impending marriage to Paris, he first tells her that “nothing may prorogue it” (IV.i.49). However, after “hearing her declare that she will kill herself, […] he says, ‘Hold, Daughter’” (Cardullo 61). He responds to her impulsivity by impulsively offering a “remedy” that will make it look...
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