In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet the Prince is trying to figure out who he should punish, and who he should pardon. Should Friar Laurence be punished or pardoned for helping Romeo and Juliet with their plan? Overall, Friar Laurence is guilty, and should be punished for his part in the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet because he created the plan and, he went behind the families, and the Princes back.
When Romeo went to Friar Laurence to ask him to marry him to Juliet, Friar Laurence was surprised at first. He thought that Romeo was in love with Rosaline. Friar Laurence then, warmed up to the idea when he came up with a great plan when he says, “In one respect I’ll thy assistant be; For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households’ rancour to pure love,” (2.3.90-92). Friar Laurence was suggesting that if Romeo and Juliet get married, then the feud between their households would come to an end. Later on when Juliet goes to Friar Laurence to tell him that her dad is forcing her to marry Paris he adds more to the plan. He says, “If, rather than to marry County Paris, Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself, Then is it likely thou wilt undertake A thing like death to chide away this shame, That copest with death himself to scape from it,” (4.1.71-75) when suggesting that Juliet should fake her own death to avoid marrying Paris.
When Friar Laurence decided to help out Romeo and Juliet, he was going behind the Montague’s the Princes, and the Capulet’s back because he just assumed they wouldn’t agree with what he was doing. Since Friar Laurence wasn’t actually sure if the families would be upset or not he just didn’t tell them. He says, “Take thou this vial, being in bed, And this distilled liquor drink thou off; When presently through all thy veins shall run A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse Shall keep his native progress, but surcease: No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest; The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade To paly ashes, thy eyes’ windows fall, Like death, when he shuts up the day of life; Each part, deprived of supple government, Shall stiff and stark and cold, appear like death,” (4.1.93-103). This was when Friar Laurence, went behind the backs of the Capulet family, and gave their 14 year old girl drugs. Friar Laurence was explaining to Juliet what the drug was and what would happen when she took them. Friar Laurence put the Capulet family through unnecessary grief. When Friar Laurence finds out the letter he sent didn’t get to Romeo, and went to give it to him, himself he goes behind the backs of the Montague family. He says, “…The letter was not nice but full of charge, Of dear import, and the neglecting it May do much danger. Friar John, go hence, Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight Unto my cell…Now must I to the monument alone, Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake. She will beshrew me much that Romeo Hath had no notice of these accidents;…” (5.2.18-22,24-27). Friar Laurence is going to Mantua to give the news to Romeo, and is betraying the Montagues because, they are scared searching for their son, and he knows exactly where he is.