Friar Lawrence

Essay by gr8twirlgirl November 2014

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Friar Lawrence as the Plot Source

The term "minor character" does not define who Friar Lawrence is in the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, for his contributions are not in the least bit minor, rather they guide the whole plot. As the source of many climatic events in Romeo and Juliet, Friar Lawrence drives the story by marrying Romeo and Juliet and devises the plan to bring the two lovers back together after Romeo's exile.

The ongoing fighting between the Capulets and Montagues was unbearable and seemed never-ending, but when Romeo came to Friar Lawrence to marry him and Juliet, he saw it as an opportunity to end the meaningless dispute. The feud between the two households was tiring for Friar Lawrence and he wanted nothing but for it to end so he agreed upon the marriage. "…In one respect I'll thy assistant be; For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households' rancour to pure love," says Friar Lawrence as an agreement to the marriage (II.iii).

With Romeo and Juliet being vowed to one another, this is Romeo's reasoning for not wanting to engage in a quarrel with Tybalt, for they are now each others' cousin. If not for this, Romeo would have been charged for killing Tybalt in a fight, most likely death, rather than taking a life for a life and being exiled. Their marriage is also Juliet's excuse for not loving or wanting to marry Paris, and then going to Friar Lawrence for guidance as to what to do. If it was not for Friar Lawrence accepting the request of marrying Romeo and Juliet, Romeo would most likely be executed and Juliet would have been vowed to Paris instead, possibly worsening the family feud.

As soon as they are married, Romeo...