Could someone please paraphrase Friar Lawrence's soliloquy at the opening of the scene ?

Expert Answers

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This soliloquy is about both nature and man and the power of both good and evil within both.  The first five lines are merely about the sun rising and how nature is waking up.  The second five lines explain why he is outside.  He is gathering up different herbs and flowers for medicines he creates. Lines 11-19 then speak of the powers of healing and of destruction that can occur with such herbs/flowers.

"Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:"

It can have both poisonous qualities, and it can also heal, depending on how it's used.  Then he finishes up his soliloquy by saying that man has the same qualities.  Man is capable of both birth and death.

"In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant"

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