In Act IV, Scene i of "Romeo and Juliet", what reasons does Paris give Friar Lawrence for the hasty wedding plans?

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Remember that Capulet has just - for no apparent reason - agreed to let Paris marry Juliet, and then set the date for the wedding on Thursday: he does this on Monday. This is Paris, with Friar Laurence, on Tuesday, telling him the wedding is in two days. It all happens fast in this play.

FRIAR:
On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.

PAR:
My father Capulet will have it so,
And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

Paris' first reason is simply that "that's how Capulet wants it". But he does then expand a little further:

FRIAR:
You say you do not know the lady's mind.
Uneven is the course; I like it not.

PAR:
Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death,
And therefore have I little talk'd of love;
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous
That she do give her sorrow so much sway,
And in his wisdom hastes our marriage
To stop the inundation of her tears,
Which, too much minded by herself alone,
May be put from her by society.
Now do you know the reason of this haste.

It's because, he says, Capulet thinks it's dangerous for to be so upset about Tybalt's death (of course, she isn't - she's upset about Romeo's banishment: and the Friar knows that!) - and so has given her a hasty wedding to give her something to smile about. To take her away from being by herself, and put her into company ("society").

And now you - like Paris - know the reason of this haste! Hope it helps!