• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is Friar Lawrence responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet ?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent is Friar Lawrence responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet ? Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare in 1597. At this time the Elizabethan view of love was that a man should fall in love with the woman and not the other way round. Once the man shows his feelings, the woman should spurn him to keep her good name. He becomes very sad and upset, he becomes lovesick, writes poetry and doesn't eat or sleep until things change. This is portrayed by Romeo's actions towards Roseline. This was the view of the aristocratic classes. There are other types of love in which they believed. These are sexual love, which can be described as pure lust, dutiful love, which is the love for your family, an arranged marriage or out of duty such as Juliet and Paris. There is also true love. The Friar is linked to both families through the church and religion. He is a very keen gardener and he loves his flowers and herbs. The Friar acts as a confidant to Romeo and he knows everything about Romeo and all his secrets because Romeo tells him everything. Friar Lawrence is aware of the family feud between the Montague's and the Capulets and comforts both Juliet and Romeo. He thinks them getting together will end the feud. "For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households' rancour to pure love". ...read more.


Friar Lawrence thinks that if he makes this marriage work, he can re-unite the families, "for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your household's rancour to pure love". Friar Lawrence knows that both families will be annoyed but thinks that in the long run he will make peace in the streets of Verona and also be seen as a hero. So although he knows that there are risks, he believes that they are worth it for everyone including himself. The Friar being a religious man wouldn't want to see the oaths of marriage broken, "thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury killing that love which thou last vowed to cherish", especially between these two people, because he cares for them and there are rewards, that is to reunite the families, if they can fulfil their vows. This marriage is one which the Friar wants to work so much that he comes up with a dangerous plan which will upset the Capulets very much but would keep the marriage alive and portray his actions in a favourable light. He comes up with a plan, "take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilling liquor drink thou off". All that Friar Lawrence wants is for Romeo and Juliet to be together but he does it in such a way that it leads to confusion, anger and regret. ...read more.


Juliet's father, Lord Capulet was very angry at Juliet for not wanting to marry Paris. "An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets". Juliet becomes very angry and talks about suicide. "Or if you do not, make the bridal bed. In that monument where Tybalt lies". Friar Lawrence comes up with a plan to help her escape from her father and the marriage to Paris. If Juliet's father had not got so angry and wanted Juliet to marry Paris, maybe she and Romeo would have stayed alive. Fate and Destiny had predicted all along that they would die so maybe it was no one individual's fault but simply in the stars anyway. "From ancient grudge break new mutiny. Pair of star crossed lovers take their life" In conclusion, the Friar can not be held totally responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. This can be demonstrated by his genuine motives for his actions and the others involved. He was responsible for their marriage, all aspects of the plan including the drugging. He was the one that always made the arrangements for their meetings and reunions. However, the Friar's motives were genuine and he never intended for their deaths but was concerned for their wellbeing. Furthermore Friar Lawrence was not the only one implicated as the Nurse, Tybalt, Mercutio, both sets of parents and the Apothecary all played a part in Romeo and Juliet's death. The Friar was an innocent agent of fate, their deaths were pre-destined to happen after they fell in love. Matt Bell 10R ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. To what extent do you believe that Friar Lawrence is responsible for the tragic ...

    He is an antagonistic character much like Mercutio. Juliet has a nurse whose actions mean well but result in the main tragedy of the play. She treats Juliet, as if she were her own daughter having lost her own child at the same time as Juliet's birth. The nurse breastfed Juliet when she was young, this shows the strong relationship between these two characters.

  2. Who would you say is the most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and ...

    The nurse becomes their messenger and helps the two lovers marry in secrecy. If the nurse had of let Juliet's parents know of their daughter's plan, then Juliet may still be alive. When Juliet is disowned by both her parents for refusing to marry Paris, she turns to her beloved nurse for some comfort.

  1. The Prologue tells us a few important details - that the Montagues and the ...

    This is when the audience know more than the characters do, for example, we have been witness to Romeo and Juliet's wedding, so unlike Lord and Lady Capulet, we know that they are together. Also, we have seen the Prologue so we know that the lovers are doomed (none of the characters know this).

  2. How far is Friar Lawrence responsible for the ultimate deaths of Romeo & Juliet?

    He enquires if Romeo hasn't been to bed that night, "That last is true, the sweeter rest was mine". This was Romeo's answer. Friar Lawrence asks if he spent it with Rosaline? Here he learns of his new love, Juliet.

  1. Who is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    It was he who warned Romeo of the consequences of the marriage but disregarded these when he married the lovers. It was the Friar's idea that Juliet swallows the remedy. He acted in this way due to Juliet's threat of suicide.

  2. To What Extent is Friar Lawrence Responsible For the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

    Friar Lawrence is seen as a confidant to Romeo because he knows a lot about Romeo and his feelings toward women even though he never actually seems to believe that Romeo is truly in love "Thy love did read by rote, that could spell" Friar Lawrence believes that Romeo knows

  1. role and importance of Friar Lawrence

    The Friar's experience of plants enabled him to carry out his second role as 'poison commissioner', without him Juliet would not have been able to fake her own death. The Friar is a close friend and advisor to Romeo and has a huge influence on his decisions, this is apparent

  2. To what extent are the Friar and the Nurse responsible for the deaths of ...

    This is clearly why people put their misplaced trust in him. This means that he can, on a whim, choose to make a decision on behalf of the families to try and bring them together. He expresses shock at how easily Romeo has turned from Rosaline to Juliet, yet in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work