Romeo & Juliet: Friar LawrenceBy Anthony Chan 10ARomeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s plays about tragedy.
It isabout two lovers who commit suicide when their feuding famillies prevent themfrom being together. The play has many characters, each with its own role inkeeping the plot line. Some characters have very little to do with the plot butsome have the plot revolving around them. Friar Lawrence does not have verymuch time on stage but the time he does have is crucial to the plot line.
Through his words Friar Lawrence demonstrates the he is a good intentioned, yetsometimes short-sighted, man who is not afraid to take risks to help othersOne of Friar Lawrences most favourable traits is how good intentioned he is.He may do something out of the ordinary if he thinks the outcome will helpsomeone he cares for. For example, when he says “In one respect I’ll thyassistant be; for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your householdsrancour to pure love.”(Act 2, Scene 3), he is saying that the only reason hewill marry Romeo and Juliet is because he hopes that the marriage will end thehostilities between the two houses. When he says “Shall Romeo by my lettersknow our drift, and hither shall he come; and he and I shall watch thy waking,and that very night shall Romeo bear thee to Mantua.” (Act 4, Scene 1), he tellsJuliet how everything will be all right. Unfortunately, for all his goodintentions the play still ends in tragedy.Friar Lawrence is a man who is not afraid to take risks when he feels it isneccesary to help someone.
For example in Act 2, Scene 6, when he marries Romeoand Juliet, he is risking his reputation as a Friar so he can help the twolovers. Also, when he says “Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and thisdistilled liquor drink though off;” (Act 4, Scene 1), he is suggesting thatJuliet drink a potion so that she might feighn her own death and avoid marryingParis. This is an extremely risky thing to do because anything might happen toJuliet while she unconscious.Even after all Friar did to help Romeo and Juliet the play still ended intragedy because of Friar Lawrences’ short sightedness.When the Friar married Romeo Juliet in secrecy, he did not think of all thecomplications that would arise but instead went on with the marriage because atthat time he thought it was the right thing to do. In Act 4, Scene 1, he gaveJuliet a sleeping potion without thinking of the possible outcomes of such anoutrages plan. He admits that much of the fault of the tragedy lies in hishands when he says “And her I stand both to impeach and purge myself condemnedand myself excused”, and when he say “Her nurse is privy; and, if aught in thismiscarried by myself.
..” (Act 5, Scene 3).Although Friar Lawrence does not have an especially large role, his role isnone the less important.
It is because of his good intentions that he waswilling to help his friends that Romeo and Juliet were married – a key event inthe play. It is because of his willingness to take risks for his friends thatJuliet aqquired the sleeping potion – another key event in the play. Finally,it was the shortsightedness of his actions that in part led to the deaths of thetwo lead characters. This demonstartes that Friar Lawrence was a man who was aman with good intentions who was willing to take risks to help his frieneds. Ifhe had been any other way, the play might not have turned out the way it did.English