Why was Friar Laurence hesitant to marry Romeo and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet?

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When Romeo first visits Friar Laurence's cell in act 2, scene 3, and informs him that he is in love with Juliet and wishes to marry her immediately, Friar Laurence is astonished and reluctant to marry them. Friar Laurence is shocked that Romeo has forgotten about Rosaline so quickly...

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When Romeo first visits Friar Laurence's cell in act 2, scene 3, and informs him that he is in love with Juliet and wishes to marry her immediately, Friar Laurence is astonished and reluctant to marry them. Friar Laurence is shocked that Romeo has forgotten about Rosaline so quickly and has suddenly developed strong feelings for Juliet, who is someone he hardly knows. Friar Laurence believes that Romeo is simply infatuated with Juliet and fears that his feelings are not deep or mature enough for marriage. He also believes that Romeo and Juliet are acting rash and feels that an abrupt marriage is not ideal. Friar Laurence would prefer Romeo and Juliet to allow their romance to blossom before jumping into such a serious commitment. Despite Friar Laurence's fears that Romeo's feelings are not mature enough to merit his marriage to a woman he has just met, Friar Laurence is motivated to marry Romeo and Juliet in hopes of ending the longstanding family feud between the Montagues and Capulets. Friar Laurence hopes that Romeo and Juliet's marriage will appease both families and agrees to secretly marry them in his cell.

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Friar Lawrence was hesitant to marry Romeo and Juliet on several counts.  First, they had only met the night before, and he quickly saw their feelings more of infatuation and lust, as opposed to lasting love.  Second, Romeo had been obsessed with Rosaline as late as the previous afternoon.  No doubt, the friar was hesitant to bless anyone with such fleeting feelings with a permanent commitment to just one person.  Finally, Friar Lawrence was well aware of the feud between the two families, and feared what the marriage would mean in that context.

However, it is exactly the feud that ultimately convinces the friar to go through with the action.  In the end, he hopes that the marriage might help to end the feud and cement a better relationship between the two warring families.

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