Romeo and Juliet simplified

Synopsis

Centuries ago, the Montagues and Capulets were Verona’s dominant families, the two being serious enemies, something like an earlier version of the Hatfields and McCoys.  This is how it was in Verona sometime before Romeo and Juliet was first performed, sometime before 1595.  Romeo was a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. 

The play opens on a street corner with members of the Montague and Capulet households squabbling with each other over minor issues.  Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio, enters and tries to break-up the argument.  Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, enters and makes more mischief.  The Prince of Verona, the city’s political leader, enters and demands the men end their fight and depart, their duel having created a scene.  As peace returns to the streets of Verona, all exit but Benvolio and Romeo’s parents.  Worried about her son, Romeo’s mother asks Benvolio “O, where is Romeo?  Saw you him today?”  Benvolio lets her know that he thinks her son is acting a little strange.  As Romeo is about to enter and the Montagues are about to exit, Benvolio says to his mother “see where he comes.  I’ll know his grievance or be much denied.” 

Benvolio asks Romeo “Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?”  Romeo responds “A sick man in sadness makes his will.  In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.”  We learn that Romeo’s girlfriend Rosaline has just dropped him. Benvolio suggests he “forget to think of her” and that he “examine other beauties.”  Stressed-out Romeo says to his cousin “Farewell, thou canst not teach me to forget.”  Benvolio makes a pledge to himself to help Romeo get through this, or to die trying, saying “I’ll pay that doctrine or else die in debt.” 

We soon learn that Capulet, the patriarch of the Capulet family, plans that very night to have a masquerade dinner party.  Capulet instructs one of his servants to invite those named on his guest list, the servant obliging.  But the servant doesn’t know how to read; therefore doesn’t know who’s on the list.  Innocently, the servant happens to ask Romeo and Benvolio (both of whom can read) to let him know the names on the list.  Benvolio notes that there are a number of young, attractive, single women invited, Rosaline being one of them.  Sensing this dinner party represents a stroke of good fortune, Benvolio persuades Romeo to plan along with him to attend Capulet’s dinner party as masked, uninvited guests.  Benvolio gets Mercutio to agree to go along, Mercutio being one of Romeo’s good friends. 

As a side issue, the ambitious-for-her-daughter Lady Capulet is eager to see her daughter married.  But Juliet, about a month from her fourteenth birthday, is not much thinking about marriage.  A young man known as the County Paris, the Prince of Verona’s nephew, has recently been showing some interest in Juliet, and her mother thinks he’d make a good husband for her daughter.

Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio prepare their disguises and get ready for the Capulet party.  Romeo continues to sulk and fret over his romantic break-up.  The dinner party begins. Capulet welcomes the masked Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio into his home, not knowing who they are.  Romeo spots Juliet and instantly falls for her, the moment that improves his spirits over the break-up with Rosaline. Tybalt (Capulet’s nephew) hears Romeo speak and knows by his voice that he’s a Montague.  He proudly tells Capulet of the subterfuge he has uncovered.  Capulet is unconcerned.  Tybalt angrily exits.  Romeo makes a move on Juliet.  As the party nears its end, the Nurse calls Juliet aside, telling her that her new-found friend is a Montague.  It’s then when Romeo realizes that Juliet is a Capulet.  Neither Juliet nor Romeo seems to be very concerned over who is whose son or daughter.

Soon after Romeo and his friends leave the party, Romeo says to himself “Can I go forward when my heart is here?” He slips away from his two friends, jumps over the wall of the Capulet compound, and heads for Capulet’s orchard, located right under Juliet’s bedroom balcony.  Benvolio sees Romeo jump over the wall, but sensing there is little he or Mercutio can or should do, knowing it’s late, decides to leave well enough alone.  Caught up in the events of the evening and unable to settle down, Juliet comes out on her balcony, swooning and cooing over Romeo. Believing she hears him, she talks openly of her love for this man named Romeo.  This is a quick romance folks, Juliet famously saying “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”  He soon says “What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”  This is good stuff.  In the early morning hours they agree to marry, she on her balcony, he below in her father’s garden.  Romeo agrees to make plans for the wedding.  As dawn breaks, he leaves the garden with hopes to find Friar Lawrence, and he does, picking flowers.  Seeing Romeo, Friar Lawrence says “Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.  Wast thou with Rosaline?”  Romeo responds “With Rosaline, my ghostly Father?  No. I have forgot that name and that name’s woe.”  Romeo tells the friar that his current love interest is “the fair daughter of rich Capulet” and “this I pray, that you consent to marry us today.”  Friar Lawrence exclaims “Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!”   Friar Lawrence agrees to the request saying “Come, go with me.  In one respect I’ll thy assistant be, for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancor to pure love.”

An anxious Juliet, all the while fantasizing over Romeo, sends the Nurse out into the city of Verona to look for Romeo. She finds him. Romeo tells her to tell Juliet that they are to be married that afternoon and that she is to meet him at Friar Lawrence’s cell.  The Nurse’s return can’t come soon enough for the anxious Juliet. The Nurse takes her time when she does return, teasing Juliet, finally telling her of Romeo and Friar Lawrence’s plans for a wedding that afternoon.  Juliet does then meet Romeo at Friar Lawrence’s cell; the friar then leading them to the church where they are secretly married.  Other than the three of them, only the Nurse knows of the wedding.

Meanwhile, an angry Tybalt, looking for a fight with Romeo, still upset with Romeo’s appearance as an uninvited guest at his uncle’s dinner party the night before, finds Mercutio and Benvolio innocently talking with each other on a street corner.  A just-secretly-married Romeo enters.  Tybalt calls Romeo a villain.  Coming to Romeo’s defense, Mercutio draws his sword.  Mercutio and Tybalt fight.  Mercutio is stabbed.  All exit but Romeo.  Benvolio re-enters, reporting that Mercutio has died.  Tybalt re-enters.  He and Romeo fight, Romeo killing him. Romeo, now frightened, exits. The Prince of Verona, Montague and Capulet enter.  Benvolio defends Romeo’s actions, telling all how the tragic situation unfolded, when Lady Capulet cries “I beg for justice. Romeo slew Tybalt; Romeo must not live.” The Prince says “Romeo slew him; he slew Mercutio.  Who now the price of Mercutio’s blood doth owe?”  Montague cries “Not Romeo, Prince; he was Mercutio’s friend.”  But an angry prince, weighing what he has heard, speaking of Romeo says “Immediately we do exile him hence.”  Romeo is banished to Mantua. 

Juliet, having now been married for three hours and yearning for Romeo says “Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night, Romeo leap to these arms, untalked of and unseen.”   The Nurse soon enters crying “He’s dead, he’s dead.”  A frightened Juliet says “Hath Romeo slain himself?”  The Nurse cries “O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!” Juliet, more concerned for Romeo than the death of her cousin, says “Is Romeo slaughtered and is Tybalt dead?  My dearest cousin, and my dearer lord?”  Finally the Nurse tells her “Tybalt is gone and Romeo banished.”  The Nurse, who earlier had secured a rope ladder for Romeo to use to slip into Juliet’s bedroom, picks up the rope ladder saying “I’ll find Romeo to comfort you.”  A little earlier, fearing Romeo’s exile was forever, Juliet spoke to the ropes saying “Poor ropes, he made you for a highway to my bed, but I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.” 

Meanwhile, Romeo is beside himself, learning from Friar Lawrence that rather than being put to death for slaying Tybalt he has been banished from Verona, telling the friar that he’d rather die than be separated from Juliet.  Friar Lawrence considers him a fool. The Nurse enters, saying Juliet is distraught with grief over the turn of events.  Friar Lawrence urges Romeo to compose himself, to visit Juliet that night, but to be certain to return before dawn and leave for Mantua.

Separately, Capulet tells Paris that he has his permission to marry his daughter Juliet in three days, the friar and the Nurse being, as we say, the only others aware of her marriage to Romeo.  This happens on a Monday; the wedding would be Thursday.  Capulet tells his wife to begin preparations for a wedding and a feast.

Romeo and Juliet then spend the night together, Romeo leaving as planned just as dawn breaks.  Lady Capulet soon enters her daughter’s bedroom planning to tell her that Tybalt has been killed and that Romeo has been banished.  Instead, Lady Capulet tells her that she has some good news: in three days she gets to marry the County Paris.  Juliet refuses the offer.  Learning that his daughter rejects the thought of marrying Paris, an uncompromising Capulet demands she marry him or “hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, for, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee.”  Juliet holds firm. The Nurse comforts and counsels her.  After a nice talk with the Nurse, Juliet says “Go in and tell my lady I am gone, having displeased my father, to Lawrence’ cell to make confession and to be absolved.”  As the Nurse exits Juliet says “Marry I will; and this is wisely done.”  Juliet to herself says “I’ll to the Friar to know his remedy. If all else fail, myself have power to die.”

A jubilant County Paris helps with the couple’s planning for Thursday’s wedding; they meet with Friar Lawrence.  All the while Juliet deals with Paris diplomatically, but keeps him uncertain and at arms-length.  When Paris exits, Juliet confides in Friar Lawrence that he must help her with this dilemma or she’ll take her own life.  With a most unusual option, Friar Lawrence tells her he knows of a way for her to temporarily appear to be dead. The two of them agree that they must find a way to keep her from marrying Paris, she, of course, being married.  She buys into his remedy, agreeing to “undertake a thing like death to chide away this shame.”  He gives her a vial of “distilling liquor” to take that night.  It is now Tuesday night and Capulet enthusiastically is helping to prepare for the post-wedding reception.  Juliet enters and tells her father that she repents.  He is now really happy and decides to move the wedding up a day, to the next day. Capulet says “I will walk myself to County Paris, to prepare up him against tomorrow. My heart is wondrous light since this same wayward girl is so reclaimed.”  Juliet slips off to bed, dismisses the Nurse, drinks the ‘mixture’ in the vial, and falls asleep. Early the next morning Capulet sends the Nurse to waken Juliet, who finds her ‘dead.’  Friar Lawrence and Paris arrive and are told she died during the night.  Friar Lawrence and the Capulets make funeral plans and take her body to the family crypt. 

In Mantua, Romeo is advised of Juliet’s ‘death.’  He rushes to the Apothecary to buy a poison.  Although selling poison is against the law, Romeo pays the Apothecary so well that the Apothecary decides that the funds are worth the risk and provides Romeo with the poison.

County Paris secretly enters the Capulet’s crypt, but soon steps aside, hearing Romeo; Romeo having also decided to pay a visit to the crypt.  Paris steps forward.  He and Romeo draw swords and fight.  Romeo stabs him.  As he is dying, Paris asks to be placed in Juliet’s tomb.  Romeo opens Juliet’s tomb, places Paris’ body next to her, kisses Juliet, drinks the poison and dies. Friar Lawrence soon enters the crypt and finds the bodies of Romeo and Paris.  Juliet awakens and asks for Romeo.  Friar Lawrence soon exits.  Seeing Romeo dead, she stabs herself and dies. 

The Prince and the Capulets then enter the crypt.  Montague soon enters, telling all that his wife died during the night from grief over her son’s exile.  Friar Lawrence confesses to the prince that he was aware of all of the events all along.  The prince uses the occasion to moralize, saying he hopes this tragedy can bring peace between the two families.

Principal Characters

Capulet.  Capulet is Juliet’s father and the family’s patriarch.  Once Capulet learns that Romeo has killed his nephew, Tybalt, he insists, in the strongest of terms, that his daughter marry the County Paris, the prince’s nephew.  His strong-willed daughter refuses.

County ParisParis is a nephew of the Prince of Verona and desperately wants Juliet for his wife.  Juliet’s parents think that he and their daughter would be a good match.  Juliet doesn’t agree.  Late in the play, Paris dies in a sword fight with Romeo.

Friar Lawrence.  Friar Lawrence is a well-meaning, willing-to-help, clergyman who gets inadvertently and too closely drawn into the quickly moving events that swirl around the fitful and rapidly escalating love affair between Romeo and Juliet.  In this play, Shakespeare distributes much of his wisdom through Friar Lawrence.

Juliet.  Juliet is the almost fourteen year old daughter of the Capulets, the other leading family of Verona.  She falls in love quickly with Romeo, a Montague, the other powerful Verona family, during a masquerade party thrown by her father, while her strong-willed parents have another young man in mind as her prospective husband, the County Paris.  Her romance with Romeo is brief and intense.  She risks all, truly, for the man she loves.

Nurse.  The Nurse is an employee of the Capulets and serves the family and their daughter well.  She undertakes assignments on behalf of Juliet that are challenging, considering the circumstances, and is loyal and true to her employer and their daughter throughout, no easy task.  She also is a bit of a tease, and a bit ornery.

Romeo.  Romeo is the son of the Montagues, a leading family of Verona.  Early in the play, his girlfriend, Rosaline, breaks up with him, but he quickly recovers, quickly falling for Juliet, the underage teenager.  Their romance is brief but bright, but then ends tragically in a crypt, through miscommunications, among other reasons.

Tybalt.  Tybalt is Juliet’s cousin, a Capulet and one of the red-blooded, quick-tempered, macho young men who add to the play’s intensity.  He recognizes Romeo’s voice at a masquerade party, one in which Romeo is an uninvited guest, and later loses his life in a sword fight, when challenging Romeo, a fight that gets Romeo exiled to Mantua, a near-by-Verona city.

The Play


  • Act 1, Scene 1
  • The play opens with a servant for the Capulet family engaged in a sword fight with a servant for the Montague family. Benvolio, a Montague, enters and tries to break up the fight.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Part, fools! Put up your swords. You know not what you do.
  • Tybalt, a Capulet, enters, drawing his sword.
  • TYBALT
  • Turn thee, Benvolio; look upon thy death.
  • BENVOLIO
  • I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword.
  • TYBALT
  • What, drawn and talk of peace? As I hate all Montagues, have at thee, coward!
  • They fight.
  • Capulet, Montague and The Prince of Verona enter.
  • PRINCE
  • If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. All the rest depart away. You, Capulet, shall go along with me, and, Montague, come you this afternoon.
  • All but Montague, Lady Montague and Benvolio exit.
  • MONTAGUE
  • Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
  • BENVOLIO
  • The fiery Tybalt with his sword prepared swung about his head and cut the winds who hissed him in scorn. While we were interchanging thrusts and blows the Prince came.
  • LADY MONTAGUE
  • O, where is Romeo? Saw you him today? Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
  •  
  •  
  • Benvolio to Lady Montague
  •  
  • Madam, I have seen Romeo today.
  • I saw your son as I did wend my way
  • Underneath the grove of sycamore to
  • The city’s west when a troubled mind led
  • Me to walk amidst the fresh morning’s dew
  • An hour before the sun peered through. There fled
  • He, ‘ware of me, into the wood, and I
  • Measuring his strange affections by my
  • Own, being too many by my weary
  • Self, gladly shunned who gladly fled from me.
  • Here he comes. I’ll know his grievance or be
  • Much denied. What is the sadness I see
  • In your heart’s oppression? Ay, you’re out of
  • Her favor, cousin, where you are in love!
  • Montague and Lady Montague exit.
  • ROMEO
  • Ay me, sad hours seem long.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Alas that love, so gentle in his view, should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
  • ROMEO
  • O me! What fray was here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh?
  • BENVOLIO
  • No, coz, I rather weep.
  • ROMEO
  • Good heart, at what?
  • BENVOLIO
  • At thy good heart’s oppression.
  • ROMEO
  • Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs; being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes; being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?
  • ROMEO
  • A sick man in sadness makes his will. In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman. O, she is rich in beauty, only poor that, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
  • ROMEO
  • She hath. She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow do I live dead.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Forget to think of her.
  • ROMEO
  • O, teach me how I should forget to think!
  • BENVOLIO
  • Examine other beauties.
  • ROMEO
  • He that is stricken blind cannot forget the precious treasure of his eyesight lost. Farewell. Thou canst not teach me to forget.
  • BENVOLIO
  • I’ll pay that doctrine or else die in debt.
  • They exit
  • Act 1, Scene 2
  • Capulet, County Paris and one of Capulet’s servingmen are on stage
  • CAPULET
  • ‘Tis not hard, I think, for men so old as we to keep the peace.
  • PARIS
  • Pity ‘tis you lived at odds so long. But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
  • CAPULET
  • My child is yet a stranger in the world. She hath not seen the change of fourteen years. Let two more summers wither in their pride ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
  • PARIS
  • Younger than she are happy mothers made.
  • CAPULET
  • And too soon marred are those so early made. But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart. This night I hold an old accustomed feast. Whereto I have invited many a guest such as I love; and you among the store. At my house look to behold this night earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.
  • Capulet gives his servingman a list of names of invited guests.
  • CAPULET
  • Go, sirrah, trudge about through fair Verona, find those persons out whose names are written there, and to them say my house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
  • Capulet and Paris exit.
  • SERVINGMAN
  • Find them out whose names are written here! I must be the learned. In good time!
  • Benvolio and Romeo enter.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Tut man, one fire burns out another’s burning; one pain is lessened by another’s anguish. Turn giddy, and be helped by backward turning.
  • ROMEO
  • I’m bound more than a madman is, shut up in prison, kept without my food, whipped and tormented.
  • SERVINGMAN
  • I pray, sir, can you read?
  • ROMEO
  • Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
  • SERVINGMAN
  • But I pray, can you read anything you see?
  • ROMEO
  • Ay, if I know the letters and the language. Stay, fellow, I can read.
  • Romeo reads the names of the invited guests.
  • ROMEO
  • A fair assembly. Whither should they come?
  • SERVINGMAN
  • My master’s. My master is the great rich Capulet, and, if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a cup of wine.
  • He exits.
  • BENVOLIO
  • At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so loves. Go thither, and with unattainted eye compare her face with some that I shall show, and I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
  • ROMEO
  • One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Let there be weighed your lady’s face love against some other maid that I will show you shining at this feast.
  • ROMEO
  • I’ll go along.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 3
  • Lady Capulet and the Nurse are on stage.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Nurse, where’s my daughter?
  • NURSE
  • I bade her come.
  • Juliet enters.
  • JULIET
  • Madam, I am here. What is your will?
  • LADY CAPULET
  • This is the matter. Nurse, thou knowest my daughter’s of a pretty age.
  • NURSE
  • Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • She’s not fourteen.
  • NURSE
  • On Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen. That shall she.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Enough of this. I pray thee, hold thy peace.
  • NURSE
  • Thou wast the prettiest babe. An I might live to see thee married once.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • “Marry” is the very theme I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter, how stands your disposition to be married?
  • JULIET
  • It is an honor that I dream not of.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Well, think of marriage now. The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.
  • NURSE
  • He’s a flower, in faith, a very flower.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • What say you?
  •  
  •  
  • Lady Capulet to Juliet
  •  
  • Think of marriage if this man seeks your love,
  • Though it is an honor you dream not of.
  • Here tonight you shall be with him at our
  • Home. Read the volume of his face and find
  • Delight writ there with beauty’s pen. Next hour,
  • Examine each feature there, and once dined
  • Note how each lends content to another.
  • And what in this fair book may be obscure
  • Find written in the margins of his eyes.
  • This precious book is an unbound lover
  • That needs to share its glory with gold ties,
  • This golden story lacking a cover.
  • Seek to share all that he doth possess for
  • By having him, you make yourself the more.
  • NURSE
  • No less? Nay, bigger. Women grow by men.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Speak briefly. Can you like of Paris’ love?
  • JULIET
  • I’ll look to like, if looking liking move.
  • The servingman enters.
  • SERVINGMAN
  • Madam, the guests are come, supper served up.
  • The servingman exits.
  • NURSE
  • Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 4
  • Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio and other young men in masks are on stage.
  • ROMEO
  • Shall we on without apology?
  • BENVOLIO
  • Let them measure us by what they will. We’ll measure them a measure and be gone.
  • ROMEO
  • Give me a torch. Being but heavy I will bear the light.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
  • ROMEO
  • Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes with nimble soles. I have a soul of lead.
  • MERCUTIO
  • You are a lover. Borrow Cupid’s wings.
  • ROMEO
  • Under love’s heavy burden do I sink. Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorns.
  • MERCUTIO
  • If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down. I mean, sir, in delay we waste our lights.
  • ROMEO
  • Peace, Mercutio, peace. Thou talk’st of nothing.
  • They walk about the stage and withdraw to the side.
  • Act 1, Scene 5
  • Capulet and his invited and uninvited guests enter.
  • CAPULET
  • Welcome, gentlemen. Ladies that have their toes unplagued with corns will walk about with you. Ah, my mistresses, which of you all will now deny to dance? You are welcome, gentlemen. Come, musicians, play.
  • Music plays and they dance.
  • ROMEO TO A SERVINGMAN
  • What lady’s that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?
  • SERVINGMAN
  • I know not, sir.
  •  
  •  
  • Romeo to himself, No. 1
  •  
  • O, she a snowy dove trooping with crows.
  • What is it to nature that beauty owes?
  • Forswear my heart that I did love till now,
  • For till this night I’ve ne’er seen true beauty.
  • I’ll match her place of stand and find somehow
  • To touch her hand, blessing mine. My lips be
  • Ready to smooth that too rough touch from my
  • Unworthy hand with a tender kiss. I
  • Profane my hands unworthy, yet the hands
  • Of pilgrims are the hands that saints do touch,
  • And saints have lips where each word of prayer lands,
  • So, let not shameful hands do what lips much
  • Better do. Saints do pray for prayers’ sake
  • While I now hope my prayer’s effect doth take.
  • TYBALT
  • This, by his voice, should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy.
  • Tybalt runs to Capulet:
  • CAPULET
  • Why, kinsman, storm you so?
  • TYBALT
  • Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe.
  • CAPULET
  • Young Romeo is it?
  • TYBALT
  • ‘Tis he, that villain Romeo.
  • CAPULET
  • Content thee, gentle coz. Be patient. Take no note of him.
  • TYBALT
  • I’ll not endure him.
  • CAPULET
  • He shall be endured. Am I the master here or you?
  • TYBALT
  • I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall.
  • Tybalt exits. Romeo kisses Juliet
  • ROMEO
  • Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged.
  • JULIET
  • Then have my lips the sin that they have took. Give me my sin again.
  • They kiss again.
  • NURSE
  • Madam, your mother craves a word with you.
  • Juliet moves toward her mother.
  • ROMEO ASIDE
  • Is she a Capulet? My life is my foe’s debt.
  • CAPULET
  • I thank you all. I thank you, honest gentlemen. Good night.
  • All but Juliet and the Nurse begin to exit.
  • JULIET
  • What’s he that follows here, that would not dance?
  • NURSE
  • I know not.
  • The Nurse exits and returns.
  • NURSE
  • His name is Romeo, and a Montague.
  • JULIET
  • My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late.
  • NURSE
  • Come, let’s away. The strangers all are gone.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 1
  • Romeo is on the stage alone.
  • ROMEO
  • Can I go forward when my heart is here?
  • He exits. Benvolio and Mercutio enter.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Romeo, my cousin Romeo. He ran this way and leapt this orchard wall. Come, he hath hid himself among these trees. Blind is his love and best befits the dark.
  • MERCUTIO
  • If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. Romeo, good night. Come, shall we go?
  • BENVOLIO
  • Go, then, for ‘tis in vain to seek him here that means not to be found.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 2
  • Romeo is on the stage himself.
  • ROMEO
  • He jests at scars that never felt a wound. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East and Juliet is the sun.
  •  
  •  
  • Romeo to himself, No. 2
  •  
  • What if the fairest stars as daylight goes
  • Do ask your eyes to take their place? If those
  • Stars were your eyes, then your cheeks quite as bright
  • Would shame the stars as lamps shamed as daylight
  • Breaks; so bright your eyes and cheeks that birds might
  • Sing and roosters crow thinking it not night.
  • O speak again bright angel, as if a
  • Winged messenger of heaven astride the
  • Lazy-paced clouds sailing upon the staid
  • Bosom of air. The envious moon weans
  • Itself from night, pale with grief; though her maid,
  • You’re the far more fair. If your hand where leans
  • Your cheek were to need a glove, then I seek
  • To be a glove, that I might touch your cheek.
  • JULIET
  • Ay me.
  • ROMEO
  • She speaks. Speak again, bright angel, for thou art as glorious as the night.
  •  
  •  
  • Juliet to herself, No. 1
  •  
  • Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
  • What’s in a name? Be some other name. O
  • Romeo, dost thou love me? Just say ‘Ay’,
  • And I will take thy word. If thou swearest,
  • Jove laughs; it’s promises lovers deny.
  • Pronounce it faithfully. If thou thinkest
  • I am too quickly won, I’d say thee nay
  • And frown, as long as thou wilt still woo. Say
  • Dear love, I’ll prove more true than those who dare
  • Be cunning. This dark night I should have sought
  • More care, if thou hath overheard’st me. Fair
  • Romeo, doff thy name for me, ‘tis not
  • Part of thee. And take me when next we meet.
  • By any name a rose would smell as sweet.
  • JULIET
  • O, Romeo, deny thy father and refuse thy name, or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
  • ROMEO
  • I take thee at thy word. Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized.. Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
  • JULIET
  • Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?
  • ROMEO
  • Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.
  • JULIET
  • How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore? The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, and the place death, considering who thou art, if any of my kinsmen find thee here.
  • ROMEO
  • I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes. My life were better ended by their hate than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.
  • JULIET
  • By whose direction found’st thou out this place.
  • ROMEO
  • By love, that first did prompt me to inquire. He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.
  • JULIET
  • Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say “Ay,” and I will take thy word.
  • ROMEO
  • Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow.
  • JULIET
  • O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
  • ROMEO
  • What shall I swear by?
  • JULIET
  • Well, do not swear. It is too rash, too sudden, too like the lightning, which doth cease to be. Sweet, good night. This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, may prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
  • ROMEO
  • Exchange thy love’s faithful vow for mine.
  • JULIET
  • I gave thee mine before thou didst request it. My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.
  • The Nurse calls from within.
  • JULIET
  • I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu.
  • She exits.
  • ROMEO
  • O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard, being in night, all this is but a dream.
  • Juliet reenters.
  • JULIET
  • If that thy bent of love be honorable, thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow, by one that I’ll procure to come to thee, where and what time thou wilt perform the rite. A thousand times good night.
  • Juliet exits.
  • ROMEO
  • A thousand times the worse to want thy light. Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, but love from love, toward school with heavy looks.
  • Juliet enters again.
  • JULIET
  • Hist, Romeo, hist! Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud.
  • ROMEO
  • How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night, like softest music to attending ears.
  • JULIET
  • Romeo, what o’clock tomorrow shall I send to thee?
  • ROMEO
  • By the hour of nine.
  • JULIET
  • I will not fail. Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say “Good night” till it be morrow.
  • She exits.
  • ROMEO
  • Hence will I to my ghostly friar’s close cell, his help to crave.
  • He exits.
  • Act 2, Scene 3
  • Friar Lawrence is alone on the stage with a basket.
  •  
  •  
  • Friar Lawrence to himself
  •  
  • Each gray-eyed morn’s streaks of light offer new
  • Hope as the smiling sun dries the dank dew
  • Of cool nights. To reach a goal elusive,
  • Where hope is constant and required if dreams
  • Of true love to be. This willow-branch sieve,
  • Filled with harmful weeds and fresh flowers, means
  • All in life hath value, as Earth, the source
  • Of life of diverse kind, renews its course
  • With grace through time, where all to the earth at
  • Sometime some special good doth give. Yet seek
  • With care your best wishes, for the thought that
  • Poison may hath residence in a weak
  • Flower with medicine power, and curbs
  • Its use, applies in man, as well as herbs.
  • ROMEO
  • Good morrow, Father.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • What early tongue so sweet saluteth me? Thy earliness doth me assure our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight. Wast thou with Rosaline?
  • ROMEO
  • With Rosaline, my ghostly Father? No, I have forgot that name and that name’s woe.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • But where hast thou been then?
  • ROMEO
  • I have been feasting with mine enemy.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift.
  • ROMEO
  • Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set on the fair daughter of rich Capulet. As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine. This I pray, that thou consent to marry us today.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Holy Saint Francis. Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, so soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
  • ROMEO
  • Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.
  • ROMEO
  • I pray thee, chide me not. Her I love now doth grace for grace and love for love allow. The other did not so.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Come, go with me. In one respect I’ll thy assistant be. For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households’ rancor to pure love.
  • ROMEO
  • I sand on sudden haste.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 4
  • Benvolio and Mercutio are on stage.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Where the devil should this Romeo be? Came he not home tonight?
  • BENVOLIO
  • Not to his father’s.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Tybalt hath sent a letter to his father’s house. Romeo will answer it.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Is he a man to encounter Tybalt?
  • BENVOLIO
  • Why, what is Tybalt?
  • Romeo enters.
  • MERCUTIO
  • You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night.
  • ROMEO
  • What counterfeit did I give you?
  • MERCUTIO
  • The slip, sir, the slip.
  • ROMEO
  • Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great, and in such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Come between us, good Benvolio. My wits faint.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Stop there, stop there.
  • The Nurse enters.
  • NURSE
  • Where may I find the young Romeo?
  • ROMEO
  • I can tell you, but young Romeo will be older when you have found him than he was when you sought him.
  • NURSE
  • You say well. If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you.
  • ROMEO
  • I will follow you.
  • Mercutio and Benvolio exit.
  • NURSE
  • Pray you, sir, a word. My young lady bid me inquire you out. What she bid me say, I will keep to myself. But first let me tell you, the gentlewoman is young, and therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.
  • ROMEO
  • Bid her devise some means to come to shrift this afternoon, and there she shall at Friar Lawrence’ cell be shrived and married.
  • NURSE
  • This afternoon, sir? Well, she shall be there.
  • ROMEO
  • Commend me to thy mistress.
  • NURSE
  • Well, sir, my mistress is the sweetest lady. There is a nobleman in town, one Paris, but she, good soul, had as lief see a toad, a very toad, as see him.
  • ROMERO
  • Commend me to thy lady.
  • NURSE
  • Ay, a thousand times.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 5
  • Juliet is alone on the stage.
  • JULIET
  • The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse. In half an hour she promised to return. Now is the sun upon the highmost hill! Of this day’s journey, and form nine till twelve is three long hours, yet she is not come. Had she affections and warm youthful blood, she would be as swift in motion as a ball. But old folks, many feign as they were dead, unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.
  • Nurse enters.
  • JULIET
  • O God, she comes! O, honey Nurse, what news?
  • NURSE
  • I am aweary. Give me leave awhile. How my bones ache! What a jaunt have I.
  • JULIET
  • Nay, come, I pray thee, speak.
  • NURSE
  • Do you not see that I am out of breath?
  • JULIET
  • How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath to say to me that thou art out of breath? Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that.
  • NURSE
  • He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll warrant him as gentle as a lamb.
  • JULIET
  • What says he of our marriage? What of that?
  • NURSE
  • Lord, how my head aches! Ah, my back, my back!
  • JULIET
  • I am sorry that thou art not well. Sweet Nurse, tell me, what says my love?
  • NURSE
  • Your love says, like an honest gentleman, where is your mother?
  • JULIET
  • Where is my mother? Come, what says Romeo?
  • NURSE
  • Have you got leave to go to shrift today?
  • JULILET
  • I have.
  • NURSE
  • Then hie you hence to Friar Lawrence’ cell. Hie you to church. I’ll to dinner.
  • JULIET
  • Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell.
  • They exit
  • Act 2, Scene 6
  • Friar Lawrence and Romeo are on stage.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • So smile the heavens upon this holy act that after-hours with sorrow chide us not.
  • ROMEO
  • Amen, amen. It is enough I may but call her mine.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die. 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.
  • Juliet enters.
  • JULIET
  • Good even to my ghostly confessor.
  • ROMEO
  • Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy be heaped like mine, let rich music’s tongue unfold the imagined happiness that both receive in either by this dear encounter.
  • JULIET
  • My true love is grown to such excess I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Come, come with me, and we will make short work, for, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone till Holy Church incorporate two in one.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 1
  • Mercutio and Benvolio are on stage.
  • BENVOLIO
  • I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire. The day is hot, the Capels are abroad, and if we meet we shall not ‘scape a brawl.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes. Thou hast quarreled with a man for coughing in the street because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun.
  • Tybalt enters.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Be my head, here comes the Capulets.
  • MERCUTIO
  • I care not.
  • TYBALT
  • Gentlemen, good e’en. A word with one of you. Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Consort? What, dost thou make us minstrels?
  • BENVOLIO
  • We talk here in the public haunt of men. Either withdraw unto some private place, or else depart. Here all eye gaze on us.
  • Romeo enters.
  • TYBALT
  • Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford no better term than this: thou art a villain.
  • ROMEO
  • Villain am I none. Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest me not.
  • TYBALT
  • Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries that thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.
  • ROMEO
  • I do protest I never injured thee, and so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as mine own, be satisfied.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Tybalt, you rat catcher, will you walk?
  • Mercutio draws his sword.
  • TYBALT
  • I am for you.
  • Tybalt draws his sword. Romeo draws his sword.
  • ROMEO
  • Gentlemen, for shame forbear this outrage! Tybalt! Mercutio! The Prince expressly hath forbid this bandying in Verona streets.
  • Tybalt stabs Mercutio.
  • MERCUTIO
  • Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
  • The page exits.
  • ROMEO
  • Courage, man, the hurt cannot be much.
  • MERCUTIO
  • No, ‘tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but ‘tis enough. Why the devil came you between us?
  • ROMEO
  • I thought all for the best.
  • MERCUTIO
  • A plague o’ both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me.
  • All but Romeo exit.
  • ROMEO
  • My reputation stained with Tybalt’s slander. O sweet Juliet, they beauty hath made me effeminate and in my temper softened valor’s steel.
  • Benvolio enters.
  • BENVOLIO
  • O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead.
  • ROMEO
  • This day’s black fate on more days doth depend. This but begins the woe others must end.
  • Tybalt enters.
  • ROMEO
  • Now, Tybalt, take the “villain” back again that late thou gavest me, for Mercutio’s soul is but a little way above our heads, staying for thine to keep him company. Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.
  • They fight. Tybalt falls.
  • BENVOLIO
  • Romeo, away, begone! The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
  • ROMEO
  • O, I am Fortune’s fool!
  • Romeo exits. The Prince, Montague, Capulet and their wives enter.
  • PRINCE
  • Where are the vile beginners of this fray?
  • BENVOLIO
  • O noble Prince, there lies the man, slain by young Romeo, that slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.
  • PRINCE
  • Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?
  • BENVOLIO
  • Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay. An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled. But by and by comes back to Romeo, who had but newly entertained revenge, and to ‘t they go like lightning, for, ere I could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain, and, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly. This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Romeo slew Tybalt; Romeo must not live.
  • PRINCE
  • Romeo slew him; he slew Mercutio.
  • MONTAGUE
  • Not Romeo, Prince; he was Mercutio’s friend. His fault concludes but what the law should end, the life of Tybalt.
  • PRINCE
  • And for that offense immediately we do exile him hence.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • Juliet is alone on the stage.
  •  
  •  
  • Juliet to herself, No. 2
  •  
  • Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
  • When lovers best do their amorous rite,
  • That does agree with night. Come, thou matron
  • All in black, that our love may grow so bold
  • That we may choose to shun the garish sun.
  • O, this mansion of love I have been sold,
  • Yet not possessed or enjoyed. Tedious
  • This day, as if before a dance I fuss
  • As an impatient child with robes she may
  • Not yet wear. Sober-suited night, give me
  • Romeo to hold in these arms. That day
  • That he dies make him into stars that he
  • May make the face of heaven lightly bright,
  • So all the world will be in love with night.
  • The Nurse enters with a rope ladder.
  • JULIET
  • Now, Nurse, what news? What hast thou there? The cords that Romeo bid thee fetch?
  • NURSE
  • Ay, ay, the cords.
  • JULIET
  • Why dost thou wring thy hands?
  • NURSE
  • He’s dead, he’s dead!
  • JULIET
  • Hath Romeo slain himself?
  • NURSE
  • I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes. A piteous corpse, a bloody piteous corpse. I swooned at the sight. O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!
  • JULIET
  • Is Romeo slaughtered and is Tybalt dead? My dearest cousin, and my dearer lord?
  • NURSE
  • Tybalt is gone and Romeo banished. Romeo that killed him-----he is banished.
  • JULIET
  • O God, did Romeo’s hand shed Tybalt’s blood?
  • NURSE
  • It did, alas the day, it did.
  • JULIET
  • O serpent heart hid with a flow’ring face! Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave? Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical! Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb! Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st.
  • NURSE
  • There’s no trust, no faith, no honesty in men. Shame come to Romeo!
  • JULIET
  • Blistered be thy tongue for such a wish! We was not born to shame. O, what a beast was I to chide at him!
  • NURSE
  • Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin?
  • JULIET
  • Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband? Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name when I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it? My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain, and Tybalt’s dead, that would have slain my husband. All this is comfort? Wherefore weep I then? “Tybalt is dead and Romeo banished.” That “banished,” that one word “banished,” hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Where is my father and my mother, Nurse?
  • NURSE
  • Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corpse.
  • The Nurse picks up the rope ladder.
  • JULIET
  • He made you for a highway to my bed, but I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.
  • NURSE
  • I’ll find Romeo to comfort you. Hark you, your Romeo will be here at night. I’ll to him. He is hid at Lawrence’ cell.
  • JULIET
  • O, find him! Give this ring to my true knight.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 3
  • Friar Lawrence in on stage alone.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Romeo, come forth, come forth, thou fearful man.
  • ROMEO
  • Father, what news? What is the Prince’s doom?
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • A gentler judgment vanished from his lips: not body death, but body’s banishment.
  • ROMEO
  • Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say “death.” Do not say “banishment.”
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Here from Verona art thou banished. Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.
  • ROMEO
  • There is no world without Verona walls. Hence “banished” is “banished from the world.”
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • The kind Prince hath rushed aside the law and turned the black word “death” to “banishment.” This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.
  • ROMEO
  • ‘Tis torture and not mercy. Heaven is here where Juliet lives.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Thou fond mad man, hear me a little speak.
  • ROMEO
  • O, thou wilt speak again of banishment. It helps not, it prevails not. Talk no more. Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel. Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love, an hour but married, Tybalt murdered, then mightst thou speak and fall upon the ground as I do now.
  • Romeo throws himself down. There’s a knock within.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Arise. One knocks. Good Romeo, hide thyself. Run to my study.
  • NURSE FROM WITHIN
  • I come from Lady Juliet
  • Friar Lawrence admits the Nurse.
  • NURSE
  • O, tell me, holy Friar, where’s my lady’s lord? Where’s Romeo?
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.
  • NURSE
  • Even so lies she, blubb’ring and weeping. Stand up. For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand.
  • Romeo rises.
  • ROMEO
  • Speakest thou of Juliet? How is it with her? Where is she? And how doth she?
  • NURSE
  • O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps, and now falls on bed, and then starts up, and then down falls again.
  • ROMEO
  • O, tell me, Friar, tell me, in what vile part of this anatomy doth my name lodge? Tell me, that I may sack the hateful mansion.
  • Romeo draws his dagger.
  •  
  •  
  • Friar Lawrence to Romeo
  •  
  • Hold thy desperate hand, you seeming man,
  • Tearing here as an unseemly woman.
  • Thou hast amazed me railing thou on thy
  • Birth, the heaven and earth, since all three thou
  • Wouldst lose. Are you here to say good-bye
  • To the strength of life, daring to allow
  • Digression from the valor of a man,
  • Killing the cherished love of your woman?
  • Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
  • Is set afire by thy own ignorance,
  • Threatened death having turned to exile. Of
  • All, man, Juliet doth your life enhance.
  • Pouting over love won will take its toll.
  • Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed. Ascend her chamber. Hence and comfort her. Go before, Nurse. Commend me to thy lady. Romeo is coming.
  • NURSE
  • My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.
  • The Nurse gives Romeo a ring. She exits.
  • ROMEO
  • How well my comfort is revived by this!
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Go hence, good night. Be gone by the break of day. Sojourn in Mantua. Give me thy hand.
  • ROMEO
  • Farewell.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 4
  • Capulet, his wife and Paris are on stage.
  • CAPULET
  • Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily. Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly, and so did I. Well, we were born to die. She’ll not come down tonight.
  • PARIS
  • These times of woe afford no times to woo.
  • CAPULET
  • Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender of my child’s love. I think she will be ruled in all respects by me. Nay, more, I doubt it not. What day is this?
  • PARIS
  • Monday, my lord.
  • CAPULET
  • O’ Thursday, tell her, she shall be married to this noble earl. Will you be ready? Do you like this haste? We’ll keep no great ado: a friend or two. But what say you Thursday?
  • PARIS
  • My lord, I would that Thursday were tomorrow.’
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 5
  • Romeo and Juliet are in her chamber.
  • JULIET
  • Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day. It was the nightingale, and not the lark, that pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear. Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.
  • ROMEO
  • It was the lark, the herald of the morn, no nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east. I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
  • JULIET
  • Yond light is not daylight. I know it. Therefore stay yet. Thou need’st not to be gone.
  • ROMEO
  • I have more care to stay than will to go. Come death and welcome. Let’s talk. It is not day.
  • JULIET
  • It is, it is. Hie hence, begone, away! It is the lark that sings so out of tune. O, now begone. More light and light it grows.
  • ROMEO
  • More light and light, more dark and dark our woes.
  • The Nurse enters.
  • NURSE
  • Your lady mother is coming to your chamber. The day is broke.
  • She exits.
  • JULIET
  • Then, window, let day in, and let life out.
  • ROMEO
  • Farewell. One kiss and I’ll descend.
  • Romeo descends.
  • JULIET
  • Art thou gone so? I must hear from thee every day.
  • ROMEO
  • I will omit no opportunity that may convey my greetings, love, to thee.
  • JULIET
  • O, think’st thou we shall ever meet again?
  • ROMEO
  • I doubt it not. Adieu, adieu.
  • He exits.
  • JULIET
  • Be fickle, Fortune, for then I hope thou wilt not keep him long, but send him back.
  • Lady Capulet enters.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Ho, daughter, are you up?
  • JULIET
  • Is she not down so late or up so early? What unaccustomed cause procures her hither?
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death? But much of grief shows still some want of wit. Thou weep’st not so much for his death as that the villain lives which slaughtered him.
  • JULIET
  • What villain, madam?
  • LADY CAPULET
  • That same villain, Romeo. I’ll send to one in Mantua, where that same banished runagate doth live, shall give him such an unaccustomed draw that he shall soon keep Tybalt company.
  • JULIET
  • O, how my heart abhors to hear him named and cannot come to him to wreak the love I bore my cousin upon his body that hath slaughtered him.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Now I’ll tell thee joyful tidings, girl. Marry early next Thursday morn the gallant, young, and noble gentleman, the County Paris, at Saint Peter’s Church.
  • JULIET
  • I pray you, tell my lord and father, I will not marry yet and when I do I swear it shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, rather than Paris.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself.
  • Capulet and the Nurse enter.
  • CAPULET
  • How now, wife? Have you delivered to her our decree?
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Ay, sir, but she will none. She gives you thanks.
  • CAPULET
  • Does she not count her blessed, unworthy as she is, that we have wrought so worthy a gentleman to be her bride?
  • JULIET
  • Proud can I never be of what I hate, but thankful even for hate that is meant love.
  • CAPULET
  • How? Chopped logic? But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next to go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church, or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
  • Juliet kneels.
  • JULIET
  • Good father, I beseech you on my knees, hear me with patience but to speak a word.
  • CAPULET
  • I will tell you what: get thee to church o’ Thursday, or never after look me in the face. Speak not; reply not; do not answer me.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • You are too hot.
  • CAPULET
  • God’s bread, it makes me mad. To answer “I’ll not wed. I cannot love. I am too young. I pray you, pardon me.” Graze where you will, you shall not house with me. Hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, for, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee.
  • He exits.
  • JULIET
  • O sweet my mother, cast me not away. Delay this marriage for a month, a week, or, if you do not, make the bridal bed in that dim monument where Tybalt lies.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.
  • She exits.
  • JULIET
  • O God! O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?
  • NURSE
  • Faith, here it is. Romeo is banished. I think it best you married with the County. O, he’s a lovely gentleman! Romeo is a dishclout to him.
  • JULIET
  • Speak’st thou from thy heart?
  • NURSE
  • And from my soul too, else beshrew them both.
  • JULIET
  • Well, go in and tell my lady I am gone, having displeased my father, to Lawrence’ cell to make confession and to be absolved.
  • NURSE
  • Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.
  • She exits.
  • JULIET
  • I’ll to the Friar to know his remedy. If all else fail, myself have power to die.
  • She exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 1
  • Friar Lawrence and County Paris are on stage.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.
  • PARIS
  • My father Capulet will have it so.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • You say you do not know the lady’s mind? I like it not.
  • PARIS
  • She weeps for Tybalt’s death. Her father in his wisdom hastes our marriage to stop the inundation of her tears.
  • Juliet enters.
  • PARIS
  • Happily met, my lady and my wife.
  • JULIET
  • That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.
  • PARIS
  • That “may be” must be, love, on Thursday next.
  • JULIET
  • What must be shall be.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • That’s a certain text.
  • JULIET
  • Are you at leisure, holy Father, now, or shall I come to you at evening Mass?
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now. My lord, we must entreat the time alone.
  • PARIS
  • On Thursday early will I rouse you.
  • He exits.
  • JULIET
  • Come weep with me, past hope, past care, past help.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • O Juliet, I already know thy grief.
  • JULIET
  • If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help, do thou but call my resolution wise, and with this knife I’ll help it presently.
  • She shows him her knife.
  • JULIET
  • God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands; and ere this hand by thee to Romeo’s sealed, shall be the label to another deed, or my true heart with treacherous revolt turn to another, this shall slay them both. Be not so long to speak. I long to die if what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • If, rather than to marry County Paris, thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself, then is it likely thou wilt undertake a thing like death to chide away this shame, that cop’st with death himself to ‘scrape from it; and if thou darest, I’ll give thee remedy.
  • JULIET
  • O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk where serpents are. Chain me with roaring bears, or bid me go into a new-made grave and hide me with a dead man in his shroud, and I will do it without fear or doubt, to live an unstained wife to my sweet love.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Hold then. Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone; let not the Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.
  • He holds out a vial.
  •  
  •  
  • Friar Lawrence to Juliet
  •  
  • Be merry; consent to marry Paris.
  • Then tomorrow, this next night, take thou this
  • Vial and drink its liquor when presently
  • Through all your veins it shall run letting your
  • Pulse surcease. Your cheeks shall fade to palely
  • Ashes, as thy lips. There’ll be no warmth or
  • Breath to testify thou livest. Thou eyes
  • Shall fall, as when the last day of life dies.
  • Each stark, cold part shall appear like death. Weep
  • Not, for dead you’ll appear for all to see;
  • Yet then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
  • That very night shall Romeo bear thee
  • To Mantua, free of this present shame.
  • Surely any womanish fear you’ll tame.
  • JULIET
  • Give me, give me! O, tell not me of fear!
  • He gives Juliet the vial.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Hold, get you gone. I’ll send a friar with speed to Mantua with my letters to thy lord.
  • JULIET
  • Love give me strength, and strength shall help afford. Farewell, dear Father.
  • They exit in different directions.
  • Act 4, Scene 2
  • It is Tuesday, and Capulet, Lady Capulet, the Nurse and others are on stage. Juliet enters.
  • CAPULET
  • How now, my headstrong, where have you been gadding?
  • JULIET
  • Where I have learned me to repent the sin of disobedient opposition to you.
  • Juliet kneels.
  • JULIET
  • Pardon, I beseech you. Henceforward I am ever ruled by you.
  • CAPULET
  • Send for the County. I’ll have this knot knit up tomorrow morning.
  • JULIET
  • Nurse, will you go with me into my closet to help me sort such needful ornaments as you think fit to furnish me tomorrow.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • No, not till Thursday. There is time enough.
  • CAPULET
  • Go, Nurse. We’ll to church tomorrow.
  • Juliet and the Nurse exit.
  • CAPULET
  • Well, I will walk myself to County Paris, to prepare up him against tomorrow. My heart is wondrous light since this same wayward girl is so reclaimed.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 3
  • Juliet and the Nurse are on stage.
  • JULIET
  • Ay, those attires are best. But, gentle Nurse, I pray thee leave me to myself tonight.
  • Enter Lady Capulet.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Need you my help?
  • JULIET
  • No, madam. So please you, let me now be left alone and let the Nurse this night sit up with you.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Good night. Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need.
  • Lady Capulet and the Nurse exit.
  • JULIET
  • Farewell. My dismal scene I needs must act alone. Come, vial.
  • She takes out the vial.
  • JULIET
  • What if this mixture do not work at all? Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
  • She takes out her knife and puts it down beside her.
  •  
  •  
  • Juliet to herself, No. 3
  •  
  • What if it be a poison the Friar
  • Hath subtly ministered, so to not lure
  • Me to this marriage, lest he be disgraced
  • Having married me to Romeo? I
  • Fear it is, yet methinks my thought misplaced,
  • He a holy man. How if, as I lie
  • In the tomb I wake before Romeo
  • Come to redeem me? Shall I not be so
  • Stifled in the vault where no healthsome air
  • Breathes in, that I die there strangled, my bliss
  • So denied? And if I live and wake there,
  • Shall I not be distraught, enclosed with this
  • Fear, the horrible fear of death I’ll face,
  • Together with the terror of the place.
  • JULIET
  • Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee.
  • She drinks and falls upon her bed within the curtains.
  • Act 4, Scene 4
  • Capulet, Lady Capulet, the Nurse and others are in the kitchen.
  • CAPULET
  • ‘Tis three o’clock. Look to the baked meats, good Angelica. Spare not for cost.
  • Lady Capulet and the Nurse exit.
  • CAPULET
  • Make haste, make haste. Sirrah, fetch drier logs. Nurse! Wife! What, Nurse, I say.
  • The Nurse enters.
  • CAPULET
  • Go waken Juliet. I’ll go and chat with Paris. The bridegroom he is come already. Make haste, I say.
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 5
  • The Nurse approaches Juliet’s bed.
  • NURSE
  • Mistress! Juliet! Fie, you slugabed! Sweetheart! Why, bride! How sound is she asleep!
  • She opens the bed’s curtains.
  • NURSE
  • Help! My lady’s dead. O, weraday, that ever I was born! My lord! My lady!
  • Lady Capulet enters.
  • LADY CAPULET
  • What noise is here?
  • NURSE
  • Look, look! O heavy day!
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Revive, look up, or I will die with thee. Help! Call help.
  • Enter Capulet:
  • CAPULET
  • Bring Juliet forth. Her lord is come.
  • NURSE
  • She’s dead, deceased.
  • CAPULET
  • Out, alas, she’s cold. Life and these lips have long been separated.
  • NURSE
  • O lamentable day!
  • CAPULET
  • Death, that hath ta’en her hence to make me wail, ties up my tongue and will not let me speak.
  • Friar Lawrence and County Paris enter.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Come, is the bride ready to go to church?
  • CAPULET
  • O son, the night before thy wedding day hath death lain with thy wife. There she lies. Life, living, all is death’s.
  • PARIS
  • Have I thought long to see this morning’s face, and doth it give me such a sight as this?
  • LADY CAPULET
  • Accursed, wretched, hateful day. One poor and loving child and cruel death hath catched it from my sight!
  • CAPULET
  • Uncomfortable time, why cam’st thou now. Alack, my child is dead, and with my child my joys are buried.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Heaven and yourself had part in this fair maid. Now heaven hath all. Your part in her you could not keep from death, but heaven keeps his part in eternal life. She’s not well married that lives married long, but she’s best married that dies married young. As the custom is, and in her best array, bear her to church, for though fond nature bids us all lament, yet nature’s tears are reason’s merriment.
  • CAPULET
  • Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corpse, and all things change them to the contrary.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Everyone prepare to follow this fair corpse unto her grave.
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Romeo is on stage. Balthasar, Romeo’s man, arrives in riding boots.
  • ROMEO
  • How doth my lady? Is my father well? How doth my Juliet?
  • BALTHASAR
  • Her body sleeps in Capels’ monument, and her immortal part with angels lives. O, pardon me for bringing these ill news.
  • Balthasar exits.
  • ROMEO
  • O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men. I do remember an apothecary which late I noted in tattered weeds. Noting this penury, to myself I said, “An if a man did need a poison now, whose sale is present death in Mantua, here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.” What ho, Apothecary!
  • The apothecary enters.
  • APOTHECARY
  • Who calls so loud?
  • ROMEO
  • Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor.
  • He offers money.
  • ROMEO
  • Let me have a dram of poison that will disperse itself through all the veins, that the life-weary taker may fall dead.
  • APOTHECARY
  • Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law is death to any he that utters them.
  • ROMEO
  • The world is not thy friend, nor the world’s law. The world affords no law to make thee rich. Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
  • APOTHECARY
  • My poverty, but not my will, consents.
  • ROMEO
  • I pay thy poverty and not thy will
  • The Apothecary gives him the poison.
  • APOTHECARY
  • Drink it off, and if you had the strength of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.
  • Romeo hands him the money.
  • ROMEO
  • There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls, doing more murder in this loathsome world than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell. I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none.
  • Apothecary exits.
  • ROMEO
  • Come, cordial and not poison, go with me to Juliet’s grave, for there must I use thee.
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 2
  • Friar John, Friar Lawrence’ friend, is on stage. Friar Lawrence enters.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Welcome from Mantua. What says Romeo? Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.
  • FRIAR JOHN
  • The searchers of the town, suspecting that the infectious pestilence did reign, sealed up the doors and would not let us forth.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?
  • FRIAR JOHN
  • I could not send it.
  • He returns the letter to Friar Lawrence.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Unhappy fortune! Friar John, go hence. Get me an iron crow and bring it straight unto my cell.
  • Friar John exits.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • She will beshrew me much that Romeo hath had no notice of these accidents. But I will write again to Mantua, and keep her at my cell till Romeo come. Poor living corpse, closed in a dead Man’s tomb!
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 3
  • Paris and his page enter the Capulet crypt.
  • PARIS
  • Give me thy torch, boy. Hence and stand aloof. Whistle then to me as signal that thou hearest something approach.
  • PAGE ASIDE
  • I am almost afraid to stand alone here in the churchyard.
  • He moves away from Paris. The Page whistles.
  • PARIS
  • The boy gives warning something doth approach. Muffle me, night, awhile.
  • Paris steps aside. Romeo and Balthasar enter.
  • ROMEO
  • Stand all aloof and do not interrupt me in my course. Why I descend into this bed of death is partly to behold my lady’s face, but chiefly to take thence from her dead finger a precious ring, a ring that I must use in dear employment.
  • BALTHASAR
  • I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you. I’ll hide me hereabout.
  • He steps aside. Romeo begins to force open the tomb.
  • ROMEO
  • Thou detestable maw, gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth.
  • PARIS
  • This is that banished haughty Montague that murdered my love’s cousin. I will apprehend him.
  • Paris steps forward.
  • PARIS
  • Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague. Obey and go with me, for thou must die.
  • ROMEO
  • I must indeed. Good gentle youth, tempt not a desp’rate man. O, begone! I come hither armed against myself. Stay not, begone, live, and hereafter say a madman’s mercy bid thee run away.
  • PARIS
  • I do defy thy combination, and apprehend thee for a felon here.
  • ROMEO
  • Wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee, boy!
  • They draw and fight.
  • PAGE
  • O Lord, they fight!
  • He exits.
  • PARIS
  • O, I am slain! If thou be merciful, open the tomb; lay me with Juliet.
  • He dies.
  • ROMEO
  • In faith, I will. I think he told me Paris should have married Juliet. Said he not so? Or did I Dream it so?
  • He opens the tomb. He lays Paris in the tomb.
  •  
  •  
  • Romeo to himself, No. 3
  •  
  • For here she lies, her beauty ever bright,
  • Making this a present feast full of light.
  • Dear Juliet, why art thou yet so fair?
  • Death, that hath sucked the honey from thy breath,
  • Hath had no might o’er thy cheeks, nor to dare
  • The crimson in thy lips; pale flag of death
  • Hath yet to there advance. For me a test
  • To set up here my everlasting rest
  • And shake the yoke of star-crossed love from this
  • World-wearied flesh. With you, mine eyes have seen
  • The last of the sun; with a righteous kiss
  • I here seal a bargain to engrossing
  • Death, with my love, who with forever lie.
  • The drugs are quick, and with this kiss I die.
  • Romeo dies. Friar Lawrence enters.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Who’s there?
  • BALTHASAR
  • Here’s one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Bliss be upon you. Go with me to the vault.
  • BALTHASAR
  • I dare not, sir.
  • Friar Lawrence moves toward the tomb.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • Romeo! O, pale! Who else? What. Paris too? And steeped in blood? An, what an unkind hour is guilty of this lamentable chance! The lady stirs.
  • JULIET
  • O comfortable Friar, where is my lord? Where is my Romeo?
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents. Thy husband there lies dead, and Paris, too. Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay.
  • JULIET
  • Go, for I will not away.
  • He exits.
  • JULIET
  • What’s here? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end. O churl, drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after! I will kiss thy lips. Haply some poison yet doth hang on them.
  • She kisses him. Paris’ page enters.
  • JULIET
  • Yea, noise? O, happy dagger, this is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die.
  • She takes Romeo’s dagger, stabs herself, and dies. The Prince and his Watch enter.
  • PRINCE
  • What misadventure is so early up that calls our person from our morning rest?
  • Capulet and Lady Capulet enter.
  • WATCH
  • Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain, and Romeo dead, and Juliet, dead before, warm and new killed.
  • PRINCE
  • Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes.
  • CAPULET
  • O heavens! O wife, look how our daughter bleeds!
  • Montague enters.
  • MONTAGUE
  • Alas, my liege, my wife is dead tonight. Grief of my son’s exile hath stopped her breath.
  • Montague sees Romeo dead.
  • MONTAGUE
  • O, thou untaught! What manners is in this, to press before thy father to a grave?
  • PRINCE
  • Seal up the mouth of outrage for awhile. Meantime forbear, and let mischance be slave to patience. Bring forth the parties of suspicion.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • I am the greatest, able to do least. Myself condemned and myself excused.
  • PRINCE
  • Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
  • Friar Lawrence tells the Prince what he knows of events.
  • FRIAR LAWRENCE
  • All this I know, and to the marriage her nurse is privy. And if aught in this miscarried by my fault, let my old life be sacrificed some hour before his time unto the rigor of severest law.
  • PRINCE
  • We still have known thee for a holy man. Where’s Romeo’s man?
  • BALTHASAR
  • This letter he early bid me give his father and threatened me with death, going in the vault, if I departed not and left him there.
  • PRINCE
  • Give me the letter.
  • He takes the letter.
  • PRINCE
  • This letter doth make good the Friar’s words. He writes that he did buy a poison and therewithal came to this vault to die and lie with Juliet. Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague, see what a scourge is laid upon your hate, that heaven finds means to kill your joys with love. All are punished.
  • CAPULET
  • O brother Montague, give me thy hand.
  • MONTAGUE
  • But I can give thee more, for I will dress her statue in pure gold, as that of true and faithful Juliet.
  • PRINCE
  • A glooming peace this morning with it brings. For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
  • All exit.

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