Friar Lawrence

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  • Friar Lawrence
    • O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities: For nought so vile that on the earth doth live But to the earth some special good doth give, Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse. —When we first see Friar Laurence, he is gathering herbs and commenting on the fact that everything in nature has some good use, and that—contrariwise—even the best of nature can used in a bad way.
    • Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye, And where care lodges, sleep will never lie —Seeing Romeo up early in the morning, Friar Laurence deduces that something must be wrong with him, because although old men have much worry ("care") that keeps them awake, a careless youth sleeps long.
    • Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears. —When Romeo tells Friar Laurence that he wants to be married to Juliet, the Friar exclaims on the change; he can still hear Romeo's groans of love for Rosaline.
    • These violent delights have violent ends. —As Romeo and Friar Laurence wait for Juliet, Friar Laurence, even though he has already agreed to marry Romeo and Juliet, warns Romeo against love that is too passionate and sudden.
    • Therefore love moderately; long love doth so; Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. —Friar Laurence concludes his advice to Romeo.
    • Here comes the lady! O, so light a foot Will ne’er wear out the everlasting flint —Friar Laurence describes Juliet as she comes to be married to Romeo.
    • Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe. —When Friar Laurence tells Romeo that he has only been banished (and not sentenced to be executed), Romeo answers that to be banished (and away from Juliet) is worse than to be dead.
    • The damned use that word in hell. —When Friar Laurence argues that being banished is not the worst fate, Romeo replies that souls in hell are "banished" from the presence of God.
    • Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy. —Trying to talk Romeo out of his despair over being banished, Friar Laurence says that "philosophy" (rational thought) can cure him.

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