Why is Friar Laurence to Blame?

There are several characters that could be blamed for the death of these two young lovers, however, one of the characters that’s to a large extent responsible for their deaths is Friar Laurence. Friar Laurence has a vital role where he is seen as a man of God and is trusted by many in Verona. He was the wise and smart advisor for Romeo and Juliet, but none of those qualities were shown in any of the decisions he made. The audience in that time would’ve believed in the power of the stars so fate wasn’t something that was considered ridiculous,  but bringin the play into the present, readers find it amusing the fact that the tragedy was due to “star-crossed lovers”.  Circumstances, time period and characters also need to be taken into consideration, but the Friar was the one who made things happen which eventually led to the death of Romeo and Juliet.

I believe that their surroundings have more of blame and participate to their death rather than it being a chance of fate. Friar Laurence makes a drastic change to the play when he decides to marry Romeo and Juliet in secret,  fully aware that they do not have their parents consent. “To turn your households’ rancour to pure love”, hes hoping that by marrying the couple it will force the feuding between the families to terminate. Although he has a lot of confidence that this will work, the audience can see that it won’t plan out the way he desires. When Romeo and Juliet reunite in the church, the Friar says “come with me, and we will make short work” suggesting he wants to do it fast and get it over and done with. Fate isn’t to blame for the marriage of Romeo and Juliet and this particular scene was what led to their deaths as if it weren’t for Friar Laurence marrying them, the other scenes wouldn’t have developed or reached a fatal point. Furthermore, Laurence hands Juliet a position to stabilize her into a 42 hour coma to stage her death.

The quotation “If, rather than to marry County Paris” shows he offers Juliet “a kind of hope” to get her out of the situation, but he also does as a selfish intention due to him knowing he would be committing a sin if he marries them as he’s fully aware that Juliet is already married to Romeo. The line “if thou darest, i’ll give thee remedy” from the Friar suggests that he’s willing to fake her death by giving her a potion. This plan is seen to benefit Friar Laurence more than Romeo and Juliet as it saves him from having explain his mistakeful decisions to the Capulets and Montagues for going behind their backs. Not only does this save him, but he also assumes that it will benefit the parents by making them suffer over Juliet’s death in order for them to forgive her marriage to Romeo which shows that he’s always thinking of ways to reconcile the families.

Again, I don’t feel like you could accuse fate for coming in between the situation, when it was all merely Friar Laurence’s selfish yet considerate actions. Above all, in act V Laurence doesn’t prevent Juliet from killing herself when he egotistically fears for himself as he rushes out of the tomb. “Come, go, Juliet. I dare no longer stay” are the last words he says to her before he exits, instead of persuading her or even forcing her to leave the tomb, he leaves Juliet emotionally vulnerable and rushes out of the tomb for his own benefit without considering his surroundings. In this scene, the Friar made a selfish decision, if he would’ve thought it through he would have realised the fatal consequences that could occur. This is another piece of evidence to prove that fate has nothing to do with the decision of the Friar or Juliet’s weak actions, if he would have remained with the young girl she wouldn’t of been able to commit suicide.

To some extent, Romeo and Juliet have to be blamed for their actions, they were responsible for their own deaths, evidenced by the couple’s choice by acting upon their lover impatiently, hiding their relationship from family and friends and willingly taking their lives. Although the Friar and other characters in their lives could have prevented this from happening, in the end they chose to commit suicide, which would have been a dreadful sin in those days, instead of finding a way to make the relationship work.

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