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How Far is Friar Lawrence to Blame for the Tragedy in "Romeo & Juliet"?

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Introduction

How Far is Friar Lawrence to Blame for the Tragedy in "Romeo & Juliet"? When we first meet Friar Lawrence (???), he appears to be picking flowers and herbs. He shows us he has a deeper understanding of the characteristics of herbs and how everything has a good and bad side: "Within the infant rind of this weak flower Poison hath residence and medecine power." This also relates to the families of Romeo and Juliet. It dramatically hints about the bad things to come such as the death of one of the family members. The audience develops the idea of Friar Lawrence acting as a father to Romeo: "Good morrow, father." The noun 'father' indicates how close the relationship between them is and how he goes beyond his role of being a Friar. I think that this isn't right act of Friar and it might lead to trouble. He also seems to be able to judge people: "Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night." This makes the Friar seem to have special abilities, which may help in later events. I think that Friar Lawrence is not to blame, this far into the play because he is acting out of his own good will. When Romeo tells Friar Lawrence about his love towards Juliet, he is shocked: "Holy Saint Francis what a change is here!" In the same speech that he delivers this line, he changes his mind into thinking it is a good idea: "To turn your households' rancour to pure love." ...read more.

Middle

He appears to be in a dilemma when Paris is discussing arrangements for his wedding: "On Thursday, sir? The time is very short." He tries to persuade Paris that the marriage is moving to fast. When Juliet enters the cell, Friar Lawrence uses the chance to get rid of Paris: "My lord, we must entreat the time alone." This shows how the Friar is eager to deal with Paris to give him time to think of another plan. He is to blame at the moment because he has now put himself in a larger problem When Paris leaves, Friar Lawrence informs Juliet that he has tried, but could not come up with a plan to postpone the arranged wedding: "It strains me past the compass of my wits." The noun 'compass' relates to direction, which shows us how he has lost that sense. He also seems embroiled because of all the stress upon him. When he tells Juliet that he is unable to postpone the wedding, she threatens to commit suicide: "Be not so long to speak; I long to die." This dramatically echoes what Romeo says to the Friar in act III, scene 3 where he also tries to commit suicide. Again we see that the Friar is not to blame because he is being honest but doesn't know what to do Along the same lines, Friar Lawrence thinks of a third plan, which is even more erratic and improbable than the previous two: "Hold, daughter: I do spy a kind of hope." ...read more.

Conclusion

In the same speech he makes another plan to try and save her and save himself: "Come, I'll dispose of thee Among a sisterhood of holy nuns." When Juliet refuses to run away with the Friar, he flees by himself and leaves her to commit suicide. At the moment, the audience would be frustrated at him because of his cowardly actions. On stage, this would create a mounting sense of doom, which is the point of a tragic play. Friar Lawrence seems to magnify the sense of tragedy. We see that he is to blame at this point. When Friar Lawrence and Balthasar are brought forward to the Prince, Friar Lawrence informs him that he is responsible for the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet: "I am the greatest able to do least, Yet most suspected, as the time and place Doth make against me, of this direful murder; And here I stand, both to impeach and purge, Myself condemned and myself excused." He pleads guilty but at the same time innocent. We think that he tries to make the Prince feel sorry for him and it works in the end: "We have still known thee for a holy man." Overall we see that the play rotates around Friar Lawrence and that he is an agent of the drama. From my point of view, I think that Friar Lawrence is to blame because despite his honorable intentions, he could have done something to stop the tragedy from happening. Friar Lawrence's character changes dramatically as well as his use of language and dramatic significance. Yazan Honjol 10B ...read more.

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