Moral Dilemmas in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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When one looks closely at the story of Romeo and Juliet, one will see that it is a story with many ethical aspects. The first ethical concern was the two feuding families. How moral is it to hate someone only because they have a certain family name? This all come from a time period when people were fairly focused on religion, which teaches us not to hate. I also question this because I think it is ironic that both Romeo and Juliet seem to be fairly religious, since the first person Romeo went to for help was Friar Lawrence, and a few scenes in the play took place in or around the church. I think that this hatred is especially bad in the case of the Capulets and the Montagues, because I was always under the impression that the families had been feuding for so long that no one really knew why they hated each other anymore. This was the beginning of the problems for Romeo and Juliet. They had a moral decision to make. Should they stay true to their families, and deny their love, or should they stay true to their feelings and disgrace their families? In order to resolve this dilemma, Romeo turns to Friar Lawrence, who perhaps could be seen as the most moral character, to begin with. Because he was a holy man, he was the most logical confidant of anyone in the play. People see men of the cloth as reliable and a good source of advice. Of course, Friar Lawrence has every intention of helping the two lovers, also hoping that he could reunite the feuding families. However, unbeknownst to him, everything he will do throughout the play will have an unnerving consequence. No matter what he did to correct what he had done wrong, it only drug him deeper into trouble. Who ever would have thought that by marrying the two young lovers, he would have caused all of this heartache for the families, and really for all of Verona? No one ever considered the fact that two young people wanting to get married would have affected the entire city. Friar Lawrence was only trying to be a good friend and ally, but everything he did just ended up backfiring for him. The Nurse was another ally to Romeo and Juliet. The Nurse loved Juliet and wanted what was best for her.
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