Romeo and Juliet – Guilty Deaths

Published: 2021-09-28 13:00:03
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Category: Guilt, Romeo and Juliet

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Deaths The Shakespearian play Romeo and Juliet is a well known story about star-crossed lovers whose fates end in tragedy. The deaths of these two lovers can be held responsible on two main characters, Friar Lawrence and the Nurse yet out of the two, who is more liable? Friar Lawrence is a priest who marries the two lovers, gives Juliet a fake potion to prevent her from marrying Paris, fails to send the letter to Romeo telling him about his plan and selfishly runs away from Juliet in fear that he would get into trouble for his involvement.
The Nurse is Juliet’s lifelong caregiver who helps Juliet and her lover get married, becomes their “messenger” and later on in the play, changes her mind on who Juliet should be with. The physical actions and guidance of both the Friar and Nurse demonstrate their liability for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Although, it is undeniable that Friar Lawrence is more to blame than the Nurse on the deaths of Romeo and Juliet through his guidance, advice and physical actions throughout the play.
In the play, Romeo and Juliet are very young and constantly seek advice and guidance of people older and supposedly wiser than them, like Friar Lawrence and the Nurse. What is unclear to them is that the advice and guidance that they receive comes with many consequences, and for Romeo and Juliet, it is death. Throughout the course of the Shakespearian play, Friar Lawrence gives the couple a lot of advice and guidance. To avoid marrying Paris, he tells Juliet to pretend to be dead with the help of a special potion he made.

As part of the plan, he was supposed to inform Romeo of this arrangement yet he fails which later costs him his own life along with Juliet’s. “Come I’ll dispose of thee/ Among a sisterhood of holy nuns/ Stay not to question, for the watch is coming/ Come, go good Juliet. I dare no longer stay/” (Shakespeare 5. 3 155) demonstrates how selfish he was as he left the Capulet tomb and let Juliet kill herself instead of attempting to help her. By letting her die alongside Romeo, he is more responsible for their deaths. The second character that holds responsibility for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet through her advice to Juliet is the Nurse.
Throughout, the Nurse seems to admire Romeo. She praises him for his love for Juliet and seems to be fond of their marital union. After Atabani 2 a heated discussion between Lady Capulet, Capulet and Juliet about whether or not she should marry Paris, she changes her mind about Romeo and their marriage. She believes that because he is exiled from Verona that he should be dead to Juliet. Romeo is banished, and all the world to nothing. That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you. Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth. Then, since the case so stands as now it doth.
I think it best you married with the county. Oh, he’s a lovely gentleman. Romeo’s a dishclout to him. An eagle, madam, Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart. I think you are happy in this second match. For it excels your first. Or if it did not. Your first is dead, or ’twere as good he were. As living here and you no use of him (3. 5 88) All through the play, it is clear that the Nurse is a very mother like character to Juliet therefore when she gave Juliet advice on who to marry, the Nurse was attempting to advocate bigamy.
This upsets Juliet and because of the advice the Nurse gives her, she goes to Friar Lawrence in seek of a remedy for her aching heart. Although both the Nurse and Friar Lawrence may have seemed to have good intentions in giving advice to Romeo and Juliet about their star-crossed love, the Friar’s words of advice makes him more accountable for their deaths. In Romeo and Juliet, the fulfillment of certain actions leads to the play's tragic ending, death. In the play Friar Lawrence is one of the characters whom commits physical acts that makes him responsible for the deaths of the lovers.
Firstly, he marries the two lovers in a secret ceremony with only the Nurse attending. By performing their marriage, he defies their fates and bonds them as star-crossed lovers, which leads to their devastating deaths. After, the Friar’s realization of their forbidden love he states “In one respect I’ll thy assistant be/ For this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households rancor to pure love” (2. 3 46). He marries them against Atabani 3their families in hopes that he may end the feud that divides the Capulets and the Montagues.
By creating a marital union between the Juliet and Romeo, the Friar creates more hatred between the families that builds up to the conclusion. By marrying them, the Friar makes himself more accountable for the suicides of Romeo and Juliet. The second character who is physically liable for the deaths of the star – crossed lovers is the Nurse. After the Prince exiles Romeo to Mantua for murdering Tybalt, the Nurse plays a “messenger” role, in which she continuously goes back and forth between the two lovers. She helps them be Atabani 3 ogether even though she knows that both the Capulets and Montagues would disapprove. The Nurse would also constantly bring news from Romeo to Juliet about their blooming love and later, their marriage. Now, afore God, I am so vexed that every part about me quivers. Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word And as I told you my young lady bid me inquire you out. What she bade me say, I will keep to myself. But first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into a fool’s paradise as they say, it were a very gross kind of behavior, as they say.
For the gentlewoman is young, and therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman and very weak dealing (2. 4 53) are the words of The Nurse while she is explaining to Romeo about her role as a messenger between both Juliet and Romeo. If the Nurse had considered what would happen to this couple, she may not have wanted to become their messenger and risk their lives like she did. As a result of both the Friar and the Nurse’s involvement physically they can both be held accountable for the deaths of the lovers, yet it is evident that Friar Lawrence can be considered more responsible.
Through his guidance, advice and physical actions throughout the play, it is undeniable that Friar Lawrence is more to blame than the Nurse on the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. The Shakespearian play Romeo and Juliet written in 1590 explores many different themes including fate, love and death. The deaths of the protagonists Romeo and Juliet can be blamed on the physical actions, guidance and advice of both the Friar and Nurse. This later demonstrates who is more responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
The Nurse’s actions, advice and assistance includes helping the lovers get their marriage, becoming their “messenger” and later on in the play and changing her overall idea about the marriage between Juliet and Romeo. The actions, guidance and advice that Friar Lawrence administrates to both Romeo and Juliet include marrying the two lovers, giving Juliet the potion, failing to send the letter to Romeo in time and selfishly running away from Juliet in fear that he would get into trouble for his involvement make him more responsible than the Nurse.

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