| Quote #22
Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Friar Laurence makes a convincing argument that Romeo's love for Juliet could be mere infatuation, don't you think? Mere days ago Romeo was crying his eyes out over another woman, the unattainable Rosaline. What's more, the "salt water" tears Romeo shed for Rosaline haven't even dried yet and he's now talking about a new love interest, Juliet.
OK, Friar Laurence has good reason to be skeptical of Romeo's newfound "love." But, if he's so skeptical of the relationship, why the heck does he agree to secretly marry the young couple? For that answer, we'll have to turn to Friar Laurence, who has this to say a few lines later:
But come, young waverer, come go with me.
In one respect I'll thy assistant be;
For this alliance may so happy prove
To turn your households' rancour to pure love. (2.2.9)
In other words, Friar Laurence is hoping that a union between Romeo and Juliet will force the feuding families to reconcile. It seems like the Friar has good intentions but, as we know, his meddling has disastrous consequences for the couple. There's also some irony at work here – Romeo and Juliet's love will eventually bring the two families together (as the Friar predicts) but only after the two misguided lovers commit suicide in Act 5, Scene 3.
| Quote #23
After Romeo and Juliet are found dead, Montague offers to erect a "statue" of "pure gold" in Juliet's honor and Capulet promise to do the same for his dead son-in-law, Romeo. Although the young lovers' deaths unite the warring families and put an end to the feud (just as the Chorus promised back in the first Prologue), the efforts of the Capulets and the Montagues are a day late and a dollar short.