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Nurse And Friars Role In Rome Juliets Deaths English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1322 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two young “star-crossed lovers” whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. The nurse and friar Lawrence may not fully be to blame but I am to see to what extent they are to blame, and how together their actions caused their deaths. I will answer the question using a PQA style of writing with quotes to illustrate my points more clearly.

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Romeo considers Friar Lawrence someone he can confide in, and therefore tells him about his newfound love, Juliet, as soon as possible. The Friar, however, is not convinced. He feels that Romeo is very hasty in his decisions, having “loved” Rosaline a week ago, and states, “Young men’s love lies… Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes”. Being a very wise man, he warns Romeo to slow down a bit, but Romeo insists he wants to marry Juliet. Friar Lawrence then sees that the relationship could be used to bring the rival houses together.

The nurse is a servant in the Capulet house and can be seen as a contrast to Juliet. She appears to be in higher standing than the other servants since was a wet nurse to Juliet, is present in private family conversations and is trusted by the Capulet’s.

Juliet and the Nurse share a close bond, one that’s greater than one of a girl and her servant. Since being her “wet-nurse” the Nurse has become over the years Juliet’s close companion, confidant, friend and mother. After Romeo is banished the relationship between the Nurse and Juliet changes. When the Nurse suggests that Juliet should forget about Romeo and marry Paris, she loses Juliet’s trust and confidence and Juliet decides to seek the help of Friar Lawrence.

The nurse and Friar Lawrence parallel each other in the play in the way they both are protecting the secrecy of their marriage, protecting themselves from danger and both care about Romeo and Juliet. The Nurse and Friar Lawrence never meet during the play and are unaware of each other. This caused confusion as both were trying to help in different ways.

Friar Laurence performs the secret wedding ceremony for Romeo and Juliet.  The Friar still believes that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is not true and aren’t really in love, but he agrees to marry them anyway. The Friar gives Romeo what he feels to be good news that Romeo has not been sentenced to death by the Prince, and has only been banished.  This displays the Friar’s optimism, which helps him see the good in every situation.

 Juliet begs the Friar to help her in her as Paris is asking to marry her.  Because he’s religious, the Friar is also looking for a way to avoid marrying Juliet twice, so he helps her plan her “death”.  He goes to the Capulet house after Juliet is discovered “dead”, and tells the family to rush their deceased daughter to her funeral service and then to burial.  He justifies this by saying “it is God’s will”, and lowers himself by using God as a tool in his dishonesty.

The Nurse helps to move the action of the play along. After her relationship with Juliet is established, the next time she appears she creates a conflict between Romeo and Juliet. During the Capulet’s party, she tells both Romeo and Juliet each the identity of the other, and that they are from the rival house. The Nurse is the messenger to Romeo to gather all the details for their secret marriage, and at this point she warns Romeo not to hurt Juliet, showing her love for her and foreshadowing the deaths. The Nurse gives Juliet the news that Romeo killed Tybalt and was exiled by the Prince, further hurting Juliet emotionally. The Nurse arranges for Romeo and Juliet’s wedding night and final farewell.

Friar Laurence married Romeo and Juliet, hoping that their union would bring an end to the constant feuding between their two families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Though the friar’s intentions were good, they were steps along the path to tragedy. In the Friars religion, it was a sin to marry someone who was already married; thus he did not want to marry Juliet to Paris when she was already married to Romeo. Juliet questioned Friar Laurence’s intentions herself, saying, “What if it be a poison, which the friar / Subtly hath minister’d to have me dead, / Lest in Marriage he should be dishonour’d / Because he married me before to Romeo? / I fear it is”, but still, her faith in him as a lifelong friend overcame any suspicions that she had.

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The Friar abandoned Juliet in the tomb because people were approaching and he was afraid he would be discovered, “I hear some noise, lady.” And was scared because in those times he would have been executed for doing what he did. Also because if he was seen in the tomb with dead Romeo and dead Juliet he would be thought to have tampered with the bodies and that they weren’t in love, just the friar moving the bodies.

The nurse’s motives for helping Juliet are quite unclear, it may be she simply wanted to help Juliet, or that she simply wanted to be in on the gossip. Her advice though is less wanted as the play progresses maybe as Juliet discovers her motives or as the nurse gets bored of the current situation; this is especially evident when she tells Juliet to marry Paris and forget Romeo. “I think it is best you marry the county / For it excels your first (marriage).”

The nurse betrays Juliet in the play by not supporting her decision to remain with

Romeo. Instead of supporting Juliet the Nurse instead believes “I think it is best you marry the county Juliet feels betrayed by this reply as the Nurse “dispraise my lord (Romeo) with that same tongue / Which she hath praised him beyond compare / So many thousand times The Nurse’s betrayal causes Juliet to go to the Friar with the intent to commit suicide should he be unable to help Juliet, “I’ll to the Friar to know his remedy. / If all else fails myself have the power to die.”

Other factors which could have led to the pair’s death could have been Mercutio and Tybalt fighting in the street, the feuding families or the fate which brought them together. The fighting between Mercutio and Tybalt caused the prince to lose patience with the two families and when Tybalt died this made the prince banish Romeo, this cause the friar to make the plan to “kill” Juliet. The feuding families caused Romeo and Juliet to keep their love secret, and this led to Juliet taking the poison which made her appear dead. Fate could have played a big role especially when the letter from the friar to Romeo was not delivered because of illness.

In conclusion, I will tell you my opinion regarding the roles of the friar and the nurse in Romeo and Juliet’s death. First of all, the Friar impulsively agreed to marry Romeo and Juliet, even though he knows it will cause later problems. The Friar agrees to give Juliet the potion. The Friar makes the entire plan, which will take total perfection and cooperation on everyone’s part to work effectively. Inevitably, it is Friar Lawrence’s’ fault that Romeo is not informed and ends up confused about the recent happenings involving Juliet, which led to his death. The Nurse allows Juliet to marry Romeo which started the whole snowball rolling and also did not tell her superiors, even knowing that it was not right for her. She also made the mistake of telling Juliet to marry Paris which Juliet to use the friars broken plan. In all I think the friar is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, because he stated their problems with marriage, and ended it with death.


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