Act IV – Scene.i
Paris comes to Friar Laurence’s cell and wishes to discuss his impending
marriage to Juliet. He feels the wedding should be arranged as soon as possible as Juliet has become unbalanced in grieving over Tybalt. In this way he can put an end to her period of mourning.
For different reasons the Friar wishes the marriage to be delayed
Juliet enters and behaves indifferently towards Paris despite the fact that
he obviously cares for her. The Friar asks Paris to leave in order to hear Juliet’s confession.
Juliet produces a knife saying she will kill herself rather than marry
Paris, but the Friar has a plan. He advises Juliet that she must consent to marry Paris then on the night before the wedding she is to take a sleeping draught that the Friar will provide which will make her
appear to be dead.
The Friar will advise Romeo in Mantua to come and release Juliet from the Capulet tomb. She can then return to Mantua with Romeo free to live with him away from the feuding families. She agrees.
Here we now get a full insight into Friar
Laurence. He is an intelligent and cunning character portrayed by Shakespeare as a benign and wise father figure. He still hopes to unite the families and enable the two lovers to live happily out of
We also learn about Paris’ true feelings for Juliet and he genuinely cares
for her well being. However, he does arrogantly assume that Juliet will submit to the pressures on her to marry him, and the audience still views him as a threat to the play’s heroes.