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Dominic Iaquinto

Mrs. Eaton

9 Honors Literature and Composition II

17 May 2017

Who Should Be Punished?

“Some shall be pardoned, and some punished” (Shakespeare 5.3.308). Prince Escalus

states this in the final scene of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. He says this to

everyone that is in some sort of relation to Romeo and Juliet after their deaths. Before this, he

already said that if they disturbed Verona’s streets, there would be some people punished. Lord

Capulet, the nurse, and Friar Laurence should be punished for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Some may say that Lord Capulet should not be responsible for their deaths because he

had the intention to make his daughter happy by marrying her to Paris; yet, the rest of his actions

outweigh this measure he took. Admittedly, it is not arguable how much he looks out for his

daughter. For example, when he tries to marry her to Paris, he is just trying to stop her from

grieving for Tybalt. He is thinking that wedding her to a good man will stop her sorrow. His

looking out for his daughter could thus be a reason people believe that he does not deserve to be

punished. However, he deserves to be punished. First, Lord Capulet moves the wedding to Paris

to one day before scheduled; this throws off all the plans made. When Lord Capulet does this,

Juliet must drink the potion a day early which means that Romeo will not get Friar Laurence’s

letters. The text states, “Go, nurse, go with her. We’ll to church tomorrow” (4.2.37). Thus,

proving how Lord Capulet should be punished, for moving the wedding, which sets off a chain

reaction of events. He also does not care about his daughter when he yells at her about the
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marriage. Capulet is very angry when Juliet does not want to marry Paris. He violently screams

at her for a prolonged period of time. He also says that if she was a beggar and he saw her, he

would just ignore her. He shows complete disregard for her feelings. Therefore, by not caring

about his daughter, this proves how Capulet should be punished for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths.

Finally, he should be punished for not acting maturely and not ending the feud with the

Montague family like an adult should. By choosing to keep the feud going, he unintentionally

causes his daughter, and nephew’s deaths. If he had ended the feud, then Tybalt would not have

wanted to fight Romeo, and therefore not have died, since everything after Tybalt’s death is

negative, it can be inferred that his death is the turning point. If the feud was ended by Lord

Capulet, then most likely, nobody would have died, but he did not. Hence, he should be

punished for not stopping the silly feud earlier. Consequently, by Lord Capulet moving the

wedding, yelling intensely at his daughter, and not ending the feud, he should be penalized.

The nurse should also be punished by Prince Escalus. First, she tells Juliet to forget

about Romeo and marry Paris. When the nurse tells this to Juliet, she is betraying her trust and

siding with her parents, when she should be on Juliet’s side. The nurse says, “Romeo is

banish’d; and all the world to nothing… I think it best you married with the county” (3.5.214—

18). By the nurse betraying her, Juliet can only trust Romeo and the Friar. Therefore, the nurse

should be disciplined by the Prince for playing a part in Juliet’s bloodshed. Another reason is

that she does not tell Lord or Lady Capulet of the marriage of Romeo and Juliet. When they got

married, the nurse chooses not to tell Juliet’s parents. By the nurse not doing this, she is not

allowing the parents to know what Juliet is going through. They believe she is crying over

Tybalt, but if the nurse tells them, they may be more sympathetic since Lord Capulet is already

prompted to end the feud. If the nurse tells them, it might be better for Juliet in the long run.
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Hence, showing why the nurse should be punished for not telling Lord and Lady Capulet.

Finally, the nurse should be disciplined for pressuring Juliet to love Paris. In Act 1, Scene 3, the

nurse goes on and on about how she would like to see her get married. She also continually

comments on Paris’s handsome appearance, going as far to calling him a man of wax. This

means he is so perfect that he could have been sculpted out of wax. Thus, showing how the

nurse should be punished for pressuring Juliet into marrying Paris, which adds more weight onto

her shoulders then she already has. Therefore, through the nurse betraying Juliet, not telling

Lord and Lady Capulet about the wedding, and pressuring her into marrying Paris; the nurse

should be punished.

Friar Laurence is the person who deserves to be disciplined the most. First, he does not

tell Friar John how urgent the letters for Romeo are. By him not stating the urgency of the

letters, Friar John thinks that since he is not able to deliver them, it will be no big deal. Hence,

proving why Friar Laurence should be punished, by not stating how urgent the letters for Romeo

were. Also, he lies to the Capulet parents, telling them that their daughter is dead. As a friar, or

anyone in the church, lying is a sin. Thus, by doing such an act, he makes Romeo believe Juliet

is dead, not even including deceiving a family, and disobeying God for that matter, the friar

should be punished. Finally, Friar Laurence should be punished harshly for leaving Juliet, whose

husband is dead next to her, alone in the tomb. At this point, Juliet is very suicidal, so leaving

her alone is not a very wise decision by the friar. He declares, “Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no

longer stay” (5.3.159). When the friar leaves, Juliet proceeds to kill herself. Therefore, proving

that Friar Laurence should be punished for abandoning a suicidal teenager. Thus, through Friar

Laurence not telling Friar John the urgency of his letters, lying to the Capulet family, and

abandoning Juliet in the tomb, he should be disciplined severely.
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Once again, those that Prince Escalus should punish are most definitely Lord Capulet, the

nurse, and Friar Laurence. For Lord Capulet, he moves the wedding, getting angry with Juliet,

and not ending the feud. The nurse should be punished for betraying Juliet, not telling Lord or

Lady Capulet of the marriage, and pressuring her to love Paris. Finally, Friar Laurence should

be punished for not saying the urgency of his letters, lying to the Capulets about Juliet’s “death”,

and leaving Juliet alone in the tomb. Some pardoned, some punished. Romeo and Juliet can

never come back, but those responsible will know that they caused their deaths.