William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Essay for Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

     The character in the play, Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, that I think has the largest impact on the audience is probably the Friar. Although the Friar might not have that big of a role, he was the one with the plan that got Romeo and Juliet killed. Some people might say that it was Juliet’s fault because she was the one that was so desperate for a plan to get her and Romeo together, the Friar had no choice but to go along. But still, the Friar was the one that came up with a plan. That plan might not have worked for many reasons, but the Friar didn’t think ahead.

          Hold, then. Go home, be merry, give consent
          To marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow.
          Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone;
Let not the nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.
                         (4.1.89-92)

     This part of the plan already might not work. For example, the nurse could insist on sleeping in Juliet’s sleeping chambers or Juliet’s’ parents could insist on it. If this was the matter, Friar should have an excuse that Juliet could use just in case.

          Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
          And this distilling liquor drink thou off;
          When presently through all thy veins shall run
          A cold and drowsy humor; for no pulse
          Shall keep his native progress, but surcease;
                         (4.2.93-97)

     In this part of the plan, Juliet could drink the liquid but not drink all of it, or the potion might not work at all. Friar should make it clear to Juliet to drink the whole vial and tell Juliet that there is a chance that it might not work.

          No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest;
          The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
          To wanny ashes, thy eyes’ windows fall
          Like death when he shuts up the day of life;
          Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death;
          And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death
          Thou shalt continue two-and-forty hours,
          And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
                         (4.2.98-106)

     This part, the Friar is just describing what will happen to Juliet. He says that although she’ll appear dead, she really will just be in a deep sleep. Looking more closely at this description, it does seem like how a dead person will look like. There will be no breath coming out, they’ll become paler, they’ll lose their body heat and their eyes will be shut. Supposedly this ‘death’ will continue for 42 hours and then she will awake.

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But if that doesn’t work, he should come up with a back-up plan if she wakes up earlier or something.

          Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes
          To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead.
          Then, as the manner of our country is,
          In thy best robes uncovered on the bier
          Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault
          Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
                         (4.2.106-113)

     In this part, Friar is telling Juliet that when Paris comes in the morning to wake her up, he’ll find her dead and then, like all people when dead, she’ll be dressed in robes and displayed for mourners. This is very smart of the Friar because the Capulets do not bury their dead but lay them in a family tomb. But once again, if she wakes up before all her mourners leave, his plan will be ruined. In this case, he should make a back-up plan.

          In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,
          Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift;
          And hither shall he come; and he and I
          Will watch thy waking, and that very night
          Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
          And this shall free thee from this present shame,
          If not inconstant toy nor womanish fear
          Abate thy calor in the acting it.
                         (4.2.114-120)

     The Friar now tells Juliet that he’ll send a letter out to Romeo telling him about their plan and he’ll come by the night she awakens so they can be free to flee and live together. He says that as long as no foolish whim or fear overcomes her, this plan should work out perfectly. The one thing he doesn’t think of that happens is what if Romeo doesn’t get the letter? If the Friar really wanted to help Romeo and Juliet, he would make sure to cover every detail perfectly and have back-up plans.
     The reader learns through this plan that the Friar does want to help Romeo and Juliet, just not as much as they think he does. They’re too much in love, blinded my love, to realize it. So really, the Friar is putting both Romeo and Juliet’s lives in jeopardy because he doesn’t take the time to muse over the plan.
     So the Friar is a very important person in the play, but having the biggest impact on the audience? The reason I say he had the biggest impact is because the Friar was very dedicated to be a spiritual guy and helping others. He also wanted what would make others happy. And although his plan might have backfired, he still tried to help them and that’s what counts. The audience should go beneath the surface of the play and actually see how the characters feel, especially the Friar. By helping others, he was happy. Well, at least until they died, he was happy.
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