What is the friar's wise advice in Act II, Scene VI, of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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At the beginning of Act II, Scene VI, of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the hopelessly smitten Romeo is conversing with Friar Laurence regarding his anticipation of a life with Juliet. While the friar recognizes the depth of Romeo's infatuation with the beautiful young woman, he also tries to warn Romeo about the perils of acting rashly and without consideration of the risks involved in the prince's hoped-for union with Juliet. The sage advice proffered by Friar Laurence follows:

"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."

The friar is warning Romeo that acting too precipitously with respect to Juliet -- in effect, rushing into marriage despite the obstacles that confront the two lovers -- can result in unintended consequences. He is advising the prince to slow it down lest he (Romeo) destroy that which he covets -- a life with Juliet. 


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