Haste, along with youthful impetuousness, is a central theme of Romeo and Juliet. The whole play is structured around the speed with which the two title characters fall in love and try to marry, knowing that their families’ feud will probably separate them. From the perspective of the lovers, however, their actions may seem less hasty as they decide their love was destined to be.
Juliet does express some reservations when Romeo declares his love: “It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden.” These fade, however, when she realizes he is sincere.
Friar Laurence tries to be the voice of reason when Romeo goes to arrange the marriage, cautioning them to slow down so their running does not make them stumble. Romeo insists, however, that speed is of the essence: “I stand on sudden haste.”
The fatal fight between Mercutio and Tybalt also shows the hasty behavior of these two young men, spoiling for a fight. When Tybalt meets Romeo in the street, he tells him to draw, which the newlywed is loath to do. Instead, Mercutio taunts and draws on Tybalt, goading him to draw quickly as well:
Will you pluck your sword out of his pitcher / By the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your / Ears ere it be out.
Romeo, in turn, acts faster than he thinks and kills Tybalt. Benvolio, explaining to Montague and Lady Capulet what happened, says, “To 't they go like lightning,” before he could hold back either man.
Juliet’s father, Lord Capulet, in general is not the most patient man. After Tybalt dies, he accelerates his plans for Juliet to marry Paris, apparently thinking it will cheer her up. Rather than on some unspecified future date, their marriage will be in 2 days. When her mother comes to her room the next day, she informs Juliet of the plan:
[Your father] to put thee from thy heaviness,
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy,
Juliet is not remotely pleased.
Now, by Saint Peter's Church and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride.
I wonder at this haste; that I must wed
Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo.
When her father comes, he will not be swayed; he not only shouts at her (“baggage,” “tallow-face,” “wretch”) but threatens to throw out into the street.