Explain and analyze Friar's commentary on unhappy fortune.

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In Act 5, scene 2, Friar Laurence cries "unhappy fortune!" He says this because he had sent Friar John to Romeo with a letter explaining that Juliet 's death was a fake, so that Romeo would not worry if he heard rumors of her death. However, Friar John returns with...

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In Act 5, scene 2, Friar Laurence cries "unhappy fortune!" He says this because he had sent Friar John to Romeo with a letter explaining that Juliet's death was a fake, so that Romeo would not worry if he heard rumors of her death. However, Friar John returns with the letter. He tells Friar Laurence that he was quarantined by the authorities for fear he had been exposed to the plague. He was never able to deliver the letter.

This is when Friar Laurence responds with the words "unhappy fortune." He means that the non-delivery of the letter is a badand potentially fataltwist of fate. Friar Laurence knows how impulsive Romeo is: Romeo is not going to wait if he hears news of Juliet's death and is very likely to do something rash and foolish. The non-delivery of the letter is an especially unhappy twist of fate because of Romeo's personality.

Romeo has already had premonitions of doom, and now the friar has them too. He jumps into a frenzy of activity, wanting to get to the tomb to inform Juliet of what happened so she will be prepared. He says of her:

Poor living corse, closed in a dead man’s tomb!

He also wishes to send another letter to Romeo. He realizes speed is of the essence in all of this, but as we know, he is too late. Events are already set on their tragic course. The friar's statement about fortune being against the couple is similar to the statement in the Prologue that the lovers are star-crossed or fated to come to a bad end. Luck, the friar realizes, is not on their side.

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