Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art:
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast:
Unseemly woman in a seeming man!
Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
Thou hast amazed me: by my holy order,
I thought thy disposition better temper'd.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself?
And stay thy lady too that lives in thee,
By doing damned hate upon thyself?
Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?
Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose.
Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit;
Which, like a usurer, abound'st in all,
And usest none in that true use indeed
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit:
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valour of a man;
Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
Killing that love which thou hast vow'd to cherish;
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
Like powder in a skitless soldier's flask,
Is set afire by thine own ignorance,
And thou dismember'd with thine own defence.
What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew'st Tybalt; there are thou happy too:
The law that threaten'd death becomes thy friend
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love:
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed,
Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her:
But look thou stay not till the watch be set,
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua;
Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back
With twenty hundred thousand times more joy
Than thou went'st forth in lamentation.
Go before, nurse: commend me to thy lady;
And bid her hasten all the house to bed,
Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto:
Romeo is coming.
In this passage, Friar Laurence chides Romeo for attempting suicide when the young man is facing banishment for Tybalt's murder. Friar Laurence criticizes Romeo for his cowardice, suggesting that by trying to take his own life, Romeo is displaying feminine characteristics. Laurence also tries to snap Romeo out of his pessimism, pointing out that neither he nor Juliet are actually dead. The Friar's rebuke is an example of the fact that Romeo and Juliet is a new kind of tragedy - where psychology is to blame rather than fate. At this point, Romeo is desperate and has chosen to end his life - but human intervention is the only reason he does not follow through. In telling Romeo to simply wait until "we can find a time/To blaze your marriage," Friar Laurence is demanding that Romeo behave like a rational adult and deal with his problem in a suitably mature way. While some of Friar Laurence's lesson gets through to Romeo, what the holy man does not understand is that Romeo is still a passionate youth who might reconnect with Juliet but has little interest in the demands of measured maturity. In this way, this speech also foreshadows the way that impetuous, passionate youth plays a major part in the play's tragic ending.