Is Friar Lawrence a sympathetic or unsympathetic character in "Romeo and Juliet". Why?
Friar Laurence is quite involved in the events of this play. However, Friar Laurence's actions are sometimes questionable in terms of their honesty and morality.
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Friar Lawrence is a troubling figure in the play. The friar is the adviser who advises a particular course of action in order to engineer a particular consequence: "so happy prove/ To turn your household's rancor to pure love" (II.3.91-92) Is Friar Lawrence attempting to "get in good" with the Prince by ending the feud between the Montagues and Capulets? It appears that Friar Lawrence is a schemer of some sort. But to what end?
Friar Lawrence has some lengthy recapitulations of the events of the drama. his narratives look back over the events of the play while the characters themselves look forward into the play. The play itself is full of premonitory warning.
Friar Lawrence is also knowledgable of the "mystical properties" of some plants and makes a sleeping potion for Juliet. How does the "good friar" come by this alchemical knowledge? It seems out of place for the catholic priest to be dabbling in mystical properties of herbs.
He seems to be well-intentioned toward the plight of the lovers, Romeo and Juliet. His advice seems well intentioned to them as well, but it is through his advice and course of action that the worst of the tragedies develops.
Friar is sympathetic because he feels that romeo is truly in love with Juliet. He takes a great gamble when he secretly married the two lovers. If he was to get caught he would of got punished, big time.
He was unsympathetic because he didn't look at all the possibilities of marrying romeo and Juliet. He cared only about how there would be peace in the village because of the two families joining. He didn't care that maybe one of the families kids could get hurt in all this, emotionally and physically. Also, at the end, he heard people coming into the tomb where Juliet was supposedly "dead". Instead of helping her out or staying with her to comfort her, he left. He left because he didn't want to get caught and be punished. After he left and before the guards came into the tomb Juliet stabbed herself. By staying he could of saved Juliet's life.
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