Who is to Blame?

By: Foster Huggins

Who is Responsible for the Deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

Even though Friar Laurence was trying to help, he is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. He came up with a risky plan that made it look like Juliet was really dead, and when Romeo found out, bad things happened. If he would have came up with a safer plan, this might not have happened. “Hold, daughter: I do spy a kind of hope, Which craves as desperate an execution” (Act: IV Scene: I ). If he would have came up with a different, safer plan, Romeo and Juliet may not have died. He also sent an untrustworthy messenger to deliver the note to Romeo that Juliet was still alive. “But he which bore my letter, Friar John, Was stay’d by accident, and yesternight Return’d my letter back” (Act: IV Scene: I ). The Friar did say he sent a speedy messenger, but later he would admit that he was not trustworthy. These are just a few reasons why Friar Laurence is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Character Analysis

Friar Laurence was responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but it was not his intentions for them to die. He was trying to help them, and his plan backfired. Friar Laurence would never try to hurt anyone. In the play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare writes "We still have known thee for a holy man" (Act V, Scene III). This shows how people still see The Friar as a nice person. The reason Friar Laurence got so involved in helping Romeo and Juliet in the first place, is because he wanted to turn the households feud into love. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare says "For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households' rancour to pure love" (Act II, Scene III). This shows how The Friar wanted to help the two family's end their feud and turn the hate into love. The Friar really cared about this plan working, and it may have worked if he would not have sent the slow messenger to deliver the note to Romeo. When the plan failed, The Friar was willing to have his own life be sacrificed if the deaths were his fault. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare says "Miscarried by my fault, let my old life Be sacrificed, some hour before his time, Unto the rigor of severest law" (Act V, Scene III). This shows how he cared a lot about his plan working, and when it didn't work, he believed that if it was his fault, his life should be sacrificed. Friar Laurence is a good man who tried to help end the family's feud, and it backfired.
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The novel Anything to Win by Gloria D. Miklowitz resembles my explanation because in the book Cam Potter has a chance at getting a college scholarship for football, but in order to get it he has to put on 40 more pounds. His football coach, Coach Cooney, sends him to a trainer to get help with gaining the 40 pounds. However, he also gives him steroids, which is hurting Cam's health. Cooney's plan of helping Cam get the scholarship failed, because Cam eventually refused to take the steroids, which would mean Cam would have to get the scholarship by going his own way, and not with Cooney's plan. This story relates to my explanation because both Friar Laurence and Coach Cooney's plans fail.
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