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Secondary Characters In Romeo And Juliet

932 words - 4 pages

While secondary characters are less important than the main characters of the book, they often have a noteworthy impact on the story. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a secondary character, Friar Lawrence, plays a vital role throughout the play. The play takes place in Verona and focuses on Romeo and Juliet, two star-crossed lovers from two feuding families; the Montagues and the Capulets. The extremely violent feud between these families has been ongoing for generations, extending out to even the serving men of both houses. Romeo and Juliet must profess their love in secret because of the quarrel between their parents. This is a catalyst in triggering tragic events, consisting of the deaths of many other characters, including themselves. Friar Lawrence plays a crucial role to the action, character development, and themes of Romeo and Juliet.
Friar Lawrence plays an integral part in the action and plot of Romeo and Juliet by secretly marrying them, and giving Juliet the idea to fake her own death. Romeo and Juliet meet in the Friar’s cell for their marriage and the Friar says, “Come, come with me…For, by your leaves you shall not stay alone, Till Holy Church incorporate two in one.”(II.vi.35-37). The Friar marries the two in hopes “to turn [their] households rancor to pure love”(II.iii.99). The Friar is the binding power between Romeo and Juliet, by helping them be together. Without the Friar, Romeo and Juliet would have a difficult time trying to meet in secret with each other, but because of him, they are able to get married. Ultimately, the Friar’s wishes of ending the feud between the Montagues and Capulets are fulfilled, but the reason of their reconciliation being the death of their children. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet are linked to Friar Lawrence’s plan. Juliet is distressed about having to marry Paris, and threatens to kill herself unless the Friar helps her. To prevent Juliet’s suicide, the Friar comes up with a plan. He says to Juliet, “take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilling liquor drink thou off.”(IV.i.95-96) Friar Lawrence wants Juliet to fake her own death and lie in the tomb of Capulet, to get out of marrying Paris. However, this plan backfires when Romeo does not receive the letter that the Friar had sent him and he kills himself over Juliet’s ‘death’, and Juliet in response kills herself over his death. The Friar’s exertion contributes to the plot, because the tragedy at the end of the play would not have occurred without his actions.
Friar Lawrence reveals major qualities about Romeo, including his obsessive and foolish behavior. Friar Lawrence begins chastising Romeo for being over Rosaline, a woman that did not return Romeo’s love, and then falling for Juliet so quickly. Romeo then remarks...

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