Why does Friar Lawrence agree to marry Romeo and Juliet?  

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When Romeo first approaches Friar Lawrence, asking him to consent to marrying him and Juliet, the friar is, at first, taken aback because Romeo had professed to love Rosaline just the day before.  He believes that Romeo's "love" must not really be love but lust or infatuation or something like it.  However, Romeo explains that Juliet actually loves him in return and that the reason he'd been so miserable before was that Rosaline did not return his feelings.  Though the Friar doesn't really believe that what Romeo feels is love, he says, "In one respect, I'll thy assistant be, / For this alliance may so happy prove / To turn your households rancor to pure love" (2.3.97-99).  In other words, he agrees to marry the young couple because he is hoping that their marriage will erase the bad blood between the Capulets and Montagues and end the violent feud between these two families.

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