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To what extent are the Friar and the Nurse responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

To what extent are the Friar and the Nurse responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? "Romeo and Juliet" is a romantic tragedy that focuses on the trials and confusion of "a pair of star-cross'd lovers ". Romeo is the son and heir to the Montague household, one of the two main feuding families in the play. Juliet is the daughter of Capulet, with whom the Montague's hold an "ancient grudge". Friar Lawrence is the equivalent of the parish priest, and is considered to be a respectable man of God throughout the city. He is Romeo's main confidante throughout the play; a theatrical tool so that Romeo can express himself without the use of soliloquy or dramatic monologue and thus the audience are able to relate and understand his perspective of the action. The nurse is the equivalent of the Friar to Romeo, and is used in the same way but on behalf of Juliet. Friar Lawrence has a position of power unlike any other character. He can influence people, not like the prince does with power but by his religious standing. Throughout history religion has motivated people for good or ill. People trust the Friar's opinions and views. The first appearance of the Friar creates the idea of a simple man collecting plants in the morning to make medicine but there is a tragic ...read more.

Middle

"And here I stand both to impeach and purge Myself condemned, and myself excus'd." (V.3 22-23) It is only at the end of the play that he is beginning to accept some responsibility for the tragic events, "...and if aught in this Miscarried by my fault, let my old life Be sacrific'd some hour before his time, Unto the rigour of severest law." (V.3 31-34) The nurse on the other hand may well be the equivalent of the friar to Romeo but she lacks his initiative and self confidence to be able to think out something as complex or long sighted as his plan. The nurse does had a much closer relationship with Juliet than the friar and Romeo as the nurse lost her own daughter and she would be the same age as Juliet. Therefore she feels as though Juliet is her new daughter who she is meant to look after. "Eve at night shall she be fourteen, Susan and she". This may also show that she has grasped too tightly to try and replace the gap that was created when her daughter died and she has now replaced her with Juliet as a desperate attempt to feel secure again. They way that the nurse would be implicated for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet would be that she encouraged and endorsed the relationship and marriage and did nothing of the sort to try and slow down or prevent it. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion I feel the deaths of Romeo and Juliet were caused both by the nurse and the friar with some unlucky coincidental decisions being made between the two of them. The nurse played her part as she was the pushy slightly confused corrupt mentor who guided Juliet in all the wrong directions and did not act like an adult figure throughout the whole play. She caused Juliet not to see the full extent of her actions and blurred the line between love and lust. However technically she did nothing physically wrong whereas the friar was the one who actually made the plans and told them both specifically what to do. Also as he had more power over the relationship he should have stepped in. Also his reasons for doing this are questionable as he was not solely doing it for Romeo and Juliet but to try and bring the families together whereas the nurse was just trying to look after and help Juliet. The friar decision to try and join the families together may have clouded his judgement and means he lost his objective view, and started to forget so much about Romeo and Juliet's personal life and consequently forgot about their feelings and started to just use them as pawns on a chess board. ...read more.

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