What are some characteristics of Juliet and Friar Lawrence?  

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I will start with Juliet, and I'll start with the easy and obvious characteristics.  First, Juliet is a girl.  A young girl at that.  Her father tells Paris that Juliet is not ready to be married yet, because she is too young.  

My child is yet a stranger...

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I will start with Juliet, and I'll start with the easy and obvious characteristics.  First, Juliet is a girl.  A young girl at that.  Her father tells Paris that Juliet is not ready to be married yet, because she is too young.  

My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,

Juliet is also a Capulet; they are the sworn enemies of the Montagues, which is what Romeo is.  Juliet, despite her youth is wise and strong beyond her years.  I think this because she doesn't automatically dismiss her mother's advice about Paris.  I work with 13 year old students.  I know how they talk about their moms and mom's rules.  Juliet tells her mom that she will look at Paris with an open mind.  She doesn't simply dismiss her mom's advice for the sake of dismissing her. 

I'll look to like, if looking liking move:
But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Regarding her strength, Juliet stands up to her father and mother about her desire to marry Romeo.  That's not an easy thing for a young girl to do, especially when dad is screaming and insulting you.  Juliet does stand up to her father's onslaught though and stands firm in her devotion to Romeo.  

Friar Lawrence is a much more interesting character I think.  He's quite mysterious.  For example, why does a holy man religious figure have such intimate knowledge of potions and herbs?  He is presented as a friar, but I feel he more closely resembles a wizard or medicine man.  He is a caring individual, and the evidence is in how he treats Romeo and Juliet.  He can clearly see their love for each other, but he still warns Romeo of the potential problems that the marriage is going to cause.  

Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.

Yet despite his concerns, Friar Lawrence still agrees to unite Romeo and Juliet in marriage.  That sounds wonderful and romantic, until you think about his main stated reason for doing so.  

In one respect I'll thy assistant be;
For this alliance may so happy prove,
To turn your households' rancour to pure love.

Friar Lawrence believes that Romeo and Juliet's marriage will have the power to end the feud between the Capulets and Montagues.  That's devious and scheming, because it might work, but it might not either.  Of course Friar Lawrence isn't taking any of the risks either.  His plot is completely safe for him, because Romeo and Juliet will take any of the trouble that comes.  

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