Act II - Scene VI

Friar Laurence's cell

Enter Friar Laurence and Romeo.

So smile the heavens upon this holy act
That after-hours with sorrow chide us not!
Amen, amen! But come what sorrow can,
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short minute gives me in her sight.(5)
Do thou but close our hands with holy words,
Then love-devouring death do what he dare—
It is enough I may but call her mine.
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,(10)
Which, as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore love moderately: long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.(15)

Enter Juliet.

Here comes the Lady. O, so light a foot
Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint.
A lover may bestride the gossamer
That idles in the wanton summer air,
And yet not fall; so light is vanity.(20)
Good even to my ghostly confessor.
Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.
As much to him, else is his thanks too much.
Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heap'd like mine, and that thy skill be more(25)
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue
Unfold the imagin'd happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter.
Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,(30)
Brags of his substance, not of ornament.
They are but beggars that can count their worth;
But my true love is grown to such excess,
I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
Come, come with me, and we will make short work;(35)
For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
Till Holy Church incorporate two in one.



  1. Romeo states that sorrow cannot destroy his happiness, though this statement comes across as unintentionally ironic. The audience knows that sorrow will in fact destroy his happiness before the play has ended.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. In this context, "blazon" means to trumpet or praise something highly. This is not to be confused with the poetic blazon. Romeo uses language that implies music in order to describe his joy and their union.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  3. By this, the Friar means "greet you." In Elizabethan England, it was customary for two people to kiss each other upon greeting. Here the Friar allows Romeo to kiss Juliet hello on his behalf.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  4. Notice that the audience does not witness the actual marriage between Romeo and Juliet, only the moments leading up to it. The audience is denied this important transformation, two becoming one, in the same way that both families are not there to witness the event.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff