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What do these lines from Act 2, Scene 6 of "Romeo and Juliet" mean?These violent...

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malfoyxx321 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 11, 2009 at 6:56 PM via web

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What do these lines from Act 2, Scene 6 of "Romeo and Juliet" mean?

These violent delights have violent ends
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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robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted February 11, 2009 at 7:22 PM (Answer #1)

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Here's a rough paraphrase of Friar Laurence's lines, and I've tried to keep it in the same line configuration as Shakespeare does so you can see which line refers to which:

Violently-begun affections end violently,
And, as they come to fruition, they die. Just like fire and gunpowder,
Which, as you put them together ("kiss") blow up. The sweetest honey
Can be sickly in being too sweet,
And tasting it can make you not want to eat it.
Therefore, Romeo, love moderately: long-lasting loves do that.
Too quick, in the end, comes as late as too slow does.

 

These violent delights have violent ends
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.

Hope it helps!

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