Romeo and Juliet

Who's to blame for their death?

Friar Laurence

Out of all of the characters in Romeo and Juliet, I believe Friar Laurence is the one to blame for the entire conflict because he helped Romeo and Juliet the most. Friar was the one who wed them because he believed it would end the dispute between the two families, although it only made it worse at the end. Another reason is because he gave Juliet a vial that would temporarily put her to sleep. Because of this, everyone thinks she's dead, including Romeo, which causes to commit suicide. Once she wakes up, she finds Romeo dead so she kills herself as well. Therefore, Friar Laurence is responsible for the entire conflict.
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Textual Evidence

Evidence #1 - Romeo and Juliet's wedding

Friar says, "Come, come with me, and we will make short work; For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone till holy church incorporate two in one" (2.6 35-37).

During this scene, Friar agrees to wed Romeo and Juliet, although he knows he's not supposed to. He knows that both families are fighting together and them being together isn't the best idea. The reason why he marries them is because he thinks that them being married will end or lessen the dispute.

Evidence #2 - Friar's plan

Friar states, "Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone; Let not the nurse lie with thee in thy chamber. Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilling liquor drink thou off" (4.1 91-94).

This scene is when Juliet goes to Friar for advise. Her parents arranged a marriage for her and Paris and she is very reluctant. She cries to Friar about it and he thought of an idea. He made a vial for her that would put her to sleep through the wedding. Because of this, everyone thinks Juliet is dead, including Romeo, which causes him to commit suicide.

Evidence #3 - Juliet's death

Friar says, "Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes to rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead" (4.1 108-109).

Why this isn't Romeo's fault:

The reason why we can't blame this on Romeo is because he's simply taking Friar's advice. Whenever he (or Juliet) is having a problem with the relationship, he would always ask Friar for help. Friar knew he shouldn't have helped Romeo but he keeps doing it anyway. Instead of blaming Romeo for asking for help, blame Friar for helping him out.