Secondary Characters in Romeo and Juliet

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While secondary characters are less important than the main characters of the book, they often have a noteworthy impact on the story. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a secondary character, Friar Lawrence, plays a vital role throughout the play. The play takes place in Verona and focuses on Romeo and Juliet, two star-crossed lovers from two feuding families; the Montagues and the Capulets. The extremely violent feud between these families has been ongoing for generations, extending out to even the serving men of both houses. Romeo and Juliet must profess their love in secret because of the quarrel between their parents. This is a catalyst in triggering tragic events, consisting of the deaths of many other characters, including …show more content…
To prevent Juliet’s suicide, the Friar comes up with a plan. He says to Juliet, “take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilling liquor drink thou off.”(IV.i.95-96) Friar Lawrence wants Juliet to fake her own death and lie in the tomb of Capulet, to get out of marrying Paris. However, this plan backfires when Romeo does not receive the letter that the Friar had sent him and he kills himself over Juliet’s ‘death’, and Juliet in response kills herself over his death. The Friar’s exertion contributes to the plot, because the tragedy at the end of the play would not have occurred without his actions. Friar Lawrence reveals major qualities about Romeo, including his obsessive and foolish behavior. Friar Lawrence begins chastising Romeo for being over Rosaline, a woman that did not return Romeo’s love, and then falling for Juliet so quickly. Romeo then remarks that the Friar had usually scolded him for loving Rosaline, to which the Friar replies, “for doting, not love, pupil mine”(II.iii.87). Friar Lawrence is admonishing Romeo for his immature infatuation with Rosaline. By doing this, it is clear that Romeo was obsessive over his love for Rosaline. After killing Tybalt, the Prince declares Romeo’s banishment and Romeo goes crying to the Friar claiming that death would be a better punishment than banishment. The Friar responds to this by saying, “O deadly sin, O rude unthankfulness!...This is dear mercy, and
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