Friday, July 08, 2005

The Wisdom of Friar Lawrence

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 art 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 light upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehav’d and sullen wench,
Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love.
- Romeo and Juliet, 3.3.143-152

I'm a good complainer and I often feel I have plenty to complain about. The truth is, I am blessed. And as I viewed Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, and read the text, I understood: Life is beautiful. I just fail to appreciate it.

God chides me for my sullenness and he slaps me on the head, just as Friar Lawrence chides Romeo. He takes me by the arm and drags me through every room in my life and says again and again, "There art thou happy. There art thou happy too. There art thou happy. A pack of blessings light upon thy back. What! rouse thee, man: thy Juliet is alive."


Sherry C said...

Mmmm...a little Shakespeare in the morning is good. Amazing that it can be so applicable to our lives. I got to teach Romeo and Juliet to 9th graders one year (B.K.--before kids) and they were equally amazed at its relevance. Thanks for pointing out the spiritual significance of this passage.

Scott said...

You are too welcome, Sherry. Shakespeare is one of the good things in this life. I'm glad you are a fellow admirer.