Why did the Friar ask Romeo to have his wedding night although he is aware of the danger Romeo faces, should he be caught. Isn't the Friar rational?
Please focus on plot and characterization in Romeo and Juliet. Thanks! :)
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There are two possibilities explaining why the Friar urges Romeo to spend one last night with Juliet in Shakespeare's play. The first is that the Friar is acting in what he believes is a rational way. After killing Tybalt and being banished, Romeo is hysterical and desperate. He has threatened to kill himself several times in the Friar's presence and is beyond being comforted. He's trying to make Romeo realize that he should count his blessings that Juliet is still alive, that he killed Tybalt and not the other way around, and that he should be happy because the Prince only banished him instead of sentenced him to death. The Friar wants Romeo to realize that has so much to live for and must cherish and stay alive for the love he has promised to Juliet. He wants Romeo to spend the night with Juliet to solidify this love and comfort her. The Friar also has a plan. Romeo spends the night with Juliet and leaves in the morning to go to Mantua as per his banishment. After some time has passed and things calm down, the Friar will let friends and families know about the marriage and ask the Prince to pardon Romeo so he can return to Verona.
Another possible reason the Friar urges Romeo to spend the night with Juliet before departing Verona is to save his own life and not get into trouble. Remember, the Friar was the one that married Romeo and Juliet secretly, so he has a major part in this union. He can't abandon his work now. He must work to try and keep it intact so that all blame doesn't end up being heaped on him. He has a vested interest in making sure Romeo and Juliet stay together and make their union work. The Friar has come this far and he must see it through.
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