Is Friar Lawrence a Good Man, Evil Character or Simply a Misguided and Bumbling Individual?

1567 Words Mar 26th, 2010 7 Pages
Friar Lawrence plays a strong central character throughout the play, Romeo and Juliet. The Friar is linked to both the Capulet’s and the Montague’s through religion and the church. Friar Lawrence is presented as a “holy man” who is trusted and respected by the community because he is a priest.
Friar Lawrence is an advisor and close friend to Romeo. This is apparent when Romeo addresses the Friar as “father” and Friar Lawrence addresses Romeo as his “son.” Romeo goes to Friar Lawrence for help and consolation, for example, when Romeo speaks about Juliet for the first time, Friar Lawrence speaks to him about Rosaline. This shows that their relationship is close as they seem to know a lot about each other and becomes more apparent
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Friar Lawrence’s egotistical attitude seems to have caused more grief than comfort. By suggesting that Juliet drinks the potion, he shows a more selfish side to his personality. I believe that the Friars intensions are still good at this point, however he could be trying to save himself from the situation as he may have doubts about the upcoming events, showing that there is a very unforgiving side to him. Friar Lawrence has to be devious in order to carry out the new idealistic plan. As a priest, he should not lie in any situation. Friar Lawrence asks “come, is the Bride ready to go to church?” to the Capulet family. He already knew full well that the wedding was not going to go ahead, however by saying this to the family, he is pretending that he knows nothing and gets prepared to bury Juliet. This shows how deceptive the Friar can be as he remains very composed throughout the day, which only reinforces his superiority and confidence amongst the community.
As Juliet awakes from her planned long sleep, she asks Friar Lawrence “where is my Romeo?” He tells her he “lies dead.” At this point, Friar Lawrence would have been very worried about his actions and he tries to cover up the lies to fix what happened. He asks Juliet to “come, I’ll dispose of thee, among a sisterhood of holy Nuns.” Friar Lawrence is afraid of his actions and of being exposed as a failure and liar. Proposing this to Juliet would have been the…