The play, Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare, is a story of two star-
crossed lovers. Their love generated conflicts which they never imagined would lead to tragedy.
These two young people did nothing wrong except fall in love. However, they had figures in
their lives that caused their relationship to be disastrous. Without these influences in their lives,
they could have possibly lived happily, but that was not the case. The three main influences that
persuaded destruction included the feud between the two families, the nurse and her betrayal of
Juliet and the Friar, whom ultimately was most responsible for the tragic events.
The feud between the two families, Montague and Capulets, was one factor that effected
the love of Romeo and Juliet being a lamentable circumstance. The two families held much
hostility toward each other. This feud even created problems for the young lovers. These two
young lovers understood the situation and which forced them to marry in secrecy. They would
have made their children’s lives miserable if their parents discovered their secret. Romeo and
Juliet would have never been able to see each other. These two families were very stubborn and
virtually nothing that would have made them become allies. When he play is introduced the
audience, the tension between households is immediately noted. “Doth with their death bury
their parent’s strife”. (Romeo & Juliet, Prologue, l.8) Neither household would have accepted the
marriage. Keeping the marriage a secret caused Romeo and Juliet to turn to other people for
help. At times these people mislead them with bad advice or even betrayed them.
The Nurse can be seen as a character which betrayed Juliet. The Nurse was quite
possibly Juliet’s closest friend, but she turned against her at a crucial time. The Nurse blatantly
told Juliet to marry Paris. “I think it best you married with the county”. (Romeo & Juliet,
pg.101, III, v, l.219) This treachery by the Nurse abandoned Juliet. Juliet was now left to make
important decisions by herself. If the Nurse was around to help Juliet the circumstance could
have drastically changed. She obviously could not have seek guidance from her parents because
Romeo was a Montague and that was enough for them to turn away from any possibility of being
with Romeo. The Nurse was supposed to be one of Juliet’s best friends. Now when it was
important for Juliet to have someone there, she was all by herself.
Ultimately, Friar Lawrence is most responsible for the tragedy in this play due to his
misjudgement. The Friar is an extremely intelligent man, but he does not think his decisions out
too well. First of all, he should have never married the Romeo and Juliet because of the tensions
between their families and their overeagerness. As a figure for guidance, he should have
prepared them for the problems that they would encounter once married in secrecy. Also, he
was inefficient in delivery the letter to Romeo informing him of Juliet’s fake death. He gave the
letter to Friar John who, apparently, was not capable of delivering the letter as fast as possible.
Lastly, he once again fell short when he arrived just after Romeo had drank the poison. Had he
arrived sooner, he could have prevented his suicide. Although his intentions were good, Friar
Lawrence caused the most harm resulting in the tragedy for his lack of judgement.
In conclusion, this tragedy was highly influenced by other figures in Romeo and Juliet’s lives. To begin with, the Capulet and Montague families abhorred each other and the marriage between Romeo and Juliet would have been complicated from the start. In addition, the Nurse was not supportive enough with Juliet which led a young girl to make difficult decisions by herself. Above all, Friar Lawrence consistently fell short of guiding the two lovers to make the right decisions and several events with his timing could have changed the entire situation. It makes one think, what would have the circumstance have been if these instances were different?