Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeares plays about tragedy. It is about two lovers who commit suicide when their feuding families prevent them from being together. The play has many characters, each with its own role in keeping the plot line. Some characters have very little to do with the plot but some have the plot revolving around them. Friar Lawrence does not have very much time on stage but the time he does have is crucial to the plot line. Through his words Friar Lawrence demonstrates the he is a good intentioned, yet sometimes shortsighted, man who is not afraid to take risks to help others
One of Friar Lawrences most favorable traits is how good intentioned he is. He may do something out of the ordinary if he thinks the outcome will help someone he cares for. For example, when he says “In one respect Ill thy assistant be; for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your households rancor to pure love.”(Act 2, Scene 3), he is saying that the only reason he will marry Romeo and Juliet is because he hopes that the marriage will end the hostilities between the two houses. When he says “Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift, and hither shall he come; and he and I shall watch thy waking, and that very night shall Romeo bear thee to Mantua.” (Act 4, Scene 1), he tells Juliet how everything will be all right. Unfortunately, for all his good intentions the play still ends in tragedy.
Friar Lawrence is a man who is not afraid to take risks when he feels it is necessary to help someone. For example in Act 2, Scene 6, when he marries Romeo and Juliet, he is risking his reputation as a Friar so he can help the two lovers. Also, when he says “Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilled liquor drink though off;” (Act 4, Scene 1), he is suggesting that Juliet drink a potion so that she might make believe her own death and avoid marrying Paris. This is an extremely risky thing to do because anything might happen to Juliet while she unconscious.
Even after all Friar did to help Romeo and Juliet the play still ended in tragedy because of Friar Lawrences short sightedness. When the Friar married Romeo Juliet in secrecy, he did not think of all the complications that would arise but instead went on with the marriage because at that time he thought it was the right thing to do. In Act 4, Scene 1, he gave Juliet a sleeping potion without thinking of the possible outcomes of such an outrages plan. He admits that much of the fault of the tragedy lies in his hands when he says “And her I stand both to impeach and purge myself condemned and myself excused”, and when he say “Her nurse is privy; and, if ought in this miscarried by myself…” (Act 5, Scene 3).
Although Friar Lawrence does not have an especially large role, his role is none the less important. It is because of his good intentions that he was willing to help his friends that Romeo and Juliet were married – a key event in the play. It is because of his willingness to take risks for his friends that Juliet acquired the sleeping potion – another key event in the play. Finally, it was the shortsightedness of his actions that in part led to the deaths of the two lead characters. This demonstrates that Friar Lawrence was a man who was a man with good intentions who was willing to take risks to help his friends. If he had been any other way, the play might not have turned out the way