Friar Lawrence: Solely Responsible for Romeo and Juliet's Tragic End?

Categories: Romeo And Juliet
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Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story between two ‘star-crossed lovers,” written in 1596 by William Shakespeare. It is set in the town of Verona, Italy, where two households – the Montagues and Capulets- are involved in an ancient feud. One character who was in the middle of it all was Friar Lawrence, whose actions are put to blame for the death of Romeo and Juliet. Shortly after Romeo and Juliet fell in love with each other, their next intention was to marry.

friar Lawrence agreed to marry them hoping it would stop the family feud and bring peace. That, however, was not the case after the death of Tybalt on Romeo’s behalf which caused Romeo to be banished from Verona, and Juliet to be distraught. Especially since she was now being forced to marry count Paris, with agreement from Friar Lawrence even with his knowledge of Romeo and Juliet’s marriage. Showing his carelessness for other people and his selfish ways to make sure only he is happy.

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Which are two flaws that he shoes through out the play, and why he is the the only character to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Naive is having or showing lack of judgement, or information. Which describes The Friar and his decisions he makes throughout the play. Friar Lawrence’s decision to marry Romeo and Juliet was an ambitious one due to his choice of not asking both parent’s, or talking to them before hand. This decision, however, made a huge impact on the rest of the play.

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The Friar’s thoughts were that marriage would stop the family feuds, as he had said to Romeo that the ‘alliance may so happy prove, to turn your households rancour to pure love.” Although he had good intentions, this thought soon turned deceitful, due to the parents not having knowledge of the marriage. This dishonestly towards them was due to his naive behaviour and just another reason for why he is to blame for the deaths or Romeo and Juliet.

Foolishness is a key feature in many of the characters in the play. Friar Lawrence is a character who’s foolishness would have been one if his main regrets. After Romeo’s banishment from Verona, due to him murdering Tybalt, Juliet was told she was to marry Paris on thursday. Juliet’s reaction to the news when the nurse informed her of the marriage was, “i pray you, tell my lord and father, madam, i will mot marry yet.” This was due to the fact she was still married to Romeo. The Friar also had knowledge of this but agreed to marry count Paris and Juliet anyway. Which also was deceitful to the parents. This, however, upset Juliet because of his dishonesty towards her marriage with Romeo. The Friar’s choices he made at this point show his foolish ways and his incautious decisions he had done which led up to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Selfishness and carelessness means having no care or concern for anyone but yourself. And Friar Lawrence showed he had these features when he made one of the biggest decisions in the play that has made him to be the reason for Romeo and Juliet’s death. It was The Friar who gave Juliet the sleeping potion to fake her death, knowing just as well that she was a heartbroken teenage girl who was not facing reality in her decision in wanting to die. He trusted Friar John to deliver a letter of great significance to Romeo, explaining the plan to him so that he would not believe Juliet is dead. Friar John was unsuccessful in delivering the letter and shows his incompetence when he says “I could not send it – here it is again.”

These unthought and carless events resulted in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Thus mistake of Friar Lawrence’s was his worst through the entire play and why an important decision such as faking a death should be dealt with personally. Not only does Friar Lawrence fail to give Romeo the letter which would have saved both their lives, but he selfishly leaves Juliet at the tomb, where she needed someone the most, because he does not want to get caught by the watchmen. Putting himself before Juliet and leaving her for his own benefit. And having her take her own life alongside her husband, with the Friar having mo waited a little longer, he might have been able to have stopped Juliet from using Romeo’s dagger to kill herself, and saved both lives of the teenagers.

Many characters had a part in the lead up to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Although, the character with the overall blame for it, was Friar Lawrence. His actions and choices through out the play all ended all ended up with the deaths of the two teenagers, who trusted him the most. These actions were made due to his naive, foolish and selfish behaviour that was shown through the play.

From his dishonesty of not informing the families of the marriage in the first place, and agreeing to marry off Juliet to another man, and having her threaten to kill herself if he doesn’t help her to not marry him. It all led up to his worst decision, of giving Juliet the potion after she threatened to take her own life, and not caring enough to organise a better plan then he had, which all eventually resulted in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Making him the only character to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

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Friar Lawrence: Solely Responsible for Romeo and Juliet's Tragic End?. (2018, Sep 04). Retrieved from

Friar Lawrence: Solely Responsible for Romeo and Juliet's Tragic End?
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