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How far do you think Friar Lawrence is to Blame for the Tragic Events at the End of the Play?

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Introduction

C/W 06/04/2004 How far do you think Friar Lawrence is to Blame for the Tragic Events at the End of the Play? Friar Lawrence is an intelligent herbalist with great knowledge of plants and a father figure to Romeo. He is the confidant to Romeo and Romeo would rather come to Friar Lawrence than to his father. Friar Lawrence is a pivotal person in Romeos world. Romeo comes to the Friar to marry Romeo and Juliet and after this he kills Tybalt and is banished. He then relies on the Friar to sort out the problem and to rejoin Romeo and Juliet. The Friar is aware of the feuding between the two families and when Romeo comes to see whether the Friar with marry Romeo and Juliet the Friar thinks he can turn the "households rancour to pure love"1. The Friar thinks he is vital to the joining of the two families as he is asked to give advice by members of all families: Romeo, Juliet, Paris and the Nurse. It could be argued that Friar Lawrence is partly responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet as he performs many actions throughout the play that speed up the fated demise of Romeo and Juliet, including their marriage, even though he is doing this with good intentions. He is not entirely to blame though as the Friar did not kill Tybalt and did not abandon Juliet when things began to go wrong, nor did he start the feud between the two families or have a hand in fate. We first see him in Act 2 Scene 3 where he is talking about plants and their seemingly magical properties and displays a great knowledge of plants. This information is important, as it is needed to believe events at the end of the play. Romeo then rushes in explaining that he doesn't love Rosaline anymore: "With Rosaline, my ghostly father? ...read more.

Middle

The Friar raises a small objection that Romeo has changed love so quickly that the love cannot be real but again fake like the love he had for Rosaline: "Is Rosaline that thou didst love so dear So soon forsaken? Young men's love lies Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes."24 Romeo brushes away the advice from the wise Friar saying that the Friar had told him off for loving Rosaline. Romeo also killed Tybalt after Tybalt had killed Mercutio25 (who is Romeos best friend): "Romeo away, be gone! The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain." This violent outrage of Romeos is typical of Romeo. He is under a lot of emotional pressure because of the wedding. The fact that Tybalt killed Mercutio just tipped Romeo over the safe limit of emotions and the way he released it was Tybalts doom. This is a cause of the tragedy at the end of the play because if Romeo had controlled his emotions and not killed Tybalt then the Prince would not have banished him and there would have been no need for the third plan of the Friar's that led to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet at the end of the play. Another example of Romeos impatientness getting the better of him is when he receives the news from Balthazar that Juliet is dead: "Her body sleeps in Capel's monument, And her immortal part with angels lives..."26 When Romeo hears this news he acts very quickly and decisively, he asks for paper, ink and some horses to take to Verona that night. He does not stop when Balthazar suggests that they should and if any news comes from the Friar, but this is Romeo in one of his mood swings and nothing could change his mind. This is a new type of Romeo that has not been seen yet, he acts with conviction and he knows what he wants to do. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fate used the different characters to a different degree but its ultimate aim was the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Its greatest agent was the Friar and however hard he had tried he could never have stopped the ending of the play. So Friar Lawrence is mostly to blame for the deaths but his actions and the actions of the rest of the characters were governed by one force, the force of fate. Tim Greenfield 1 Act 2 Scene 3 line 92 2 Act 2 Scene 3 lines 45-46 3 Act 1 Scene 1 line 174 4 Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 100-101 5 Act 2 Scene 2 Line 92 6 Act 3 scene 3 Lines 10-11 7 Act 3 Scene 3 Line 17 8 Act 3 Scene 3 Lines 19-21 9 Act 3 Scene 3 Line 109 10 Act 3 Scene 3 Line 150 11 Act 3 Scene 3 Line 59 12 Act 4 scene 1 Line 68 13 Act 4 Scene 1 Lines 72-76 14 Act 4 Scene 1 Line 76 15 Act 4 Scene 1 line 94 16 Act 4 Scene 1 Line 98 17 Act 4 Scene 1 Line 106 18 Act 4 Scene 1 Line 118 19 Act 5 Scene 3 Lines 153-154 20 Act 5 Scene 3 Lines 158-159 21 Act 2 Scene 2 Line 127 22 Act 2 Scene 2 Line 118 23 Act 2 Scene 2 Line 12 24 Act 2 Scene 3 Lines 66-68 25 Act 3 Scene 1 Lines 136-137 26 Act 5 Scene 1 Lines 18-19 27 Act 5 Scene 1 Lines 60-61 28 Act 4 Scene 1 Line 121 29 Act 3 Scene 5 Lines 161-162 30 Act 1 Scene 1 Line 69 31 Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 68-69 32 Act 3 Scene 5 Lines 217-218 33 Act 3 Scene 1 Lines 175-177 34 Prologue Line 6 35 Act 3 Scene 1 Line 136 36 Act 1 Scene 4 Lines 107-108 + 112-114 37 Act 5 Scene 1 Line 24 ...read more.

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