To what extent do you believe that Friar Laurence is responsible for
the deaths of Romeo and Juliet^
I think that Friar Laurence was to a large extent responsible for the
deaths of Romeo and Juliet. However, several other factors contributed
and we can not solely blame one person. The circumstances, time period
and characters need to be taken into consideration.
The Friar is introduced half way through the play, and his role is a
vital one. In his first scene we see him with the poison, and this
scene links up with his last two scenes and the consequences of that
same poison. His entrance breaks the pace of the previous balcony
scene, and gives the audience time to absorb what has occurred between
Romeo and Juliet.
Juliet has an almost non-existent relationship with Capulet. Friar
Laurence fills this void by portraying a ^father^ figure in Juliet^s
life. She trusts him and confides in him regularly. ^Hold daughter. I
do spy a kind of hope^^ In addition the Friar is also Romeo^s confident
and tries to find solutions to their overwhelming problems.
He also breaks the terrible news to Romeo about his banishment, and he
tries to do so in a humane way. He comforts the distraught Romeo, and
when potential danger lurks, offers him a shelter under the desk!
Friar Laurence tries to dissuade Pairs from marrying Juliet. This could
be selfish behavior on his part, as the Friar knows he would be
committing a sin if he married Juliet to Paris, when she was already
married to Romeo.
Another example of the Friar^s selfish intentions, is the tomb scene,
whereupon finding Juliet in there, and two dead bodies lying on the
floor, he needs no persuasion to leave, which he does so in immense
The following incident is an example of how the Friar contributed to
the deaths of the star-crossed lovers. He marries Romeo and Juliet,
fully aware that they do not have their parents consent. He should have
refused to marry them or sought the advice of an older and more
experienced member of the church.
It was the Friar^s idea that Juliet swallows the remedy. This was a
very rash decision, and, if thought out properly, he would have
realised the dire consequences and complications that could occur.
Friar Laurence largely contributed to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet by
marrying them despite their ages, giving Juliet the poison and by not
thinking things through clearly. Instead he always tried to find a
^quick-fix^ solution. However, he has a kind disposition, and honestly
tries to help Romeo and Juliet in whatever way he can. And, to give him
his due, he did confess his sins, and offer to sacrifice his life. This
confession, added to the tragic deaths of the young lovers, ceased the
age-old fight between the Capulets and the Montagues.