Importance of Friar Laurence: Romeo and Juliet

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Baz Luhrmann, Romeo + Juliet Pages: 2 (608 words) Published: October 4, 2013
Friar Lawrence is a very important character in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because he is the sole figure of religion in the play, allowing us to infer a lot about the role religion played in daily life and Shakespeare’s views on it. In the play, the Nurse addresses the Friar as ‘lord’. This metaphor illustrates how religion was a major part of people’s lives at the time the play was set. When referring to Jesus we would often use the term ‘lord’; the same way that the Nurse refers to the Friar. The fact that a catholic priest has knowledge about poisons capable of faking death is out of place, thus making the reader question why he has this knowledge. The fact that the Friar has devised this plan, which could be described as a cure, if very similar to the way Jesus would help people in biblical times. Another piece of evidence to show this is how Romeo always compares his experiences with Juliet using a religious term. He says he’d like to ‘worship’ her body and refers to her as a ‘saint’ when they first meet in the play. Contrastingly, the Friar uses marriage as a way to help create peace in the city which you would not expect from a priest. Instead, you would expect him to marry them because they love each other and not to use them as a tool to get what he wants. This could show how people had started to lose their faithfulness at the time of the play. During the Renaissance era when ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is set society would have been dominated by Catholicism but this shows that there may have been a little more freedom of speech and thought in society. Shakespeare has done this in order to express his views on religion, allowing us to infer that he is against the idea of religion and the way it can control people’s lives. It also shows us that the grip that religion has on society has loosened. Similarly, in the Baz Lurmann film version of the play, the Friar is also portrayed as the sole figure representing religion. Firstly, we see the Friar with a transparent white...
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