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Contributions of minor characters to the plot, theme and character development.

By: Tom Quaranta

Minor characters play large roles in contributing to many aspects of plays, movies and stories. Minor characters help bring out attributes of a character that only they can do. Friar Laurence is one of the minor characters who contributes, and furthers the plot by marrying Romeo and Juliet in Act II, Scene VI. Tybalt is another minor character who contributes to the theme of hatred. The Nurse reveals Juliet?s character. The minor characters, such as the nurse, Friar Laurence, and Tybalt contribute to the plot, theme of hatred and character elements of the play.

Friar Laurence contributes to the plot by marrying Romeo and Juliet. Friar also develops a plan to stop Paris from marrying Juliet, by giving Juliet a potion, however, the plan ultimately leads to tragedy. Friar Laurence decides he is going to marry the couple “For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone/ Till holy church incorporate two in one.” (II.vi.36-37) Thus showing how much Friar Laurence cared for Romeo, willing to go behind the parents of both Romeo and Juliet. Friar Laurence was a father figure to Romeo, he was always looking out for Romeo and only wanting the best for him. This is seen when Friar Laurence says to Romeo, “These violent delights have violent ends,” (II.vi.9) warning Romeo to take it easy with Juliet. Friar Laurence develops a plan for Juliet to refrain from marrying Paris. He decides to make a potion that will put Juliet in a deep sleep for forty-two hours making it seem as if she is dead. Then another Friar will go to Mantua and inform Romeo. Friar Laurence is one of the minor characters who contributes to the plot.

Tybalt is one of the minor characters who contributes to the theme of hatred. Tybalt shows he would love to kill a Montague where he says to Benvolio ” Turn thee Benvolio, look upon thy death.” (III.i.64) In every appearance in the play he is looking for a fight with a Montague, at the party “This, by his voice, should be a Montague./ Fetch me my rapier, boy. ?” (I.v.53-54) and after he challenges Romeo to a sword fight. Tybalt?s fight with Romeo leads to the separation of Romeo and Juliet. Tybalt shows his true feelings for Romeo when he tells Romeo, ” Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford/ No better term than this—thou art a villain.” (III.i.59-60) This states that Tybalt has no better way to describe Romeo then, he is a villain. Tybalt is the opposite of Romeo. All of his actions stem from his hatred; where as all of Romeo?s actions come from love. Tybalt has a lot of family pride, causing him never to back down from a fight. He tries to show that Capulets are the ones who rule the land. If anyone disagrees with that, they will be challenged to a duo. Thus showing us how Tybalt contributes to the theme of hatred.

The final minor character, the Nurse, reveals Juliet?s character. She loves to play games with Juliet. For example, in act II, scene V, Juliet wanted to know what Romeo had told the Nurse, but the Nurse continued to change topics, teasing Juliet. She also cares a lot for Juliet, even more then her mother. She knows exactly when Juliet was born, unlike Lady Capulet. Nurse brings out who Juliet is interested in by getting her to say “?What is yond gentleman?” (I.v.127) The Nurse tells how Juliet feels when she finds out her love has been banished.

O, she says nothing , sir, but weeps and weeps;

And now falls on her bed; and then starts up,

And Tybalt calls, and then on Romeo cries,

And then falls down again.

This indicates that Juliet could not bear with Romeo being banished from Verona. The Nurse may only be a minor character, however she plays a large part in bringing Juliet?s character to life.

The minor characters, such as the Nurse, Friar Laurence, and Tybalt contribute to the plot, theme of hatred and character elements of the play. Friar Laurence contributes to the plot by marrying Romeo and Juliet. The Friar also give the potion to Juliet. Tyblat contributes to the theme of hatred. Finally the Nurse reveals Juliet?s character. Minor characters, play large roles in contributing to many aspects of plays, movies and also stories. Minor characters help bring out attributes of characters, themes and the plots that only they can do.

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