How did Friar Laurence lie in Romeo and Juliet?

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jimjimjimmy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Friar Lawrence does not necessarily lie directly, he commits a number a deceptive actions in order to achieve social and political harmony. One such action is his decision to secretly wed Romeo and Juliet. This is a deceptive act because the wedding is not disclosed to the social sphere, and the Friar commits this act in the hopes that their union will eventually bring peace in Verona. Later on in the play, the Friar then provides Juliet with a sleeping potion so that she may fake her own death. Again, while this action is not an outright lie, it is deceptive, nonetheless. The Friar provides Juliet with the potion so that she may reunite with Romeo. Therefore, the Friar is repeatedly shown to use deception as a means to bring peace to the other characters. In this case, Shakespeare may be using the characterization of the Friar in order to comment on the role of the church during the 16th century.