The Tragedy Of Friar Lawrence In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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In an ideal community, children would have many responsible adults to look up to, in order to help them with the difficulties of adolescence. However, in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona is absent of responsible adult figures to prepare these teenagers to live in harmony, including their religious leaders. In Verona, the two main families, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been feuding for generations, and the families continue to pass on this hatred to their children. Romeo and Juliet have always been told that the other family is the enemy, yet they fall in love and get married the day after they meet. While many of the adults are responsible for the tragedy of the two young lovers, including their parents, the person most at fault for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet is Friar Lawrence because he is an adult in a leadership position in the community that could have advised them against their impulsive behavior rather than helping them devise a reckless plan.
The first of many problems that Friar Lawrence creates is when he consents to marry Romeo and Juliet, which ultimately leads to their deaths. Friar
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Friar John does not understand how important the letter is, so when he gives the letter back to Friar Lawrence he acts very casual about not delivering the letter: “I could not send it-here it is again-Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, So fearful were they of infection” (V.ii.14-16). The letter not being delivered derails Friar Lawrence’s plans because Romeo will not know about the potion, and Juliet faking being dead. Romeo will think that Juliet is really dead, and Romeo thinking that Juliet is dead leads to Romeo’s death by suicide. Friar Lawrence makes the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet even worse by failing to tell Friar John how crucial it is that the letter is delivered to