Romeo & JulietRomeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s plays about tragedy. It is about two lovers who commit suicide when
their feuding famillies 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 short-sighted, man who is
not afraid to take risks to help others
One of Friar Lawrences most favourable 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 I’ll thy assistant
be; for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your
households rancour 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 neccesary 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 feighn 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
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 aught 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 aqquired 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 demonstartes that
Friar Lawrence was a man who was a man with good intentions
who was willing to take risks to help his frieneds. If he
had been any other way, the play might not have turned out
the way it did.