Essay On The Test Of Faith In Romeo And Juliet
A Test of Faith
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare conveys the presence of ecclesiastical dominance and papal corruption through religious figure, Friar Lawrence’s abuse of his authoritative position. Shakespeare makes the claim that the church is evil through the development of the Friar’s role from an originally moral character to an individual who misuses power for his own benefit. He warns the audience that this perversion of God’s will cannot escape heavenly justice when the Friar ultimately cannot avoid the consequences of his misconduct as fate pays its due with the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Friar Lawrence first appears collecting herbs and plants of both poisonous and medicinal …show more content…
He claims matrimony is a foolish decision upon Romeo’s part, exclaiming “Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here! / Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, / So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies / Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes” (2.3.65-68). Clearly, the Friar doubts Romeo’s love of Juliet, being that mere hours before this sudden change of heart, Romeo’s love for Rosaline bordered on obsession. He wonders about Romeo’s intentions, assuming Romeo is simply infatuated with Juliet’s looks, yet his indecision to marry the two soon turns to eagerness, when he realizes “this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households ' rancor to pure love” (2.3.91-92). Instilling peace between the two families would bring the Friar a great honor he simply cannot resist, despite his knowledge that marrying the young lovers is not in their best interest. He even warns Romeo, “Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast,” inferring that Romeo should take his time in this decision, yet the Friar neglects to follow his own advice, rushing to marry Romeo and Juliet, for his own selfish cause (2.3.94). When the Friar does marry them, he proclaims, “So smile the heavens upon this holy act / That after-hours with sorrow chide us not,” (2.6.1-2). His conscience gets to him with a foreboding feeling and …show more content…
Unfortunately, the letter never arrives, something the Friar should have foresaw. He registers the danger of this negligence only too late, declaring, “Unhappy fortune! By my brotherhood, / The letter was not nice but full of charge, / Of dear import, and the neglecting it / May do much danger” (5.2.18-21). At this point, the Friar ignores his own instinct that tells him the plan has failed, that it has gone severely awry, and desperate as he is to maintain and exemplify his esteem, he proceeds as planned, commanding Friar John to collect a crowbar to break into the Capulet