The Dramatic Impact of Friar Lawrence in the play Romeo and Juliet

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The Dramatic Impact of Friar Lawrence in the play Romeo and Juliet

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 other characters.

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
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Unfortunately, for all of Friar Lawrence's seemingly good intentions, the play still ends in tragedy. Ostensibly, Friar Lawrence is a man who is not afraid to jeopardize his reputation as a religious leader, in order to unite the families; as in Act 2, Scene 6, when he marries Romeo and Juliet in secret. This is reinforced by the quote;

"For this alliance may so happy prove,

To turn your household rancour to pure love."

However he makes a fatal mistake when he asks Juliet to drink the potion in order to deceive her family;

"this vial, being then in bed… and this distilled liquor drink thou off" (IV.i.95-96),

In the above statement he advises Juliet to drink a potion so that she might fake her own death and avoid marrying Paris, yet he is subverting the stereotypical image of a friar by deceiving the families.

Friar Lawrence does not appear to be a prudent individual, e.g., when he marries Romeo and Juliet in secrecy, he does not consider the consequences of his actions which will be inflicted on the two young lovers. Unfortunately he did not predict the quarantining of Friar John who was unable to deliver the critical message of Juliet's feigned death.

As well as a religious adviser and confidante, Friar Lawrence was also a chemist and drew parallels between this profession and his philosophies on
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