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No story can unfold without its backdrop characters to act out the will of its writer. In Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, it is evident that such characters that are key to the development of plot, theme

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Introduction

No story can unfold without its backdrop characters to act out the will of its writer. In Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, it is evident that such characters that are key to the development of plot, theme, and character development. In Romeo and Juliet, they are Friar Lawrence, Lord Capulet, and Prince Escalus. Firstly, Friar Lawrence, as a man closely tied to religion, is given a pivotal role in the story of Romeo and Juliet. As a priest Friar Lawrence is able to marry Romeo to Juliet, and by doing so inadvertently set the plot of the story of Romeo and Juliet into its tragic, downward spiral. In conclusion to his verbal agreement to Romeo's request, Friar Lawrence says, "this alliance may so happy prove/To turn your households' rancor to pure love."(II.iii.98-99). In his hopes that the marriage will resolve the Capulets' and Montagues' feud, Friar Lawrence does not have the foresight to make arrangements in the event that Juliet's parents schedule an arranged marriage. Prior to the marriage itself, Shakespeare chooses to foreshadow the tragic end of his story by having Friar Lawrence remark, "These violent delights have violent ends/And in triumph die, like fire and powder,/Which as they kiss, consume."(II.vi.9-11). ...read more.

Middle

Being the father of Juliet, the decision of whether or not one may marry her is ideally his decision because of the society the play takes place within. Initially his view upon Paris's request to marry Juliet was more modern than was common of people in the age the play is in, and he decides that she should be older before she is married. Lord Capulet's instincts when Juliet becomes depressed lead him to believe that she is weeping because her cousin, Tybalt, is dead, so he decides to marry her to Paris, believing the marriage will make her happy again. When Juliet refuses to marry Paris, Lord Capulet's rage drives his character's modernized personality into an overbearing one with the common attitude of the time, that a daughter is her father's property and must obey his wishes. After this change he says, "hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,/For by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,/Nor what is mine shall never do thee good."(III.v.204-206). In saying this, Lord Capulet has placed Juliet into the position where she has to decide within a few days between giving up her way of life to be with Romeo, or forgetting about him and marrying Paris to keep her family pleased. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once the Prince comes and declares that Romeo is banished, Friar Lawrence later tells Romeo resulting in an emotional episode from him. When he hears that he is banished he reacts poorly to the softening of his punishment, after which Friar Lawrence remarks, "Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art./Thy tears are womanish;"(III.iii.199-120). In saying this Friar Lawrence highlights the immaturity of Romeo's reaction to Prince Escalus's gift to Romeo. Although responsible for the law that divides Romeo from Juliet, the Prince's presence in the story is that of a bystander to the conflict between the Capulets and Montagues, giving him the perspective to say, "See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,/ That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love,"(V.iii.302-303). In saying this he has summarized and highlighted the moral Lord Capulet and Lord Montague have learned from their children's deaths, which in turn is the theme of the story. Therefore, Prince Escalus is an imposing character within the play important to its plot, Romeo's character development, and theme. In conclusion, the secondary characters of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare are characters whom make large contributions to the plot, and the development of characters and the theme. The three characters proven to have such an effect are Friar Lawrence, Lord Capulet, and Prince Escalus. ...read more.

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