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"We still have known thee for a holy man" - Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

"We still have known thee for a holy man" Friar Lawrence Coursework Assignment In this play, Friar Lawrence is shown to be a wise and sympathetic man in a number of ways. One good aspect of his character is the fact that he is sympathetic and looks out for Romeo, caring for him almost as a son. When Romeo comes to Friar Lawrence, with his tales of his new found love for Juliet, the Friar instantly has sympathy with him and tries to understand Romeo's predicament. "But come young waverer, come go with me" It is clear that Romeo values Friar Lawrence's opinion, this shows how Friar Lawrence must have some positive qualities as he would not have gone to him if he did not value and respect the Friar's opinion. Thus Romeo has clearly decided that the Friar has a valuable opinion, that he respects and cherishes. The Friar is clearly sympathetic to Romeo and is capable of understanding that although he has only just changed his mind about who he loves it is still possible that he is truly in love with Juliet. ...read more.

Middle

Thus it must be asked of Friar Lawrence how he managed to overlook such glaring deficiencies in the foundations in which the marriage is grounded. The Friar is again taking an idealistic, if not foolhardy view of the way in which things are likely to end. Maybe it is possible that he is prepared to take the risk for personal gain, in ending the feud. Friar Lawrence even warns Romeo that the marriage shouldn't be rushed but is still prepared to contradict himself by rushing the marriage through. Friar Lawrence is again demonstrating a lack of the clinical judgement that he needs to demonstrate if events are not to proceed in the way that they do in the play. Friar Lawrence's opening soliloquy is used to demonstrate his expansive knowledge of the natural world around him, using horticulture as a metaphor for the rest of the world. "For nought so vile on the earth doth live, But to the earth some special good doth give" This is again showing his wide expertise in all that is in the world and shows us that Friar Lawrence's knowledge in human nature and herbs is second to none. ...read more.

Conclusion

All in all, I think that Friar Lawrence is a wise and sympathetic priest who has his heart in the right place, though his character has some serious flaws. He is a good man who was na�ve in his judgement that the good side in human nature would allow the marriage to be carried through sagely, even though he made comments about the bad points of human nature that came back to haunt him later on. His lack of careful judgement when he gave Juliet the sleeping potion showed that he hadn't really fully considered the consequences of his actions before he decided to give Juliet the potion. Friar Lawrence also made the error of not telling Friar John of the extreme importance of his mission, if Friar John had known the full consequences of his task then he may have been able to pass on the correct information to Romeo in time to prevent his tragic suicide. Perhaps the best commendation of the Friar's character is the Prince of Verona's judgement at the end of the play, "We still have known thee for a holy man" and although this is perhaps symbolic of the high social esteem in which clergy were held in the middle ages, it is more likely a judgement of a wise and sympathetic priest. ...read more.

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