Romeo and Juliet Friar Laurence
by William Shakespeare

Friar Laurence is a study in the opposites that characterize the play. He is the only religious figure, is generally kindhearted, and gives Romeo and Juliet generally good advice. On the other hand, his moves are often calculated for political ends. He agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet because he sees in their marriage a chance to end the Capulet-Montague feud and thus bring peace to Verona. He is responsible for sneaking Romeo into Juliet’s room and then out of Verona, and he then creates the plan to reunite the lovers through the use of Juliet’s faked death.

Although Friar Laurence seems to have good intentions, his actions are the triggers for the tragedy of the play. Unlike the main characters, who may seem subject to fate, Friar Laurence performs the actions that actively bring that fate about.

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