Please discuss the importance of Friar Lawrence's quote in II.VI of Romeo and Juliet.  And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which, as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey Is loathsome...

Please discuss the importance of Friar Lawrence's quote in II.VI of Romeo and Juliet.

 

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which, as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey Is loathsome in his own deliciousness And in the taste confounds the appetite. Therefore love moderately: long love doth so; Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

 

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I think we need to see this important speech from Friar Lawrence as a caution to Romeo. Note how Friar Lawrence has seen Romeo overwhelmed by his sudden love for Juliet. He has cast aside his romance with Rosaline and now speaks using intense language to describe his affections for Juliet. Note what Romeo says immediately before this speech:

Do thou but close our hands with holy words,

Then love-devouring death do what he dare--

It is enough I may but call her mine.

Of course, there is irony in this speech, as "love-devouring death" does do what he "dares," and Romeo finds it is not enough to just be able to call Juliet his. Thus it is that the Friar begins by cautioning that "violent delights have violent ends." There is a sense in which Friar Lawrence foreshadows the ending of Romeo's relationship with Juliet. He tries to counsel Romeo to not be in so much of a hurry and to "love moderately" because love that lasts a long time does this; it does not consume itself as fire or power.

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