Extended Character Analysis
Friar Laurence is a good-hearted Franciscan friar who marries Romeo and Juliet in hopes that their union will end the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. He is one of the most peaceful and wise characters, whose well-intentioned efforts ironically lead to the two lovers’ deaths.
Friar Laurence first appears on stage in act II, scene III, picking herbs and plants for his medicines and placing them in a basket. He greets Romeo warm-heartedly and gently prods him when he thinks that Romeo has been out all night with Rosaline. Romeo confides in Friar Laurence that he attended the ball and has fallen in love with his enemy’s daughter. Friar Laurence is surprised by Romeo’s change of heart, remarking, “Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here! / Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, / So soon forsaken?” (act II, scene III). Even so, he offers Romeo advice, counseling him to be prudent. He muses, warning Romeo to go into his love for Juliet “wisely and slow...” for...
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