Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
An examination as to the extent of Friar Lawrence’s responsibility for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
This paper analyzes the various factors pertinent to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, with an emphasis on Friar Lawrence’s role in their deaths. The writer concludes that the responsibility for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet lies not only with the Friar but also with nearly every main character in the play.
“Although it often appears that the Friar is responsible for events leading to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, in reality it is usually other influences that are accountable. For instance, the Friar’s plan (giving Juliet the sleeping potion to evade the wedding to Paris, then spiriting her to Mantua until Romeo could return to Verona) was not flawed in itself. Unfortunately however, Balthazar, seeing Juliet’s funeral, hastened to tell Romeo that he “saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault, (5, 1, 20). It was this information that made him, and later Juliet, commit suicide. Again, while marrying Romeo and Juliet may seem like an irresponsible action, it did not contribute to the lovers’ deaths. Their first meeting, based on chance, and their separation, as a result of Romeo’s banishment, played a far greater role in the tragedy.
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