Act 5. Of the surviving characters, who do you feel should be punished? Why?

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Personally, I do not feel that anyone should be punished.  While the punishment of several of the characters might be justifiable, each will suffer tremendous guilt and pain without being sentenced in any way. 

The Montague family has lost its son and male heir, Romeo, as well as Mercutio.  The Capulet family has lost its daughter, Juliet, as well as Tybalt.  The feud between the two families is to blame for these losses, but a judicial punishment cannot serve a real purpose; by the end of the play, both families have recognized the error of their ways and attempt to make amends with one another.

Friar Lawrence could be punished for his role in the deceits that ultimately led to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, but he truly never intended to harm anyone.  Both Romeo and Juliet were overly dramatic and acted hastily and without consideration of the consequences of their actions.  While Friar Lawrence was a facilitator of their plans, he was only a participant because he desired to bring the two families together.  His plan was foolish in some ways, but it was not intended for evil.

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Romeo and Juliet

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