Romeo and Juliet Summative

Who is responsible for the death of Romeo and Juliet?

Friar Laurence

Friar Laurence is to blame for the death of Romeo and Juliet. He is to blame because he was the one who married them in the first place, and got them to love each other even more by doing so. In Act 2, Scene 6, Friar Laurence 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). So this proves that Friar Laurence further enhanced their love for each other by marrying them. Also, another reason Friar is to blame is, he gave Juliet the potion that made her seem dead on her wedding day so she wouldn't have to marry Paris, so when Romeo found her "dead", he killed himself because he loved her so much. Then, Juliet finds Romeo dead, then she kills herself because she loved him so much. In the text Friar Laurence confesses that, "Then I gave her, so tutor'd by my art, A sleeping potion; which so took effect As I intended, for it wrought on her The form of death" (5.3.15-18). He was the one who gave her the potion that made Romeo think she was dead. That is why Friar Laurence is to blame. Because without him, the two wouldn't have even gotten married or Juliet wouldn't have taken the potion to make her seem dead.

Movie Example

West Side Story

A good example of Friar Laurence in another movie with a story similar to Romeo and Juliet, would be Doc, from the movie, West Side Story. In this movie, There are two gangs that are against each other, like the Capulets and Montagues in Romeo and Juliet. Each of them are in opposite gangs. In one scene, Tony/Romeo, goes to Maria/Juliet, and tells her to marry him. The next day, They go to doc and he marries them, even though he knows the two gangs are out for one another. Later in the movie, Tony must leave for killing one of the other gang members because they killed one of Tony's friends. This is like when Tybalt kills Mercutio, then Romeo kills Tybalt to avenge Mercutio's death. Eventually, Tony ends up meeting Juliet and they run up and hug one another, but during the hug, Tony is shot dead in the back. Then Juliet threatens to kill herself but she doesn't. In conclusion, this movie is very much alike Romeo and Juliet and the character Doc is just like Friar laurence, and also could be the cause of Tony's death for marrying the two and strengthening their love for one another, making them want to see each other again.
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Character Analysis

Friar Laurence

I think Friar Laurence decides to marry Romeo and Juliet because this could end the family fued between the Capulets and the Montagues. In Act 2, Scene 3, Romeo goes to visit Friar Laurence to convine him to marry him and Juliet. In the play, Frair Laurence says, "In one respect i'll thy assistant be; For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households' rancour to pure love" (Shakespeare) This means that Friar Laurence thinks this marriage between Romeo, A montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, could end the anger and hatred between the two family's. So then he marries the two but they don't tell anyone But when Romeo is banished for killing Tybalt, Juliets parents think she is sad for Tybalts death, when she is really sad for Romeo's banishment. So to cheer her up, her parents make her marry Paris, but Juliet would rather take her own life than marry him. So she goes to Friar Laurence for advice, and if there is no solution, she will kill herself. So Friar Laurence gives her a potion, that makes her seem dead so after the funeral is over, Romeo and him can come get Juliet and Romeo can take her away. Frair Laurence does this because he wants the two to be happy in their marriage by being together. In the text it shows how Friar gives Juliet the potion to help continue her marriage with Romeo, "If , rather than to marry County Paris, Thous hast the strength of will to slay thyself, Then is it likely thou wilt undertake A thing like death to chide away this shame, That copest with death himself to escape it: And, if thou darest, i'll give thee remedy" (Shakespeare). So basically Friar Laurence gives Juliet the potion to help save her marriage. Friar was just trying to do a good deed by helping with their marriage being the holy man that he is. But things later on turn for the worst. Romeo doesn't get the letter Friar sent telling him the plan, instead he just gets the news of Juliets death and comes to Verona in the night to see her one last time. He then buys a potion to kill himself after he sees Juliet. But after Romeo kills himself, Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo dead and the kills herself. When everybody is gathered around their two dead bodies, they are all trying to figure out what happened and then Friar Laurence does the right thing by coming clean and explaining that he married the two and told Juliet to take this potion that makes her seem dead so Romeo and I can come get her after the funeral. But also that Romeo didnt find out about the plan in time and thought she was really dead, so he then kills himself with a potion he bought. Then juliet wakes up and finds him dead and kills herself. In the text it is proven that Friar did say this, "I will be brief, for my short date of breath Is not so long as is a tedious tale. Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet; And she, there dead, that Romeo's faithful wife: I married them....Then i gave her, so tutor'd by my art, A sleeping potion; which so took effect As i intended, for it wrought on her The form of death" (Shakespeare). All this proves that Frair Laurence is indeed a good holy man, and means well, but in the end it could be argued that Romeo and Juliets death was his fault. Even though it is his fault, i still think he was trying to do the right thing and trying to be good and help out Romeo and Juliet.