The play "Romeo and Juliet" has many characters, each with their
individual role in sustaining the plot. Although Friar Lawrence spends
only a little time on stage, his role is fundamental to understanding
the morals of the play. This essay explores the significance and
dramatic impact of Friar Lawrence on the play and his influence on
The essence of young love is expressed in no better play than in
"Romeo and Juliet". The play is not a simple love story; it is as much
about hate as it is about love and the morals of society. The play is
set in Verona where Romeo and Juliet fall instantly in love at a
masked ball; however the secrecy of the forbidden love becomes
overwhelming and ends up with the eventual deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Shakespeare also uses themes such as fate, because in this era common
people believed strongly in religion and mysticism. This invites the
question; "was the death of Romeo and Juliet due to fate or the
influence of other characters, such as Friar Lawrence?
Different aspects of Friar Lawrence's character are exposed through
the relationship he has with that particular person. To all of Verona
he is a priest and spiritual adviser; to Romeo he is a teacher as well
as a father figure;
"Thou chid'st me oft for loving Rosaline."
"For doting, not for loving, pupil mine."
Trust slowly develops between Juliet and Friar Lawrence; this is
evident when she visits him to discuss the banishment of Romeo. It is
interesting to note that although many people seek guidance from Friar
Lawrence, he nevert...
... middle of paper ...
...ealised there was
an opportunity to obtain reconciliation between the two feuding
Friar Lawrence clearly has a dramatic impact on the outcome of the
play because his advice misguides the young lovers, who have little
experience of life and its pitfalls. He was on a moral crusade because
he saw the breakdown in families as disruptive to the fabric of
society and this drove him to put the unity of the families above the
interests of Romeo and Juliet. This is vividly demonstrated when he
deceives the families for their own good, by faking the death of
Juliet and by marrying the young lovers in secret. Shakespeare ends
the play with the reconciliation of the families and the disclosure to
the public of the unfortunate events. He uses Friar Lawrence as a
conduit to reflect his views on the morals of society.
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