Romeo And Juliet: Blame Friar Essay, Research Paper
Romeo and Juliet: Blame Friar Lawrence
In Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, Friar Lawrence has a major role. As a priest, Romeo and Juliet trusted Friar Lawrence completely, turning to him for advice, and solutions. He was there throughout Romeo and Juliet’s lives, he married them, came up with a plan to keep them together, and was a friend throughout their tragedies. However it was his rashness, shortsightedness, poorly thought out plans and desperate measures that led to Romeo and Juliet’s ultimate tragedy.
Friar Lawrence is responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. Friar Lawrence married Romeo and Juliet, this was the first mistake that would lead to their deaths. A bond between them was created through marriage:
“For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
Till holy church incorporate two in one.” (2.6.36-37).
None of any of the tragedies would have occurred if Romeo and Juliet were not married.The bond and marriage also affects the time Tybalt comes and challenges Romeo to a fight. Romeo has to refuses, and says he loves Tybalt:
“Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting –” (3.1.61-63).
Since Romeo would not fight, Mercutio has to step in and defend his friend’s honor. Mercutio, being an excellent swordsman would have killed Tybalt, had not Romeo gotten in his way. But instead, Mercutio is slain under Romeo’s arm. In a rage Romeo lashes out and kills Tybalt causing himself to be banished. Romeo would not fight because of his marriage to Juliet, and has become a coward in his own eyes. Romeo and Juliet’s marriage has caused Mercutio and Tybalt’s deaths, as well as Romeo’s banishment. Friar Lawrence caused all these woeful events by marrying Romeo and Juliet.
Even after Mercutio’s death and Romeo’s banishment, Friar Lawrence does not see the destructiveness of Romeo and Juliet’s marriage. Instead he continues to attempt to keep Romeo and Juliet together. The plan he comes up with however, is shortsighted, poorly thought out, and risky. He devises the plan hastily and in desperation because Juliet was about to kill herself. The desperate situation is shown when Juliet says,
“Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it.
If, in thy wisdom thou canst give no help,
Do but call my resolution wise,
And with this knife I’ll help it presently.” (4.1.51-54).
At that moment Friar Lawrence did not have much time to think carefully about his plan, but even after he had Juliet calmed downed, he did not try to think of a better plan either.. He fails again to inform Romeo of the plan. This was revealed when Friar John said,
” I could not send it
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,” (5.2.14-15).
Friar John did not try hard enough, because Friar Lawrence did not tell him the importance of the letter reaching Romeo. And if Friar Lawrence had followed the original agreement he made with Romeo:
“Sojourn in Mantua ; I’ll find out your man,
Every good hap to you that chances have.” (3.3.168-170). Balthasar could have delivered the letter to Romeo making sure he got it. However, because of Friar Lawrence’s incompetence, he dooms those he tries to save.
It would have been better if Romeo and Juliet had not known Friar Lawrence at all. His desperate attempts for a quick resolution, and rashness in doing so would lead to Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. Friar Lawrence married Romeo and Juliet, despite his own suspicions of Romeo’s love for Juliet:
“Is Rosaline, whom you didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” (2.3.62-64).
Friar Laurence was so desperate to end the feud, instead of stopping the confusion he adds to it.
Romeo and Juliet’s death was Friar Lawrence s fault. He began the catastrophe added to it, and allowed its completion. He thought out his plans poorly, and he rashly handled decisive situations. His impure intention and incompetence caused the suicides of two young teenagers. Odd how someone could not apply their own wisdom to their own actions.
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied. (2.3.17)
Friar Lawrence s own advice would suit him best.