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Friar Laurence Timeline and Summary

  • 2.3: Friar Laurence is up at dawn gardening when Romeo rushes in and asks if the Friar will marry him to a girl he met the night before. Friar Laurence is dubious, but agrees to the marriage in the hopes that it will reconcile the warring Montagues and Capulets.
  • 2.6: Friar Laurence tries to convince Romeo to calm down and "love moderately." Romeo doesn't listen. When Juliet shows up he decides he better marry them ASAP.
  • 3.3: After Romeo kills Tybalt, Friar Laurence hides the banished young man in his cell. He tries to convince Romeo that he should be grateful that the Prince has sentenced him to banishment, not death. Romeo rejects this reasoning: to him, being apart from Juliet is worse than death. Someone knocks on the door, and the Friar worries that it's someone who has come to arrest Romeo. Instead, it's Juliet's nurse, who helps the Friar convince Romeo to stop sobbing on the floor. The Friar promises Romeo that they will work out a plan to get Romeo a pardon from the Prince and bring him back. Meanwhile, he tells Romeo to say good-bye to Juliet and then speedily leave Verona.
  • 4.1: Friar Laurence finds himself in a real pickle when Paris shows up at his cell and informs him that he has talked with Juliet's father and he will be marrying Juliet later that week. Then Juliet arrives and threatens to stab herself if the Friar doesn't find a way for her to get out of marrying Paris. The Friar gives her a potion that will make her appear as if she is dead and tells her that he and Romeo will be waiting for her when she wakes up in her family's tomb. Then Romeo and Juliet can go to Mantua together, with no one the wiser. The Friar promises to send a letter to Romeo to tell him the plan.
  • 4.5: Friar Laurence arrives at the Capulet's house to find everyone in mourning for Juliet, who has just been discovered "dead." Friar Laurence is the only one who knows the truth. He tells her grieving relatives that they should be glad that Juliet is in heaven, and tells them to prepare her body and bring it to her family's tomb.
  • 5.2: Only a few hours before Juliet is due to wake up, Friar Laurence finds out that Romeo never received the letter explaining that Juliet's death is actually a sham.
  • 5.3: Friar Laurence arrives at Juliet's tomb too late to prevent Romeo's suicide. Hearing noise outside the tomb, the Friar tries to take Juliet away. But when she refuses to go, the Friar leaves without her, and she commits suicide. The Prince's guards capture the Friar outside the tomb, and he confesses the whole story to the Prince. The Prince suggests that he will pardon the Friar, telling him, "We still have known thee for a holy man" (5.3.279).

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