The Importance of the Minor Characters in 'Romeo and Juliet'

In William Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, the major characters Romeo and Juliet whose strong and deep love for each other overcomes many obstacles, however, have a tragic end. This is not only caused by their own fate of these ‘star-crossed lovers’ and their temptation to suicide, other minor characters also affect and play a very important role in increasing the tragedy in this play. Friar Lawrence, who helps Romeo and Juliet an, is also to be blamed for causing their death. Similarly, the nurse, who is the bridge of love for Romeo and Juliet, is also responsible for the tragedy. Besides, some other minor characters including Tybalt, Mercutio, and the apothecary.

To a large extent, the blame for Romeo and Juliet’s death rests on Friar Lawrence’s shoulder for his decisions are central to the young lovers’ actions. Firstly and deadly, Friar Lawrence allows them to wed secretly at his cell, in his vain hope of ‘[turning their] households’ rancour to pure love’.   From here, the tragedy begins to sprout. He helps Romeo and Juliet with problems and is one of the only two councillors (the other one is the nurse), however, reality works against his will. When the ‘desperate Juliet’ comes to him, he advises Juliet to fake her death using the distilled liquid to avoid marrying Paris. This causes a chain of events that result in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. He does not inform Friar John beforehand the importance of the letter to Romeo that is ‘full of charge’ and Friar John fails to deliver it due to being quarantined in Mantua. Overall, Friar Lawrence plays an important role in increasing the tragedy although he means to help the young lovers.

Apart from Friar Lawrence, the nurse is also to be blamed as she aids the two to meet, allowing their love to blossom further. Due to her deep love and care for Juliet, the nurse helps Romeo and Juliet develop their love. She supports their love, helps them meet at the balcony secretly and helps deliver messages for...