Character Profile of Friar Lawrence


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Character Profile of Friar Lawrence

Most movies portray friars as wise mentors, or strict religion-followers, that lead lawful, moral, and virtuous lives. But this tragic play of Romeo and Juliet begs to differ, as the friar does nothing but help achieve the forbidden plans of two star-crossed lovers. As Friar Lawrence gets involved more deeply into the schemes of Romeo and Juliet, he too begins to warp sly plans out of his head, such as the potion plan.

Despite his conscience, Friar Lawrence reveals a potion that will put Juliet to a false death, in the “Potion Plan” scene. His motivation was caused by the weeping and tears of Juliet who was in the hands of a twisted marriage against her will. She had already been married to her love, but now that promise was in danger of being broken. From the few lines that the friar speaks, the audience realizes that this friar is certainly not the stereotype friar that goes around trying to live an impossible life of perfection.
Though it may have been wrong to help children marry against their parents’ permission, and let them fake a death to run away together, Friar Lawrence did the exact thing.
Friar Lawrence didn’t think of what was lawfully right, but of the destiny of two people, that were very important to him. He cared for them, and wished Romeo and Juliet well. He valued them as his own children. It goes to show that Friar Lawrence was human, also, and not perfect, since no one can be perfect.

Friar Lawrence felt an internal conflict within him – the conflict of self against self. He knew in his mind that it was wrong to help a teen run away with her lover, who happened to be a murderer. But he also felt himself reach out to them, as he had known them as his own children for a very long time. He knew what a desperate situation Juliet and Romeo were in, and knew that he could prevent their lives from being ruined. But the problem was that the only way to solve everything, was to take a ‘wrong path’, that everyone opposed. In the end, he ends up helping his fellow children. But by this decision, he affected the whole plot of the play, and caused it to turn greatly. This plan would have turned out marvelously, but he made a few mistakes.

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If only he had made certain that the message reached Romeo, informing him of the potion plan. Or if only he had arrived swifter to the Capulets’ Grave, before Romeo. It can be said that through his mistake, Romeo and Juliet ended up committing suicide.

Conjuring the plan in his head, the Friar must have felt unsure, insecure, and very worried; standing before a table full of his chemical experiments, in a hot, stuffy room of summer’s afternoons, talking in riddles and metaphors. One displayed literary device is personification when the friar states, “[Hope] craves as desperate an execution”, and “[Shame] cop’st with death himself to scape from it”. The friar should have listened to his own wise words, before giving the potion to Juliet. His cool head, shadowed by the care he had for Romeo and Juliet, gave way and caused him to create a tragic ending, instead of what he planned. If only he was the ‘stereotype friar’, who didn’t study potions and chemistry. Then he wouldn’t have had the knowledge for creating such a distilling liquor.

Friar Lawrence only did his best to help the two lovers, and went against everything he was known for. But he ended up bringing the tragic ending into place. This can be applied in the everyday life of a human. Many times, people are blinded by a simple thing like love and care. They each have only one meaning, yet the people of this world warp it into such a complicated thing to cover up their mistakes. Friar Lawrence was wise in his own way till the end. And he didn’t fail to admit his involvement in the tragic and undying ending, of Romeo and Juliet.


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