Essay, Research Paper: Romeo And Juliet Tragedy

Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's plays about tragedy. It is about two
lovers who commit suicide when their feuding famillies prevent them from being
together. The play has many characters, each with its own role in keeping the
plot line. Some characters have very little to do with the plot but some have
the plot revolving around them. Friar Lawrence does not have very much time on
stage but the time he does have is crucial to the plot line. Through his words
Friar Lawrence demonstrates the he is a good intentioned, yet sometimes
short-sighted, man who is not afraid to take risks to help others One of Friar
Lawrences most favourable traits is how good intentioned he is. He may do
something out of the ordinary if he thinks the outcome will help someone he
cares for. For example, when he says "In one respect I'll thy assistant be;
for this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your households rancour to pure
love."(Act 2, Scene 3), he is saying that the only reason he will marry
Romeo and Juliet is because he hopes that the marriage will end the hostilities
between the two houses. When he says "Shall Romeo by my letters know our
drift, and hither shall he come; and he and I shall watch thy waking, and that
very night shall Romeo bear thee to Mantua." (Act 4, Scene 1), he tells
Juliet how everything will be all right. Unfortunately, for all his good
intentions the play still ends in tragedy. Friar Lawrence is a man who is not
afraid to take risks when he feels it is neccesary to help someone. For example
in Act 2, Scene 6, when he marries Romeo and Juliet, he is risking his
reputation as a Friar so he can help the two lovers. Also, when he says
"Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilled liquor drink
though off;" (Act 4, Scene 1), he is suggesting that Juliet drink a potion
so that she might feighn her own death and avoid marrying Paris. This is an
extremely risky thing to do because anything might happen to Juliet while she
unconscious. Even after all Friar did to help Romeo and Juliet the play still
ended in tragedy because of Friar Lawrences' short sightedness. When the Friar
married Romeo Juliet in secrecy, he did not think of all the complications that
would arise but instead went on with the marriage because at that time he
thought it was the right thing to do. In Act 4, Scene 1, he gave Juliet a
sleeping potion without thinking of the possible outcomes of such an outrages
plan. He admits that much of the fault of the tragedy lies in his hands when he
says "And her I stand both to impeach and purge myself condemned and myself
excused", and when he say "Her nurse is privy; and, if aught in this
miscarried by myself..." (Act 5, Scene 3). Although Friar Lawrence does not
have an especially large role, his role is none the less important. It is
because of his good intentions that he was willing to help his friends that
Romeo and Juliet were married - a key event in the play. It is because of his
willingness to take risks for his friends that Juliet aqquired the sleeping
potion - another key event in the play. Finally, it was the shortsightedness of
his actions that in part led to the deaths of the two lead characters. This
demonstartes that Friar Lawrence was a man who was a man with good intentions
who was willing to take risks to help his frieneds. If he had been any other
way, the play might not have turned out the way it did.

BibliographyLeslie Alcock in collaboration with S. J. Stevenson and C. R. Musson. Cadbury
Castle, Somerset: The Early Medieval Archaeology. Cardiff: U of Wales P on
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"The Origins of the Arthurian Legend." Arthuriana 5.3 (1995): 1-24.
Rex Gardner. "Gildas's New Testament Models." Cambrian Medieval Celtic
Studies 30 (Winter 1995): 1-12. R. W. Hanning. "'Inventio Arthuri': A
Comment on the Essays of Geoffrey Ashe and D. R. Howlett." Arthuriana 5.3
(1995): 96-100. D. R. Howlett. The Celtic-Latin Tradition of Biblical Style.
Dublin: Four Courts, 1995. John Morris. Arthurian Sources. 6 vols. Arthurian
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White. King Arthur: Man or Myth?. Penryn: Tor Mark P, 1995. Esp. "The Major
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Text, Translation and Notes. Cardiff: U of Wales P, 1997. David Howlett. Cambro-Latin
Compositions: Their Competence and Craftsmanship. Dublin: Four Courts, 1998.
Alistair Moffat. Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms. London: Weidenfeld, 1999. (KSW)
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