The Blame For The Death Of Friar John In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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In the famous play Romeo and Juliet, many are to blame for the death of the star-crossed lovers. But not as much as Friar John, the one responsible for delivering a message to Romeo. If not for him stopping to help an ill civilian, then Romeo would have gotten the message and wouldn’t buy the poison to end his life. Friar John is sent by Friar Lawrence to give Romeo the message saying that Juliet is alive and well and that they plan to get them together. That plan is stopped when Friar John goes to look for another Friar to accompany him to his voyage to Mantua. When he finds one the health officials quarantine him in a house that was hit with the plague. He says that they, “Sealed up the doors and would not let us forth. So that my speed to Mantua there was stayed” (5.2 11-12). If the Friar just stuck to the plan, Romeo wouldn’t jump to conclusions when he is told that his lover Juliet has died.…show more content…
Friar John would be there already if not for his one fatal mistake. Romeo tells Balthasar before he leaves Verona to update him on everything that happens. Balthasar claims, “Her body sleeps in Capels ' monument, And her immortal part with angels lives. I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault” (5.1 18-20). When Romeo is in initial shock he asks Balthasar if the Friar had sent him any letters, but as far as Romeo knows, he has not. Friar John didn’t let anyone in on the secret, even Romeo’s close friends. If it hadn’t been so urgent that the letter gets to Romeo, than Friar John could have notified some of Romeo’s friends, even had one or two go with him on his voyage instead of stopping to look for another friar. This is one small mistake that changes the plot of the play from one of a happily ever after to a tragic obliteration of two lovers’ happy
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