Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s most popular play. It is the most retold and reiterated since it deals with everyday aspects of life such as love, tragedy, and in particular, family. The roles of parents and “substitute” parents are important in this play. The biological parents of Romeo and Juliet are supposed to act as role models and guides for their children, but ironically, it is the substitute parents, Friar Laurence and the Nurse, who are only seemingly supportive of Romeo and Juliet; unfortunately, neither the biological nor substitute parents could prevent the tragic ending.
Juliet’s biological parents, in particular, do not play the role of guides or role models, as any parent should; Romeo’s parents are very seldom discussed. Instead, Juliet’s parents are deceptive. Juliet’s father is deliberately deceiving her by making Juliet believe that she is going to choose her own husband when he has already chose the County Paris and is attempting to get Juliet to fall for him. He says to the County, “But woo her gentle Paris, get her heart. My will to her consent is but a part and she agreed within her scope of choice, lies my consent and fair according voice.” This implies that Juliet is na?ve and blind. This deception by her father leads to a control factor in that her parents are controlling her. An example of the amount of control they have over Juliet is the arranged marriage they are forcing onto Juliet and how she has to resort to faking her own death to get out of it. Juliet is very smart and brave to do this. Death is the only way out of it for Juliet because if she remains alive, her parents will severely punish her for disobeying them and continue on with the wedding, regardless. This is an example of the conditional love they hold for Juliet. If she disobeys them, she is heavily punished and still has to do what she is told out of spite. If she abides by her parents’ wishes like she does when she pretends to agree to marry Paris and apologizes to her father, she is loved and praised. Juliet’s parents, more so than Romeo’s, are poor examples as parents because of deceptive and controlling attitudes and the conditional love they present to Juliet.
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Friar Laurence and the Nurse of Juliet seem to be very supportive of Romeo and Juliet, unlike the biological parents. When Romeo and Juliet agree to be married, they immediately go and tell Friar Laurence and the Nurse. They obviously have much trust in these people to keep their secrets from their real parents and do not expect to be betrayed by them. In addition to the substitute parents knowing their secrets, Friar Laurence is asked to marry Romeo and Juliet himself. Romeo said to Friar Laurence, “.but this I pray, that thou consent to marry us today.” Of course Friar Laurence is astonished but does as Romeo asks and secretly marries Romeo and Juliet because he cares very much for Romeo. Even when Romeo is banished for killing Tybalt, Friar Laurence and the Nurse act as messengers between the pair by sending messages back and forth to Romeo in Mantua regarding his wife. The substitute parents seem very loyal to Romeo and Juliet because their secrets are kept confidential, Friar Laurence actually marries the pair, and they act as messengers between Romeo and Juliet when they are unable to speak in person.
Although the substitute parents come across as loyal and caring, both the Nurse and Friar Laurence betray Romeo and Juliet in the end. After Juliet disobeys her parents’ orders to marry the County, Juliet asks her Nurse to comfort her but instead, the Nurse advises Juliet to marry Paris saying that it is in her own best interest. Of course, Juliet is astounded that the Nurse would say such a thing after all she has done for her and Romeo. Also, when Juliet wakes in the tomb to Friar Laurence after taking the potion only to discover that Romeo is dead, Friar Laurence exclaims, “I dare no longer stay,” and runs away leaving Juliet alone in a tomb with a recently murdered Paris and several other dead and decaying bodies. Juliet can no longer trust anyone after being betrayed by the people she thought she could trust the most. Therefore, even though the substitute parents seemed loyal and supportive of Romeo and Juliet, in actuality, they were not because they discontinued their support for Romeo and Juliet in the end.
... feelings. The Friar’s significance to Romeo parallels that of the Nurse’s significance to Juliet. Despite the Friar and Nurse’s parallel warmth ... with the Nurse and Juliet on the Capulet’s side. The Nurse acts as a parent figure to Juliet, and when Juliet realizes she ... Juliet’s dilemma, acts the opposite of the Nurse, and instead chooses to find a solution. In conclusion, Friar Laurence and the Nurse ...
Romeo and Juliet will never have a chance to spend the rest of their lives together because of a few important contributing factors. The biological parents of Romeo and Juliet are awful unsupportive examples as parents. On the contrary, the substitute parents act supportive but in the end they betray them causing the unpreventable suicides of both Romeo and Juliet. Thus, the roles of parents and substitute parents are important in this play because they act as the cause of the tragic conclusion.