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How important is Friar Lawrence in the outcome of the play?

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Introduction

Discuss the role & importance of Friar Lawrence in Romeo & Juliet Was Friar Lawrence the cause in the outcome of events in the play Romeo & Juliet? The play, written by Shakespeare is a tragic love story which takes place in Verona and all events happen in five days. The play is based on the poem "The Tragicall history of Romeus and Juliet" by Arthur Brooke. It was written between 1594 and 1596 and is still one of the great plays in the world. Friar Lawrence is one of the most important characters in the play because of his part in events. Friar Lawrence has many roles in the play. He is an apothecary, who studies plants and medicines. We are introduced to him in Act 2. We see that he has detailed knowledge because he knows all the properties of different plants and herb. He talks about a plant which "Within the infant rind of this small flower poison hath residence and medicine power...Being tasted...slays senses with the heart" He says the flower can be used for heal and kill purposes, which illustrates the duality of human nature. The fact that the Friar is an apothecary is important to the play because later on he gives a potion to Juliet which gives her the "look" of death. Friar Lawrence is also a father figure to Romeo. ...read more.

Middle

There is a contrast between the two characters emotions as Romeo speaks violently while Friar Lawrence is calm. He gives Romeo some hope by telling him to "sojourn in Mantua", he then says "I'll find out your man" which has a fatal mistake later, because Friar Lawrence sends his own monk, who fails to send Romeo the message. We see that he is always ready with a plan and the Friar becomes a messenger when he tells Romeo of this banishment. He also tells him to "Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her". What he next advises Romeo to do is to consummate his marriage with Juliet before leaving. He risks Romeo's life but this ensured that their marriage would now be official. Also in this scene, we see that the Friar's advice had a positive effect on the nurse because she "could have stayed all night to hear this good counsel". Friar Lawrence becomes advisor for Juliet after the nurse tells her "I think you are happy in this second match, for it excels your first". The nurse tells her to leave Romeo and marry Paris, leaving Juliet with no one else to trust except for Friar Lawrence. When Juliet tells him that she "longs to die" Friar Lawrence tells her he "spy a kind of hope" He tells her that she "wilt undertake a thing like death to chide away this shame". ...read more.

Conclusion

During the final scene we witness the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Friar Lawrence feared something "unthrifty" would happen but he could not stop it from happening because fate, inevitably, was always going to succeed over anyone and it was a battle which Friar Lawrence could not win. He was held as a suspect after their deaths and we see his honesty as he confessed to everything which he was involved in which is ironic because it is he who people confess to. By confessing however, he ended the feud between the two families and ended any more bloodshed. After his confession he then says he is "Miscarried by my fault, let my old life be sacrificed..." and he was willing to be executed if any of it was his fault. However the prince was quick to reply "we have still known thee for a holy man" which shows that he was forgiven for any wrong-doing. This removes any doubts from the audience as we are reminded of his duties as a Friar. How important was Friar Lawrence important in the play Romeo and Juliet? In my opinion, I would say that Friar Lawrence had a big part to play, because he gave guidance to Romeo and Juliet and he told them of his plans and without him, Romeo and Juliet could not be together on Earth but their deaths could have led to them being together spiritually. No matter how hard Friar Lawrence tried, fate was always going to over power him because "A greater power has thwarted our plans". ...read more.

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