What warning does Friar Laurence give Romeo foreshadowing future events of Romeo and Juliet?

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Right before marrying Romeo and Juliet, Friar Lawrence warns Romeo of his foolishness by saying, "Wisely and slow, they that run fast stumble." By saying these words, he is reminding Romeo to be careful of his rashness and all-consuming love. Friar Lawrence also states:"These violent delights have violent ends," which foreshadows how Romeo's and Juliet's storm of emotions eventually lead to their violent ends. 


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iambic5 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At critical points in the play, Friar Laurence advises restraint and cool consideration, though neither Romeo nor the other characters in the play are terribly good at either. “Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast,” he tells Romeo after seeing Romeo practically bounce with joy at his agreement to marry Romeo and Juliet. Then three scenes later he cautions, “These violent delights have violent ends.” Romeo in particular proves the friar right.

Later in the play Romeo jumps into the duel between Mercutio and Tybalt, and inadvertently causes Mercutio’s death: “Why the devil came you between us?” scolds Mercutio, “I was hurt under your arm!” Romeo’s headstrong behavior, though well intended, causes a fatality. Later on, in Juliet’s tomb, distraught at seeing what he has every reason to believe is her dead body, he poisons himself, just moments too soon – Juliet wakes up almost as soon as he dies. Tragically, in both cases, he lets his storm of emotions “run fast”, and both times they lead to “violent ends”.

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As Romeo and Friar Laurence wait for Juliet to arrive so the young lovers can be married, the Friar utters a blessing on the marriage, saying, "So smile the heavens upon this holy act/ That after-hours with sorrow chide us not (2.6.1-2)!" Romeo has an arrogant response to this blessing, taunting sorrow and saying he can face anything as long as he has Juliet. Once he marries Juliet, he believes everything will be all right. When he scolds Romeo for this foolishness, the Friar...

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atownson | Student

Friar Lawrence warns Romeo, "Wisely and slow, they that run fast stumble." He gives this warning after agreeing to marry Romeo and Juliet. He is essentially warning against the hastiness of their union. They have only just met, and he is cautioning them against moving too quickly.

Ultimately, his warning foreshadows their doom. Romeo's tendency to act without thinking first directly leads to the death of both characters. The friar states:

"These violent delights have violent ends. Which in their triumph die, like fire and gunpowder, which as they kiss, consume." (2.6.9-11).

The violent delights, or the love, of Romeo and Juliet, often have violent ends, in this case death. While their love may be beautiful and powerful, it is also brief and destructive. Thus, with his words, the Friar unknowingly foreshadows the passionate but brief love of Romeo and Juliet, which ends in death. 

kbeggarly | Student

Friar Lawrence chides Romeo for forgetting Rosalin so easily and falling for Juliet so quickly. In regards to Romeo and Juliet's marriage, Friar Lawrence says, "These violent delights have violent ends." (2.6.9). This warning from the Friar foreshadows that Romeo and Juliet's marriage will end as quickly and as "violently" as it began during the party in Act I.