This essay will prove from my point of view, that three characters with their actions, decisions and timing were most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
In my opinion, the character most responsible was Friar Lawrence, for he married Romeo and Juliet without their parents’ consent, although he did offer them advice. “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” (Act II, sc III, lines 94-95). Next, he suggested that Juliet swallow the poison, which without a doubt, was a very impulsive decision. Furthermore, when he was in the tomb with Juliet, upset about Romeo’s death, could have saved her life by staying with her and comforting her when she didn’t want to leave. Instead he betrayed her by leaving. In the end, Friar Lawrence blamed himself and offered to sacrifice his life.
Romeo’s impulsiveness played a key role and is shown when he quickly fell out of love with Rosaline and into love with Juliet, having decided to marry her after knowing her for less than a day. Another case of impulse was due to misunderstanding and assumption, when he assumed that Juliet was dead. His only thought was to take his life, instead of finding out if she was still alive. Romeo was also vengeful and didn’t think though or control his feelings as in the example when Tybalt killed Mercutio and Romeo ran after Tybalt to pay back. This bad decision led to Romeo being banned from Verona and started the miscommunication between Romeo and Juliet, which eventually led to their deaths.
Juliet, also responsible was very young, and didn’t have the maturity to deal with love. Firstly, she was impulsive by hurrying Romeo into marriage. Secondly, she came to the Friar looking for help. “I long to die, if what thou speak’st speak not of remedy” (Act 4, sc I, lines 66-67) which showed her attitude towards her situation. She didn’t think things through when she accepted the Friar’s solution to take the poison. Thirdly, being too emotional instead of rational, she made the conscious decision to kill herself after seeing Romeo dead.
Although all three characters were responsible, things could have been different if they considered their actions and consequences. For example, Friar Lawrence should not have married Romeo and Juliet. Romeo should not have rushed into a new relationship with Juliet so quickly. Instead of acting on emotion and vengeance he should have thought of the consequences. Lastly, Juliet should have received more support from those around her to wait due to her young age. In conclusion, everyone acted too quickly and their emotions controlled their actions.
For the reasons above, I believe that all three characters were responsible. On the whole, we saw that in Friar Lawrence’s case, good intentions weren’t enough. In Romeo and Juliet’s naive minds, suicide was a fast answer to their problems. There innocence also proved that jumping into situations too fast only brought destruction. All three characters had fatal flaws that along with their actions and timing eventually led to the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Shakespeare, William. Harcourt Shakespeare:Romeo And Juliet. Toronto: