Romeo and Juliet

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Friar Laurence Character Analysis

A Franciscan monk and a friend to both Romeo and Juliet. He preaches moderation because he understands that intensity of any kind of emotion, good or bad, can lead to disaster. Yet he gets caught up in his own hope for ending the feud between Montagues and Capulets. In the process, he shows himself to be quite a schemer.

Friar Laurence Quotes in Romeo and Juliet

The Romeo and Juliet quotes below are all either spoken by Friar Laurence or refer to Friar Laurence. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Romeo and Juliet published in 2004.
Act 2, scene 3 Quotes
For naught so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give;
Nor aught so good but, strain'd from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on the abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Related Characters: Friar Laurence (speaker)
Page Number: 2.3.17-22
Explanation and Analysis:

Friar Lawrence, the wise and aged priest who nevertheless harbors a dedication to helping these intemperate “star-cross’d” lovers, is gathering herbs in the early morning, shortly before Romeo comes to him for guidance. For the friar, elements of nature (“herbs plants stones, and their true qualities”) inspire reflection about the nature of good and evil: no natural creation wholly belongs to one of those two categories, and a substance’s relative goodness or evilness depends on the way it is used. This echoes the moral ambiguity of the play; did Romeo and Juliet die because of their own actions or were their parents culpable for their suicides? It also reminds us that any one individual cannot fully belong to such an explicit moral category. Even the Capulets and Montagues cannot wholly hate each other, because two of their individuals love each other.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Romeo and Juliet quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Romeo and Juliet LitChart as a printable PDF.
Romeo and juliet.pdf.medium

Friar Laurence Character Timeline in Romeo and Juliet

The timeline below shows where the character Friar Laurence appears in Romeo and Juliet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, scene 3
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
As dawn breaks, Friar Laurence collects herbs outside his cell. He muses on the fact that everything on Earth,... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Romeo rushes into Friar Laurence's cell. Friar Laurence immediately sees that Romeo did not sleep that night, and is... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
The Friar is suspicious of Romeo's sudden switch from Rosaline to Juliet. Romeo responds that Juliet, unlike... (full context)
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
But Friar Laurence also sees an opportunity to end the feud between the Montagues and Capulets, and... (full context)
Act 2, scene 4
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...if Romeo means to mislead Juliet. But Romeo says that if Juliet can get to Friar Laurence's cell that afternoon, they will be married. He also plans with the Nurse to... (full context)
Act 2, scene 5
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...back rub from Juliet. Then she relents and tells an ecstatic Juliet to get to Friar Laurence's cell to be married. (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
Love Theme Icon
...room so that they can consummate their marriage. The Nurse knows Romeo is hiding at Friar Laurence's cell. (full context)
Act 3, scene 3
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Romeo, hiding in Friar Laurence's cell, learns he has been banished. He says banishment is worse than death because... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
There is a knock on the door. Romeo hides. Friar Laurence lets in the Nurse. Romeo believes Juliet must think him a murderer and tries... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
The Friar tells Romeo to go spend the night with Juliet and then before dawn to flee... (full context)
Act 3, scene 5
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...trust the Nurse again. She comes up with a lie in order to go see Friar Laurence, telling the Nurse that because she displeased her father she needs to go to... (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
Paris is talking with Father Laurence, to prepare for the wedding on Thursday. Friar Laurence says it's all happening too fast and that he's concerned that Paris doesn't even... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
...assuming that she loves him. Juliet is evasive and mocks Paris without his realizing it. Friar Laurence steps in saying it is time for Juliet's confession. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Once they're alone, Juliet draws a dagger and threatens to kill herself unless the Friar can help her. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Friar Laurence quickly comes up with a plan: he gives Juliet a potion that, for forty-two... (full context)
Act 4, scene 3
Fate Theme Icon
Once they leave, she picks up the vial of potion that Friar Laurence gave her. Suddenly nervous, she thinks about what might go wrong with Friar Laurence's... (full context)
Act 4, scene 4
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon
...dead. The Nurse, Lady Capulet, and Capulet cry out in grief. Just then, Paris and Friar Laurence arrive with musicians. Paris joins in the mourning. But Friar Laurence chides them. He... (full context)
Act 5, scene 2
Fate Theme Icon
Friar John, who Friar Laurence had sent to tell Romeo the plan about Juliet's fake death,... (full context)
Act 5, scene 3
Love Theme Icon
Friar Laurence arrives at the churchyard and is greeted by Balthasar, who tells him that Romeo... (full context)
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...Prince Escalus, the Capulets, and the Montagues, and search the area. They find Balthasar and Friar Laurence. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
...and then by Montague, who says his wife has died of grief over Romeo's banishment. Friar Laurence explains to them everything that happened. Balthasar hands over the letter from Romeo to... (full context)