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Starting with Act 2 Scene 3 how far do you think Friar Lawrence is responsible for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Starting with Act 2 Scene 3 how far do you think Friar Lawrence is responsible for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet? Romeo and Friar Lawrence are portrayed as having a trusting relationship, and Romeo often consults Friar Lawrence for advice. At the beginning of the play in act 1 scene 1, Romeo is perceived as weak. He behaves differently to what we consider the stereotypical tragic hero in a play. This is clear when Montague informs Benvolio that Romeo goes out, "With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew." This quotation reflects the fact that Romeo is an emotional character. As dew is already wet and his tears augment it, it shows that he is truly crying and not just sobbing. Romeo may be crying as he feels under attack from love. This is when he is in love with Rosaline. The issue of weakness comes from Romeo crying, when we see him as a relatively strong tragic hero later on in the play. Shakespeare may have shown Romeo like this to reveal his vulnerable state, which could contribute to the tragic ending. Romeo has an impulsive personality quite like Friar Lawrence. We see this in many scenes, but in particular Act 1 scene 5, when Romeo sees Juliet and instantly falls in love with her. He talks about Juliet as being better than everything else. "O she doth teach the torches to burn bright." ...read more.

Middle

He figures that for her to fake her own death would cause fewer problems than if she was actually dead. Friar Lawrence's plan did not work, this is because the message he sent did not reach Romeo. The audience may think that the message not reaching Romeo was outside of Friar Lawrence's control. Others may argue that he should have taken precautions to make sure Romeo received the message. Shakespeare may have shown Friar Lawrence's "good intentions" to prove he is not entirely responsible for the tragic end to the play. Towards the end of the play the character of Friar Lawrence is portrayed differently, as he selfishly puts himself first, leaving Juliet to kill herself. You could argue that Shakespeare shows him like this to show the cowardliness in him. Others may say that calling Friar Lawrence a coward is too strong, as he has helped Romeo and Juliet throughout the play. Tybalt is the main encourager of the on going family feud between the Montagues and the Capulets. He narrows the intensity and desire of hatred of all Montagues to just Romeo. In act 1 scene 5 Tybalt describes Romeo to Capulet as, "A villain that is hither come in spite." This is when Tybalt has seen Romeo at the Capulet ball and wanted to fight him, but Capulet stops him. The use of the word 'villain' proves Tybalt's hatred of Romeo. This is because in the 1600's when Shakespeare wrote this play, to call someone a villain was a huge insult. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet after Tybalt's death in Act 3 scene 5, Capulet is irate with his daughter for refusing to marry. He shouts at her, "Hang thee, young baggage disobedient wretch!" This shows Capulet's hypocritical side, as originally he says Juliet can't marry for another two years. It also shows that he has a quick and bad temper that he can't control. Capulet forcing Juliet to marry against her will, shows the stigma attached to woman at the time when 'Romeo and Juliet' was written, as women were seen as inferior to men. Juliet has no say in who she marries, yet Paris is allowed to choose Juliet like an object. Capulet calling his own daughter "young baggage" and "disobedient wretch" shows how angry and bad tempered he really is. Shakespeare may have added Capulet's Character to the play, to show the "inequality" towards woman at the time. Others may argue that his Character is added to show Juliet as a victim throughout the play. Capulet's anger is what eventually leads to Juliet going to Friar Lawrence and receiving the potion. In my opinion, Friar Lawrence did have a level of responsibility for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, but you can't blame just one character or factor. There are many things that contribute to the fatal ending. Most characters play at least a small part, also a combination of Romeo's impulsiveness and fate and of course Shakespeare's decision is what ends the play so tragically. The real tragedy is Juliet dying, as Romeo is a tragic hero so was always going to die! ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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