Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet - Friar Laurence Essay
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Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet - Friar Laurence
Friar Laurence plays a most intriguing role in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He is a priest, and a friend to Romeo. With the absence of Montague parental scenes, Friar Laurence also becomes like a surrogate father to Romeo. Romeo seeks him out to marry him and Juliet, obviously assuming that the friar would without parental permission. The friar greets him and addresses Romeo's past love. He even tells Romeo that he mistook what he felt for Rosaline as love when it was not, and therefore not be too haste, " They stumble that run fast" (2.2.94). Therefore, not only has Romeo discussed matters of the heart with the friar, but also the friar himself feels in the position to be able to…show more content…
The friar does not believe that this union will endure the test of time; however, he is still wiling to bind them together as one in the eyes of the Holy Church. He seems to be working towards the greater good, that is ending the feud between the Capulets with the Montagues. Thus, shunning away the Biblical commandment of honoring thy father and mother, he agrees to marry the two and says, "Virtue itself turns into vice misapplied, / and vice sometimes by action dignified" (2.2.21-2).
Friar Laurence continues to honor Romeo and Juliet's love without taking their parents' wishes into account. He goes on deceiving the Capulets by keeping the union a secret and having everyone believe that Juliet will marry Paris (4.1). He goes against the state law by harboring a criminal when he hides banished Romeo in his home and devises a way for him to get away from Verona and head to Mantua (3.3). At this point, the friar feels himself to be a part of the lovers' cause because when advising Romeo he uses the word we, as if he feels responsible and will not abandon them, he says for Romeo to stay in Mantua until:
We can find a time/ To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends, / Beg pardon of the Prince, and call thee back/ With twenty thousand times more joy/ Than thou went'st forth in lamentation (3.3.149-53).
The next thing that the friar has a hand in, in fact concocts, is having Juliet drink 'distilling
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