Romeo and Juliet- Dilemmas

Out of the frying pan into the fire: The cause and effect Friar Lawrence’s dilemma, in William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. A dilemma is a very unfortunate thing that no individual should ever have to face. A dilemma is a very tough choice in which there are many choices, all of which usually have bad outcomes.

William Shakespeare gives us many examples of a dilemma throughout his play of, Romeo and Juliet, some of the dilemma’s Shakespeare shows us, is when Friar Laurence has to decide whether to marry Romeo and Juliet, how he has to decide how to get Romeo and Juliet back together after Romeo is banished, and finally how his choice leads to the death of the two star crossed lovers.

Through friar Laurence’s example, William Shakespeare demonstrates that when faced with a dilemma go with a simple choice, because when ideas become complex there is more room for error. Initially we see Friar Laurence as a man of the church who disapproves of Romeo’s love for Rosaline, but also disapproves of him changing whom he loves very quickly. Friar Laurence tells Romeo that he is going through love to quickly, (Holy Saint Francis!

What a change is here! Is Rosaline that 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. 66-69) This is only some of the wisdom spoken by Friar Laurence to young Romeo in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on the decision made by him to wed thirteen year old Juliet in such hastiness after shedding his love for Rosaline.

Romeo sought after instruction through the wisdom of Friar Laurence when he first met Juliet as there was no one else he could turn to, especially when the couple decided they wanted to get married. At that point in the play, it became apparent to Friar Laurence that if he were to marry Romeo and Juliet that it could abolish the hatred between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s, and concludes that he will help Romeo and Juliet plot their marriage in secret, hoping that it will bring their family’s together.

However, after Friar Laurence marries Romeo and Juliet, he is confronted with the obstacle of Romeo being banished, which causes him too struggle as he seeks to find a way to keep Romeo and Juliet together. Juliet convinces Friar Laurence to help her by coming up with a plan to bring Romeo and Juliet back together, (God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands; And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo’s sealed, Shall be the label to another deed…Could to no issue of true honor bring! Be not so long to speak!

I long to die, If what thou speak’st, speak not of remedy! 4. 1. 56-58 ; 66-68). In the discussion Juliet blames Friar Laurence for marrying her to Romeo, and blames him for Romeo being banished, she tells him it is his entire fault and he needs to fix it, thus evoking Friar Laurence to come up with a plan to help her spend time with Romeo. Consequently when Friar Laurence comes up with a complex plan, when something that Juliet said sparks an idea, (O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, 4. . 78) Juliet tells him that she would rater die than marry Paris, which brings him to the idea of faking Juliet’s death. He believes, with a draft that puts Juliet to sleep, and makes her look dead, her family will put her in the family vault. Then as a second stage of the plan a letter would be given to Romeo telling him to come to the burial vault, where they will meet, and then after she awakes they will be able to run off together, and live somewhere else happily ever after.

But the complexity of father Laurence’s plan leads to a miscommunication, which causes the death of both star crossed lovers. Romeo fails to receive Friar Laurence’s letter and receives the news of Juliet’s death from a relative, but the relative does not know of the plan behind her death. Romeo goes to visit the burial vault, and kills himself over Juliet’s seemingly dead body, soon after she awakes and then kills herself once she realizes Romeo is dead.

This is why a dilemma is so complicated and why it should not be forced upon anyone. As demonstrated by William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet, a dilemma is a choice with much room for error and needs to be gone through with much precaution. William Shakespeare saw the need to put dilemmas in his play and understood the importance of choices that seemed like every day choices, but had hard decisions involved, choices in which the power to change the whole story line is held.

These choices are shown by William Shakespeare’s character Friar Laurence, as he has to decide whether to marry Romeo and Juliet, he has to decide how get Romeo and Juliet back together after Romeo is banished, and finally when his choices lead to the death of Romeo and Juliet. One bit of advice that should be taken from this play is that, when faced with a dilemma go with a simple choice, because when ideas become complex there is more room for error.

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