The Suicide of Star- Crossed Lovers: Who is to Blame ?

February 28, 2013
Most characters involved in Romeo and Juliet made errors that, using hindsight, lead to the unfortunate demise of the star-crossed lovers. However, following examination of all the acts committed by each blamable soul, Friar Laurence is certainly most guilty for the unforgettable suicides of the youthful teens. While his actions were of a good-hearted nature, what was to come, engraved in the fate resting upon the constellations, was nothing less than a tragedy.

Foremost, the fault that eventually tumbled downward to the deaths was the plan devised by none other than the Friar. “Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this distilling liquor drink thou off..and in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death thou shalt continue two-and-forty hours, and then awake as from a pleasant sleep..thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault..shall Romeo by my letters know our drift; and hither shall he come..and this shall free thee from this present shame.” (879-880) Placed in a simpler context, the plan was to fake Juliet’s death and, resting in the tomb of which her ancestors are, Romeo was to unite with her there, receiving notification from the Friar. While the plan seemed reasonable, considering the extent Juliet had gone prior in nearly committing suicide, he was unintentionally signing the lover’s death note. Not only had he secretly married them, but now he is adding gasoline to the flame by faking the renowned Juliet’s death and sneaking her back with the banished Romeo. In doing so, he neglects to inform the oblivious and vulnerable Juliet of the possible risks involved, one of which that would conclude in her and her partner’s grievous end. Within the plan, the countless sum of risks logically outweigh the one inconceivable reward. Had the Friar pondered his idea first, and considered all that could undesirably occur, a wiser plan could have been formatted. Yet, with his best interests in mind, he hastily and, in an uninformed state, handed Juliet a plan, which out of desperation and blinding hope, in which she carried through. Thus, the arrangement took a turn for the worse, as the letter was never delivered, which created the domino affect leading to their graves, all sprouting from Friar Laurence’s faulted plan.

Of an equal or greater relevance was Friar Laurence’s lack of insurance that the letter to Romeo was indeed received. “Unhappy fortune..the letter was not nice, but full of charge!” (898) Translated into modern English, the Friar is claiming how his notice to Romeo was not frivolous, but of a much more urgent nature, this being after Friar John’s reveal that he did not send out the letter that was so desperately needed on the couple’s part. This being truthful, the Friar, knowing all too well of what could come from the emotionally unstable Romeo, should have taken this upon himself to deliver the letter, in which to be certain Romeo got it. Reflecting upon this misdeed, the consequences were predictable. If Romeo was to have received the letter, he would have been informed of the plan, and that his beloved Juliet had not genuinely perished. Since he did not, fate allowed for Romeo to then visit the Apothecary to purchase the poison, and then utilize it after slaying Paris as which to kill himself. Had the Friar ensured Romeo had read the notice, Romeo would have visited the tomb of the Capulet’s not to commit suicide, but to await the wakening of his love, which would provide no reason for Juliet to end herself either. While the events that did occur were not of the intentions of the Friar, his lack of action was in direct link to the youths’ tragic demise.

Taking into account the whole of Friar Laurence’s acts, one can tell that he only wished for the Romeo and Juliet to be reunited. From his plan awaiting failure to his lack of caution in insuring the delivery of his letter, the Friar was at most fault and accountable for the tragedy that pursued. Yet, as one is reminded time and time again, the events that foretold their death were those solidified in the stars, that what was to come was unavoidable, and that none involved could prevent, not even Friar Laurence himself.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

shyrhea said...
Mar. 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm
I have gone through Romeo and Juliet an dI think you are right the rightful guilt belongs to the friar. I really enjoyed reading what you had to write. you are a very good writer.
Site Feedback