Who Was Most to Blame Essay Sample


Shakespeare's writing career took the audience through a series of emotions ranging from sadness to excitement which would leave us interested enough to explore a deeper question within each of his plays. Shakespeare used dramatic irony throughout the play by opening it with the suicides of the young protagonists, Romeo and Juliet. This knowledge allows the audience to see and analyze the significant mistakes that lead up to their fate. The horrible decisions presented by multiple characters allow the reader to decide who was most to blame for the couple's death. Romeo made many mistakes throughout this period, but despite the atrocious actions of the Montagues and Capulets, the third party member, Friar Lawrence may have been the most to blame. The Friars' immature and underdeveloped schemes and the young impulsive love of Romeo both contributed to the bloodbath that took place in their kingdom of Verona.

Friar Lawrence was the one to marry Romeo and Juliet and fully recognized that the two were making a mistake on several accounts.  Even after stating, “These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph like fire and powder Which, as they kiss, consume,” (Shakespeare 2.6.9-11) Friar Lawrence still married them. The quote demonstrates that something bad will happen in the end and that he understands that the relationship will ultimately suffer. Despite the red flags raised by the ambitious couple, the Friar was still okay with marrying Romeo and Juliet even when he was not obligated to. As he had predicted, several issues immediately arose, and he still decided to be involved in their complicated relationship. One of which was helping Romeo stay in Verona even after he murdered somebody. The Friar pointed out that Romeo’s actions were horrible by responding,  “O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness! Thy fault our law calls death, but the kind Prince, Taking thy part, hath rushed aside the law (Shakespeare 3.3.24-26).” It showcases Friar Lawrence's frustrating situation, but instead of ignoring them, he continued to do harmful favors for them even though they dissaglined with his moral compass. 

Friar also acknowledged the family feud between the Capulets and Montagues, and even warned Romeo by quoting, “So smile the heavens upon this holy act that after-hours with sorrow and chide us not,”. This demonstrates how he may be happy marrying Juliet at the moment, but he will soon feel depressed and maybe regretful when all of his and her family disapprove. On the surface level, Friar Lawrence is a very intelligent old man, but his plans may have been too complicated and immature to accomplish as well. In act four scene one Lawrence finished explaining to Juliet that she was going to fake her death to avoid marrying Paris. Mentioning that Romeo was going to receive the news and flee with her to Mantua. “Get you gone. Be strong and prosperous In this resolve. I’ll send a friar with speed To Mantua with my letters to thy lord (Shakespeare 4.1.126-128) Friar Lawrence said, demonstrating not only the plan but how he relied too heavily on other people to carry out his plan. The Friar did not make a Plan B or the original idea foolproof which left too much room for disaster. The one thing that Friar Lawrence needed to do was to send Friar John the message, but he failed because John was sick and in quarantine. This meant that Romeo didn’t know that Juliet was going to fake her death. Not only were the plans not foolproof, the whole idea of faking someone's death is immoral and left the Capulet family heartbroken and in disbelief. After Friar asked if she was ready to get married the grieving father said, “Ready to go, but never to return. O son! The night before thy wedding-day Hath death lain with thy wife.” Even after hearing that, Friar continued to do nothing and his lack of empathy may have cost Juliet's life. Instead of staying at the Capulet's house pretending to be oblivious, he could have made sure that the potion worked and that the whole plan was working. 

Friar Lawrence played an integral role in the couple's suicides, but it was Romeo’s idea to attend the Montague party after a devastating breakup that would activate a domino effect to his fate. Romeo is usually quick to act on love-oriented events which is why when something unexpected happens he bases most of his decisions on his initial thoughts and is very unlikely to change his mind. This being said, when he met Juliet he immediately fell in love, even before having a civil conversation with her. As presented before, Friar Lawrence continually warned him about the oncoming struggles he was about to face which shows just how stubborn he is. Another example of his quick decision-making and flaws was when he killed Tybalt after his best friend, Mercutio, was stabbed. This would further lead to him getting exiled from the kingdom and if found, would be imprisoned or killed. The final example of his quick and emotionally driven decisions would be found in his act five scene three soliloquy where he discovers Juliet in her tomb and poisons himself. After slaying Paris, Romeo exclaimed, “Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet -O, give me thy hand, One writ with me in sour misfortune's book. I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave.” This quote shows how desperate he was for Juliet, and the thought of her marrying or dating another man would simply not fly with him. He also mentioned that he was naturally unfortunate for having the incapability to seek love with approval because he stuck to his original plan to marry Juliet.

If Friar Lawrence would have been excluded from the play, there would have been a much happier scenario. A scenario where Romeo’s young and impulsive love would not have been tolerated, and would not have been married to Juliet. Friar's decision to continue to be involved in the relationship was not only immature but paired with Romeo's quick and manipulative thought process. In all, Friar Lawrence should have looked out for Romeo with more demanding and firm actions so then he couldn’t fold and do something that is aligned with his values. Without the Friar’s interference, Juliet would have been married to Paris, and Romeo would be single once again, which is a much more preferable outcome.

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