Friar Lawrence likes to collect various herbs, plants, and flowers that he uses to make all kinds of potions and medicines. Doing so allows him to gain a deep understanding of the natural world, of how the good is so often mixed in with the bad. Everything in nature has a purpose and can conduce to the good if used properly. However, if the bounteous fruits of nature are misused, then the consequences can be unpleasant:
For naught so vile that on the earth doth live / But to the earth some special good doth give. / Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use / Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse. / Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, / And vice sometime by action dignified. (Act II, Scene iii).
As we can see from the last lines of the above quotation, Friar Lawrence extends this insight to human beings. Vice can often come out of virtue, and vice versa. There is some interesting foreshadowing going on here. Later on in the play, Friar Lawrence will try to overcome the...
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