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Minor Characters in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Minor Characters in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In many cases throughout history, a major event occurs because many people contribute to it. Sometimes their involvement is intentional, and sometimes it isn't. Classic literature often shows the involvement of minor characters with or without their knowledge. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, many minor characters unwittingly aid in causing the deaths of the title characters. Characters like Tybalt have no idea what is going on. Others like Friar Lawrence knowingly involve themselves, but mean no harm. And members of a third party like the Chorus know exactly what is happening and often cause it themselves. Friar Lawrence, Tybalt, and the Chorus were all responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but in different ways. In this tragic story, the duels between Mercutio, Romeo, and Tybalt are the equivalent of a nuclear chain reaction. ...read more.

Middle

For the second unwitting victim of fate, we turn to Friar Lawrence. In the hopes of ending the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, he agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet. That is his first step on the road to culpability. By the end of the story, he is caught between the Prince's law and the wedding vows of the young lovers. In an effort to save the situation, he convinces Juliet to fake her own death. In a classic example of miscommunication, Romeo doesn't hear about this and kills himself in despair. When Friar Lawrence arrives at the scene, it is, of course, too late. Juliet awakens and finds her husband dead; she then stabs herself out of undying love. As the families and the Prince arrive, Friar Lawrence tells them the complete story and takes some of the blame. ...read more.

Conclusion

The words of the Chorus, and through it the author, are directly responsible for the tragic outcome of this play. The ending of any story is determined by the actions of the characters in that story - and, of course, the author. These characters sometimes have no clue that they are part of a plan that will lead to a specific outcome. In the tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the characters of Tybalt, Friar Lawrence, and the Chorus all contribute to the outcome of the story in different ways. In this case, the outcome is the deaths of the title characters. The unknowing contributions of characters like these can change the course of the story. The ending of the story is so incredibly tragic that the Chorus uses the voice of the Prince to make it clear: "For never was a story of more woe/ Than this of Juliet and her Romeo" (V iii 320-21). Wall 2 ...read more.

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