Friar Laurence is presented as a holy man who is trusted and respected by the other characters. He is an important character in the drama, ’Romeo and Juliet,’ by ‘William Shakespeare. ’ The Friar’s role as the friend and advisor to Romeo and Juliet highlights the conflict between parents and their children within the play. Friar Lawrence does not immediately approve of Romeo’s plan to marry Juliet, and asks him “Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear,/ So soon forsaken? Romeo’s arguments in favor of his current love are hardly very creditable: “Her I love now/ Does grace for grace, and love for love allow/ The other did not. ” This is dangerously close to saying that Juliet’s easy enough to make it worthwhile. Friar Lawrence doesn’t agree to help them because he is convinced by Romeo’s sincerity, but for a specific reason (“in one respect”, as he says), namely that “This alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households’ rancor to pure love. ” As Romeo is isolated from his friends and family, The Friar acts as a father figure to Romeo.
He is one person who Romeo trusts and this is relevant as he is the first person Romeo goes to talk about his love for Juliet, ‘my heart’s dear love is set on the fair daughter of rich Capulet. ’ The Friar is a religious idealist, a philosopher who understands the big picture while other characters in the play are too involved in their interrelationships to share his perspective. He is a holy man, anxious to help the lovers in order to reconcile the Montagues and Capulets and bring peace to Verona, ‘for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancor to pure love,’ showing us how his actions were well planned off.
Friar Lawrence is the mastermind of the plot. He first creates the plot by agreeing to marry Romeo and Juliet, he does this because he thinks the marriage will bring peace to the families, ’turn your households rancor into pure love,’ this brings out his intelligence. His wise character is brought out when he says, ‘wisely and slow they stumble that run fastly,’ foreshadowing to us that something unexpected is going to occur. Act four Scene 3 is driven by the conflict between the older and younger generations.
The Friar chastises Romeo and reminds him of his good fortune that the Prince has commuted his sentence from death to a “gentler judgment” of exile. Although Romeo heretofore sought the wise counsel of Friar Laurence, a holy man of spiritual learning, now that Romeo’s situation has grown critical, the Friar’s advice is not as well received. The Friar’s contemplative work is far removed from the blind passion and emotional torment that Romeo is experiencing. Romeo, in his agitated state, is unable to accept the calm, philosophical reasoning the Friar offers.
The Friar’s willingness to help Juliet reflects his concern for his own role in the unfolding events. He has performed an illicit marriage and must now strive to prevent being implicated in the bigamous marriage between Juliet and Paris. The Friar has exposed himself to substantial personal liability, but he faces many opportunities to absolve himself of any involvement. The Friar is a peace-loving yet powerless character whose efforts to promote good are as subject to the whims of fate as anyone else’s in the play. The Friar uses his knowledge of flowers and herbs to conceive Juliet’s remedial concoction.
In Act II, Scene 3, the Friar describes the dual qualities of the flower that is capable of healing yet has the power to act as a poison. The drug the Friar offers Juliet is compounded of opposites and will give Juliet the appearance of death so that she can regain her life and her love. The Friar’s plan serves as the mechanism of hope for Juliet, but due to the influence of fate, becomes the vehicle of the tragedy itself. I feel that Friar Lawrence plays an important role in this drama as he helps the drama to develop and makes it interesting. He is the one who starts the plot, furthers it and then finally ends it.
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