Act I

Two noble families of Verona, the Montagues and Capulets, were in bloody feud. The Prince ordered all brawls to cease on pain of death.

Romeo, son of old Montagues, is goaded by his friend Benvolio to crash a masked ball at the Capulets, so that he can forget his unrequited love Rosaline. It works, but Romeo falls in love with Juliet, a daughter of the Capulets. They kiss. Juliet finds out from a servant that her new love is a Montague.

Juliet’s cousing Tybalt recognizes Romeo and challenges him, but since Romeo is a guest he vows to settle the score later.

Act 1, Prologue

The Chorus tells us the plot of the play, and what kind of play it is.

romeo and juliet

Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;

Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.

The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,

And the continuance of their parents’ rage,

Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,

Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;

The which if you with patient ears attend,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

Act 1, Scene 1

Sampson and Gregory, servants of the house of Capulet, go out looking for trouble…

Sampson and Gregory almost pick a fight with Abraham and Balthasar, servants of the house of Montague…

Seeing a Capulet kinsman, Sampson and Gregory start to fight with Abraham and Balthasar. Benvolio tries to stop the fight, but Tybalt enters and attacks Benvolio. The citizens of Verona attack both the Capulets and Montagues. Capulet and Montague try to join the fight, but are restrained by their wives…

Prince Escalus stops the riot, threatens everyone with death, and takes Capulet with him, leaving Benvolio alone with Montague and Lady Montague. Lady Montague asks where Romeo is, and Benvolio answers that he was up before dawn, wandering in the woods. The Montagues say that Romeo is afflicted with strange sorrows, and Benvolio offers to find out what’s wrong with him…

Seeing Romeo coming, Montague and Lady Montague leave Benvolio alone to speak with their son. Benvolio soon discovers that Romeo’s problem is that he loves a woman who doesn’t return his love. Benvolio tries to get Romeo to say who it is he loves, but Romeo won’t. Benvolio also tries to get Romeo to solve his problem by looking for another woman, but Romeo seems determined to love and suffer.


Gregory, o’ my word, we’ll not carry coals.


No, for then we should be colliers.


I mean, an we be in choler, we’ll draw.

Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar.


I strike quickly, being moved.


But thou art not quickly moved to strike.


A dog of the house of Montague moves me.


To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:

therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn’st away.


A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will

take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.


That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes

to the wall.


True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels,

are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push

Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids

to the wall.


The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.


‘Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I

have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the

maids, and cut off their heads.


The heads of the maids?


Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;

take it in what sense thou wilt.


They must take it in sense that feel it.


Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and

‘tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.


‘Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou

hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool! here comes

two of the house of the Montagues.


My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.


How! turn thy back and run?


Fear me not.


No, marry; I fear thee!


Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.


I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as

they list.


Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;

which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Enter Abraham and Balthasar


Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?


I do bite my thumb, sir.


Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?


Aside to Gregory

Is the law of our side, if I say





No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I

bite my thumb, sir.


Do you quarrel, sir?


Quarrel sir! no, sir.


If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.


No better.


Well, sir.


Say ‘better:’ here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.


Yes, better, sir.


You lie.


Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.

They fight. Enter Benvolio


Part, fools!

Put up your swords; you know not what you do.

Beats down their swords

Enter Tybalt


What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?

Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.


I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,

Or manage it to part these men with me.


What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,

As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee:

Have at thee, coward!

They fight. Enter, several of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs

First Citizen

Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down!

Down with the Capulets! down with the Montagues!

Enter Capulet in his gown, and Lady Capulet


What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!

Lady Capulet

A crutch, a crutch! why call you for a sword?


My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,

And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter Montague and Lady Montague


Thou villain Capulet, Hold me not, let me go.

Lady Montague

Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe.

Enter Prience, with Attendants


Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,

Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,

Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,

That quench the fire of your pernicious rage

With purple fountains issuing from your veins,

On pain of torture, from those bloody hands

Throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground,

And hear the sentence of your moved prince.

Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,

By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,

Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets,

And made Verona’s ancient citizens

Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,

To wield old partisans, in hands as old,

Canker’d with peace, to part your canker’d hate:

If ever you disturb our streets again,

Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.

For this time, all the rest depart away:

You Capulet; shall go along with me:

And, Montague, come you this afternoon,

To know our further pleasure in this case,

To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.

Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

Exeunt all but Montague, Lady Montague, and Benvolio


Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?

Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?


Here were the servants of your adversary,

And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:

I drew to part them: in the instant came

The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepared,

Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,

He swung about his head and cut the winds,

Who nothing hurt withal hiss’d him in scorn:

While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,

Came more and more and fought on part and part,

Till the prince came, who parted either part.

Lady Montague

O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?

Right glad I am he was not at this fray.


Madam, an hour before the worshipp’d sun

Peer’d forth the golden window of the east,

A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;

Where, underneath the grove of sycamore

That westward rooteth from the city’s side,

So early walking did I see your son:

Towards him I made, but he was ware of me

And stole into the covert of the wood:

I, measuring his affections by my own,

That most are busied when they’re most alone,

Pursued my humour not pursuing his,

And gladly shunn’d who gladly fled from me.


Many a morning hath he there been seen,

With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.

Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;

But all so soon as the all-cheering sun

Should in the furthest east begin to draw

The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,

Away from the light steals home my heavy son,

And private in his chamber pens himself,

Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out

And makes himself an artificial night:

Black and portentous must this humour prove,

Unless good counsel may the cause remove.


My noble uncle, do you know the cause?


I neither know it nor can learn of him.


Have you importuned him by any means?


Both by myself and many other friends:

But he, his own affections’ counsellor,

Is to himself. I will not say how true.

But to himself so secret and so close,

So far from sounding and discovery,

As is the bud bit with an envious worm,

Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,

Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.

Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow.

We would as willingly give cure as know.

Enter Romeo


See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;

I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.


I would thou wert so happy by thy stay,

To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let’s away.

Exeunt Montague and Lady Montague


Good-morrow, cousin.


Is the day so young?


But new struck nine.


Ay me! sad hours seem long.

Was that my father that went hence so fast?


It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?


Not having that, which, having, makes them short.


In love?




Of love?


Out of her favour, where I am in love.


Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,

Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!


Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,

Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!

Where shall we dine? 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.

Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!

O any thing, of nothing first create!

O heavy lightness! serious vanity!

Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!

Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,

sick health!

Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!

This love feel I, that feel no love in this.

Dost thou not laugh?


No, coz, I rather weep.


Good heart, at what?


At thy good heart’s oppression.


Why, such is love’s transgression.

Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,

Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest

With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown

Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.

Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;

Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;

Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:

What is it else? a madness most discreet,

A choking gall and a preserving sweet.

Farewell, my coz.


Soft! I will go along;

An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.


Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here;

This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.


Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.


What, shall I groan and tell thee?


Groan! why, no.

But sadly tell me who.


Bid a sick man in sadness make his will:

Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill!

In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.


I aim’d so near, when I supposed you loved.


A right good mark-man! And she’s fair I love.


A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.


Well, in that hit you miss: she’ll not be hit

With Cupid’s arrow; she hath Dian’s wit;

And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d,

From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharm’d.

She will not stay the siege of loving terms,

Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes,

Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold:

O, she is rich in beauty, only poor,

That when she dies with beauty dies her store.


Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?


She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste,

For beauty starved with her severity

Cuts beauty off from all posterity.

She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,

To merit bliss by making me despair:

She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow

Do I live dead that live to tell it now.


Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.


O, teach me how I should forget to think.


By giving liberty unto thine eyes;

Examine other beauties.


‘Tis the way

To call hers exquisite, in question more:

These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows

Being black put us in mind they hide the fair;

He that is strucken blind cannot forget

The precious treasure of his eyesight lost:

Show me a mistress that is passing fair,

What doth her beauty serve, but as a note

Where I may read who pass’d that passing fair?

Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.


I’ll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.


Act 1, Scene 2

Paris asks Capulet for Juliet’s hand in marriage. Capulet thinks she’s too young, but tells Paris to woo her, and invites him to a feast that night. Capulet sends the servant out to invite other guests to the feast…

Benvolio is still trying to talk Romeo into considering other ladies when they are interrupted by the Capulet servant, who asks Romeo to read something for him. It is a list of guests at Capulet’s feast that night. Thus Romeo discovers that Rosaline, his beloved, will be at the feast. Benvolio challenges Romeo to go to the feast and compare Rosaline with other beauties. Romeo says he will go, but only to rejoice that Rosaline is most beautiful of all.


But Montague is bound as well as I,

In penalty alike; and ‘tis not hard, I think,

For men so old as we to keep the peace.


Of honourable reckoning are you both;

And pity ‘tis you lived at odds so long.

But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?


But saying o’er what I have said before:

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.


Younger than she are happy mothers made.


And too soon marr’d are those so early made.

The earth hath swallow’d all my hopes but she,

She is the hopeful lady of my earth:

But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,

My will to her consent is but a part;

An she agree, within her scope of choice

Lies my consent and fair according voice.

This night I hold an old accustom’d feast,

Whereto I have invited many a guest,

Such as I love; and you, among the store,

One more, most welcome, makes my number more.

At my poor house look to behold this night

Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light:

Such comfort as do lusty young men feel

When well-apparell’d April on the heel

Of limping winter treads, even such delight

Among fresh female buds shall you this night

Inherit at my house; hear all, all see,

And like her most whose merit most shall be:

Which on more view, of many mine being one

May stand in number, though in reckoning none,

Come, go with me.

To Servant, giving a paper

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.

Exeunt Capulet and Paris


Find them out whose names are written here! It is

written, that the shoemaker should meddle with his

yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with

his pencil, and the painter with his nets; but I am

sent to find those persons whose names are here

writ, and can never find what names the writing

person hath here writ. I must to the learned. In good time.

Enter Benvolio and Romeo


Tut, man, one fire burns out another’s burning,

One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish;

Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;

One desperate grief cures with another’s languish:

Take thou some new infection to thy eye,

And the rank poison of the old will die.


Your plaintain-leaf is excellent for that.


For what, I pray thee?


For your broken shin.


Why, Romeo, art thou mad?


Not mad, but bound more than a mad-man is;

Shut up in prison, kept without my food,

Whipp’d and tormented and God-den, good fellow.


God gi’ god-den. I pray, sir, can you read?


Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.


Perhaps you have learned it without book: but, I

pray, can you read any thing you see?


Ay, if I know the letters and the language.


Ye say honestly: rest you merry!


Stay, fellow; I can read.


‘Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;

County Anselme and his beauteous sisters; the lady

widow of Vitravio; Signior Placentio and his lovely

nieces; Mercutio and his brother Valentine; mine

uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters; my fair niece

Rosaline; Livia; Signior Valentio and his cousin

Tybalt, Lucio and the lively Helena.’ A fair

assembly: whither should they come?






To supper; to our house.


Whose house?


My master’s.


Indeed, I should have ask’d you that before.


Now I’ll tell you without asking: 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.

Rest you merry!



At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s

Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest,

With all the admired beauties of Verona:

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.


When the devout religion of mine eye

Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires;

And these, who often drown’d could never die,

Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!

One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun

Ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.


Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,

Herself poised with herself in either eye:

But in that crystal scales let there be weigh’d

Your lady’s love against some other maid

That I will show you shining at this feast,

And she shall scant show well that now shows best.


I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,

But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.


Act 1, Scene 3

Lady Capulet wants to have a serious conversation with Juliet, but the Nurse interrupts with a long reminiscence about Juliet’s weaning and what Juliet said about falling on her back. Lady Capulet tells Juliet that Paris wants to marry her, and urges her to look him over and see that he is the husband for her. Servants come to call everyone to the feast.

Lady Capulet

Nurse, where’s my daughter? call her forth to me.


Now, by my maidenhead, at twelve year old,

I bade her come. What, lamb! what, ladybird!

God forbid! Where’s this girl? What, Juliet!

Enter Juliet


How now! who calls?


Your mother.


Madam, I am here.

What is your will?

Lady Capulet

This is the matter: Nurse, give leave awhile,

We must talk in secret: Nurse, come back again;

I have remember’d me, thou’s hear our counsel.

Thou know’st my daughter’s of a pretty age.


Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

Lady Capulet

She’s not fourteen.


I’ll lay fourteen of my teeth,

And yet, to my teeth be it spoken, I have but four

She is not fourteen. How long is it now

To Lammas-tide?

Lady Capulet

A fortnight and odd days.


Even or odd, of all days in the year,

Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen.

Susan and she, God rest all Christian souls!

Were of an age: well, Susan is with God;

She was too good for me: but, as I said,

On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen;

That shall she, marry; I remember it well.

‘Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;

And she was wean’d, I never shall forget it,

Of all the days of the year, upon that day:

For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,

Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall;

My lord and you were then at Mantua:

Nay, I do bear a brain: but, as I said,

When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple

Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,

To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!

Shake quoth the dove-house: ‘twas no need, I trow,

To bid me trudge:

And since that time it is eleven years;

For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rood,

She could have run and waddled all about;

For even the day before, she broke her brow:

And then my husband God be with his soul!

A’ was a merry man took up the child:

‘Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face?

Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;

Wilt thou not, Jule?’ and, by my holidame,

The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘Ay.’

To see, now, how a jest shall come about!

I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,

I never should forget it: ‘Wilt thou not, Jule?’ quoth he;

And, pretty fool, it stinted and said ‘Ay.’

Lady Capulet

Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy peace.


Yes, madam: yet I cannot choose but laugh,

To think it should leave crying and say ‘Ay.’

And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow

A bump as big as a young cockerel’s stone;

A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly:

‘Yea,’ quoth my husband,’fall’st upon thy face?

Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age;

Wilt thou not, Jule?’ it stinted and said ‘Ay.’


And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.


Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace!

Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed:

An I might live to see thee married once,

I have my wish.

Lady Capulet

Marry, that ‘marry’ is the very theme

I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,

How stands your disposition to be married?


It is an honour that I dream not of.


An honour! were not I thine only nurse,

I would say thou hadst suck’d wisdom from thy teat.

Lady Capulet

Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,

Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,

Are made already mothers: by my count,

I was your mother much upon these years

That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief:

The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.


A man, young lady! lady, such a man

As all the world, why, he’s a man of wax.

Lady Capulet

Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.


Nay, he’s a flower; in faith, a very flower.

Lady Capulet

What say you? can you love the gentleman?

This night you shall behold him at our feast;

Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face,

And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen;

Examine every married lineament,

And see how one another lends content

And what obscured in this fair volume lies

Find written in the margent of his eyes.

This precious book of love, this unbound lover,

To beautify him, only lacks a cover:

The fish lives in the sea, and ‘tis much pride

For fair without the fair within to hide:

That book in many’s eyes doth share the glory,

That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;

So shall you share all that he doth possess,

By having him, making yourself no less.


No less! nay, bigger; women grow by men.

Lady Capulet

Speak briefly, can you like of Paris’ love?


I’ll look to like, if looking liking move:

But no more deep will I endart mine eye

Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Enter a Servant


Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you

called, my young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in

the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must

hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight.

Lady Capulet

We follow thee.

Exit Servant

Juliet, the county stays.


Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.


Act 1, Scene 4

Mercutio tries to persuade Romeo to dance at Capulet’s feast, but Romeo insists that he is too sadly love-lorn to do anything but hold a torch. Then Romeo says that it’s not wise to go to the feast at all, because of a dream he had…

Mercutio mocks Romeo’s belief in his dream by going on and on about “Queen Mab”, but Romeo is sure that some terrible fate awaits him. Nevertheless, he goes into the feast with his friends.


What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?

Or shall we on without a apology?


The date is out of such prolixity:

We’ll have no Cupid hoodwink’d with a scarf,

Bearing a Tartar’s painted bow of lath,

Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;

Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke

After the prompter, for our entrance:

But let them measure us by what they will;

We’ll measure them a measure, and be gone.


Give me a torch: I am not for this ambling;

Being but heavy, I will bear the light.


Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.


Not I, believe me: you have dancing shoes

With nimble soles: I have a soul of lead

So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.


You are a lover; borrow Cupid’s wings,

And soar with them above a common bound.


I am too sore enpierced with his shaft

To soar with his light feathers, and so bound,

I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe:

Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.


And, to sink in it, should you burden love;

Too great oppression for a tender thing.


Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,

Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.


If love be rough with you, be rough with love;

Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.

Give me a case to put my visage in:

A visor for a visor! what care I

What curious eye doth quote deformities?

Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.


Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in,

But every man betake him to his legs.


A torch for me: let wantons light of heart

Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels,

For I am proverb’d with a grandsire phrase;

I’ll be a candle-holder, and look on.

The game was ne’er so fair, and I am done.


Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s own word:

If thou art dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire

Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stick’st

Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho!


Nay, that’s not so.


I mean, sir, in delay

We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.

Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits

Five times in that ere once in our five wits.


And we mean well in going to this mask;

But ‘tis no wit to go.


Why, may one ask?


I dream’d a dream to-night.


And so did I.


Well, what was yours?


That dreamers often lie.


In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.


O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.

She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes

In shape no bigger than an agate-stone

On the fore-finger of an alderman,

Drawn with a team of little atomies

Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep;

Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders’ legs,

The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,

The traces of the smallest spider’s web,

The collars of the moonshine’s watery beams,

Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,

Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,

Not so big as a round little worm

Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid;

Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut

Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,

Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.

And in this state she gallops night by night

Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;

O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on court’sies straight,

O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees,

O’er ladies ‘ lips, who straight on kisses dream,

Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,

Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:

Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,

And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;

And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail

Tickling a parson’s nose as a’ lies asleep,

Then dreams, he of another benefice:

Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,

And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,

Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,

Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon

Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,

And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two

And sleeps again. This is that very Mab

That plats the manes of horses in the night,

And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,

Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:

This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,

That presses them and learns them first to bear,

Making them women of good carriage:

This is she


Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!

Thou talk’st of nothing.


True, I talk of dreams,

Which are the children of an idle brain,

Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,

Which is as thin of substance as the air

And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes

Even now the frozen bosom of the north,

And, being anger’d, puffs away from thence,

Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.


This wind, you talk of, blows us from ourselves;

Supper is done, and we shall come too late.


I fear, too early: for my mind misgives

Some consequence yet hanging in the stars

Shall bitterly begin his fearful date

With this night’s revels and expire the term

Of a despised life closed in my breast

By some vile forfeit of untimely death.

But He, that hath the steerage of my course,

Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen.


Strike, drum.


Act 1, Scene 5

At Capulet’s house, Romeo and his friends enter as preparations are being made for the dancing. The musicians are tuning up, and the servants are hurrying to clear away the remains of the feast…

Capulet enters, greets the masked strangers, and invites them to dance. Romeo sees Juliet and says to himself that this is the first time he’s seen true beauty. Tybalt recognizes Romeo and sends for his sword, but Capulet orders Tybalt to do nothing. Saying that he’ll make Romeo pay, Tybalt leaves…

Romeo holds Juliet’s hand, and begs a kiss, which she gives him. They kiss again, and then both are called away. As everyone is leaving, they each learn the name of the other, and they each exclaim upon the fate that has made each fall in love with his/her enemy.

First Servant

Where’s Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He

shift a trencher? he scrape a trencher!

Second Servant

When good manners shall lie all in one or two men’s

hands and they unwashed too, ‘tis a foul thing.

First Servant

Away with the joint-stools, remove the

court-cuptree, look to the plate. Good thou, save

me a piece of marchpane; and, as thou lovest me, let

the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.

Antony, and Potpan!

Second Servant

Ay, boy, ready.

First Servant

You are looked for and called for, asked for and

sought for, in the great chamber.

Second Servant

We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be

brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.

Enter Capulet, with Juliet and others of his house, meeting the Guests and Maskers


Welcome, gentlemen! ladies that have their toes

Unplagued with corns will have a bout with you.

Ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all

Will now deny to dance? she that makes dainty,

She, I’ll swear, hath corns; am I come near ye now?

Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day

That I have worn a visor and could tell

A whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear,

Such as would please: ‘tis gone, ‘tis gone, ‘tis gone:

You are welcome, gentlemen! come, musicians, play.

A hall, a hall! give room! and foot it, girls.

Music plays, and they dance

More light, you knaves; and turn the tables up,

And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.

Ah, sirrah, this unlook’d-for sport comes well.

Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet;

For you and I are past our dancing days:

How long is’t now since last yourself and I

Were in a mask?

Second Capulet

By’r lady, thirty years.


What, man! ‘tis not so much, ‘tis not so much:

‘Tis since the nuptials of Lucentio,

Come pentecost as quickly as it will,

Some five and twenty years; and then we mask’d.

Second Capulet

‘Tis more, ‘tis more, his son is elder, sir;

His son is thirty.


Will you tell me that?

His son was but a ward two years ago.


To a Servingman

What lady is that, which doth

enrich the hand

Of yonder knight?


I know not, sir.


O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night

Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear;

Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!

So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,

As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.

The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,

And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.

Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!

For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.


This, by his voice, should be a Montague.

Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave

Come hither, cover’d with an antic face,

To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?

Now, by the stock and honour of my kin,

To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin.


Why, how now, kinsman! wherefore storm you so?


Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe,

A villain that is hither come in spite,

To scorn at our solemnity this night.


Young Romeo is it?


‘Tis he, that villain Romeo.


Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone;

He bears him like a portly gentleman;

And, to say truth, Verona brags of him

To be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth:

I would not for the wealth of all the town

Here in my house do him disparagement:

Therefore be patient, take no note of him:

It is my will, the which if thou respect,

Show a fair presence and put off these frowns,

And ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.


It fits, when such a villain is a guest:

I’ll not endure him.


He shall be endured:

What, goodman boy! I say, he shall: go to;

Am I the master here, or you? go to.

You’ll not endure him! God shall mend my soul!

You’ll make a mutiny among my guests!

You will set cock-a-hoop! you’ll be the man!


Why, uncle, ‘tis a shame.


Go to, go to;

You are a saucy boy: is’t so, indeed?

This trick may chance to scathe you, I know what:

You must contrary me! marry, ‘tis time.

Well said, my hearts! You are a princox; go:

Be quiet, or more light, more light! For shame!

I’ll make you quiet. What, cheerly, my hearts!


Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting

Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.

I will withdraw: but this intrusion shall

Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall.



To Juliet

If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.


Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,

Which mannerly devotion shows in this;

For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,

And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.


Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?


Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.


O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;

They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.


Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.


Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.

Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.


Then have my lips the sin that they have took.


Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!

Give me my sin again.


You kiss by the book.


Madam, your mother craves a word with you.


What is her mother?


Marry, bachelor,

Her mother is the lady of the house,

And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous

I nursed her daughter, that you talk’d withal;

I tell you, he that can lay hold of her

Shall have the chinks.


Is she a Capulet?

O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt.


Away, begone; the sport is at the best.


Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.


Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone;

We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.

Is it e’en so? why, then, I thank you all

I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night.

More torches here! Come on then, let’s to bed.

Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late:

I’ll to my rest.

Exeunt all but Juliet and Nurse


Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?


The son and heir of old Tiberio.


What’s he that now is going out of door?


Marry, that, I think, be young Petrucio.


What’s he that follows there, that would not dance?


I know not.


Go ask his name: if he be married.

My grave is like to be my wedding bed.


His name is Romeo, and a Montague;

The only son of your great enemy.


My only love sprung from my only hate!

Too early seen unknown, and known too late!

Prodigious birth of love it is to me,

That I must love a loathed enemy.


What’s this? what’s this?


A rhyme I learn’d even now

Of one I danced withal.

One calls within ‘Juliet.’


Anon, anon!

Come, let’s away; the strangers all are gone.



After the ball Romeo sneaks back into the Capulet garden, and sees Juliet at her balcony. She is calling his name aloud, and wishing he were not a Montague. He reveals himself, professes his love. They resolve to marry secretly.

Next morning, Juliet sends her Nurse to make wedding arrangements with Friar Lawrence (who sees the union as a way to end the violence).

Act 2, Prologue

The Chorus tells us that Romeo and Juliet are suffering because they can’t meet, but that passion gives them power to find a way to see each other.


Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie,

And young affection gapes to be his heir;

That fair for which love groan’d for and would die,

With tender Juliet match’d, is now not fair.

Now Romeo is beloved and loves again,

Alike betwitched by the charm of looks,

But to his foe supposed he must complain,

And she steal love’s sweet bait from fearful hooks:

Being held a foe, he may not have access

To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear;

And she as much in love, her means much less

To meet her new-beloved any where:

But passion lends them power, time means, to meet

Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.


Act 2, Scene 1

On his way home from Capulet’s feast, Romeo turns back and jumps the wall of Capulet’s garden. Benvolio calls for Romeo and Mercutio bawdily conjures Romeo, but he will not appear, and his friends depart.


Can I go forward when my heart is here?

Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out.

He climbs the wall, and leaps down within it

Enter Benvolio and Mercutio


Romeo! my cousin Romeo!


He is wise;

And, on my lie, hath stol’n him home to bed.


He ran this way, and leap’d this orchard wall:

Call, good Mercutio.


Nay, I’ll conjure too.

Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!

Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh:

Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;

Cry but ‘Ay me!’ pronounce but ‘love’ and ‘dove;’

Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,

One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,

Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,

When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid!

He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not;

The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.

I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes,

By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,

By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh

And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,

That in thy likeness thou appear to us!


And if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.


This cannot anger him: ‘twould anger him

To raise a spirit in his mistress’ circle

Of some strange nature, letting it there stand

Till she had laid it and conjured it down;

That were some spite: my invocation

Is fair and honest, and in his mistres s’ name

I conjure only but to raise up him.


Come, he hath hid himself among these trees,

To be consorted with the humorous night:

Blind is his love and best befits the dark.


If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.

Now will he sit under a medlar tree,

And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit

As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.

Romeo, that she were, O, that she were

An open et caetera, thou a poperin pear!

Romeo, good night: I’ll to my truckle-bed;

This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep:

Come, shall we go?


Go, then; for ‘tis in vain

To seek him here that means not to be found.


Act 2, Scene 2

In Capulet’s garden Romeo sees Juliet come to her window. He is entranced by her beauty and listens as she tells the night that she loves Romeo and wishes that he had another name. Romeo surprises her by offering to take another name for her love. At first, Juliet worries for Romeo’s safety and then she worries that he may be a deceiver, but he wins her over with passionate vows of love. They pledge their love to one another and then Juliet is called away by the Nurse…

Answering the call of the Nurse, Juliet goes into the house, then comes right back out and tells Romeo that the next day she will send a messenger to find out when and where she is to meet and marry him. Juliet is again called back into the house, and Romeo starts to leave, but Juliet again comes back out, to set a time that her messenger should go to Romeo. Romeo tells her that the messenger should come at nine in the morning. They say a long goodbye, and after Juliet is gone, Romeo says that he will go to the cell of Friar Laurence to get his help.


He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

Juliet appears above at a window

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief,

That thou her maid art far more fair than she:

Be not her maid, since she is envious;

Her vestal livery is but sick and green

And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.

It is my lady, O, it is my love!

O, that she knew she were!

She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?

Her eye discourses; I will answer it.

I am too bold, ‘tis not to me she speaks:

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,

Having some business, do entreat her eyes

To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

What if her eyes were there, they in her head?

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,

As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven

Would through the airy region stream so bright

That birds would sing and think it were not night.

See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

O, that I were a glove upon that hand,

That I might touch that cheek!


Ay me!


She speaks:

O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art

As glorious to this night, being o’er my head

As is a winged messenger of heaven

Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes

Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him

When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds

And sails upon the bosom of the air.


O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou 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.



Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?


‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee

Take all myself.


I take thee at thy word:

Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized;

Henceforth I never will be Romeo.


What man art thou that thus bescreen’d in night

So stumblest on my counsel?


By a name

I know not how to tell thee who I am:

My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,

Because it is an enemy to thee;

Had I it written, I would tear the word.


My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words

Of that tongue’s utterance, yet I know the sound:

Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?


Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.


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.


With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls;

For stony limits cannot hold love out,

And what love can do that dares love attempt;

Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.


If they do see thee, they will murder thee.


Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye

Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet,

And I am proof against their enmity.


I would not for the world they saw thee here.


I have night’s cloak to hide me from their sight;

And but thou love me, let them find me here:

My life were better ended by their hate,

Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.


By whose direction found’st thou out this place?


By love, who first did prompt me to inquire;

He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes.

I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far

As that vast shore wash’d with the farthest sea,

I would adventure for such merchandise.


Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face,

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek

For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night

Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny

What I have spoke: but farewell compliment!

Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay,’

And I will take thy word: yet if thou swear’st,

Thou mayst prove false; at lovers’ perjuries

Then say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,

If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully:

Or if thou think’st I am too quickly won,

I’ll frown and be perverse an say thee nay,

So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.

In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,

And therefore thou mayst think my ‘havior light:

But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true

Than those that have more cunning to be strange.

I should have been more strange, I must confess,

But that thou overheard’st, ere I was ware,

My true love’s passion: therefore pardon me,

And not impute this yielding to light love,

Which the dark night hath so discovered.


Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear

That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops


O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,

That monthly changes in her circled orb,

Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.


What shall I swear by?


Do not swear at all;

Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,

Which is the god of my idolatry,

And I’ll believe thee.


If my heart’s dear love


Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee,

I have no joy of this contract to-night:

It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;

Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be

Ere one can say ‘It lightens.’ Sweet, good night!

This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,

May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.

Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest

Come to thy heart as that within my breast!


O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?


What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?


The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.


I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:

And yet I would it were to give again.


Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?


But to be frank, and give it thee again.

And yet I wish but for the thing I have:

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.

Nurse calls within

I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!

Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true.

Stay but a little, I will come again.

Exit, above


O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard.

Being in night, all this is but a dream,

Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.

Re-enter Juliet, above


Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.

If that thy bent of love be honourable,

Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,

By one that I’ll procure to come to thee,

Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;

And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay

And follow thee my lord throughout the world.





I come, anon. But if thou mean’st not well,

I do beseech thee=





By and by, I come:

To cease thy suit, and leave me to my grief:

To-morrow will I send.


So thrive my soul


A thousand times good night!

Exit, above


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.


Re-enter Juliet, above


Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer’s voice,

To lure this tassel-gentle back again!

Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud;

Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,

And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,

With repetition of my Romeo’s name.


It is my soul that calls upon my name:

How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,

Like softest music to attending ears!




My dear?


At what o’clock to-morrow

Shall I send to thee?


At the hour of nine.


I will not fail: ‘tis twenty years till then.

I have forgot why I did call thee back.


Let me stand here till thou remember it.


I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,

Remembering how I love thy company.


And I’ll still stay, to have thee still forget,

Forgetting any other home but this.


‘Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:

And yet no further than a wanton’s bird;

Who lets it hop a little from her hand,

Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,

And with a silk thread plucks it back again,

So loving-jealous of his liberty.


I would I were thy bird.


Sweet, so would I:

Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.

Good night, good night! parting is such

sweet sorrow,

That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

Exit above


Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!

Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!

Hence will I to my ghostly father’s cell,

His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.


Act 2, Scene 3

At dawn Friar Laurence gathers herbs and comments on how in both plants and people everything has some good, and every good can be abused and turned to evil…

Romeo appears and tells Friar Laurence that he has fallen in love with Juliet and wants him to marry them. The Friar criticizes Romeo for jumping so quickly from love of Rosaline to love of Juliet, but agrees to perform the ceremony because he thinks that the marriage may end the hatred between the Capulets and Montagues.

Friar Laurence

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,

Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,

And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels

From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels:

Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,

The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,

I must up-fill this osier cage of ours

With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.

The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;

What is her burying grave that is her womb,

And from her womb children of divers kind

We sucking on her natural bosom find,

Many for many virtues excellent,

None but for some and yet all different.

O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies

In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:

For nought so vile that on the earth doth live

But to the earth some special good doth give,

Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use

Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:

Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;

And vice sometimes by action dignified.

Within the infant rind of this small flower

Poison hath residence and medicine power:

For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;

Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.

Two such opposed kings encamp them still

In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;

And where the worser is predominant,

Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

Enter Romeo


Good morrow, father.

Friar Laurence


What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?

Young son, it argues a distemper’d head

So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed:

Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,

And where care lodges, sleep will never lie;

But where unbruised youth with unstuff’d brain

Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign:

Therefore thy earliness doth me assure

Thou art up-roused by some distemperature;

Or if not so, then here I hit it right,

Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night.


That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine.

Friar Laurence

God pardon sin! wast thou with Rosaline?


With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no;

I have forgot that name, and that name’s woe.

Friar Laurence

That’s my good son: but where hast thou been, then?


I’ll tell thee, ere thou ask it me again.

I have been feasting with mine enemy,

Where on a sudden one hath wounded me,

That’s by me wounded: both our remedies

Within thy help and holy physic lies:

I bear no hatred, blessed man, for, lo,

My intercession likewise steads my foe.

Friar Laurence

Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift;

Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.


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;

And all combined, save what thou must combine

By holy marriage: when and where and how

We met, we woo’d and made exchange of vow,

I’ll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray,

That thou consent to marry us to-day.

Friar Laurence

Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!

Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,

So soon forsaken? young men’s love then lies

Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.

Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine

Hath wash’d thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!

How much salt water thrown away in waste,

To season love, that of it doth not taste!

The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,

Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears;

Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit

Of an old tear that is not wash’d off yet:

If e’er thou wast thyself and these woes thine,

Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline:

And art thou changed? pronounce this sentence then,

Women may fall, when there’s no strength in men.


Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.

Friar Laurence

For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.


And bad’st me bury love.

Friar Laurence

Not in a grave,

To lay one in, another out to have.


I pray thee, chide not; she whom I love now

Doth grace for grace and love for love allow;

The other did not so.

Friar Laurence

O, she knew well

Thy love did read by rote and could not spell.

But come, young waverer, come, go with me,

In one respect I’ll thy assistant be;

For this alliance may so happy prove,

To turn your households’ rancour to pure love.


O, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste.

Friar Laurence

Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.


Act 2, Scene 4

Mercutio wonders where Romeo is. Benvolio says that Tybalt has sent a challenge to Romeo, and Mercutio scornfully describes Tybalt as an conceited killer…

Mercutio kids Romeo about love, and Romeo joins in the bawdy repartee…

Mercutio bawdily mocks the Nurse, who tells Romeo that she wants a word in private with him…

The Nurse complains about Mercutio, receives from Romeo the information about time and place of the wedding, then chatters on about how sweet Juliet is.


Where the devil should this Romeo be?

Came he not home to-night?


Not to his father’s; I spoke with his man.


Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline.

Torments him so, that he will sure run mad.


Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet,

Hath sent a letter to his father’s house.


A challenge, on my life.


Romeo will answer it.


Any man that can write may answer a letter.


Nay, he will answer the letter’s master, how he

dares, being dared.


Alas poor Romeo! he is already dead; stabbed with a

white wench’s black eye; shot through the ear with a

love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the

blind bow-boy’s butt-shaft: and is he a man to

encounter Tybalt?


Why, what is Tybalt?


More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he is

the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as

you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and

proportion; rests me his minim rest, one, two, and

the third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silk

button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the

very first house, of the first and second cause:

ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso! the



The what?


The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting

fantasticoes; these new tuners of accents! ‘By Jesu,

a very good blade! a very tall man! a very good

whore!’ Why, is not this a lamentable thing,

grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with

these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these

perdona-mi’s, who stand so much on the new form,

that they cannot at ease on the old bench? O, their

bones, their bones!

Enter Romeo


Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.


Without his roe, like a dried herring: flesh, flesh,

how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers

that Petrarch flowed in: Laura to his lady was but a

kitchen-wench; marry, she had a better love to

be-rhyme her; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a gipsy;

Helen and Hero hildings and harlots; Thisbe a grey

eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signior

Romeo, bon jour! there’s a French salutation

to your French slop. You gave us the counterfeit

fairly last night.


Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you?


The ship, sir, the slip; can you not conceive?


Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and in

such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.


That’s as much as to say, such a case as yours

constrains a man to bow in the hams.


Meaning, to court’sy.


Thou hast most kindly hit it.


A most courteous exposition.


Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.


Pink for flower.




Why, then is my pump well flowered.


Well said: follow me this jest now till thou hast

worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it

is worn, the jest may remain after the wearing sole singular.


O single-soled jest, solely singular for the



Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits faint.


Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I’ll cry a match.


Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have

done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of

thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five:

was I with you there for the goose?


Thou wast never with me for any thing when thou wast

not there for the goose.


I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.


Nay, good goose, bite not.


Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most

sharp sauce.


And is it not well served in to a sweet goose?


O here’s a wit of cheveril, that stretches from an

inch narrow to an ell broad!


I stretch it out for that word ‘broad;’ which added

to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.


Why, is not this better now than groaning for love?

now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art

thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature:

for this drivelling love is like a great natural,

that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.


Stop there, stop there.


Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.


Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.


O, thou art deceived; I would have made it short:

for I was come to the whole depth of my tale; and

meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.


Here’s goodly gear!

Enter Nurse and Peter


A sail, a sail!


Two, two; a shirt and a smock.






My fan, Peter.


Good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan’s the

fairer face.


God ye good morrow, gentlemen.


God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.


Is it good den?


‘Tis no less, I tell you, for the bawdy hand of the

dial is now upon the prick of noon.


Out upon you! what a man are you!


One, gentlewoman, that God hath made for himself to



By my troth, it is well said; ‘for himself to mar,’

quoth a’? Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I

may find the young Romeo?


I can tell you; but young Romeo will be older when

you have found him than he was when you sought him:

I am the youngest of that name, for fault of a worse.


You say well.


Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i’ faith;

wisely, wisely.


if you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with



She will indite him to some supper.


A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! so ho!


What hast thou found?


No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie,

that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.


An old hare hoar,

And an old hare hoar,

Is very good meat in lent

But a hare that is hoar

Is too much for a score,

When it hoars ere it be spent.

Romeo, will you come to your father’s? we’ll

to dinner, thither.


I will follow you.


Farewell, ancient lady; farewell,


‘lady, lady, lady.’

Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio


Marry, farewell! I pray you, sir, what saucy

merchant was this, that was so full of his ropery?


A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk,

and will speak more in a minute than he will stand

to in a month.


An a’ speak any thing against me, I’ll take him

down, an a’ were lustier than he is, and twenty such

Jacks; and if I cannot, I’ll find those that shall.

Scurvy knave! I am none of his flirt-gills; I am

none of his skains-mates. And thou must stand by

too, and suffer every knave to use me at his pleasure?


I saw no man use you a pleasure; if I had, my weapon

should quickly have been out, I warrant you: I dare

draw as soon as another man, if I see occasion in a

good quarrel, and the law on my side.


Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that every part about

me quivers. Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word:

and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire you

out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself:

but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into

a fool’s paradise, as they say, it were a very gross

kind of behavior, as they say: for 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.


Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I

protest unto thee


Good heart, and, i’ faith, I will tell her as much:

Lord, Lord, she will be a joyful woman.


What wilt thou tell her, nurse? thou dost not mark me.


I will tell her, sir, that you do protest; which, as

I take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.


Bid her devise

Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;

And there she shall at Friar Laurence’ cell

Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.


No truly sir; not a penny.


Go to; I say you shall.


This afternoon, sir? well, she shall be there.


And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey wall:

Within this hour my man shall be with thee

And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair;

Which to the high top-gallant of my joy

Must be my convoy in the secret night.

Farewell; be trusty, and I’ll quit thy pains:

Farewell; commend me to thy mistress.


Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.


What say’st thou, my dear nurse?


Is your man secret? Did you ne’er hear say,

Two may keep counsel, putting one away?


I warrant thee, my man’s as true as steel.


Well, sir; my mistress is the sweetest lady, Lord,

Lord! when ‘twas a little prating thing: O, there

is a nobleman in town, one Paris, that would fain

lay knife atree; but she, good soul, had as lief

see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I anger her

sometimes and tell her that Paris is the properer

man; but, I’ll warrant you, when I say so, she looks

as pale as any clout in the versal world. Doth not

rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter?


Ay, nurse; what of that? both with an R.


Ah. mocker! that’s the dog’s name; R is for

the No; I know it begins with some other

letter: and she hath the prettiest sententious of

it, of you and rosemary, that it would do you good

to hear it.


Commend me to thy lady.


Ay, a thousand times.

Exit Romeo





Peter, take my fan, and go before and apace.


Act 2, Scene 5

Juliet impatiently awaits the return of the Nurse with news from Romeo…

The Nurse teases Juliet by finding all kinds of ways to not deliver the joyful news, but finally tells her that she is to go Friar Laurence’s cell to be married to Romeo.


The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;

In half an hour she promised to return.

Perchance she cannot meet him: that’s not so.

O, she is lame! love’s heralds should be thoughts,

Which ten times faster glide than the sun’s beams,

Driving back shadows over louring hills:

Therefore do nimble-pinion’d doves draw love,

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill

Of this day’s journey, and from 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;

My words would bandy her to my sweet love,

And his to me:

But old folks, many feign as they were dead;

Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.

O God, she comes!

Enter Nurse and Peter

O honey nurse, what news?

Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.


Peter, stay at the gate.

Exit Peter


Now, good sweet nurse, O Lord, why look’st thou sad?

Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;

If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news

By playing it to me with so sour a face.


I am a-weary, give me leave awhile:

Fie, how my bones ache! what a jaunt have I had!


I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news:

Nay, come, I pray thee, speak; good, good nurse, speak.


Jesu, what haste? can you not stay awhile?

Do you not see that I am out of breath?


How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath

To say to me that thou art out of breath?

The excuse that thou dost make in this delay

Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.

Is thy news good, or bad? answer to that;

Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance:

Let me be satisfied, is’t good or bad?


Well, you have made a simple choice; you know not

how to choose a man: Romeo! no, not he; though his

face be better than any man’s, yet his leg excels

all men’s; and for a hand, and a foot, and a body,

though they be not to be talked on, yet they are

past compare: he is not the flower of courtesy,

but, I’ll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy

ways, wench; serve God. What, have you dined at home?


No, no: but all this did I know before.

What says he of our marriage? what of that?


Lord, how my head aches! what a head have I!

It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.

My back o’ t’ other side, O, my back, my back!

Beshrew your heart for sending me about,

To catch my death with jaunting up and down!


I’ faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.

Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my love?


Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a

courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I

warrant, a virtuous, Where is your mother?


Where is my mother! why, she is within;

Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!

‘Your love says, like an honest gentleman,

Where is your mother?’


O God’s lady dear!

Are you so hot? marry, come up, I trow;

Is this the poultice for my aching bones?

Henceforward do your messages yourself.


Here’s such a coil! come, what says Romeo?


Have you got leave to go to shrift to-day?


I have.


Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell;

There stays a husband to make you a wife:

Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks,

They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.

Hie you to church; I must another way,

To fetch a ladder, by the which your love

Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark:

I am the drudge and toil in your delight,

But you shall bear the burden soon at night.

Go; I’ll to dinner: hie you to the cell.


Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.


Act 2, Scene 6

Just before the wedding, Friar Laurence advises Romeo to love moderately…

Romeo and Juliet tell each other how much they love one another, and Friar Laurence leads them off to be married.

Friar Laurence

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:

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.

Friar Laurence

These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

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.

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.


Good even to my ghostly confessor.

Friar Laurence

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

To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath

This neighbour air, and let rich music’s tongue

Unfold the imagined happiness that both

Receive in either by this dear encounter.


Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,

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.

Friar Laurence

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.



Tybalt finds Romeo returning from Friar Lawrence, and his new marriage. Tybalt challenges him again, but Romeo refuses. Romeo’s friend Mercutio steps in, and is killed. Romeo now fight and slays Tybalt, then hides in the Friar’s cell. The Prince banishes Romeo, and the Friar advises Romeo to spend the night with Juliet and then flee to Mantua.

Meanwhile, Juliet is grieving for Romeo (though her parents think it’s for Tybalt), and to console her, plan to have her wed Paris immediately.

Act 3, Scene 1

On the streets of Verona Benvolio tries to persuade Mercutio that it’s best to stay out of the way of the Capulets and a quarrel, but Mercutio jokingly claims that Benvolio is as much of a quarreler as anyone…

Tybalt, looking for Romeo, is challenged to a fight by Mercutio, but then Romeo appears…

Tybalt challenges Romeo to fight. Romeo refuses, but Mercutio steps forward and fights Tybalt. As Romeo is trying to stop the fight, Tybalt gives Mercutio a wound, then runs away. Mercutio dies. Romeo is ashamed of himself for letting Mercutio do the fighting, and when Tybalt returns, Romeo kills him. Benvolio has a hard time getting the dazed Romeo to leave the scene…

Benvolio tells the Prince what happened. Lady Capulet wants Romeo’s life, but the Prince levies fines and exiles Romeo.


I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire:

The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,

And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;

For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.


Thou art like one of those fellows that when he

enters the confines of a tavern claps me his sword

upon the table and says ‘God send me no need of

thee!’ and by the operation of the second cup draws

it on the drawer, when indeed there is no need.


Am I like such a fellow?


Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood as

any in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as

soon moody to be moved.


And what to?


Nay, an there were two such, we should have none

shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou! why,

thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more,

or a hair less, in his beard, than thou hast: thou

wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no

other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes: what

eye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel?

Thy head is as fun of quarrels as an egg is full of

meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as

an egg for quarrelling: thou hast quarrelled with a

man for coughing in the street, because he hath

wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun:

didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing

his new doublet before Easter? with another, for

tying his new shoes with old riband? and yet thou

wilt tutor me from quarrelling!


An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man

should buy the fee-simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.


The fee-simple! O simple!


By my head, here come the Capulets.


By my heel, I care not.

Enter Tybalt and others


Follow me close, for I will speak to them.

Gentlemen, good den: a word with one of you.


And but one word with one of us? couple it with

something; make it a word and a blow.


You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you

will give me occasion.


Could you not take some occasion without giving?


Mercutio, thou consort’st with Romeo,


Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels? an

thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but

discords: here’s my fiddlestick; here’s that shall

make you dance. ‘Zounds, consort!


We talk here in the public haunt of men:

Either withdraw unto some private place,

And reason coldly of your grievances,

Or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us.


Men’s eyes were made to look, and let them gaze;

I will not budge for no man’s pleasure, I.

Enter Romeo


Well, peace be with you, sir: here comes my man.


But I’ll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery:

Marry, go before to field, he’ll be your follower;

Your worship in that sense may call him ‘man.’


Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford

No better term than this, thou art a villain.


Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee

Doth much excuse the appertaining rage

To such a greeting: villain am I none;

Therefore farewell; I see thou know’st me not.


Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries

That thou hast done me; therefore turn and draw.


I do protest, I never injured thee,

But love thee better than thou canst devise,

Till thou shalt know the reason of my love:

And so, good Capulet, which name I tender

As dearly as my own, be satisfied.


O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!

Alla stoccata carries it away.


Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?


What wouldst thou have with me?


Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine

lives; that I mean to make bold withal, and as you

shall use me hereafter, drybeat the rest of the

eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pitcher

by the ears? make haste, lest mine be about your

ears ere it be out.


I am for you.



Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.


Come, sir, your passado.

They fight


Draw, Benvolio; beat down their weapons.

Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!

Tybalt, Mercutio, the prince expressly hath

Forbidden bandying in Verona streets:

Hold, Tybalt! good Mercutio!

Tybalt under Romeo’s arm stabs Mercutio, and flies with his followers


I am hurt.

A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.

Is he gone, and hath nothing?


What, art thou hurt?


Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ‘tis enough.

Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.

Exit Page


Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.


No, ‘tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a

church-door; but ‘tis enough,’twill serve: ask for

me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I

am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o’

both your houses! ‘Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a

cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a

rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of

arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I

was hurt under your arm.


I thought all for the best.


Help me into some house, Benvolio,

Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses!

They have made worms’ meat of me: I have it,

And soundly too: your houses!

Exeunt Mercutio and Benvolio


This gentleman, the prince’s near ally,

My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt

In my behalf; my reputation stain’d

With Tybalt’s slander, Tybalt, that an hour

Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet,

Thy beauty hath made me effeminate

And in my temper soften’d valour’s steel!

Re-enter Benvolio


O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio’s dead!

That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,

Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.


This day’s black fate on more days doth depend;

This but begins the woe, others must end.


Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.


Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio slain!

Away to heaven, respective lenity,

And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!

Re-enter Tybalt

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.


Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,

Shalt with him hence.


This shall determine that.

They fight; Tybalt falls


Romeo, away, be gone!

The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.

Stand not amazed: the prince will doom thee death,

If thou art taken: hence, be gone, away!


O, I am fortune’s fool!


Why dost thou stay?

Exit Romeo

Enter Citizens, & c

First Citizen

Which way ran he that kill’d Mercutio?

Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?


There lies that Tybalt.

First Citizen

Up, sir, go with me;

I charge thee in the princes name, obey.

Enter Prince, attended; Montague, Capulet, their Wives, and others


Where are the vile beginners of this fray?


O noble prince, I can discover all

The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl:

There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,

That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.

Lady Capulet

Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother’s child!

O prince! O cousin! husband! O, the blood is spilt

O my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true,

For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.

O cousin, cousin!


Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?


Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay;

Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink

How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal

Your high displeasure: all this uttered

With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bow’d,

Could not take truce with the unruly spleen

Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts

With piercing steel at bold Mercutio’s breast,

Who all as hot, turns deadly point to point,

And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats

Cold death aside, and with the other sends

It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity,

Retorts it: Romeo he cries aloud,

‘Hold, friends! friends, part!’ and, swifter than

his tongue,

His agile arm beats down their fatal points,

And ‘twixt them rushes; underneath whose arm

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 entertain’d 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

He is a kinsman to the Montague;

Affection makes him false; he speaks not true:

Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,

And all those twenty could but kill one life.

I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give;

Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.


Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio;

Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?


Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio’s friend;

His fault concludes but what the law should end,

The life of Tybalt.


And for that offence

Immediately we do exile him hence:

I have an interest in your hate’s proceeding,

My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding;

But I’ll amerce you with so strong a fine

That you shall all repent the loss of mine:

I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;

Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses:

Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste,

Else, when he’s found, that hour is his last.

Bear hence this body and attend our will:

Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.


Act 3, Scene 2

Juliet longs for the coming of night and Romeo…

The Nurse appears; she has seen Tybalt’s corpse and heard that Romeo has been banished. The Nurse is so overwrought that her words first make Juliet think that Romeo is dead. When the Nurse finally makes it clear that Tybalt is dead and Romeo is banished, Juliet first turns against Romeo for killing her cousin, then defends him for killing the man who would have killed him. Then Juliet remembers that the Nurse said Romeo has been “banished”, which drives her to despair. The Nurse promises Juliet that she’ll make arrangements for Romeo to come that night for a farewell visit.


Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,

Towards Phoebus’ lodging: such a wagoner

As Phaethon would whip you to the west,

And bring in cloudy night immediately.

Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,

That runaway’s eyes may wink and Romeo

Leap to these arms, untalk’d of and unseen.

Lovers can see to do their amorous rites

By their own beauties; or, if love be blind,

It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,

Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,

And learn me how to lose a winning match,

Play’d for a pair of stainless maidenhoods:

Hood my unmann’d blood, bating in my cheeks,

With thy black mantle; till strange love, grown bold,

Think true love acted simple modesty.

Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night;

For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night

Whiter than new snow on a raven’s back.

Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow’d night,

Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun.

O, I have bought the mansion of a love,

But not possess’d it, and, though I am sold,

Not yet enjoy’d: so tedious is this day

As is the night before some festival

To an impatient child that hath new robes

And may not wear them. O, here comes my nurse,

And she brings news; and every tongue that speaks

But Romeo’s name speaks heavenly eloquence.

Enter Nurse, with cords

Now, nurse, what news? What hast thou there? the cords

That Romeo bid thee fetch?


Ay, ay, the cords.

Throws them down


Ay me! what news? why dost thou wring thy hands?


Ah, well-a-day! he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!

We are undone, lady, we are undone!

Alack the day! he’s gone, he’s kill’d, he’s dead!


Can heaven be so envious?


Romeo can,

Though heaven cannot: O Romeo, Romeo!

Who ever would have thought it? Romeo!


What devil art thou, that dost torment me thus?

This torture should be roar’d in dismal hell.

Hath Romeo slain himself? say thou but ‘I,’

And that bare vowel ‘I’ shall poison more

Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice:

I am not I, if there be such an I;

Or those eyes shut, that make thee answer ‘I.’

If he be slain, say ‘I’; or if not, no:

Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe.


I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes,

God save the mark! here on his manly breast:

A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse;

Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaub’d in blood,

All in gore-blood; I swounded at the sight.


O, break, my heart! poor bankrupt, break at once!

To prison, eyes, ne’er look on liberty!

Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here;

And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!


O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!

O courteous Tybalt! honest gentleman!

That ever I should live to see thee dead!


What storm is this that blows so contrary?

Is Romeo slaughter’d, and is Tybalt dead?

My dear-loved cousin, and my dearer lord?

Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom!

For who is living, if those two are gone?


Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished;

Romeo that kill’d him, he is banished.


O God! did Romeo’s hand shed Tybalt’s blood?


It did, it did; alas the day, it did!


O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!

Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?

Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!

Dove-feather’d raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!

Despised substance of divinest show!

Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,

A damned saint, an honourable villain!

O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell,

When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend

In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?

Was ever book containing such vile matter

So fairly bound? O that deceit should dwell

In such a gorgeous palace!


There’s no trust,

No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,

All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.

Ah, where’s my man? give me some aqua vitae:

These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old.

Shame come to Romeo!


Blister’d be thy tongue

For such a wish! he was not born to shame:

Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit;

For ‘tis a throne where honour may be crown’d

Sole monarch of the universal earth.

O, what a beast was I to chide at him!


Will you speak well of him that kill’d your cousin?


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?

But, wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?

That villain cousin would have kill’d my husband:

Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring;

Your tributary drops belong to woe,

Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy.

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?

Some word there was, worser than Tybalt’s death,

That murder’d me: I would forget it fain;

But, O, it presses to my memory,

Like damned guilty deeds to sinners’ minds:

‘Tybalt is dead, and Romeo banished;’

That ‘banished,’ that one word ‘banished,’

Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt’s death

Was woe enough, if it had ended there:

Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship

And needly will be rank’d with other griefs,

Why follow’d not, when she said ‘Tybalt’s dead,’

Thy father, or thy mother, nay, or both,

Which modern lamentations might have moved?

But with a rear-ward following Tybalt’s death,

‘Romeo is banished,’ to speak that word,

Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,

All slain, all dead. ‘Romeo is banished!’

There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,

In that word’s death; no words can that woe sound.

Where is my father, and my mother, nurse?


Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corse:

Will you go to them? I will bring you thither.


Wash they his wounds with tears: mine shall be spent,

When theirs are dry, for Romeo’s banishment.

Take up those cords: poor ropes, you are beguiled,

Both you and I; for Romeo is exiled:

He made you for a highway to my bed;

But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.

Come, cords, come, nurse; I’ll to my wedding-bed;

And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!


Hie to your chamber: I’ll find Romeo

To comfort you: I wot well where he is.

Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night:

I’ll to him; he is hid at Laurence’ cell.


O, find him! give this ring to my true knight,

And bid him come to take his last farewell.


Act 3, Scene 3

Learning from the Friar that he is to be banished, Romeo declares that the Friar is torturing him to death, then throws himself on the floor, moaning and weeping…

The Nurse brings news that Juliet is in just as bad shape as Romeo. Romeo, wild with guilt at the pain he has caused Juliet, tries to stab himself. Friar Laurence lectures Romeo and tells him what to do go to Juliet, then to Mantua until the Prince can be persuaded to pardon him. The Nurse gives Romeo the ring that Juliet asked her to take to him. These things put Romeo into a better frame of mind and he leaves Friar Laurence’s cell to go to Juliet.

Friar Laurence

Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man:

Affliction is enamour’d of thy parts,

And thou art wedded to calamity.

Enter Romeo


Father, what news? what is the prince’s doom?

What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand,

That I yet know not?

Friar Laurence

Too familiar

Is my dear son with such sour company:

I bring thee tidings of the prince’s doom.


What less than dooms-day is the prince’s doom?

Friar Laurence

A gentler judgment vanish’d from his lips,

Not body’s death, but body’s banishment.


Ha, banishment! be merciful, say ‘death;’

For exile hath more terror in his look,

Much more than death: do not say ‘banishment.’

Friar Laurence

Hence from Verona art thou banished:

Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.


There is no world without Verona walls,

But purgatory, torture, hell itself.

Hence-banished is banish’d from the world,

And world’s exile is death: then banished,

Is death mis-term’d: calling death banishment,

Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe,

And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.

Friar Laurence

O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!

Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,

Taking thy part, hath rush’d aside the law,

And turn’d that black word death to banishment:

This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.


‘Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,

Where Juliet lives; and every cat and dog

And little mouse, every unworthy thing,

Live here in heaven and may look on her;

But Romeo may not: more validity,

More honourable state, more courtship lives

In carrion-flies than Romeo: they my seize

On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand

And steal immortal blessing from her lips,

Who even in pure and vestal modesty,

Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;

But Romeo may not; he is banished:

Flies may do this, but I from this must fly:

They are free men, but I am banished.

And say’st thou yet that exile is not death?

Hadst thou no poison mix’d, no sharp-ground knife,

No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean,

But ‘banished’ to kill me? ‘banished’?

O friar, the damned use that word in hell;

Howlings attend it: how hast thou the heart,

Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,

A sin-absolver, and my friend profess’d,

To mangle me with that word ‘banished’?

Friar Laurence

Thou fond mad man, hear me but speak a word.


O, thou wilt speak again of banishment.

Friar Laurence

I’ll give thee armour to keep off that word:

Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy,

To comfort thee, though thou art banished.


Yet ‘banished’? Hang up philosophy!

Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,

Displant a town, reverse a prince’s doom,

It helps not, it prevails not: talk no more.

Friar Laurence

O, then I see that madmen have no ears.


How should they, when that wise men have no eyes?

Friar Laurence

Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.


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,

Doting like me and like me banished,

Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair,

And fall upon the ground, as I do now,

Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

Knocking within

Friar Laurence

Arise; one knocks; good Romeo, hide thyself.


Not I; unless the breath of heartsick groans,

Mist-like, infold me from the search of eyes.


Friar Laurence

Hark, how they knock! Who’s there? Romeo, arise;

Thou wilt be taken. Stay awhile! Stand up;


Run to my study. By and by! God’s will,

What simpleness is this! I come, I come!


Who knocks so hard? whence come you? what’s your will?



Let me come in, and you shall know

my errand;

I come from Lady Juliet.

Friar Laurence

Welcome, then.

Enter Nurse


O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar,

Where is my lady’s lord, where’s Romeo?

Friar Laurence

There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.


O, he is even in my mistress’ case,

Just in her case! O woful sympathy!

Piteous predicament! Even so lies she,

Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering.

Stand up, stand up; stand, and you be a man:

For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand;

Why should you fall into so deep an O?




Ah sir! ah sir! Well, death’s the end of all.


Spakest thou of Juliet? how is it with her?

Doth she not think me an old murderer,

Now I have stain’d the childhood of our joy

With blood removed but little from her own?

Where is she? and how doth she? and what says

My conceal’d lady to our cancell’d love?


O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps;

And now falls on her bed; and then starts up,

And Tybalt calls; and then on Romeo cries,

And then down falls again.


As if that name,

Shot from the deadly level of a gun,

Did murder her; as that name’s cursed hand

Murder’d her kinsman. 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.

Drawing his sword

Friar Laurence

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.


O Lord, I could have stay’d here all the night

To hear good counsel: O, what learning is!

My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.


Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.


Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir:

Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late.



How well my comfort is revived by this!

Friar Laurence

Go hence; good night; and here stands all your state:

Either be gone before the watch be set,

Or by the break of day disguised from hence:

Sojourn in Mantua; I’ll find out your man,

And he shall signify from time to time

Every good hap to you that chances here:

Give me thy hand; ‘tis late: farewell; good night.


But that a joy past joy calls out on me,

It were a grief, so brief to part with thee: Farewell.


Act 3, Scene 4

On a sudden impulse, Capulet promises Paris that Juliet will marry him the day after tomorrow.


Things have fall’n out, sir, so unluckily,

That we have had no time to move our daughter:

Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly,

And so did I: Well, we were born to die.

‘Tis very late, she’ll not come down to-night:

I promise you, but for your company,

I would have been a-bed an hour ago.


These times of woe afford no time to woo.

Madam, good night: commend me to your daughter.

Lady Capulet

I will, and know her mind early to-morrow;

To-night she is mew’d up to her heaviness.


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.

Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed;

Acquaint her here of my son Paris’ love;

And bid her, mark you me, on Wednesday next

But, soft! what day is this?


Monday, my lord,


Monday! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon,

O’ Thursday let it be: 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;

For, hark you, Tybalt being slain so late,

It may be thought we held him carelessly,

Being our kinsman, if we revel much:

Therefore we’ll have some half a dozen friends,

And there an end. But what say you to Thursday?


My lord, I would that Thursday were to-morrow.


Well get you gone: o’ Thursday be it, then.

Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed,

Prepare her, wife, against this wedding-day.

Farewell, my lord. Light to my chamber, ho!

Afore me! it is so very very late,

That we may call it early by and by.

Good night.


Act 3, Scene 5

Just before dawn Romeo is preparing to leave, but Juliet declares that it’s still night, so he can stay. Romeo offers to stay and die, but Juliet urges him to leave…

The Nurse hurries in with the news that Juliet’s mother is coming. Romeo kisses Juliet and leaps out the window. Juliet asks if they will ever see each other again; Romeo is sure they will, but Juliet is full of foreboding…

Lady Capulet, assuming that Juliet is weeping for Tybalt, tells her that she’s grieving too much, then decides that Juliet must be weeping because revenge has not been taken upon Romeo. Lady Capulet expresses her hatred of Romeo and Juliet appears to agree with her, though what she really means is that she loves Romeo. Lady Capulet then delivers news which she thinks ought to cheer up Juliet she is to be married to Paris. Juliet declares that she will not. Lady Capulet replies that Juliet’s father is coming, so Juliet ought to tell him that she won’t marry Paris, if she dares…

Lady Capulet tells Capulet that Juliet has refused to marry Paris. Enraged, Capulet threatens to throw her out of the house if she doesn’t change her mind. Juliet pleads with her mother to intervene, but Lady Capulet refuses…

Juliet asks the Nurse for advice, and she tells Juliet that she ought to marry Paris because Romeo can never come back and Paris is better looking, anyway. Juliet pretends to accept the Nurse’s advice but decides that she will go to Friar Laurence for his advice. If he can’t help her, she will kill herself.


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;

Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:

Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.


It was the lark, the herald of the morn,

No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks

Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day

Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

I must be gone and live, or stay and die.


Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I:

It is some meteor that the sun exhales,

To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,

And light thee on thy way to Mantua:

Therefore stay yet; thou need’st not to be gone.


Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death;

I am content, so thou wilt have it so.

I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye,

‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow;

Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat

The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:

I have more care to stay than will to go:

Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.

How is’t, my soul? let’s talk; it is not day.


It is, it is: hie hence, be gone, away!

It is the lark that sings so out of tune,

Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.

Some say the lark makes sweet division;

This doth not so, for she divideth us:

Some say the lark and loathed toad change eyes,

O, now I would they had changed voices too!

Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,

Hunting thee hence with hunt’s-up to the day,

O, now be gone; more light and light it grows.


More light and light; more dark and dark our woes!

Enter Nurse, to the chamber






Your lady mother is coming to your chamber:

The day is broke; be wary, look about.



Then, window, let day in, and let life out.


Farewell, farewell! one kiss, and I’ll descend.

He goeth down


Art thou gone so? love, lord, ay, husband, friend!

I must hear from thee every day in the hour,

For in a minute there are many days:

O, by this count I shall be much in years

Ere I again behold my Romeo!



I will omit no opportunity

That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.


O think’st thou we shall ever meet again?


I doubt it not; and all these woes shall serve

For sweet discourses in our time to come.


O God, I have an ill-divining soul!

Methinks I see thee, now thou art below,

As one dead in the bottom of a tomb:

Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale.


And trust me, love, in my eye so do you:

Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!



O fortune, fortune! all men call thee fickle:

If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him.

That is renown’d for faith? Be fickle, fortune;

For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long,

But send him back.

Lady Capulet

[Within]Ho, daughter! are you up?


Who is’t that calls? is it my lady mother?

Is she not down so late, or up so early?

What unaccustom’d cause procures her hither?

Enter Lady Capulet

Lady Capulet

Why, how now, Juliet!


Madam, I am not well.

Lady Capulet

Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?

What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears?

An if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live;

Therefore, have done: some grief shows much of love;

But much of grief shows still some want of wit.


Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss.

Lady Capulet

So shall you feel the loss, but not the friend

Which you weep for.


Feeling so the loss,

Cannot choose but ever weep the friend.

Lady Capulet

Well, girl, thou weep’st not so much for his death,

As that the villain lives which slaughter’d him.


What villain madam?

Lady Capulet

That same villain, Romeo.



Villain and he be many miles asunder.

God Pardon him! I do, with all my heart;

And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart.

Lady Capulet

That is, because the traitor murderer lives.


Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands:

Would none but I might venge my cousin’s death!

Lady Capulet

We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not:

Then weep no more. I’ll send to one in Mantua,

Where that same banish’d runagate doth live,

Shall give him such an unaccustom’d dram,

That he shall soon keep Tybalt company:

And then, I hope, thou wilt be satisfied.


Indeed, I never shall be satisfied

With Romeo, till I behold him dead

Is my poor heart for a kinsman vex’d.

Madam, if you could find out but a man

To bear a poison, I would temper it;

That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,

Soon sleep in quiet. 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 slaughter’d him!

Lady Capulet

Find thou the means, and I’ll find such a man.

But now I’ll tell thee joyful tidings, girl.


And joy comes well in such a needy time:

What are they, I beseech your ladyship?

Lady Capulet

Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child;

One who, to put thee from thy heaviness,

Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy,

That thou expect’st not nor I look’d not for.


Madam, in happy time, what day is that?

Lady Capulet

Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn,

The gallant, young and noble gentleman,

The County Paris, at Saint Peter’s Church,

Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.


Now, by Saint Peter’s Church and Peter too,

He shall not make me there a joyful bride.

I wonder at this haste; that I must wed

Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo.

I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam,

I will not marry yet; and, when I do, I swear,

It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,

Rather than Paris. These are news indeed!

Lady Capulet

Here comes your father; tell him so yourself,

And see how he will take it at your hands.

Enter Capulet and Nurse


When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew;

But for the sunset of my brother’s son

It rains downright.

How now! a conduit, girl? what, still in tears?

Evermore showering? In one little body

Thou counterfeit’st a bark, a sea, a wind;

For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,

Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is,

Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy sighs;

Who, raging with thy tears, and they with them,

Without a sudden calm, will overset

Thy tempest-tossed body. How now, wife!

Have you deliver’d to her our decree?

Lady Capulet

Ay, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks.

I would the fool were married to her grave!


Soft! take me with you, take me with you, wife.

How! will she none? doth she not give us thanks?

Is she not proud? doth she not count her blest,

Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought

So worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom?


Not proud, you have; but thankful, that you have:

Proud can I never be of what I hate;

But thankful even for hate, that is meant love.


How now, how now, chop-logic! What is this?

‘Proud,’ and ‘I thank you,’ and ‘I thank you not;’

And yet ‘not proud,’ mistress minion, you,

Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds,

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.

Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!

You tallow-face!

Lady Capulet

Fie, fie! what, are you mad?


Good father, I beseech you on my knees,

Hear me with patience but to speak a word.


Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!

I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday,

Or never after look me in the face:

Speak not, reply not, do not answer me;

My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest

That God had lent us but this only child;

But now I see this one is one too much,

And that we have a curse in having her:

Out on her, hilding!


God in heaven bless her!

You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.


And why, my lady wisdom? hold your tongue,

Good prudence; smatter with your gossips, go.


I speak no treason.


O, God ye god-den.


May not one speak?


Peace, you mumbling fool!

Utter your gravity o’er a gossip’s bowl;

For here we need it not.

Lady Capulet

You are too hot.


God’s bread! it makes me mad:

Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,

Alone, in company, still my care hath been

To have her match’d: and having now provided

A gentleman of noble parentage,

Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train’d,

Stuff’d, as they say, with honourable parts,

Proportion’d as one’s thought would wish a man;

And then to have a wretched puling fool,

A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,

To answer ‘I’ll not wed; I cannot love,

I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.’

But, as you will not wed, I’ll pardon you:

Graze where you will you shall not house with me:

Look to’t, think on’t, I do not use to jest.

Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:

An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend;

And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in

the streets,

For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,

Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:

Trust to’t, bethink you; I’ll not be forsworn.



Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,

That sees into the bottom of my grief?

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

Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word:

Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.



O God!O nurse, how shall this be prevented?

My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven;

How shall that faith return again to earth,

Unless that husband send it me from heaven

By leaving earth? comfort me, counsel me.

Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems

Upon so soft a subject as myself!

What say’st thou? hast thou not a word of joy?

Some comfort, nurse.


Faith, here it is.

Romeo is banish’d; and all the world to nothing,

That he dares ne’er come back to challenge you;

Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.

Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,

I think it best you married with the county.

O, he’s a lovely gentleman!

Romeo’s a dishclout to him: an eagle, madam,

Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye

As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,

I think you are happy in this second match,

For it excels your first: or if it did not,

Your first is dead; or ‘twere as good he were,

As living here and you no use of him.


Speakest thou from thy heart?


And from my soul too;

Or else beshrew them both.






Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous much.

Go in: and tell my lady I am gone,

Having displeased my father, to Laurence’ cell,

To make confession and to be absolved.


Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.



Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!

Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,

Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue

Which she hath praised him with above compare

So many thousand times? Go, counsellor;

Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.

I’ll to the friar, to know his remedy:

If all else fail, myself have power to die.



In despair, Juliet seeks Friar Lawrence’s advice. He gives her a sleeping potion, which for a time will cause her to appear dead. Thus, on the day of her supposed marriage to Paris, she will be carried to the family vault. By the time she awakens, Romeo will be summoned to the vault and take her away to Mantua.

Act 4, Scene 1

As Paris is making arrangements with Friar Laurence to perform the wedding ceremony between himself and Juliet, she appears. Paris tries to tease some sign of affection out of Juliet and reminds her that they are to be married on Thursday…

Juliet says that she will kill herself rather than marry Paris, and the Friar comes up with the plan for her to take the drug which will make her appear dead for 42 hours, so that the wedding will be called off and Romeo can come and take her to Mantua.

Friar Laurence

On Thursday, sir? the time is very short.


My father Capulet will have it so;

And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

Friar Laurence

You say you do not know the lady’s mind:

Uneven is the course, I like it not.


Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt’s death,

And therefore have I little talk’d of love;

For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.

Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous

That she doth give her sorrow so much sway,

And in his wisdom hastes our marriage,

To stop the inundation of her tears;

Which, too much minded by herself alone,

May be put from her by society:

Now do you know the reason of this haste.

Friar Laurence


I would I knew not why it should be slow’d.

Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell.

Enter Juliet


Happily met, my lady and my wife!


That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.


That may be must be, love, on Thursday next.


What must be shall be.

Friar Laurence

That’s a certain text.


Come you to make confession to this father?


To answer that, I should confess to you.


Do not deny to him that you love me.


I will confess to you that I love him.


So will ye, I am sure, that you love me.


If I do so, it will be of more price,

Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.


Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.


The tears have got small victory by that;

For it was bad enough before their spite.


Thou wrong’st it, more than tears, with that report.


That is no slander, sir, which is a truth;

And what I spake, I spake it to my face.


Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander’d it.


It may be so, for it is not mine own.

Are you at leisure, holy father, now;

Or shall I come to you at evening mass?

Friar Laurence

My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now.

My lord, we must entreat the time alone.


God shield I should disturb devotion!

Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye:

Till then, adieu; and keep this holy kiss.



O shut the door! and when thou hast done so,

Come weep with me; past hope, past cure, past help!

Friar Laurence

Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief;

It strains me past the compass of my wits:

I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,

On Thursday next be married to this county.


Tell me not, friar, that thou hear’st of this,

Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it:

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.

God join’d my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands;

And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal’d,

Shall be the label to another deed,

Or my true heart with treacherous revolt

Turn to another, this shall slay them both:

Therefore, out of thy long-experienced time,

Give me some present counsel, or, behold,

‘Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife

Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that

Which the commission of thy years and art

Could to no issue of true honour bring.

Be not so long to speak; I long to die,

If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

Friar Laurence

Hold, daughter: I do spy a kind of hope,

Which craves as desperate an execution.

As that is desperate which we would prevent.

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 copest with death himself to scape from it:

And, if thou darest, I’ll give thee remedy.


O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,

From off the battlements of yonder tower;

Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk

Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;

Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house,

O’er-cover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones,

With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;

Or bid me go into a new-made grave

And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;

Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble;

And I will do it without fear or doubt,

To live an unstain’d wife to my sweet love.

Friar Laurence

Hold, then; go home, be merry, give consent

To marry Paris: Wednesday is to-morrow:

To-morrow night look that thou lie alone;

Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber:

Take thou this vial, being then in bed,

And this distilled liquor drink thou off;

When presently through all thy veins shall run

A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse

Shall keep his native progress, but surcease:

No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest;

The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade

To paly ashes, thy eyes’ windows fall,

Like death, when he shuts up the day of life;

Each part, deprived of supple government,

Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death:

And in this borrow’d likeness of shrunk death

Thou shalt continue two and forty hours,

And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.

Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes

To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead:

Then, as the manner of our country is,

In thy best robes uncover’d on the bier

Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault

Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.

In the mean time, against thou shalt awake,

Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,

And hither shall he come: and he and I

Will watch thy waking, and that very night

Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.

And this shall free thee from this present shame;

If no inconstant toy, nor womanish fear,

Abate thy valour in the acting it.


Give me, give me! O, tell not me of fear!

Friar Laurence

Hold; get you gone, be strong and prosperous

In this resolve: I’ll send a friar with speed

To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord.


Love give me strength! and strength shall help afford.

Farewell, dear father!


Act 4, Scene 2

Capulet is making arrangements for the wedding feast when Juliet appears, begs her father’s pardon, and tells him that she will marry Paris. This makes Capulet so happy that he moves the wedding up to the very next day, Wednesday.


So many guests invite as here are writ.

Exit First Servant

Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks.

Second Servant

You shall have none ill, sir; for I’ll try if they

can lick their fingers.


How canst thou try them so?

Second Servant

Marry, sir, ‘tis an ill cook that cannot lick his

own fingers: therefore he that cannot lick his

fingers goes not with me.


Go, be gone.

Exit Second Servant

We shall be much unfurnished for this time.

What, is my daughter gone to Friar Laurence?


Ay, forsooth.


Well, he may chance to do some good on her:

A peevish self-will’d harlotry it is.


See where she comes from shrift with merry look.

Enter Juliet


How now, my headstrong! where have you been gadding?


Where I have learn’d me to repent the sin

Of disobedient opposition

To you and your behests, and am enjoin’d

By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here,

And beg your pardon: pardon, I beseech you!

Henceforward I am ever ruled by you.


Send for the county; go tell him of this:

I’ll have this knot knit up to-morrow morning.


I met the youthful lord at Laurence’ cell;

And gave him what becomed love I might,

Not step o’er the bounds of modesty.


Why, I am glad on’t; this is well: stand up:

This is as’t should be. Let me see the county;

Ay, marry, go, I say, and fetch him hither.

Now, afore God! this reverend holy friar,

Our whole city is much bound to him.


Nurse, will you go with me into my closet,

To help me sort such needful ornaments

As you think fit to furnish me to-morrow?

Lady Capulet

No, not till Thursday; there is time enough.


Go, nurse, go with her: we’ll to church to-morrow.

Exeunt Juliet and Nurse

Lady Capulet

We shall be short in our provision:

‘Tis now near night.


Tush, I will stir about,

And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, wife:

Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her;

I’ll not to bed to-night; let me alone;

I’ll play the housewife for this once. What, ho!

They are all forth. Well, I will walk myself

To County Paris, to prepare him up

Against to-morrow: my heart is wondrous light,

Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim’d.


Act 4, Scene 3

Juliet persuades her mother and the Nurse to leave her alone. She agonizes over everything that could go wrong, is terrified by visions of the grave, and drinks to Romeo.


Ay, those attires are best: but, gentle nurse,

I pray thee, leave me to my self to-night,

For I have need of many orisons

To move the heavens to smile upon my state,

Which, well thou know’st, is cross, and full of sin.

Enter Lady Capulet

Lady Capulet

What, are you busy, ho? need you my help?


No, madam; we have cull’d such necessaries

As are behoveful for our state to-morrow:

So please you, let me now be left alone,

And let the nurse this night sit up with you;

For, I am sure, you have your hands full all,

In this so sudden business.

Lady Capulet

Good night:

Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need.

Exeunt Lady Capulet and Nurse


Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,

That almost freezes up the heat of life:

I’ll call them back again to comfort me:

Nurse! What should she do here?

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.

Come, vial.

What if this mixture do not work at all?

Shall I be married then to-morrow morning?

No, no: this shall forbid it: lie thou there.

Laying down her dagger

What if it be a poison, which the friar

Subtly hath minister’d to have me dead,

Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour’d,

Because he married me before to Romeo?

I fear it is: and yet, methinks, it should not,

For he hath still been tried a holy man.

How if, when I am laid into the tomb,

I wake before the time that Romeo

Come to redeem me? there’s a fearful point!

Shall I not, then, be stifled in the vault,

To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?

Or, if I live, is it not very like,

The horrible conceit of death and night,

Together with the terror of the place,

As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,

Where, for these many hundred years, the bones

Of all my buried ancestors are packed:

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,

Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say,

At some hours in the night spirits resort;

Alack, alack, is it not like that I,

So early waking, what with loathsome smells,

And shrieks like mandrakes’ torn out of the earth,

That living mortals, hearing them, run mad:

O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,

Environed with all these hideous fears?

And madly play with my forefather’s joints?

And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?

And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,

As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?

O, look! methinks I see my cousin’s ghost

Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body

Upon a rapier’s point: stay, Tybalt, stay!

Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.

She falls upon her bed, within the curtains

Act 4, Scene 4

The Capulets and their servants are busily preparing for the wedding. Paris’ musicians are heard, and Capulet sends the Nurse to awaken Juliet.

Lady Capulet

Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices, nurse.


They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.

Enter Capulet


Come, stir, stir, stir! the second cock hath crow’d,

The curfew-bell hath rung, ‘tis three o’clock:

Look to the baked meats, good Angelica:

Spare not for the cost.


Go, you cot-quean, go,

Get you to bed; faith, You’ll be sick to-morrow

For this night’s watching.


No, not a whit: what! I have watch’d ere now

All night for lesser cause, and ne’er been sick.

Lady Capulet

Ay, you have been a mouse-hunt in your time;

But I will watch you from such watching now.

Exeunt Lady Capulet and Nurse


A jealous hood, a jealous hood!

Enter three or four Servingmen, with spits, logs, and baskets

Now, fellow,

What’s there?

First Servant

Things for the cook, sir; but I know not what.


Make haste, make haste.

Exit First Servant

Sirrah, fetch drier logs:

Call Peter, he will show thee where they are.

Second Servant

I have a head, sir, that will find out logs,

And never trouble Peter for the matter.



Mass, and well said; a merry whoreson, ha!

Thou shalt be logger-head. Good faith, ‘tis day:

The county will be here with music straight,

For so he said he would: I hear him near.

Music within

Nurse! Wife! What, ho! What, nurse, I say!

Re-enter Nurse

Go waken Juliet, go and trim her up;

I’ll go and chat with Paris: hie, make haste,

Make haste; the bridegroom he is come already:

Make haste, I say.


Act 4, Scene 5

The Nurse tries to awaken Juliet, but finds that she is (apparently) dead. Lady Capulet and Capulet come running, then lament their daughter’s death…

The rest of the wedding party arrives, only to find that Juliet is dead and hear the clamor of lamentation. Capulet, Lady Capulet, Paris, and the Nurse go nearly wild with grief, but Friar Laurence takes command of the situation by reminding everyone that Juliet is now in a better place, and telling them proceed with her funeral…

As the musicians are starting to leave, Peter rushes in and demands that they play a sad song to cheer him up. They refuse, Peter insults them with a riddle, and they all leave to wait for lunch.


Mistress! what, mistress! Juliet! fast, I warrant her, she:

Why, lamb! why, lady! fie, you slug-a-bed!

Why, love, I say! madam! sweet-heart! why, bride!

What, not a word? you take your pennyworths now;

Sleep for a week; for the next night, I warrant,

The County Paris hath set up his rest,

That you shall rest but little. God forgive me,

Marry, and amen, how sound is she asleep!

I must needs wake her. Madam, madam, madam!

Ay, let the county take you in your bed;

He’ll fright you up, i’ faith. Will it not be?

Undraws the curtains

What, dress’d! and in your clothes! and down again!

I must needs wake you; Lady! lady! lady!

Alas, alas! Help, help! my lady’s dead!

O, well-a-day, that ever I was born!

Some aqua vitae, ho! My lord! my lady!

Enter Lady Capulet

Lady Capulet

What noise is here?


O lamentable day!

Lady Capulet

What is the matter?


Look, look! O heavy day!

Lady Capulet

O me, O me! My child, my only life,

Revive, look up, or I will die with thee!

Help, help! Call help.

Enter Capulet


For shame, bring Juliet forth; her lord is come.


She’s dead, deceased, she’s dead; alack the day!

Lady Capulet

Alack the day, she’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead!


Ha! let me see her: out, alas! she’s cold:

Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff;

Life and these lips have long been separated:

Death lies on her like an untimely frost

Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.


O lamentable day!

Lady Capulet

              O woful time!


Death, that hath ta’en her hence to make me wail,

Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak.

Enter Friar Laurence and Paris, with Musicians

Friar Laurence

Come, is the bride ready to go to church?


Ready to go, but never to return.

O son! the night before thy wedding-day

Hath Death lain with thy wife. There she lies,

Flower as she was, deflowered by him.

Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir;

My daughter he hath wedded: I will die,

And leave him all; life, living, all is Death’s.


Have I thought long to see this morning’s face,

And doth it give me such a sight as this?

Lady Capulet

Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!

Most miserable hour that e’er time saw

In lasting labour of his pilgrimage!

But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,

But one thing to rejoice and solace in,

And cruel death hath catch’d it from my sight!


O woe! O woful, woful, woful day!

Most lamentable day, most woful day,

That ever, ever, I did yet behold!

O day! O day! O day! O hateful day!

Never was seen so black a day as this:

O woful day, O woful day!


Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spited, slain!

Most detestable death, by thee beguil’d,

By cruel cruel thee quite overthrown!

O love! O life! not life, but love in death!


Despised, distressed, hated, martyr’d, kill’d!

Uncomfortable time, why camest thou now

To murder, murder our solemnity?

O child! O child! my soul, and not my child!

Dead art thou! Alack! my child is dead;

And with my child my joys are buried.

Friar Laurence

Peace, ho, for shame! confusion’s cure lives not

In these confusions. Heaven and yourself

Had part in this fair maid; now heaven hath all,

And all the better is it for the maid:

Your part in her you could not keep from death,

But heaven keeps his part in eternal life.

The most you sought was her promotion;

For ‘twas your heaven she should be advanced:

And weep ye now, seeing she is advanced

Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?

O, in this love, you love your child so ill,

That you run mad, seeing that she is well:

She’s not well married that lives married long;

But she’s best married that dies married young.

Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary

On this fair corse; and, as the custom is,

In all her best array bear her to church:

For though fond nature bids us an lament,

Yet nature’s tears are reason’s merriment.


All things that we ordained festival,

Turn from their office to black funeral;

Our instruments to melancholy bells,

Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,

Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,

Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,

And all things change them to the contrary.

Friar Laurence

Sir, go you in; and, madam, go with him;

And go, Sir Paris; every one prepare

To follow this fair corse unto her grave:

The heavens do lour upon you for some ill;

Move them no more by crossing their high will.

Exeunt Capulet, Lady Capulet, Paris, and Friar Laurence

First Musician

Faith, we may put up our pipes, and be gone.


Honest goodfellows, ah, put up, put up;

For, well you know, this is a pitiful case.


First Musician

Ay, by my troth, the case may be amended.

Enter Peter


Musicians, O, musicians, ‘Heart’s ease, Heart’s

ease:’ O, an you will have me live, play ‘Heart’s ease.’

First Musician

Why ‘Heart’s ease?’


O, musicians, because my heart itself plays ‘My

heart is full of woe:’ O, play me some merry dump,

to comfort me.

First Musician

Not a dump we; ‘tis no time to play now.


You will not, then?

First Musician



I will then give it you soundly.

First Musician

What will you give us?


No money, on my faith, but the gleek;

I will give you the minstrel.

First Musician

Then I will give you the serving-creature.


Then will I lay the serving-creature’s dagger on

your pate. I will carry no crotchets: I’ll re you,

I’ll fa you; do you note me?

First Musician

An you re us and fa us, you note us.

Second Musician

Pray you, put up your dagger, and put out your wit.


Then have at you with my wit! I will dry-beat you

with an iron wit, and put up my iron dagger. Answer

me like men:

‘When griping grief the heart doth wound,

And doleful dumps the mind oppress,

Then music with her silver sound’

why ‘silver sound’? why ‘music with her silver

sound’? What say you, Simon Catling?


Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.


Pretty! What say you, Hugh Rebeck?

Second Musician

I say ‘silver sound,’ because musicians sound for silver.


Pretty too! What say you, James Soundpost?

Third Musician

Faith, I know not what to say.


O, I cry you mercy; you are the singer: I will say

for you. It is ‘music with her silver sound,’

because musicians have no gold for sounding:

‘Then music with her silver sound

With speedy help doth lend redress.’


First Musician

What a pestilent knave is this same!

Second Musician

Hang him, Jack! Come, we’ll in here; tarry for the

mourners, and stay dinner.


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The Friar’s letter fails to reach Romeo. When he hears of Juliet’s death, Romeo procures a poison from an apothecary and returns to Verona to say his last farewell to his deceased wife and die by her side. In the tomb, Romeo encounters Paris, who has come to strew flowers on Juliet’s grave. Paris challenges Romeo, they fight, Paris is killed.

Then at Juliet’s side, Romeo drinks the poison and dies. When Juliet awakens from her deep sleep, she realizes Romeo’s error and kills herself with his dagger. The Lords of the houses find their children, and grieve. The Prince rebukes the Capulets and Montagues for their bloody feud, and they decide to reconcile as a result of the deaths of their children.

Act 5, Scene 1

Romeo expects good news from Verona, but receives the news that Juliet is dead. He buys poison of an apothocary and says that he intends to return to Verona and join Juliet in death.


If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,

My dreams presage some joyful news at hand:

My bosom’s lord sits lightly in his throne;

And all this day an unaccustom’d spirit

Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.

I dreamt my lady came and found me dead

Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave

to think!

And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,

That I revived, and was an emperor.

Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess’d,

When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!

Enter Balthasar, booted

News from Verona! How now, Balthasar!

Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?

How doth my lady? Is my father well?

How fares my Juliet? that I ask again;

For nothing can be ill, if she be well.


Then she is well, and nothing can be ill:

Her body sleeps in Capel’s monument,

And her immortal part with angels lives.

I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault,

And presently took post to tell it you:

O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,

Since you did leave it for my office, sir.


Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!

Thou know’st my lodging: get me ink and paper,

And hire post-horses; I will hence to-night.


I do beseech you, sir, have patience:

Your looks are pale and wild, and do import

Some misadventure.


Tush, thou art deceived:

Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.

Hast thou no letters to me from the friar?


No, my good lord.


No matter: get thee gone,

And hire those horses; I’ll be with thee straight.

Exit Balthasar

Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night.

Let’s see for means: O mischief, thou art swift

To enter in the thoughts of desperate men!

I do remember an apothecary,

And hereabouts he dwells, which late I noted

In tatter’d weeds, with overwhelming brows,

Culling of simples; meagre were his looks,

Sharp misery had worn him to the bones:

And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,

An alligator stuff’d, and other skins

Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves

A beggarly account of empty boxes,

Green earthen pots, bladders and musty seeds,

Remnants of packthread and old cakes of roses,

Were thinly scatter’d, to make up a show.

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.’

O, this same thought did but forerun my need;

And this same needy man must sell it me.

As I remember, this should be the house.

Being holiday, the beggar’s shop is shut.

What, ho! apothecary!

Enter Apothecary


Who calls so loud?


Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor:

Hold, there is forty ducats: let me have

A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear

As will disperse itself through all the veins

That the life-weary taker may fall dead

And that the trunk may be discharged of breath

As violently as hasty powder fired

Doth hurry from the fatal cannon’s womb.


Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua’s law

Is death to any he that utters them.


Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,

And fear’st to die? famine is in thy cheeks,

Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes,

Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back;

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.


My poverty, but not my will, consents.


I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.


Put this in any liquid thing you will,

And drink it off; and, if you had the strength

Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.


There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,

Doing more murders in this loathsome world,

Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.

I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none.

Farewell: buy food, and get thyself in flesh.

Come, cordial and not poison, go with me

To Juliet’s grave; for there must I use thee.


Act 5, Scene 2

Friar John explains to Friar Laurence why he was unable to deliver Friar Laurence’s letter to Romeo. Friar Laurence sends Friar John to get a crowbar and makes plans to be there when Juliet awakes, write again to Romeo in Mantua, and hide Juliet in his cell until Romeo arrives.

Friar John

Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho!

Enter Friar Laurence

Friar Laurence

This same should be the voice of Friar John.

Welcome from Mantua: what says Romeo?

Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

Friar John

Going to find a bare-foot brother out

One of our order, to associate me,

Here in this city visiting the sick,

And finding him, the searchers of the town,

Suspecting that we both were in a house

Where the infectious pestilence did reign,

Seal’d up the doors, and would not let us forth;

So that my speed to Mantua there was stay’d.

Friar Laurence

Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?

Friar John

I could not send it, here it is again,

Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,

So fearful were they of infection.

Friar Laurence

Unhappy fortune! by my brotherhood,

The letter was not nice but full of charge

Of dear import, and the neglecting it

May do much danger. Friar John, go hence;

Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight

Unto my cell.

Friar John

Brother, I’ll go and bring it thee.


Friar Laurence

Now must I to the monument alone;

Within three hours will fair Juliet wake:

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 corse, closed in a dead man’s tomb!


Act 5, Scene 3

Paris comes to Juliet’s grave to strew flowers and weep. He sends his Page a ways off, to act as a look-out. Paris promises to visit Juliet’s grave every night, then the Page whistles to warn him that someone is coming. Paris sees a torch and withdraws into the darkness to see who else has come to Juliet’s grave…

Romeo sends Balthasar away with a letter for Romeo’s father, and starts to open the tomb. Paris comes forward and tries to arrest Romeo. They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. As he is dying, Paris asks to be laid next to Juliet. Romeo does this, pledges his love to Juliet, takes the poison, and dies…

Friar Laurence comes and finds Romeo and Paris dead. Juliet awakes and Friar Laurence tries to persuade her to come out of the grave, but being afraid of being found there by the watchmen, he runs away. Juliet kills herself with Romeo’s dagger…

Paris’ Page brings the watchmen to the monument of the Capulets. Watchmen find Balthasar and Friar Laurence. Prince Escalus arrives, then Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Montague. Friar Laurence tells his story, which is confirmed by Balthasar, Paris’ Page, and the letter from Romeo to his father. Montague promises to build a golden statue of Juliet, and Capulet promises to build one of Romeo.


Give me thy torch, boy: hence, and stand aloof:

Yet put it out, for I would not be seen.

Under yond yew-trees lay thee all along,

Holding thine ear close to the hollow ground;

So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread,

Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,

But thou shalt hear it: whistle then to me,

As signal that thou hear’st something approach.

Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.



I am almost afraid to stand alone

Here in the churchyard; yet I will adventure.



Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew,

O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones;

Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,

Or, wanting that, with tears distill’d by moans:

The obsequies that I for thee will keep

Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.

The Page whistles

The boy gives warning something doth approach.

What cursed foot wanders this way to-night,

To cross my obsequies and true love’s rite?

What with a torch! muffle me, night, awhile.


Enter Romeo and Balthasar, with a torch, mattock, & c


Give me that mattock and the wrenching iron.

Hold, take this letter; early in the morning

See thou deliver it to my lord and father.

Give me the light: upon thy life, I charge thee,

Whate’er thou hear’st or seest, 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: therefore hence, be gone:

But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry

In what I further shall intend to do,

By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint

And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs:

The time and my intents are savage-wild,

More fierce and more inexorable far

Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.


I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you.


So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that:

Live, and be prosperous: and farewell, good fellow.



For all this same, I’ll hide me hereabout:

His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.



Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,

Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth,

Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,

And, in despite, I’ll cram thee with more food!

Opens the tomb


This is that banish’d haughty Montague,

That murder’d my love’s cousin, with which grief,

It is supposed, the fair creature died;

And here is come to do some villanous shame

To the dead bodies: I will apprehend him.

Comes forward

Stop thy unhallow’d toil, vile Montague!

Can vengeance be pursued further than death?

Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee:

Obey, and go with me; for thou must die.


I must indeed; and therefore came I hither.

Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man;

Fly hence, and leave me: think upon these gone;

Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,

Put not another sin upon my head,

By urging me to fury: O, be gone!

By heaven, I love thee better than myself;

For I come hither arm’d against myself:

Stay not, be gone; live, and hereafter say,

A madman’s mercy bade thee run away.


I do defy thy conjurations,

And apprehend thee for a felon here.


Wilt thou provoke me? then have at thee, boy!

They fight


O Lord, they fight! I will go call the watch.



O, I am slain!


If thou be merciful,

Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.



In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.

Mercutio’s kinsman, noble County Paris!

What said my man, when my betossed soul

Did not attend him as we rode? I think

He told me Paris should have married Juliet:

Said he not so? or did I dream it so?

Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,

To think it was so? O, give me thy hand,

One writ with me in sour misfortune’s book!

I’ll bury thee in a triumphant grave;

A grave? O no! a lantern, slaughter’d youth,

For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes

This vault a feasting presence full of light.

Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interr’d.

Laying Paris in the tomb

How oft when men are at the point of death

Have they been merry! which their keepers call

A lightning before death: O, how may I

Call this a lightning? O my love! my wife!

Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath,

Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:

Thou art not conquer’d; beauty’s ensign yet

Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,

And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.

Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?

O, what more favour can I do to thee,

Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain

To sunder his that was thine enemy?

Forgive me, cousin! Ah, dear Juliet,

Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe

That unsubstantial death is amorous,

And that the lean abhorred monster keeps

Thee here in dark to be his paramour?

For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;

And never from this palace of dim night

Depart again: here, here will I remain

With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here

Will I set up my everlasting rest,

And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars

From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!

Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you

The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss

A dateless bargain to engrossing death!

Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!

Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on

The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!

Here’s to my love!


O true apothecary!

Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.


Enter, at the other end of the churchyard, Friar Laurence, with a lantern, crow, and spade

Friar Laurence

Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night

Have my old feet stumbled at graves! Who’s there?


Here’s one, a friend, and one that knows you well.

Friar Laurence

Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend,

What torch is yond, that vainly lends his light

To grubs and eyeless skulls? as I discern,

It burneth in the Capel’s monument.


It doth so, holy sir; and there’s my master,

One that you love.

Friar Laurence

Who is it?



Friar Laurence

How long hath he been there?


Full half an hour.

Friar Laurence

Go with me to the vault.


I dare not, sir

My master knows not but I am gone hence;

And fearfully did menace me with death,

If I did stay to look on his intents.

Friar Laurence

Stay, then; I’ll go alone. Fear comes upon me:

O, much I fear some ill unlucky thing.


As I did sleep under this yew-tree here,

I dreamt my master and another fought,

And that my master slew him.

Friar Laurence



Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains

The stony entrance of this sepulchre?

What mean these masterless and gory swords

To lie discolour’d by this place of peace?

Enters the tomb

Romeo! O, pale! Who else? what, Paris too?

And steep’d in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour

Is guilty of this lamentable chance!

The lady stirs.

Juliet wakes


O comfortable friar! where is my lord?

I do remember well where I should be,

And there I am. Where is my Romeo?

Noise within

Friar Laurence

I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest

Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep:

A greater power than we can contradict

Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.

Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;

And Paris too. Come, I’ll dispose of thee

Among a sisterhood of holy nuns:

Stay not to question, for the watch is coming;

Come, go, good Juliet,

Noise again

I dare no longer stay.


Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.

Exit Friar Laurence

What’s here? a cup, closed in my true love’s hand?

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,

To make die with a restorative.

Kisses him

Thy lips are warm.

First Watchman


Lead, boy: which way?


Yea, noise? then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger!

Snatching Romeo’s dagger

This is thy sheath;

Stabs herself

there rust, and let me die.

Falls on Romeo’s body, and dies

Enter Watch, with the Page of Paris


This is the place; there, where the torch doth burn.

First Watchman

The ground is bloody; search about the churchyard:

Go, some of you, whoe’er you find attach.

Pitiful sight! here lies the county slain,

And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,

Who here hath lain these two days buried.

Go, tell the prince: run to the Capulets:

Raise up the Montagues: some others search:

We see the ground whereon these woes do lie;

But the true ground of all these piteous woes

We cannot without circumstance descry.

Re-enter some of the Watch, with Balthasar

Second Watchman

Here’s Romeo’s man; we found him in the churchyard.

First Watchman

Hold him in safety, till the prince come hither.

Re-enter others of the Watch, with Friar Laurence

Third Watchman

Here is a friar, that trembles, sighs and weeps:

We took this mattock and this spade from him,

As he was coming from this churchyard side.

First Watchman

A great suspicion: stay the friar too.

Enter the Prience and Attendants


What misadventure is so early up,

That calls our person from our morning’s rest?

Enter Capulet, Lady Capulet, and others


What should it be, that they so shriek abroad?

Lady Capulet

The people in the street cry Romeo,

Some Juliet, and some Paris; and all run,

With open outcry toward our monument.


What fear is this which startles in our ears?

First Watchman

Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain;

And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,

Warm and new kill’d.


Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes.

First Watchman

Here is a friar, and slaughter’d Romeo’s man;

With instruments upon them, fit to open

These dead men’s tombs.


O heavens! O wife, look how our daughter bleeds!

This dagger hath mista’en for, lo, his house

Is empty on the back of Montague,

And it mis-sheathed in my daughter’s bosom!

Lady Capulet

O me! this sight of death is as a bell,

That warns my old age to a sepulchre.

Enter Montague and others


Come, Montague; for thou art early up,

To see thy son and heir more early down.


Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to-night;

Grief of my son’s exile hath stopp’d her breath:

What further woe conspires against mine age?


Look, and thou shalt see.


O thou untaught! what manners is in this?

To press before thy father to a grave?


Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,

Till we can clear these ambiguities,

And know their spring, their head, their

true descent;

And then will I be general of your woes,

And lead you even to death: meantime forbear,

And let mischance be slave to patience.

Bring forth the parties of suspicion.

Friar Laurence

I am the greatest, able to do least,

Yet most suspected, as the time and place

Doth make against me of this direful murder;

And here I stand, both to impeach and purge

Myself condemned and myself excused.


Then say at once what thou dost know in this.

Friar Laurence

I will be brief, for my short date of breath

Is not so long as is a tedious tale.

Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet;

And she, there dead, that Romeo’s faithful wife:

I married them; and their stol’n marriage-day

Was Tybalt’s dooms-day, whose untimely death

Banish’d the new-made bridegroom from the city,

For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.

You, to remove that siege of grief from her,

Betroth’d and would have married her perforce

To County Paris: then comes she to me,

And, with wild looks, bid me devise some mean

To rid her from this second marriage,

Or in my cell there would she kill herself.

Then gave I her, so tutor’d by my art,

A sleeping potion; which so took effect

As I intended, for it wrought on her

The form of death: meantime I writ to Romeo,

That he should hither come as this dire night,

To help to take her from her borrow’d grave,

Being the time the potion’s force should cease.

But he which bore my letter, Friar John,

Was stay’d by accident, and yesternight

Return’d my letter back. Then all alone

At the prefixed hour of her waking,

Came I to take her from her kindred’s vault;

Meaning to keep her closely at my cell,

Till I conveniently could send to Romeo:

But when I came, some minute ere the time

Of her awaking, here untimely lay

The noble Paris and true Romeo dead.

She wakes; and I entreated her come forth,

And bear this work of heaven with patience:

But then a noise did scare me from the tomb;

And she, too desperate, would not go with me,

But, as it seems, did violence on herself.

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 rigour of severest law.


We still have known thee for a holy man.

Where’s Romeo’s man? what can he say in this?


I brought my master news of Juliet’s death;

And then in post he came from Mantua

To this same place, to this same monument.

This letter he early bid me give his father,

And threatened me with death, going in the vault,

I departed not and left him there.


Give me the letter; I will look on it.

Where is the county’s page, that raised the watch?

Sirrah, what made your master in this place?


He came with flowers to strew his lady’s grave;

And bid me stand aloof, and so I did:

Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb;

And by and by my master drew on him;

And then I ran away to call the watch.


This letter doth make good the friar’s words,

Their course of love, the tidings of her death:

And here he writes that he did buy a poison

Of a poor ‘pothecary, 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.

And I for winking at your discords too

Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish’d.


O brother Montague, give me thy hand:

This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more

Can I demand.


But I can give thee more:

For I will raise her statue in pure gold;

That while Verona by that name is known,

There shall no figure at such rate be set

As that of true and faithful Juliet.


As rich shall Romeo’s by his lady’s lie;

Poor sacrifices of our enmity!


A glooming peace this morning with it brings;

The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;

Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:

For never was a story of more woe

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.