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

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Introduction

To what extent is Friar Lawrence responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? Friar Lawrence is partially responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, however I believe he is not totally responsible. There are also other characters that have reason to be held responsible for the deaths of the `star-crossed' lovers. Friar Lawrence was the man who married the two. This marriage caused a lot of the problems which led up to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. For example if they had not been married Juliet would not have been so obliged to marry Paris and would not have had to take the potion that made Romeo think she was dead. Also Friar Lawrence supplied Juliet with the remedy which brings on a cataleptical affect (a death-like appearance). ...read more.

Middle

Romeo may have been accepted by the Capulet family and given permission to take Juliet's hand in marriage. This would obviously have avoided the deaths of both the characters. At one time in the play, when both the characters families have come to the scene of the tragedy, Friar Lawrence admits that the deaths are his fault; "Her nurse is privy; and if aught in this miscarried by my fault, let my old life be sacrificed some hour before his time unto the rigour of severest law" Here Friar Lawrence is saying that the nurse is not at fault, and if she played any part in the incident then she was misguided by the Friars fault. He then goes on to say that his life should be taken by the law for what he did. ...read more.

Conclusion

He says; "Hold daughter, I do spy a kind of hope, which craves as desperate an execution, as that is desperate which we would prevent" Here the friar is saying that his plan gives a kind of hope, but he does not say it is full proof. He also says it is a very desperate thing to do and Juliet should only do it if she is prepared to face death in order to have a chance at being with Romeo. All of these factors explain why the characters Romeo and Juliet died, but can not be blamed exclusively on the Friar, as there are many more contributing factors to their deaths. However the Friar did play a major part in the deaths of the characters, even if he did not mean for it to happen. ...read more.

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