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ROMEO AND JULIET: PLOT SYNOPSIS / ANALYSIS
Throughout the scene, the Nurse shows her self-importance in being in control
and giving commands. In keeping with her character, she ends the scene
with a touch of coarse humor. She must bear the responsibility for arranging
both the marriage and its consummation (arranging for a ladder so Romeo
can climb into Julietís room), but she says that soon Juliet will have
her own burden, the child created from this marriage. The scene supplies
comic relief to the tragedy that is to follow.
Romeo, after meeting the Nurse, has gone at once to Friar Lawrenceís cell to make his confession before his marriage, and he is waiting there for Julietís arrival. The Friar prays for a blessing on the confession and absolution of Romeo which have just been performed. Romeo piously says ĎAmení to the benediction. He thinks of his approaching happiness and states that he is ready to die if necessary, an ironic foreshadowing of the final events of the play.
The Friar, in keeping with his personality, advises Romeo to moderate his
joy and warns about hastiness. Juliet then enters quietly and stands silently.
The Friar considers this silence as an indication that Juliet`s love will
be eternal. Romeo asks Juliet to express her intentions, but she cannot
because her emotions have overcome her. The Friar then bids them to follow
him into the Chapel for the wedding ceremony.
This very short scene announces the marriage of the lovers and sets a quiet, romantic mood. Romeo is eager for the marriage and longing for the happiness it will bring; in fact, he says he is willing to pay the price of his life for the happiness, ironic words spoken just days before his death. When Juliet arrives, his adoration of her is obvious. He begs her to speak of the marriage, to sweeten the air with the music of her voice, but Juliet is more restrained in her behavior. She is silent because she cannot express her emotions in words. It is obvious that she deeply loves Romeo.
Friar Lawrence appears to be deeply troubled. He is performing the marriage ceremony in hopes of bringing an end to the feuding of the two families; but he seems to have a presentiment. He preaches to Romeo the philosophy of moderation, a philosophy which passionate youth have difficulty following. The Friar tells him that violent delights have violent ends that fire and powder destroy each other when brought together. His illustrations are striking and his caution seems to carry hints of doom. At this moment, Romeo and Juliet, who are aglow in their love, cannot accept or understand any warning about darkness. They are passionate youths, and they want to act now.
In an atypical manner, the Friar hastens the lovers into a marriage, in spite of his apprehension over its outcome. He prays that by his spiritual power he can bring about a union of the two feuding families by uniting their son and daughter in marriage.
This scene once again develops the theme of youth versus age. The old Friar,
with wisdom and patience, again argues for moderation. Romeo and Juliet,
filled with impatience, inexperience, and youthful passion, want quick
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