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The Importance of Minor Characters in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

The Importance of Minor Characters in Romeo and Juliet By Paul Davidson Romeo and Juliet is a play based on love, fate, change and tragedy. It tracks the story of two lovers from opposing families' ancient feud, to death. Like most stories, the major characters play an important role, such as the decisions which they take. Yet the minor characters also have a good deal of influence over the ultimate destinies of Romeo and Juliet. Even though he was not actually on stage for most of the play, in my opinion, Friar Lawrence is the most important character in the play. There are basically three major parts that lead to the tragedy; marriage, the plan and the deaths. In all three of these parts the Friar played a vital role. His attempts to make the marriage of Romeo and Juliet work was very admirable but were all poorly planned. It is these attempts that make his role the most significant one in the play. This is why Friar Lawrence is the most powerful character in the play. One of Friar Lawrence's most favourable traits is how well intentioned he is. He may do something out of the ordinary if he thinks the outcome will help someone he cares for, this is because he believes that fate will take its due course and God will see it through. ...read more.

Middle

He tries to make sure the marriage is successful because he understands that if they rush into it there could be problems. As shown in Act 2 Scene 3 when he tells Romeo that people that rush in make mistakes. "Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast." Furthermore Romeo's death was the last part of the play that showed the Friar's significance. In (Act 4 Scene 1) it shows how the Friar's plan is very dangerous, when Friar Lawrence says "Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilled liquor drink through off,". So Juliet has planned to awaken to find young Romeo looking back at her, but finds him dead on the floor of the church. Which causes her to kill herself with a dagger. Also the Friar did not think about what could happen when she was unconscious and even if Romeo would receive the message in time. His role is defined in the end of the play in (Act 5 Scene 3) when he talks about how he is responsible for what has happened to the two lovers. "And I here stand both to impeach and purge myself condemned and myself excused". This is when he talks about how he made the mistake which inevitably lead to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

Conclusion

"And in my temper soften'd valour's see!" Had Romeo not decided to take revenge on Tybalt, perhaps the Capulet's might have accepted him as a son. This would mean that Romeo and Juliet would not have had to hide their love for each other. Tybalt, indeed, had a large effect on the lives of Romeo and Juliet, by killing Mercutio, which caused him to be killed by Romeo, which caused Romeo to be banished, and so on. Another minor character thought to have shaped the destinies of Romeo and Juliet is Paris. In Act 3, Scene 5, Lady Capulet announces that Juliet is to marry Paris. "The County Paris, at Saint Peter's church, Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride." Juliet obviously refuses and goes to Friar Laurence for help. Friar Laurence devises another plan, which will prevent the marriage and reunite Romeo with Juliet. However, this plan, like most, goes horribly wrong, perhaps causing the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. If Paris had not wished to be with Juliet, none of the following would have occurred. Obviously, Shakespeare included these minor characters to make the plot run smoothly. He may have added some characters to make the storyline more interesting, but each one has their own strong role in the play. If one minor character hadn't been written into the script, the play could have taken a completely different path, and so I think that the minor characters are just as important as the major characters. ...read more.

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