What does this quote mean? "Come, come with me, and we will make short work. For by your leaves, you shall not stay alone Till holy church incorporate two in one."

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the passage quoted from Act II, Scene 6, Friar Lawrence has agreed to perform the marriage ceremony for Romeo and Juliet. Knowing that they might sin together if they are left alone, he feels it is better that they be married quickly.

In Act II Friar Lawrence has previously tried to reason with Romeo by explaining that acting on impulse is never wise:

These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume. (2.6.9-11)
Now, having failed to convince Romeo to act rationally, Friar Lawrence decides to be sure that Romeo and Juliet at least act morally. By joining them in marriage, the Friar hopes to unite the lovers and, in doing so, to unify the families.
Unfortunately, this hopeful plan is one that has little chance of succeeding because Romeo and Juliet's marriage intensifies the conflict rather than mitigating it. Marriages among families of the upper classes in Verona are arranged. We see evidence of this expectation through Paris, who asks Lord Capulet for Juliet's hand in marriage rather than proposing directly to Juliet. There are no "love" marriages like that of Romeo and Juliet, who have acted without the permission of their parents.
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mickey2bailey | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Juliet has been given time to go to church and Romeo has arranged to meet her at Friar Laurence's cell.  When they arrive they cannot contain themselves and exchange a great deal of kissing and caressing.  Friar Laurence tells them to follow him and he will not take very long in marrying them.  He tells them that they will no longer beliving separate lives, but the church will join them as man and wife forever.  They will become one in the eyes of God.

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

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Here is a link to the part of the play where the line is said:


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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Because the two young people are so anxiously amorous toward each other, Friar Laurence is very anxious to geth them married for fear that they may do something sinful before they are married. "Come, come with me, and we'll do the job quickly. Because if you don't mind, I'm not leaving you two alone until you're united in marriage."

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Friar Laurence speaks these words to Romeo and Juliet in Act II, scene 6. The young lovers have just arrived at the Friar's cell in order for him to marry them. He's just telling them to hurry in, and the vows they take will soon join them together as one.