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Discuss with close reference to the text how far you consider Friar Lawrence to be responsible for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Discuss with close reference to the text how far you consider Friar Lawrence to be responsible for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet How far is Friar Lawrence responsible for Romeo and Juliet's deaths? With close reference to the text, it can be found that Friar Lawrence is responsible for the tragic deaths, but it can also be argued that, fate would have intervened and Romeo and Juliet would still have ended their lives under tragic circumstances Friar Lawrence is an Elizabethan monk, he would have been greatly respected by all citizens. Also many people would have thought of him as a wise and honest man, one who was close with God. The audience when this play was first performed would have believed in superstition, fate, religion and life after death. They would have noticed Irony and superstition a lot better then the majority of people today, and would have found the jokes and irony in the play amusing. In Act II scene 3 we find out that Friar Lawrence's favourite hobby is looking at plants and using their properties for helping people, mainly making medicines. He tells the audience about the good and bad sides of plants, and that some can act as medicines but some can contain deadly poison, this should be noticed by the audience. The audience should realise that poison will be a big part of the play. "Within the infant rind of this weak flower Poison hath residence and medicine power: For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part; Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart." Lines 19 - 22 This part means that in this flower there is poison, the smell of the flower is nice, but if you eat the flower it will kill you. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo heads off to say goodbye to Juliet. Meanwhile Capulet arranges the wedding for Juliet to Paris they both agree on Thursday. This puts more pressure on the Friar to get a plan to help Romeo and Juliet. It also shows the harshness and lack of thought Lord Capulet gives to his daughter Juliet. "Monday! Ha ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon. A' Thursday let it be, a' Thursday, tell her, She shall be married to this noble earl. Will you be ready? Do you like this haste? This shows that Capulet has more thought for how Paris feels about the early wedding, than how Juliet feels about being married to Paris. This proves that all the blame should not be placed just on Friar Lawrence. Also some blame on Lord Capulet, as his stubbornness and lack of thought for his daughter, indirectly killed Romeo, Juliet, Paris and it may be argued that he also is slightly responsible for the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio. I think this because if he had not forced Juliet into marriage, the Friar would not have needed to use such a risky plan and could have announced their wedding. "Hang thee young baggage, disobedient wretch! I tell thee what - get thee to church a' Thursday Or never after look me in the face." Lines 160 - 163 In Act IV Scene 1 Paris has arrived at Friar Lawrence's cell to make arrangements for the wedding, the Friar is desperately trying to postpone the wedding without making it obvious. "You say you do not know the lady's mind. Uneven is the course. I like it not." ...read more.

Conclusion

He exits the tomb and leaves her alone, for the Watch or others to find her, I think this is a very cowardice move. This shows that Friar Lawrence cares too much about himself. Juliet after failing to find any poison from the vial Romeo drank from, she stabs herself. After searching the graveyard, the Watch find Friar Lawrence and tell him to say what happened. Friar Lawrence speaks the truth but bends it, to make him sound innocent. "And she, too desperate, would not go with me" Line 263 Friar Lawrence in my opinion did not spend enough time with Juliet after she awoke, he should have tried a bit harder to get her thinking straight and to leave with him. She had just seen her husband dead so she would have been herself. In conclusion I think that no single person could be held fully responsible for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. I found out that Friar Lawrence towards the end of the play became very two faced and only cared about himself, most likely because he realised he was in too deep and panicked. He did seem however to have a caring and understanding into the wellbeing of Romeo and Juliet. Also Lord Capulet can be blamed as well, if he had not forced Juliet into marrying Paris things would have been a lot better and the marriage of Romeo and Juliet may have brought peace to the too families. Instead Lord Capulet's lack of thought and respect for his daughter's well being ended up in many indirect deaths. I personally think that Friar Lawrence and Lord Capulet are responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but fate could well have taken place and these star crossed lovers may still have died. Thomas Walmsley Page 1 ...read more.

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