Relationship Between Good And Evil In Romeo And Juliet

543 Words3 Pages
Are people absolutely good or evil by nature, or do both inhabit everyone? This is a question that Shakespeare explores in his play Romeo and Juliet, where a forbidden romance between two teenagers, and a violent feud between their families results in the death of both lovers. In Act II, Scene iii, Romeo’s wise mentor, Friar Lawrence, discusses the uses of medicinal herbs, to suggest that no one is absolutely evil or absolutely good by nature however one can be more dominant than the other. Throughout the passage, Shakespeare uses an extended metaphor to indicate that both good and evil inhabit human nature. While commenting on the various uses of a medicinal flower, Friar Lawrence says that “Within the infant rind of this weak flower, poison hath residence and medicine power” (II.iii.23-24). In this passage, Shakespeare uses an extended metaphor that compares plants to human nature. Using this metaphor, Shakespeare suggests that just as the flower has both good medicinal uses and bad, poisonous uses, human nature is both bad and good. Also, by portraying Friar Lawrence as a knowledgeable medicine man, Shakespeare suggests that Friar Lawrence is a wise character whose lines reveal what will happen in the play. By using an extended metaphor to introduce the clear…show more content…
As the play develops, it becomes clear that Friar Lawrence’s speech functions as a prophecy that foreshadows the end of the play. The theme of this passage warns that if the terrible, hateful feud between the Montagues and the Capulets continues, then a tragedy must occur in order for it to end. In particular, Friar Lawrence uses a proverb, “Virtue itself turns to vice, being misapplied, and vice sometime by action dignified”, to suggest that tragedy is necessary, and somewhat beneficial in order for goodness and love to overcome dark and evil hatred
Open Document