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How Does Shakespeare Present Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet?

  • Date Submitted: 11/22/2013 08:45 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.8 
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In this essay I will be discussing how Friar Lawrence is presented by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. The sections of the play that I will look at are his conversations with Romeo in Act Three Scene Three and Act Two Scene Three and his conversation with Juliet in Act Four Scene One. I have chosen these scenes because there is a contrast between Friar Lawrence’s motives and attitude. In Act Three Scene Three, Romeo and Friar Lawrence are seen to be in conflict for the first time but in Act Two Scene Three he is shown as a fatherly figure towards Romeo as Romeo is asking him for advice. I have also chosen Act Four Scene One because Friar Lawrence is shown to have a different and less holy attitude.
In Act Three Scene Three, Friar Lawrence is trying to make Romeo see the bright side of being banished but Romeo refuses as he believes that ‘there is no world without Verona walls’ (line 17) This shows that for Romeo, Verona is his world and in heaven so in his eyes, if he is not in Verona then he is in dead and in hell. However, Friar Lawrence tries to convince him that Verona is just a place in the world and that there is life beyond the walls of Verona. Romeo disagrees and refuses to accept this, which shows that Romeo is very dramatic and Friar Lawrence is more realistic and optimistic about the situation. Friar Lawrence therefore is presented as a calm and positive person in this scene, however it is the first time that we have seen him argue with Romeo, which suggests that his attitude changes depending on the situation that he is put in.
Friar Lawrence thinks that Romeo is being very ungrateful considering the Prince ‘turned that black word ‘death’ to banishment’’ (line 27) and calls him ‘rude’ (line 24). Friar Lawrence expresses just how rude he thinks Romeo is being and explains that ‘this is dear mercy’ (line 28) and that Romeo should be thankful towards the Prince as he ‘rush’d aside the law.’ (line 26) This shows that Friar Lawrence is becoming angry with...

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