Friar Lawrence offers advice that hehimself does not follow. While his advice is well meaning, because he doesnot follow it, terrible events occur. The death of Romeo and Juliet, and,indirectly, Tybalt and Mercutio, are due to Friar Lawrence’s inability to backup his own advice with action. For example, had Friar Lawrence gone with hisown advice that marrying Romeo and Juliet would be too hasty, Romeo andJuliet would not have ended up dead. But, in the end, he married the coupletoo soon, eventually resulting in a disaster.
“Friar Lawrence, less ambitious and more desperate than his fellow manipulators, does not hope that Juliet’s death will dissolve the families’ hatreds but only that it will give Romeo and chance to come and carry her off” (Snyder). At this point Romeo and Juliet’s relationship could not solve the problems between the families and the Friar was only uniting them. This is what made the Friar so repulsive. Even now after deaths and family issues, He treated the situation like a game. “Hold, daughter, I do spy a kind of hope, / Which craves as desperate an execution / As that is desperate which we would prevent (4.1.69-71).
This quote tells me that this is not Friar Laurence’s fault because he may have helped Romeo along but he was not the person who did the actions that caused the eventual death of Romeo and Juliet. He may have been naïve to marry them but he wasn’t the one who got married. If Friar Laurence refused, would Romeo have not married Juliet? I think not, Romeo was to in love to not have gotten married and if Friar Laurence refused he could have done something even more impulsive. I think Friar Laurence was trying to get the best out of this situation and advise them through it.
As I said before in the beginning of the book Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is gloomy and feeling hopeless about love because Rosaline (the women he “loves”) is not going to get married. He says: “She is too fair, too wise, wisely to far, To merit bliss by making
Friar Lawrence makes fun of Romeo saying that young men only love what they see. They do not love with their hearts but with their eyes and thoughts. Their love is shallow and superficial. He questions whether Romeo shed a single tear for Rosaline before moving on. Friar Lawrence brings out Romeo’s fickle minded nature by showing how he falls in love with a new woman, Juliet, in a very short time frame.
This is highlighted when the Friar succumbs to the desires of the young lovers, “you two shall not be alone, till holy church incorporate two in one”. By permitting the two to wed, Friar Lawrence’s intentions may have been good, but he ultimately contributes to their “doomed” romance by not informing Romeo and Juliet’s parents of their marriage. In contrast to the bliss of the marriage, Romeo is soon banished for murdering Tybalt, where Friar Lawrence remains ignorantly optimistic that he can somehow help the two young lovers remain together. Through this episode Friar Lawrence still strives for the young lovers happiness in hope that all will come together, but he fails to see the destructiveness of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship, thus through lack of guidance can be held responsible for the continuance of their affair. This is further illustrated when Juliet is forced to marry Count Paris when Friar Lawrence presents her with an alternative, “I’ll give thee remedy”.
Fate is commonly overlooked as being the sole cause of their deaths, but in my opinion it is what brought the two lovers to their end. Throughout the play it reveals that their lives will end by their influences and actions, "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life". This unavoidable aspect may have made Romeo and Juliet fall in love just to end the feud between the two houses. An important act of fate to consider would be the masquerade ball, if Romeo wasn’t wearing a mask Juliet would have realised who he was and may have not fallen in love with him. Romeo was too young to realise that he should have waited until he got over Rosaline before he became involved with Juliet.
Juliet came to Friar Laurence in hoping there was a way to stop the wedding, and he proposed a very risky idea, “If, rather than to marry County Paris, Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself, Then is it likely thou wilt undertake A thing like death to chide away this shame,” (Shakespeare, 911). His idea was unexpected because priests are known for their honesty and leadership, but Friar Laurence didn’t conduct himself well. He should know better than to encourage an obviously melodramatic lover to drink poison. He can’t trust an immature teenager to handle a plan like that. He thinks it’s the only way out, but didn’t think through other options.
Romeo is discreetly referencing the prologue, where the audience learns that Romeo and Juliet are fated for misfortune. But Romeo also feels Fortune is being especially cruel; he just got married, and he might be put to death. His words
Friar Lawrence has a cowardly streak that doesn't suit his character; he means no harm but may end up doing some. The part of the play that makes me think of Friar Lawrence as a good person is when the Friar marries Romeo and Juliet while knowing it could end very badly resulting in his own death. I see this as a very courageous act, trying to join the houses of the Capuletes and the Montagues. I think that the name Friar Lawrence gives a good indication that his vocation is that of a Friar.