Importance of Friar Lawrence

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Marriage, Characters in Romeo and Juliet Pages: 4 (992 words) Published: May 3, 2015
`Cate Chisholm
Pd 1 Goldberg

The Significance Of Friar Lawrence

“Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast” (2.3.101). These are just a few words of wisdom that were given by Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet. Friar Lawrence is a very important secondary character, if not the most. He has an important role in the Church, and is also a father figure to both Romeo and Juliet. Throughout the play he gives advice that alters the play significantly. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Friar Lawrence plays a very prominent role, affecting the plot of the play, development of other characters, and multiple themes.

Friar Lawrence does many things to assist Romeo and Juliet during the play, but he also does a few things that speeds up their deaths. An indirect way he sped up their deaths was creating the intricate plan of faking Juliet’s death. It was well intentioned, but after numerous unplanned incidents, it ends up doing more harm than good. Romeo never received the letter containing vital information on the fake death, and therefore believes Juliet is dead, saying, “O my love, my wife, death, that hath sucked the honey from thy breath hath had no power yet upon thy beauty” (5.3.91-3). He ends up committing suicide. Without Friar Lawrence’s plan, Romeo never would’ve been tricked into believing Juliet was dead and killing himself. No matter how well intentioned, Friar Lawrence’s plan was a huge disaster. In the last scene of the play, Friar Lawrence asks Juliet to leave the monument where her dead husband lays, and she says no. Friar Lawrence says nothing else and leaves her there. He knew that she would do anything for Romeo, and now since he was dead, she could very well be suicidal. Yet he just left her in there, without another word of persuasion. Just seconds after he leaves, she says, “Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end. O churl, drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after! I will kiss thy lips” (5.3.167-9), and kills...
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