Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Act II, Scene 6

Summary

Friar Laurence and Romeo, while waiting for Juliet, discuss the impending marriage. Friar Laurence urges moderation in love, as a love that is too intense or passionate may burn itself up rather than lasting. Juliet appears, and Friar Laurence prepares to marry the couple.

Analysis

Once eager to marry the couple and stop the Capulet-Montague feud, Friar Laurence is now getting cold feet. He urges Romeo not to be so hasty, but he doesn’t seem sufficiently concerned to postpone the wedding himself.

Although Juliet has only a few lines in this scene, what she says forwards the underlying motif of class division. She describes love that can be measured as “beggarly,” while saying her own love is so vast that she cannot begin to measure her wealth. Her description provides another example of the play’s position that exalted love is something only the upper classes can indulge in.

Contents