'many People Contribute To The Tragedy'

928 words - 4 pages

Friar Lawrence, the Nurse and Capulet all contributed to the final tragedy in Romeo and Juliet, the two lover's death. Willingly or unwillingly, these people's words and actions caused Romeo and Juliet to take drastic measures, and feel that there was no way out for them in the trapped environment they were placed in. These people's involvement certainly influenced the path that Romeo and Juliet took, and without their interference tragedy certainly may have been avoided.Friar Lawrence, the Franciscan monk, is respected and trusted by all the characters in the play. As even Capulet states, 'this revered holy Friar, all our whole city is much bound to him'. Juliet often turns to him for counsel, as does Romeo, who sees Friar Lawrence as a friend. He knows of Romeo's constant lovesick woes, and when he professes his love for Juliet, Friar Lawrence dispenses this advice, 'Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast'. But when Romeo asks him desperately to marry himself and Juliet, he disapproves but still agrees to marry them, regardless of the consequences which he himself warns, 'These violent delights have violent ends'. By allowing the two to marry, he realises that the houses could either be brought together by the joy of their offspring marrying, or turn bitterly against one another, even more so than before. By taking this chance, he is showing an utter lack of responsibility for the consequences that may occur, and the hurt that may be wreaked upon both Romeo and Juliet. He has abused his position as a trusted figure of Verona, and by agreeing to marry the two lovers, he has willingly allowed the wheels to be set in motion for a certain tragedy.In contrast to Friar Lawrence, the Nurse serves as a clandestine messenger between Romeo and Juliet. Even though she is meant to be Juliet's trusted advisor, she ultimately fails Juliet in her time of need. When she advises Juliet to marry Paris, and forget about the banished Romeo, these words hurt Juliet more than the Nurse could ever have imagined, and Juliet's comes to a steely resolve never to marry Paris. The Nurse willingly helped in securing the details of Romeo and Juliet's, being present at a meeting to finalise the two lovers marriage. She is condoning their actions by helping them, even though she knows that they have only known each other for only one night. Even on their first meeting at Capulet's masque, she agrees to find out who this mysterious young man is for Juliet, who dramatically states 'Go ask his name. If he be married, My grave is like to be my wedding bed'. On Romeo and Juliet's wedding night, she allows Romeo to stay the night, endangering both the lover's safety as if Romeo was found it would mean death for him as he was meant to be banished from Verona after killing Tybalt. By willingly letting herself be caught up in Romeo and Juliet's whirlwind romance, and helping them to secretly marry, she has therefore condoned and contributed to the tragedy, which could have been averted if the Nurse had stepped in as a responsible adult and consulted with Juliet about her actions.Another contributor to this avoidable tragedy, is Juliet's father Capulet. He, like many other parents in Shakespeare's works, display a complete ignorance of their children as person's. At the start he shows himself as an understanding and kind father, but when Juliet rejects his wishes to marry Paris, he turns into a tyrant, threatening Juliet 'But an you will not wed, I'll pardon you. Graze where you will, you shall not house with me'. Capulet talks to Juliet, not with her about her objection to marrying Paris, merely becoming extremely angry instead of talking with his daughter, 'But fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next, To go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church, Or I will drag thee on hurdle thither.' Juliet would have no hope of discussing with her father her love for Romeo, so she felt like she had to take drastic measures to avoid her unwanted marriage with Paris. Capulet contributed to the death of his daughter and her husband by threatening her with banishment if she did not marry Paris, and forcing Juliet to seek a serious alternate to this arrangement, by taking a potion that would fake her death, or 'if all else fails, myself have the power to die'. If Capulet had listened to Juliet, and her unwillingness to marry Paris was taken to heart, the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet's death may have been avoided.These three people, Capulet, the Nurse and Friar Lawrence all had varying degrees of influence on both Romeo and Juliet, but they all had one thing in common. They abused the trust that the two lovers placed in them, Capulet by not listening to his daughter, the Nurse for condoning and arranging the two lover's meetings and Friar Lawrence for finally marrying the two. Ultimately, every one of these people lost out, losing their loved ones because of their involvement in their brief but intense affair. As the Prince concludes, 'All our punish'd'.


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