Examine How Shakespeare Presents the Character of Friar Lawrence ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Analyze how Shakespeare presents the character of Friar Lawrence ‘Romeo and Juliet’ In ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Shakespeare provides Friar Lawrence in lots of ways, such as, a holy man, a fatherly figure but likewise as a coward. Friar Lawrence is a crucial instrument of fate within the play; he has good intents but winds up helping fate to produce catastrophe. In the first scene the audience see Friar Lawrence in; he exists as being extremely well-informed.

The audience see him gathering plants and herbs and demonstrates his knowledge by stating ‘For this being smelt, with that part cheers each part cheers each part being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.’ This line portrays the idea that each cure for an illness can likewise be fatal if taken in the wrong way. This demonstrates his knowledge of plants, herbs and medication. As well as this the Nurse gets in one scene and applauds Friar Lawrence for his ‘excellent council’ by saying ‘O, what knowing is!’ This emphasises the Friar’s knowledge and reveals that other characters see him as intelligent.

Secondly Shakespeare presents Friar Lawrence as not just being a holy man however as understanding the world or ‘worldly smart.’ This is shown at many points throughout the play such as when Romeo concerns Friar Lawrence’s cell and the Friar can inform that Romeo hasn’t been to sleep since he has been with a girl. This is highlighted in the line ‘Our Romeo have actually not been to bed tonight.’ As well as this Friar Lawrence discuss how quickly Romeo falls for one woman to the next by saying ‘Young men’s love then lies not genuinely in their hearts however in their eyes. This shows that Friar Lawrence knows that not all love is true. Additionally, Friar Lawrence agrees to wed Romeo and Juliet so quickly to guarantee that they do not have sex before marital relationship. This is shown in the lines ‘We will make short work for by leaves, you will not stay alone, till holy church incorporate two in one.’ This again emphasises how ‘worldly sensible’ Friar Lawrence is as he realises that youths do make love before marital relationship and do not constantly worry about faith and what religious beliefs needs to state about their actions.

Throughout the play Shakespeare likewise provides Friar Lawrence as being a councillor and fatherly figure towards Romeo. This side is represented in many scenes and is proved in lines such as ‘That’s my great son’ where Friar Lawrence is addressing Romeo as if he is his child. This is also highlighted in the line ‘wisely and slow they stumble that run quick’. This shows that Friar Lawrence is seeing Romeo mature and make mistakes so that he can learn from them; this is something a father would typically state about their own kid.

In addition to this the very first time Romeo greets Friar Lawrence Romeo utilizes the word ‘daddy’ which proves to the audience that he perceives Friar Lawrence as a fatherly figure. Friar Lawrence appears to be someone that Romeo can go to, to consult and guidance rather than speaking with his daddy. This highlights that in upper class households the relationship between parents and kids is perhaps not as strong as it is in lower class families. Along with having all of these attributes Shakespeare also presents Friar Lawrence as being a respected man to name a few characters.

We see this in the final scene where the prince asks Friar Lawrence for his account of occasions, the line that shows this is ‘Then state simultaneously what thou dost know in this’. This shows to the audience that the Prince aspects and worths Friar Lawrence’s view and viewpoint on events that have occurred. Nevertheless although Friar Lawrence exists as having lots of positive characteristics he likewise possesses some negative ones, such as being slightly careless. Examples of his irresponsibleness take place a number of times throughout the play, the very first example being when he first consents to wed Romeo and Juliet by stating ‘I’ll thy assist be’.

This is an irresponsible thing to do since Friar Lawrence understands that he does not have either moms and dads authorization, he likewise understands that Romeo and Juliet just fulfilled the night prior to and therefore, may not be really in love. Another example of Friar Lawrence existing as irresponsible is when he agrees to carry out a bigamous marital relationship between Juliet and Paris, he tells Juliet to ‘Give consent to wed Paris’. This shows he is careless since bigamous marriages are prohibited and he is a priest so is expected to follow the law.

Moreover, the strategy Friar Lawrence creates to help Romeo and Juliet be together is not analyzed fully and is generally careless. This is shown in the lines ‘I’ll send a Friar with speed to Mantua, with my letters to thy lord’, this is not analyzed totally as how will the Friar that is sent understand where Romeo is in Mantua and how will Friar Lawrence understand that Romeo has received the letters in time. The entire strategy that Friar Lawrence develops is irresponsible as he is giving a 13 or 14 year old lady a ‘solution’ that will give her no pulse and make her appear dead, which could be potentially risky.

Finally, at the end of the play we see Friar Lawrence existing as behaving quite afraid, which is a contrast to what we see throughout the play when he risks his reputation by assisting Romeo and Juliet to privately wed. We see proof of this when the Prince and his guards turn up in the final scene of the play and Friar Lawrence states ‘Come go, great Juliet, I attempt no longer remain’. This is cowardly behaviour due to the fact that he is willing to come up with a plan but then does not want to confront the repercussions of it. Friar Lawrence exists in many different ways throughout the play by Shakespeare.

It is apparent that in Friar Lawrence’s starting scenes his more positive qualities are presented to the audience, such as how educated, worldly sensible, fatherly and highly regarded he is. Whereas towards completion of the play the audience starts to see how reckless and afraid Friar Lawrence can be. Regardless of his percentage of unfavorable characteristics it is evident to the audience that Friar Lawrence’s intentions are excellent but since fate had actually everything drawn up disaster happened and there was absolutely nothing any of the characters might do to stop it.