The Role of Friar Lawrence in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
"Romeo and Juliet" is one of Shakespeare's tragedies, which tells the
story of two lovers who belong to two feuding families, the Montagues
and the Capulets. Romeo is a Montague who is in love with Rosaline. He
finds out that the Capulets are having a feast and Rosaline will be
there. Romeo goes, and meets Juliet. Little does he know that Juliet's
father wants her to marry Paris. Juliet is against this, and the next
day, Romeo asks Friar Lawrence to marry him and Juliet in secret. The
nurse then passes the message on to Juliet and tells her that the
wedding is arranged for two o'clock. They get married in the chapel,
and Romeo sees the Capulets in the street. Tybalt kills Mercutio,
Romeo's best friend, so Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo is banished to
Mantua. Romeo would rather die than be banished because he will have
to be away from Juliet. Paris then asks Juliet's father if he can
marry his daughter. Juliet and Romeo have their last night together.
In the morning, Juliet finds out she has to marry Paris. Juliet asks
Friar Lawrence for help because everyone else has let her down. Juliet
apologises to her father before the wedding, and takes the potion from
Friar Lawrence. Juliet is found apparently dead. Romeo gets a muffled
message that Juliet is really dead, and he buys some poison. Friar
Lawrence then realises that Romeo received the wrong message. Romeo
meets Paris in the tomb, he kills him, says goodbye to Juliet, takes
the poison and dies. Juliet awakes to find Romeo dead by her side and
kills herself with his dagger.
Although Friar Lawrence is not mentioned a lot in the plot, he still
plays a central role. He is the person who marries the couple, in
spite of his doubts. He knows how fickle Romeo is, and he knows that
only a day ago, he was pining away for Rosaline. He also thinks that
it is too early to marry a couple whom only met yesterday. The Friar
"Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken?
Young men's love then lies
Not truly in their hearts but in their eyes."
Friar Lawrence advises Romeo after the death of Tybalt. He tells him
to pull himself together. He is a bit harsh to Romeo and tells him
that he should be happy for the many things that he has got.
"And thou disembered with thine own defence.
What, rouse thee man, thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead.
There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slewest Tybalt; there art thou happy.
The law that threatened death becomes thy friend,
And turns it to excile; there, art thou happy."
Friar Lawrence tells Romeo he is lucky. When Juliet is being forced to
marry Paris, Friar Lawrence is there for her. She...