In Romeo and Juliet, what relationship does Friar Laurence see between plants and people?

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In act 2, scene 3, Friar Lawerence explains similarities between plants and people. Just as plants can be either helpful or hurtful, people can be both benevolent and malevolent. As with the many types of plants, there is a variety of people, as well. According to the friar, with any good also comes the potential for evil, and vice-versa.


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coachingcorner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Of course in the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, Friar Laurence is thinking of the sedative properties of plants, among other things. The relationships between plants and people are those of co-existence and co-dependency (in terms of medicinal plants grown for their palliative properties.) Friar Laurence, and monks in general, knew more about this than most. Monks were traditionally responsible for growing and administering healing ointments and medicinal herbs and each monastery would have had a kitchen garden specifically for that purpose. Sick and elderly monks would have been...

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blazn0azn | Student

The friar's soliloquy reflects on the duality of human nature. The last three lines are especially significant, in that they state that men, as well as herbs, are both 'good' and 'evil'. Also, the last two lines imply that if evil takes root in the heart of man, then he or she will become engulfed in and infatuated by it.

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