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Literature: Romeo and Juliet Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on September 3, 2012
  • Category: Shakespeare
  • Length: 3,418 words

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Below is an essay on "Literature: Romeo and Juliet" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Outline the part played by friar Lawrence and bring out clearly the character of the man

Friar Lawrence occupies a strange position in Romeo and Juliet. He is a kind-hearted cleric who helps Romeo and Juliet throughout the play. He performs their marriage and gives generally good advice, especially in regard to the need for moderation. He is the sole figure of religion in the play,but Friar Lawrence is also the most scheming and political of characters: he marries Romeo and Juliet as part of a plan to end the civil strife in Verona; he spirits Romeo into Juliet’s room and then out of Verona; he devises the plan to reunite Romeo and Juliet through the deceptive ruse of a sleeping potion that seems to arise from almost mystic knowledge. In addition, though Friar Lawrence’s plans all seem well conceived and well intentioned, they serve as the main mechanisms through which the fated tragedy of the play occurs.
A mentor to both Romeo and Juliet, Friar Laurence constantly advises them to act with more caution and moderation. But Friar Laurence's own plans to help Romeo and Juliet end in tragedy. He's the guy, after all, who gives Juliet the concoction that puts her in a deep, deep, slumber that fools her family (and Romeo) into thinking she's dead. This makes Friar Laurence one of the most complex and interesting characters in the play: we don't know if he should be blamed or not, but many of the events do make the reader think that friar Lawrence has indirectly contributed to all the tragedies that took place.
At first glance, one may look over the character of Friar Laurence and dismiss him as only a minor player in the story of Romeo and Juliet.   However, upon closer examination, it becomes obvious that the Friar plays an essential role in the development of the play and is notable for moving the action along.   In his first appearance, Friar Laurence sets the scene for us: "The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, / Chequering the eastern clouds with...

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