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How important is the character of Friar Lawrence to the plot and dramatic quality of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How important is the character of Friar Lawrence to the plot and dramatic quality of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? In my essay I will be writing about the vitality of Friar Lawrence's role, this includes how he fitted into the whole plot, what dramatic effect he had on the audience and most importantly I will be writing about the three main parts of his role. Friar Lawrence is a crucial character in the play "Romeo and Juliet." The play was written by the famous "William Shakespeare" circa 1600 AD. The play is about two "star crossed lovers" living in the town of Verona who come from two great leading families who absolutely feel hatred for one another. These two families, Montague and Capulet have been bought up in conflict against one another as a part of an ever-lasting feud between the two leading members of the two most important families of Verona. The first time Romeo and Juliet see each other is at an annual party that is held at the Capulet's mansion. As it is a masquerade party Romeo manages to sneak in. it is here that Romeo first sees Juliet and they fall in love at first sight. From then on Romeo constantly meets Juliet at her mansion in secret. ...read more.

Middle

He tells her to go home and pretend to her family everything is fine by telling her father that she'll go ahead with the wedding. The Friar also tells her to drink his potion the night before the wedding. "Hold, then. Go home, be merry; give consent to marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow. Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone; Let not the nurse lie with thee in thy chamber. Take thou dis distilled liquor drink thou off; when presently through all thy veins shall run a cold and drowsy humour." The Friars plan was for Juliet to take the potion the night before the wedding to appear dead the morning after. This would relieve her of her marriage with Paris. They would have the funeral and lay her body along side her dead cousin Tybalt inside her family tomb. The Friar would then send Romeo a letter explaining his plan, telling Romeo to return from Mantua to Verona and await his loved to wake up in his arms before escaping to Mantua free of their parents, to live happily ever after. "Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift; and hither shall he come, and he and I will watch thy waking, and that very night shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua." ...read more.

Conclusion

He does this because he does not want both families to find out that he was responsible for the death of Romeo and that he was acting against the wishes of their parents. Juliet then pulls for Romeo's dagger and stabs herself. It took the deaths of two innocent people to cease this ancient feud, to finally see sense. In the Friar running out of the tomb and leaving Juliet alone, brings the play to a climax. The effect this would have on an audience would be shocking because the audience would expect the Friar to own up to what he did instead of running away from his mistakes and not talking the blame for causing this tragedy. I believe that the Friar should not be criticised for having helped out Romeo and Juliet because he was doing it for a good cause which was to put an end to the feud between both families and bring them together in piece. On the other hand he did not uphold the Christian values of a Christian church which the audience and myself would have expected, he should have been straight with Romeo and Juliet and have advised them to be honest with their parents instead of helping them act in secret behind their backs. It was the Friars three main parts of his role which bought the play to a climax and left the audience eager to find out what would happen next bringing them closer to the play. ...read more.

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