Romeo and Juliet Narrative
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One reason that the parents cause the tragic deaths in the play is how they have been feuding with each other for many years. As the tragic play opens, Sampson and Gregory, two Capulet’s, walk the streets of Verona talking about the Montague’s. Sampson exclaims, “I / will push Montague’s men from the wall and thrust his / maids to the wall” (1.1.15-17). This expresses the utter most hate that the two families have for each other. It is obvious that the parents are to blame from this instance because if they did not feud with one another, then it would not be a problem for Romeo and Juliet to fall in love. Also, if the families had not been fighting, the fight between their servants, Sampson, Gregory, and Abram, would never have happened. This brawl led to amplified hate because it brought back age-old problems the reader is uninformed of. The actions in the play cause a domino effect, and in other words, if one action did not happen, the ones afterwards would not either. For example, if the fight in the streets of Verona did not happen, then Benvolio would not have had to break it up, bringing Tybalt into the mess.
The fight that started in the beginning of the play was initiated with an ancient feud between the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. The next reason the parents are to blame for the deaths in the final scenes of the tragic play is because they force Juliet into marrying Paris. Juliet’s father angrily explains, “Be fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next/ to go with Paris to Saint Peter’s church, / or I will drag thee on a hurdle there” (3.5.158-160). Being pressured into becoming the wife of Paris, Juliet felt upset and exploited. She begs at her father’s knees in an attempt to change his relentless mind. The mixed feelings of her undying love for Romeo and her distress in doing something she does not want to do cause her to solicit advice from Friar Lawrence. He comes up with a plan that involves a potion. If Juliet was not forced into becoming the wife of Paris by her parents, then Friar Lawrence wouldn’t have had to make the plan that blew up and ended up killing the lovers. Capulet and Lady Capulet’s decision of marrying Juliet and Paris led to the many deaths in the tragedy.
The last reason Romeo and Juliet’s parents are to blame for the outcome of the play is that they changed the wedding day. As the Capulet house organizes to tie the knot with Juliet and Paris, Juliet enters. Capulet thinks it will make her happier because he thinks that Juliet is sad about the death of Tybalt, her cousin. He thinks this because he does not know of Romeo and changes the wedding day a day earlier and orders, “Send for the county. Go tell him of this. / I’ll have this knot knit up tomorrow morning” (4.2.25-26). This proves that the parents are to blame for the fatalities because if the wedding date was not changed, Friar Lawrence’s plan would have had enough time to play out and unravel. There are many miscommunications in the development of the plan following through. Romeo did not get the letter from Friar Lawrence informing him that he could go get Juliet from her tomb because his messenger got held back and there was not enough time. The parents caused this because if they had not changed the wedding date, the plan seems as it would play out correctly and end with Juliet going to Mantua and being with her husband, Romeo.
Friar Lawrence is directly responsible for the death of Juliet in all ways. He makes not only one, but three mistakes that all lead to Juliet’s death. He gave a poison to Juliet, he trusted someone else with a letter of great significance to deliver to Romeo, and he fled when Juliet was in the most danger at the tomb. Had he not have made these three major terrible mistakes, Juliet might not have killed herself. Friar Lawrence made a major mistake that he could have avoided himself. He trusted Juliet, an unstable teenage girl, with a fake-death poison. This rash decision was a very poor choice on the friar’s behalf. Here, the friar shows his irresponsibility by saying, “If… thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself… take thou this vial… no warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest;” (4.1.72, 93, 98) Friar Lawrence’s idea for Juliet is very risky and he should have known better than to try it. Because of what happens, everyone thinks Juliet is dead and shortly thereafter, she is buried alive. This quote shows the true meaning of responsibility, because when he says this, her life rests in his hands. Capulet is even foiled by the plan, because when he says her faking her death, he said, “Death lies on her like an untimely frost” (4.5.28).
The fake death has fooled Capulet, Juliet’s father, and the rest of the family. Had Friar Lawrence not have given Juliet the poison, she would have never been put in the position that she was in, which eventually leads to her death. Trusting Friar John to send the letter, and not even telling him that the letter was urgent, was Friar Lawrence’s next big mistake. The mistake of him sending someone else to do it was inexcusable; a matter as important as faking death should be dealt with personally. Had Friar Lawrence have personally delivered the letter, the plan might have gone smoothly. Friar John shows his incompetence in the fifth act when he says “I could not send it – here it is again -” (5.2.14). Showing Friar Lawrence’s poor decision making again, this quote perfectly shows how Friar Lawrence is responsible for Juliet’s death by choosing to send the letter instead of delivering it. At that, he should not have trusted someone as mediocre as Friar John.
“The letter was not nice but full of charge, of dear import, and the neglecting it may do much danger.” (5.2.18-20) Friar Lawrence trusted a complete buffoon at the most crucial of times and the price was paid for the actions of both friars. Consequently, Juliet dies because Friar Lawrence did not think through that something might arise and a situation this urgent must be dealt with personally. Friar Lawrence could have easily avoided the situation It is clear from my reading of the play that Juliet’s parents and Friar Lawrence are responsible for the star crossed lover’s deaths at the end of the play. While, They didn’t set out to kill Romeo and Juliet, they played a huge part in their death. If they hadn’t acted the way they did, Romeo and Juliet would still be alive.