This OpED focuses on Friar Laurence and Lord Capulet’s reactions to Romeo and Juliet’s deaths in William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet.
I find myself wanting both wisdom and modesty. I am supposed to worship the Lord, not try to act on His behalf. I know this to be true, yet, nevertheless, I tried to play God. And in trying to stop the violence between two families, I have only caused more heartache.
What have I done? I have deceived a father into thinking that his only daughter is dead! Is that not a worse evil than any of the transgressions committed between two feuding families? How could I have been so deceptive, and for what? Those star-crossed lovers’ marriage wouldn’t have even stopped the feud but made it worse—much worse. I have played the strings of too many people’s lives, but now the sweet music no longer plays. Now death has wreaked havoc on Romeo and Juliet.
What a hypocrite I am; I advised the pair to love moderately, while I, myself, made the most impulsive decision of all. I replaced love with blood. I am responsible for taking away Romeo from Lord and Lady Montague; I am responsible for taking away Juliet from Lord and Lady Capulet; I am responsible for Rome and Juliet’s tragic death. How could I be considered a nobleman? I am nothing more than a thief, taking away the lives of the young.
The feud has ended, but at what cost? An unfathomable one; Romeo and Juliet were both such passionate people, so young and innocent. I should never have planned for them to run away, nor given them any potions. I should never have agreed to marry them. Romeo was too young and immature. Only days ago was he weeping to me about his past love Rosaline. How could I have been so foolish to marry the pair? How could I have left Juliet laying there in the tomb knowing she would wake up without Romeo? My fear and cowardice allowed for the death of Juliet. How could I have been so selfish to weight Juliet’s life under my fear of being punished? I have been impulsive and selfish, and now, I will have to live with the death of Romeo and Juliet forever.
Dear Lord, please forgive me for my display of selfishness and cowardice. I was trying to prevent further bloodshed, but I have only provoked more. There is nothing I can do to avenge Romeo and Juliet. I am no God.
Montague, my foe, what a sin we have cast over our families. The dagger should be in us instead of my daughter. She was so innocent; her purity cast light over all of us. Yet, it is our children who pay for the evils we have committed.
The fault rests upon both our powerful houses. In a time of peace between families, our children would be alive. But now, we have both been punished. My only daughter is dead. The beauty that was ever present has finally left her face. This time tomorrow she would have been married to that handsome young man, Paris. Why must she be gone forever?
What a pain it is for a father to outlive his daughter; what a pain it is to be responsible for your daughter’s death. How could my hate kill my only love? I must change my ways and end this feud for once. Our two families’ hatred has helped no one; it’s only resulted in pain and loss: my daughter, my nephew, and so many more. My stubbornness has taken too much from me. My stupidity has killed my daughter.
Only hours ago was I in celebration with my daughter about her impending marriage. How could I have been so naive? Juliet refuses Paris as a husband, and she faked death to avoid the ceremony. Why must I be so bull-headed and neglect her decisions? Oh, the lengths I would go to turn back time to end the feud and retain my daughter. How can I live with the weight of my daughter’s death for the remainder of my days? I now must make my enemy, my brother. ‘Tis the only noble action. ‘Tis what Juliet and Romeo would have wanted. No lesson is faster learned when all you hold dear is gone.
This OpEd was written by Curriculum Development Intern, Teddy Delisio (Manchester Essex Regional High School ‘22). Teddy loves to play lacrosse in his spare time and is very passionate about environmental preservation.