“…they stumble that run fast.”
ONE OF FRIAR LAWRENCE’S MOST INFLUENTIAL QUOTES IN THE PLAY, this quote says a great deal about the whole play. In this scene, where we meet the Friar for the first time, we are greeted by his knowledge and wariness, this quote – among many others of his – symbolises both the character that he is and one of the main themes of the story: fate.
When Romeo comes to the Friar’s cell in scene 3, he is once again completely smitten with another woman. Friar Lawrence, who is a man in good terms with both families and knows Romeo very well would have a great suspicion that this love would disappear just as quickly as the last.
In his quote that ends the scene, he reminds Romeo that marrying someone is not something taken lightly and decisions must be taken more slowly, that running too fast can make for a greater risk of falling down. As the audience, pre-briefed on the fate of the ‘star cross’d lovers’, we know that Friar Lawrence’s warning has a deeper meaning than just a warning. We know that over the five day sprint of a story, many stumbles would be taken, many of them fatal. We couldn’t have a Shakespearean tragedy without some gory deaths!
For now though, none of those blows have been taken. Romeo’s smitten, Juliet’s smitten, a match made in heaven (quite literally, from Shakespeare’s point of view). Surely nothing could bad could happen to such innocent lovers?
See ya later from your local crazy,