What else could Friar  Lawrence have dobe to help Romeo and Juliet in Act II?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act II of Romeo and Juliet, Friar Laurence oversteps his vows as a priest by interfering with secular matters and marrying Romeo and Juliet.  However, this well-meaning act ends up being pivotal to the tragedy of the two lovers.  For, had Friar Laurence counseled with the Capulets and the Montagues and explained how intensely Romeo and Juliet were involved, perhaps there could have been a resolution found. 

Certainly, without their having been married by Friar Laurence, Juliet would not have become so desperate to kill herself and the scheme of Friar Laurence to have her seem dead would never have come about, nor would Romeo's impulsive act in the tomb which also effected Juliet's death.

In the word's of a character of Shakespeare's:  Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.  The sin of deception is Friar Laurence's.  As a priest and an adult, he should not have been as impulsive as the youths; he should have been forthright and open, going to the feuding families as a mediator.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Very simply, Friar Lawrence could have told the kids NO. I know, it's a tough word for folks like us these days. In those days, I think it would have gone over better.

He could have given them an ultimatium though. He could have said, "I will marry you if you bring your parents to me and we start talking this out." The impulsive youths would have then had to think about how very serious they were. If their love was as strong as they said it was, they would have made the sacrifice to bring their parents on board even if it meant their relationships would be uncomfortable for a while. This move could have changed the entire fate of the story.