Friar Lawrence, who is a Franciscan friar and brother of Sampson, plays an important role in Romeo and Juliet. Although sympathetic to their plight, he does not have the power to help them, so as soon as they encounter him in act IV he offers them his help. He aids Romeo by telling him that Juliet has fled to Mantua because she believes that Romeo is dead. The Friar also tells Romeo what must be done: he must go to Mantua and seek out Lord Capulet’s assistance in finding Juliet; if the two lovers cannot agree with one another then they must be married by the Friar at once. As a minor character, Friar Laurence is generally accepted as a friar who resides in Verona. He also doubles as a confidant to Romeo and Juliet. His intentions are benevolent at first, but they ultimately end up destroying the young lovers. Friar Laurence is seen by many critics of Romeo and Juliet as an old man who should have been wise enough to know that his actions would not turn out the way he thought they would.