What can possibly cause a couple of young lovers to commit suicide in order to be together? Since William Shakespeare wrote tragedies in which the main characters die, the star-crossed lovers in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet had to die, but some significant events led up to their death and someone made these incidents to occur. Who is to blame for the deaths in the play? Was it the feuding families or was it the friendly, kindhearted priest Friar Lawrence? Although Friar Lawrence could be considered a minor character, he is the most responsible for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet; he married the title characters despite their feuding families, he had a risky plan to save Juliet from a second marriage and his fear of committing sins.
Initially, rather than telling the couple to either end their loving situation or to reveal the relationship to their families, Friar Lawrence secretly marries Romeo and Juliet in hope of ending the family grudge. As soon as Romeo informs the friar about his love for Juliet, the priest marries the young lovers, even though he had misgivings about how hasty love could end just as quickly as it emerged. Later on, the marriage provokes a brawl that results in the death of Tybalt and Mercutio and ends with Romeo's banishment. At the beginning, Tybalt challenges Romeo to fight, but as Romeo was now related to Tybalt through his marriage to Juliet, the Montague refused saying: " Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee / Doth much excuse the appertaining rage / To such a greeting. Villain am I none" (III.i.61-63). In order to defend his friend's honor, Mercutio decided to fight on behalf of Romeo, but unfortunately, Romeo interfere the vicious fighters, and Tybalt killed Mercutio under the arms of Romeo. Shortly after realizing that his love for Juliet is making him a chicken, Romeo slays Tybalt saying: "…Tybalt, that an hour/ Hath been my cousin. O sweet Juliet! / Thy beauty has made me effeminate," (III.i.112-114). If Romeo and Juliet were not married then, Tybalt would not have slain Mercutio; Romeo would not have killed Tybalt and so Romeo would not have faced banishment. Therefore, Friar Lawrence was the mastermind in Romeo's banishment, since he started the tragedy by secretly marrying the title characters.
Even after Romeo was banished, Friar Lawrence did not see the consequences of the marriage, and moreover made a risky plan to reunite the fated lovers. In order to avoid Juliet's marriage with Paris, the priest offers Juliet a vial to drink as part of his hasty and shortsighted plan. Friar Lawrence said this to the threatening Juliet in front of him:
Hold, then; go home, be merry,...