In Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, what is your detailed opinion of Friar Lawrence's advice to Juilet in Act 4?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Friar Lawrence speaks to Juliet when she is threatening to die, so Friar Lawrence must act quickly to calm her down. First, he tells her, "Hold, daughter! I do spy a kind of hope,/Which craves as desperate an execution/As that is desperate which we would prevent" (IV.i.70-73). With one word, "execution," the Friar actually uses a pun to foreshadow his plan. He then warns her with paradoxical solution that demands that she will have die in order to live. He suggests this very poetically by saying, "That cop'st with Death himself to 'scape from it" (IV.i.77). Hence, the plot to play dead, pose in a funeral, and actually be buried in a tomb to escape her circumstances is delivered. It seems a rather aggressive, dramatic, and violent way to help a young teenager deal with her problems. It is interesting that telling the truth about the young lovers' marriage is never mentioned; but, the Friar married them in secret and might have been afraid to own up to that assistance. Sadly, it had to take the kids' death to bring out the truth and to settle the feud between the Montegues and the Capulets.