Shakespeare’s Narrative Sources: Italian Novellas and Their European Dissemination

Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

Q1 Modernised​




            An Excellent Conceited Tragedy of

                          Romeo and Juliet.


        As it hath been often (with great applause)

         played publicly, by the right Honourable

                          the L. of Hunsdon

                              his Servants.








                       Printed by John Danter.






Two household friends alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,

From civil broils broke into enmity,

Whose civil war makes civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

A pair of star-crossed lovers took their life,

Whose misadventures, piteous overthrows,

Through the continuing of their father’s strife,

And death-marked passage of their parents’ rage,

Is now the two hours traffic of our stage;

The which if you with patient ears attend,

What here we want we’ll study to amend.












[BR: Argument]


[R&J-Q2:Chorus 1]







Enter 2. Servingmen of the Capulets.[ii]

[1.]  Gregory, of my word I’ll carry no coals.

2.  No, for if you do, you should be a collier.

1.  If I be in choler, I’ll draw.

2.  Ever while you live, draw your neck out of the collar.

1.  I strike quickly being moved.

2.  I, but you are not quickly moved to strike.

1.  A dog of the house of the Montagues moves me.

2.  To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand to it:

Therefore, of my word, if thou be moved thou’t run away.

1.  There’s not a man of them I meet, but I’ll take the wall of.

2.  That shows thee a weakling, for the weakest goes to the wall.

1.  That’s true, therefore I’ll thrust the men from the wall, and

thrust the maids to the walls: nay, thou shalt see I am  a tall

piece of flesh.

2.  ’Tis well thou art not fish, for if thou wert thou wouldst be

but poor John.

1.  I’ll play the tyrant, I’ll first begin with the maids, and off

with heir heads.

2.  The heads of the maids?

1.  Ay, the heads of their maids, or the maidenheads, take it in

what sense thou wilt.

2.  Nay let them take it in sense that feel it, but here comes two

of the Montagues.

1.a Sampson and

Gregory (witty and

bawdy punning).




1. The first brawl in the






Enter two Servingmen of the Montagues.

1.  Nay fear not me I warrant thee.

2.  I fear them no more than thee, but draw.

1.  Nay let us have the law on our side, let them begin first I’ll

tell thee what I’ll do, as I go by I’ll bite my thumb, which is

disgrace enough if they suffer it.

2.  Content, go thou by and bite thy thumb, and I’ll come after

and frown.

1.b Sampson and

Gregory discuss

how to start off a

quarrel with the






1. MON.  Do you bite your thumb at us?

1.  I bite my thumb.

2 MON.  Ay, but is’t at us?

1.  I bite my thumb, is the law on our side?

2.  No.

1.  I bite my thumb.

1. MON.  Ay, but is’t at us?


1.c Sampson,

Gregory and

Abraham start off a






Enter Benvolio.

2.  Say ‘Ay’, here comes my master’s kinsman.

They draw, to them enters Tybalt, they fight, to them the

Prince, old Montague, and his Wife, old Capulet and his Wife,

and other Citizens and part them.

1.d Enter Benvolio ad

Tybalyt. They fight.

Enter Capulet and his

wife, Montague and

his  wihe and





Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,

On pain of torture, from those bloody hands

Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground.

2.a The Prince’s

address to the

rebellious subjects.




2. Prince Escalus arrives

and rebukes the

Capulets and the









Three civil brawls bred of an airy word,

By the old Capulet and Montague,

Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets.


2.b Reference to the

past three civil






If ever you disturb our streets again,

Your lives shall pay the ransom of your fault.

For this time every man depart in peace.

Come, Capulet, come you along with me,

And Montague, come you this afternoon,

To know our farther pleasure in this case,

To old Freetown our common judgement place.

Once more, on pain of death, each man depart.         Exeunt.

[all but Montague, Montague’s Wife, and Benvolio]

2.c Threat of death

sentence. Capulet

and Montague are

summoned to

Freetown (“the

common judgement








Who set this ancient quarrel first abroach?

Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?


3.a Montague’s wife

enquires about who

set off the quarrel.




3. Benvolio’s narration

of the brawl.







Here were the servants of your adversaries

And yours close fighting ere I did approach.


3.b Benvolio’s






Ah, where is Romeo, saw you him to day?

Right glad I am he was not at this fray.


4.a Montague’s wife

enquires about





4. Benvolio’s and


presentation of Romeo’s

recent sadness and








Madam, an hour before the worshipped sun

Peeped through the golden window of the east,

A troubled thought drew me from company,

Where underneath the grove sycamore,

That westward rooteth from the city’s side,

So early walking might I see your son.

I drew towards him, but he was ware of me,

And drew into the thicket of the wood.

I noting his affections by mine own,

That most are busied when th’are most alone,

Pursued my honour, not pursuing his.

4.b Benvolio’s

narration of his

own seeing him

near a sycamore

tree early in the







Black and portentous must this [humour][iii] prove,

Unless good counsel do the cause remove.


Why tell me, uncle, do you know the cause?

4.c Montague’s

preoccupation about

Romeo’s sadness and

his incapacity to

unveil the cause.







Enter Romeo.


I neither know it nor can learn of him.


See where he is, but stand you both 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 Wife.]

4.d Benvolio is

entrusted with the

task of discovering

the cause of

Romeo’s sadness.






Good morrow cousin.

ROMEO                     Is the day so young?


But new stroke nine.

ROMEO                         Ay me, sad hopes seem long.

Was that my father that went hence so fast?


It was. What sorrow lengthens Romeo’s hours?


Not having that which, having, makes them short.

5.a Romeo and

Benvolio’s talk

about how Romeo’s

sadness expands






5. Benvolio and Romeo

talk about Romeo’s own

sadness due to

unrequited love.





BENVOLIO  In love.


BENVOLIO  Of love.


Out of her favour where I am in love.


Alas that love so gentle in her view,

Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof.


Alas that love whose view is muffled still,

Should without laws give pathways to our will.

Where shall we dine? Gods 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 anything, of nothing first create;

O heavy lightness, serious vanity,

Mishapen chaos of best-seeming things,

Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,

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

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

Doest thou not laugh?

BENVOLIO               No coz, I rather weep.


Good heart, at what?

BENVOLIO           At thy good heart’s oppression.


Why, such is love’s transgression,

Griefs of mine own lie heavy at my heart,

Which thou wouldst propagate to have them pressed

With more of thine, this grief 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 lover’s eyes,

Being vexed, a sea raging with a lover’s tears.

What is it else? A madness most discreet,

A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.

Farewell coz.

BENVOLIO     Nay I’ll go along.

And if you hinder me, you do me wrong.


Tut, I have lost my self, I am not here,

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

5.b Romeo’s

description of

unrequited love as

an oxymoronic

passion, whose pain

is increased by

Benvolio’s own

feelings of


Romeo’s avowal of

having lost himself.









Tell me in sadness whom she is you love?


What, shall I groan and tell thee?


Why no, but sadly tell me who.


Bid a sickman in sadness make his will.

Ah, word ill-urged to one that is so ill.

In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.


I aimed so right, when as you said you loved.


A right good mark-man, and she’s fair I love.


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


But 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 armed.

’Gainst Cupid’s childish bow she lives unharmed,

She’ll not abide the siege of loving terms,

Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold,

Ah she is rich in beauty, only poor,

That when she dies with beauty dies her store.     Exeunt.

5.c Romeo’s

description of the

cruel chastity

of his beloved.









Enter County Paris, old Capulet.


Of honourable reckoning are they both,

And pity ’tis they live at odds so long:

But leaving that, what say you to my suit?


What should I say more than I said before,

My daughter is a stranger in the world,

She hath not yet attained to fourteen years;

Let two more summers wither in their pride,

Before she can be thought fit for a bride.


Younger than she are happy mothers made.


But too soon marred are these so early married.

But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,

My word to her consent is but a part.

6.a Capulet and

Paris talk about the

sentence the Prince

has emitted and his

wish to keep the





6. Capulet talks with

Paris about Paris’s suit,

and Capulet invites him

to the feast.






This night I hold an old accustomed feast,

Whereto I have invited many a guest,

Such as I love; yet you among the store,

One more most welcome makes the number more.

At my poor house you shall behold this night,

Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.

Such comfort as do lusty young men feel,

When well-apparelled April on the heel

Of lumping winter treads, even such delights

Amongst fresh female buds shall you this night

Inherit at my house. Hear all, all see,

And like her most, whose merit most shall be.

Such amongst view, of many, mine being one,

May stand in number, though in reckoning none.

Enter Servingman.

Where are you sirrah? Go, trudge about,

Through fair Verona streets, and seek them out

Whose names are written here[v] and to them say:

My house and welcome at their pleasure stay.      Exeunt.

6.c Capulet invites

Paris to the feast

and urges him to

compare his

daughter to the

other beauties.

Capulet sends the

serving-man out

with order of

invitation of the

people listed on a

paper he gives him.









SERVINGMAN  “Seek them out whose names are written here”,

and yet I know not who are written here. I must to the learned

to learn of them, that’s as much to say, as the taylor must

meddle with his laste, the shoomaker with his needle, the

painter with his nets, and the fisher with his pencil, I must to

the learned.


7. The serving-man

can’t read the list of









Enter Benvolio and Romeo.


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

One pain is lessened with another’s anguish:

Turn backward, and be holp with 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 plantain leaf is excellent for that.

BENVOLIO  For what?

ROMEO  For your broken shin.

BENVOLIO  Why, Romeo, art thou mad?


Not mad, but bound more than a mad man is.

Shut up in prison, kept without my food,

Whipped and tormented,


8. Benvolio advises

Romeo to cure one

illness with another











                                            and Godd-e’en good fellow.

SERVINGMAN:  God gi’ go’den, I pray sir can you read?


I mine own fortune in my misery.

SERVINGMAN  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.

SERVINGMAN  Ye say honestly, rest you merry.

ROMEO  Stay fellow, I can read.

He reads the letter.

“Signor Martino and his wife and daughters,

County Anselme and his beauteous sisters,

The Lady widow of Utruvio,

Signor Placentio, and his lovely nieces,

Mercutio and his brother Valentine,

Mine uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters,

My fair niece Rosaline and Livia,

Signor Valentio and his cousin Tybalt,

Lucio and the lively Helena.”

A fair assembly, whether should they come?


ROMEO  Whether to supper?

SERVINGMAN  To our house.

ROMEO  Whose house?

SERVINGMAN. My master’s.


Indeed I should have asked thee that before.

SERVINGMAN  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.                                                                            [Exit.]


9. Benvolio and Romeo

meet Capulet’s serving

man and are informed

about the feast.








At this fame ancient feast of Capulet,

Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so loves,

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 fire,

And these who often drowned 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 weighed

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 seems best.


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

But to rejoice in splendour of mine own.


10. Benvolio suggests

that they go to the feast

so that Romeo may

compare Rosaline’s

beauty with other













Enter Capulet’s Wife and Nurse.


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


Now by my maiden head at twelve yeare old,

I bade her come. What lamb, what ladybird,

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

11.a Capulet’s wife

asks the Nurse to

call for Juliet.




11. Capulet’s wife

informs Juliet of Paris’

suit and asks her if she

can love him.





Enter Juliet.

JULIET  How now, who calls?

NURSE  Your mother.


Madam, I am here. What is your will?


This is the matter. Nurse, give leave a while,

We must talke in secret. Nurse, come back again,

I have rememberd me, thou’s hear our counsel.

Thou knowest my daughter’s of a pretty age.


Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.

[CAPULET’S] WIFE  She’s not fourteen.

NURSE:  I’ll lay fourteen of my teeth, and yet to my teen be it

spoken, I have but four, she’s not fourteen. How long is it now

to Lammas-tide?[vii]

[CAPULET’S] WIFE  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 weaned – 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 dovehouse 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 wi’th’dug!

“Shake”, quoth the dovehouse. ’Twas no need, I trow,

To bid me trudge.

And since that time it is eleven year:

For then could Juliet stand high-lone, nay by th’rood,

She could have waddled up and down,

For even the day before she brake her brow,

And then my husband – God be with his soul,

He was a merry man –

“Dost thou fall forward, Juliet?

Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,

Wilt thou not Juliet?” And by my holidam,

The pretty fool left crying and said “Ay”.

To see how a jest shall come about!

I warrant you, if I should live a hundred year,

I never should forget it, “Wilt thou not, Juliet?”

And by my troth, she stinted and cried “Ay”.


And stint thou too, I prithee, Nurse, say I.


Well, go thy ways. God mark thee for his grace,

Thou wert the prettiest babe that ever I nursed.

Might I but live to see thee married once,

I have my wish.

11.b Nurse’s bawdy

talk on Juliet’s age.







And that same marriage, Nurse, is the theme

I meant to talk of. Tell me, Juliet,

How stand you affected to be married:


It is an honour that I dream not of.


An honour! Were not I thy only nurse,

I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat.


Well girl, the noble County Paris seeks thee for his wife.


11.c Capulet’s wife

broaches the issue

of marriage and

Paris’ proposal.






A man, young lady, lady, such a man

As all the world. Why, he is a man of wax.


Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.


Nay, he is a flower, in faith, a very flower.

11.d Paris’s

qualities are praised

by the Nurse and

Capulet’s Wife.






Well, Juliet, how like you of Paris’ love.


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

But no more deep will I engage mine eye,

Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

11.e Juliet is asked

if she can love






Enter Clown.[viii]

CLOWN  Madam, you are called for, supper is ready, the

Nurse cursed in the pantry, all things in extreamitie, make

haste for I must be gone to wait.


12. The serving-man

announces the arrival of

the guests.







Enter masquers with Romeo and a Page.


What shall this speech be spoke for our excuse,

Or shall we on without apology?


The date is out of such prolixity;

We’ll have no Cupid hoodwinked 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.

13.a Romeo

wonders what to

say by way of

introduction, and

Benvolio replies

that no self-

presentation is







13. Romeo, Benvolio,

and Mercutio talk

before going to

Capulet’s house.






A torch for me I am not for this ambling,

Being but heavy I will bear the light.


Believe me, Romeo, I 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 stir.


13.b Romeo asks for

a torch and

claims that he’ll be

standing aside.










Give me a case to put my visage in,

A visor for a visor. What care I

What curious eye doth quote deformity?


13.d Mercutio asks

for a visor.






Give me a torch. Let wantons, light of heart,

Tickle the senselses rushes with their heels:

For I am proverbed with a grandsire phrase:

I’ll be a candle-holder and looke on,

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


Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s old word,

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

Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stickest.

13.f Romeo again

asks for a torch and

is teased by






Leave this talk, we burn day light here.


Nay, that’s not so.

MERCUTIO.          I mean, sir, in delay,

We burn our lights by night, like lamps by day,

Take our good meaning for our judgement fits

Three times a day, ere once in her right wits.

13.g Mercutio urges

them to get in.






So we mean well by going to this masque,

But ’tis no wit to go.

MERCUTIO             Why, Romeo, may one ask?

13.h Romeo shows

reluctance to go.






I dreamt a dream tonight.

MERCUTIO              And so did I.

ROMEO  Why what was yours?

MERCUTIO                               That dreamers often lie.


In bed asleep while they do dream things ture.

13.i Romeo

mentions a dream

he’s had.






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

BENVOLIO  Queen Mab? What’s she?


She is the fairies’ midwife and doth come

In shape no bigger than an agate stone

On the forefinger of a burgomaster,

Drawn with a team of little atomi,

Athwart men’s noses when they lie asleep.

Her wagon-spokes are made of spinners’ webs,

The cover of the wings of grashoppers,

The traces are the moonshine-watery beams,

The collars, crickets’ bones, the lash of films,

Her wagoner is a small gray-coated fly,

Not half so big as is a little worm,

Picked from the lazy finger of a maid,

And in this sort she gallops up and down

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

O’er courtiers’ knees, who straight on curtsies dream,

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

Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,

Because their breaths with sweet meats tainted are.

Sometimes she gallops ore a lawyer’s lap,

And then dreams he of smelling out a suit,

And sometime comes she with a tithe-pigs’ tail,

Tickling a parson’s nose that lies asleep,

And then dreams he of another benefice.

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

And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,

Of breaches, ambuscados, countermines,

Of healths five fathom deep, and then anon

Drums in his eare: at which he starts and wakes,

And swears a prayer or two and sleeps again.

This is that Mab that makes maids lie on their backs,

And proves them women of good cariage.

This is the very Mab

That plaits the manes of horses in the night,[ix]

And plaits the elf-locks in foul sluttish hair,

Which once untangled much misfortune breeds.

13.j Mercutio teases

Romeo with his

Queen Mab speech.






ROMEO  Peace, peace, thou talk’st of nothing.

MERCUTIO  True, I talk of dreams,

Which are the children of an idle brain,

Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,

Which is as thin a substance as the air,

And more inconstant than the wind, which woos

Even now the frozen bowels of the north,

And being angered puffs away in haste,

Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.

13.k Romeo stops

Mercutio short;

Mercutio comments

on dreams.







Come, come, this wind doth blow us from ourselves.

Supper is done and we shall come too late.

13.l Benvolio urges them to go.






I fear too early, for my mind misgives

Some consequence is hanging in the stars,

Which bitterly begins his feareful date

With this night’s revels, and expires the term

Of a dispised life, closed in this breast,

By some untimely forfeit of vile death.

But he that hath the steerage of my course

Directs my sail. On, lusty gentlemen.

13.m Romeo gives

voice to his bad

premonitions (life-

voyage metaphor).






Enter old Capulet with the Ladies.


Welcome gentlemen, welcome gentlemen!

Ladies that have their toes unplagued with corns

Will have about with you. Aha, my mistresses,

Which of you all will now refuse to dance?

She that makes dainty, she, I’ll swear hath corns.

Am I come near you now? Welcome gentlemen, welcome!

More lights, you knaves, and turn these tables up.

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

Ah, sirrah, this unlooked for sport comes well,

15.a Capulet

welcomes the






15. Romeo and Juliet

meet at the feast.


Nay sit, nay sit, good cousin Capulet,

For you and I are past our standing days,

How long is it since you and I were in a masque?


By Lady, sir, ’tis thirty years at least.


’Tis not so much, ’tis not so much.

’Tis since the marriage of Lucentio,

Come Pentecost as quickly as it will,

Some five-and-twenty years, and then we masqued.


’Tis more, ’tis more, his son is elder far.


Will you tell me that it cannot be so,

His son was but a ward three years ago?

Good youths, i’faith. O, youth’s a jolly thing.

15.b Capulet talks

with his cousin.






What lady is that that doth enrich the hand

Of yonder knight?

O she doth teach the torches to burn bright![x]

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night,

Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear,

Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.

So shines a snow-white swan trouping with crows,

As this fair lady over her fellows shows.

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

And touching hers, make happy my rude hand.

Did my heart love till now? Forsweare it sight,

I never saw true beauty till this night.

15.c Romeo sees










This by his voice should be a Mountague,

Fetch me my rapier boy. What dares the slave

Come hither cover’d with an antic face,

To scorn and jeer at our solemnity?

Now by the stock and honour of my kin,

To strike him dead I hold it for no sin.


Why, how now cousin, wherefore storm you so?


Uncle, this is a Mountague, our foe,

A villain that is hither come in spight

To mock at our solemnity this night.


Young Romeo, is it not?

TYBALT                           It is that villain Romeo.

CAPULET  Let him alone.

He bears him like a portly gentleman

And to speak truth, Verona brags of him

As of a virtuous and well-govern’d youth.

I would not for the wealth of all this town,

Here in my house, do him disparagement.

Therefore be quiet, take no note of him,

Bear a fair presence, and put off these frowns,

An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.


It fits when such a villain is a guest,

I’ll not endure him.


He shall be endured. Go to, I say he shall.

Am I the master of the house or you?

You’ll not endure him? God shall mend my soul,

You’ll make a mutiny amongst my guests,

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


Uncle, ’tis a shame.

CAPULET.             Go to, you are a saucy knave.

This trick will scathe you one day, I know what.

Well said, my hearts – Be quiet! [To Tybalt.]

More light, you knave, or I will make you quiet.


Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting

Makes my flesh tremble in their different greetings.

I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall,

Now seeming sweet, convert to bitter gall.

15.d Tybalt

recognises Romeo

and quarrels with

Capulet over him.


[DP:5] ?










If I prophane with my unworhy hand,

This holiest shrine, the gentle sin is this:

My lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand,

To smooth the rough touch with a gentle kiss.


Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,

Which mannerly devotion shows in this:

For saints have hands which holy palmers touch,

And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.


Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?


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


Why then, fair saint, let lips do what hands do,

They pray; yield thou, least faith turn to dispair.


Saints do not move, though grant, nor prayer forsake.


Then move not till my prayer’s effect I take. [He kisses her.]

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


Then have my lips the sin that they have took.


Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged!

Give me my sin again. [They kiss.]

JULIET.                        You kiss by the book.


15.e Romeo and

Juliet meet (the

shared sonnet and

the first kiss).

















NURSE  Madam, your mother calls.


What is her mother?

NURSE[xi]                        Marry, batchelor,

Her mother is the lady of the house,

And a good lady, and a wise, and a virtuous.

I nursed her daughter that you talked withall,

I tell you, he that can lay hold of her

Shall have the chinks.

ROMEO                     Is she a [Capulet]?[xii]

Oh dear account! My life is my foe’s thrall.

15.f. The Nurse

interrupts Romeo

and Juliet. Romeo

discovers who Juliet











Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone,

We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.

They whisper in his ears,

I pray you let me entreat you. Is it so?

Well, then, I thank you honest gentlemen,

I promise you but for your company,

I would have been abed an hour ago.

Light to my chamber, ho!                                           Exeunt.

15.g Capulet says

goodbye to his







Nurse, what is yonder gentleman?


The son and heir of old Tiberio.


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


That as I think is young Petruchio.


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

NURSE  I know not.


Goe learn his name. If he be married,

My grave is like to be my wedding bed.


His name is Romeo and a Mountague,

The onely 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 is this to me,

That I should love a loathed enemy.

NURSE  What’s this? What’s that?

JULIET  Nothing, Nurse, but a rhyme I learnt even now of one

I danced[xiii] with.

NURSE. Come, your mother stays for you. I’ll go along with

you.                                                                            Exeunt.

15.h Juliet discovers

who Romeo is.










Enter Romeo alone.


Shall I go forward and my heart is here?

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


16.a Romeo

withdraws and

remains in the





16. Romeo remains in

the orchard while

Benvolio and Mercutio

look for him.






Enter Benvolio, Mercutio.

BENVOLIO  Romeo, my cousin Romeo!

MERCUTIO  Doest thou hear he is wise,

Upon my life, he hath stol’n him hom to bed.


He came this way, and leapt this orchard wall.

Call good Mercutio.

MERCUTIO[xiv]             Call, nay I’ll conjure too.

Romeo! Madman! Humours! Passion! [Lover!][xv]

Appear thou in 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 nickname for her purblind son and heir

Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so trim

When young King Cophetua loved the beggar wench.

He hears me not.

I conjure the by Rosalind’s bright eye,

High forehead, and scarlet lip,

Her pretty foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh,

And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,

That in thy likeness thou appeare to us.


If he do hear the thou wilt anger him.


Tut, this cannot anger him, marry if one

Should raise a spirit in his mistress’ circle

Of some strange fashion, making it there to stand

Till she had laid it, and conjured it down,

That were some spite. My invocation

Is fair and honest, and in his mistress’ name

I conjure only but to raise up him.


Well he hath hid himself amongst those trees,

To be comforted with the humorous night,

Blind in his love, and best befits the dark.


If love be blind, love will not hit the mark.

Now will he sit under a medlar tree,

And wish his mistress were that kinde of fruit,

As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.

Ah Romeo that she were, ah that she were

An open et cetera, thou a pop’rin’ pear.

Romeo, good night. I’ll to my trundle bed:

This field bed is too cold for me.

Come, let’s away, for ’tis but vain,

To seek him here that means not to be found.

16.b Benvolio and

Mercutio look for

Romeo and tease

him (mock








He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

But soft, what light forth yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun,

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon

That 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 pale and green,

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

She speaks, but she says nothing. What of that?

Her eye discourseth, I will answer it.

I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks,

Two of the fairest stars in all the skies,

Having some business, do entreat her eyes

To twinckle in their spheres till they return

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

The brightness of her cheeks 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.

Oh, now she leans her cheeks upon her hand,

I would I were the glove to that same hand,

That I might kiss that cheek.

JULIET                                  Ay me.

ROMEO                                              She speaks,

Oh, speak again bright angel, for thou art

As glorious to this night being over 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.


Ah 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 to this?


’Tis but thy name that is mine enemy.

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

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part.[xvi]

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 called,

Retain the divine perfection he owes

Without that title. Romeo, part thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee,

Take all I have.

17.a Romeo sees

Juliet at the

window and

overhears her





17. The first balcony

scene. Romeo and Juliet

exchange vows of love

and decide to married.






ROMEO           I take thee at thy word,

Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptised,

Henceforth I never will be Romeo.


17.b Romeo speaks

to Juliet without

presenting himself.






What man art thou, that thus bescreened in night,

Doest stumble on my counsel?


By a name I know not how to tell thee.

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 Mountague?


Neither, fair saint, if either thee displease.

17.c Juliet

recognizes him by

his voice.






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.


By love’s light wings did I o’rperch 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 find thee they will murder thee.


Alas, there lies more peril in thine eyes,

Then twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet,

And I am proof against their enmity.


I would not for the world they should find thee here.


I have night’s cloak to hide [me][xvii] from their sight,

And but thou love me let them find me here:

For life were better ended by their hate,

Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.


By whose directions found’st thou out this place?


By love, who first did prompt me to enquire.

Ay, he gave me counsel and I lent him eyes.

I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far

As that vast shore, washed with the furthest sea,

I would adventure for such merchandise.


17.d Juliet asks

Romeo how he got

there and urges him

to go away, being

enemy to her

family; Romeo

expresses his love.












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

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheeks,

For that which thou hast heard me speake to night.

Fain would I dwell on form; fain, fain deny,

What I have spoke; but farewell compliments.

Doest thou love me? Nay, I know thou wilt say “Ay”,

And I will take thy word. But if thou swear’st,

Thou mayst prove false. At lovers’ perjuries

They say Jove smiles. Ah gentle Romeo,

If thou love, pronounce it faithfully.[xviii]

Or if thou think I am too easily won,

I’ll frown and say thee nay and be perverse.

So thou wilt woo: but else not for the world.

In truth, fair Mountague, I am too fond,

And therefore thou mayst think my haviour light;

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

Than they that have more cunning to be strange.

I should have been 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.


By yonder blessed moon I swear,

That tips with silver all these fruit trees tops –


O sweare not by the moon, the unconstant moon,

That monthly changeth in her circled orb,

Least that thy love prove likewise variable.


Now by –

JULIET        Nay, do not swear at all,

Or if thou swear, swear by thy glorious self,

Which art the god of my idolatry,

And I’ll believe thee.

ROMEO                      If my true heart’s love –

17.e Juliet is

ashamed of her

own outspokenness

and asks for a proof

of his love.






Swear not at all, though I do joy in thee,

I have small joy in this contract tonight,

It is too rash, too sudden, too unadvised,

Too like the lightning that doth cease to be

Ere one can say it lightens.

17.f Juliet is worried

about the rashness

of their love and

wishes him good






                             I hear some coming,

Dear love adieu. Sweet Mountague, be true,

Stay but a little, and I’ll come again.


O blessed, blessed night, I fear, being night,

All this is but a dream I hear and see,

Too flattering true to be substantial.

17.h Juliet hears

somebody coming.






Three words, good Romeo, and good night indeed.

If that thy bent of love be honourable,

Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow

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

Where and what time thou wilt perform that rite,

And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay,

And follow thee, my lord, throughout the world.


Love goes toward love like schoolboys from their books,

But love from love, to school with heavy looks.

17.i Juliet asks

Romeo to marry her

and promises to

send him somebody

the following day.

She goes in.











Romeo, Romeo! O for a falc’ner’s voice,

To lure this tassel-gentle back again.

Bondage is hoarse and may not cry aloud,

Else would I tear the cave where echo lies,

And make her airy voice as hoarse as mine

With repetition of my Romeo’s name.



It is my soul that calls upon my name,

How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues in night.

JULIET  Romeo?

ROMEO  Madam?


At what o’clock tomorrow shall I send?

ROMEO  At the hour of nine.


I will not fail, ’tis twenty years till then.

I have forgot why I did call thee back.[xix]


Let me stay here till you remember it.


I shall forget, to have thee still stay here,

Remembering how I love thy company.


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

Forgetting any other home but this.


’Tis almost morning, I would have thee gone,

But yet no further then 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 pulls it back again,

Too loving-jealous of his liberty.


Would I were thy bird.

JULIET                     Sweet, so would I,

Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing thee.

Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow,

That I shall say good night till it be morrow.


Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace on thy breast.

I would that I were sleep and peace, [so][xx] sweet to rest.

Now will I go to my ghostly father’s cell,

His help to crave, and my good hap to tell

17.j Juliet comes out

again and they

decide to get in

touch by nine the

following morning.

They part.











Enter Friar [Laurence.][xxi]


The grey-ey’d morn smiles on the frowning night,

Check’ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light,

And flecked darkeness like a drunkard reels

From forth day’s path, and Titan’s fiery wheels.

Now ere the sun advance his burning eye,

The world to cheer, and night’s dark dew to dry,

We must upfill this oasier cage of ours,

With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.

O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies

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

For naught so vile, that vile on earth doth live,

But to the earth some special good doth give;

Nor naught so good, but strained from that fair use,

Revolts to vice and stumbles 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 medecine power:

For this, being smelt too, with that part cheers each heart,

Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.

Two such opposed foes 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.

18.a Friar Laurence

is returning to his

cell with a basket

full of herbs.













18. Romeo goes to the

Friar and asks him to

marry them.







Good morrow to my ghostly confessor.

FRIAR  Benedicite.

What early tongue so soon saluteth me?

Young son, it argues a distempered head,

So soon to bid good morrow to my bed.

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

And where care lodgeth, sleep can never lie;

But where unbrusied youth with unstuffed brains

Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep remains.

Therefore thy earliness doth me assure,

Thou art uproused by some distemperature.

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

Our Romeo hath not been abed to night.


The last was true, the sweeter rest was mine.


God pardon sin! Wert thou with Rosaline?


With Rosaline? My ghostly father, no.

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


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


I tell thee ere thou ask it me again:

I have been feasting with mine enemy,

Where on the sudden one hath wounded me

That’s by me wounded. Both our remedies

Within thy help and holy physic lies.

I beare no hatred, blessed man, for lo,

My interecession likewise steads my foe.


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

Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.

18.b Romeo salutes

the Friar and the

Friar asks him if he

has been up all

night, supposing

with Rosaline.






Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set

On the fair daughter of rich Capulet:

As mine on hers, so hers likewise on mine,

And all combined, save what thou must combine

By holy marriage. Where, and when, and how,

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

I’ll tell thee as I pass. But this I pray,

That thou consent to marry us today.

18.c Romeo avows

his love for Juliet

and asks him to

marry them.











Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!

Is Rosaline whom thou didst love so dear

So soon forsook? Lo, young men’s love then lies

Not truely in their hearts, but in their eyes.

Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine

Hath washed thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline?

How much salt water cast away in waste,

To season love, that of love doth not taste.

The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,

Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears,

And lo, upon thy cheek the stain doth sit,

Of an old tear that is not washed off yet.

If ever thou wert thus, and these woes thine,

Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline.

And art thou changed? Pronounce this sentence then:

Women may fall when ther’s no strength in men.


Thou chids’t me oft for loving Rosaline.


For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.


And bads’t me bury love.

FRIAR                                Not in a grave,

To lay one in another out to have.


I prithee, chide not, she whom I love now

Doth grace for grace, and love for love allow:

The other did not so.

FRIAR.                      O, she knew well

Thy love did read by rote, and could not spell.

18.d The Friar

rebukes him for

being a young










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 housholds’ rancour to pure love.         Exeunt.

18.e The Friar

eventually offers to

help him and

favours this

alliance. He rebukes

them for their














Enter Mercutio, Benvolio.

MERCUTIO  Why, what’s become of Romeo? Came he not

home to night?


Not to his father’s, I spake 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:

[MERCUTIO][xxiii]  Some challenge, on my life.

BENVOLIO  Romeo will answer it

MERCUTIO  Ay, any man that can write may answer a letter.

BENVOLIO  Nay, he will answer the letter’s master if he be


19.a Benvolio

informs Mercutio

that Tybalt has sent

a challenge to





19. Benvolio tells

Mercutio about Tybalt’s

challenge sent to

Romeo; Romeo informs

the Nurse about the

plan for the secret







MERCUTIO  Who, Romeo? Why, 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?

BENVOLIO  Why, what is Tybalt?

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

the couragious captain of compliments. Catso, he fights as you

sing prick-song, keeps time, dstance, and proportion, rests me

his minim rest, one, Two, and the third in your bosom; the very

butcher of a silken 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 hay!

BENVOLIO  The what?

MERCUTIO  The pox of such limping, antic, affecting

fantasticoes, these new tuners of accents. By Jesu, a very good

blade, a very tall man, a very good whore. Why, grandsire, is

not this a miserable case that we should be still afflicted with

these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardon-me’s,

that stand so much on the new form, that they cannot sit at

ease on the old bench. O, their bones, theyr bones!

19.b Mercutio

mocks Romeo and

describes Tybalt as

the Prince of Cats.








BENVOLIO  Here comes Romeo.

MERCUTIO  Without his roe, like a dried herring. O flesh, flesh,

how art thou fishified! Sirrah, now is he for the numbers that

Petrarch flowed in: Laura to his lady was but a kitchin drudge,

yet she had a better love to berhyme her; Dido a dowdy,

Cleopatra a gypsie, Hero and Helen hildings and harlotries;

Thisby a grey eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signor Romeo,

bonjour, there is a French curtsy to your French stop: you gave

us the counterfeit fairly yesternight.

ROMEO  What counterfeit, I pray you?

MERCUTIO. The slip, the slip, can you not conceive?

ROMEO  I cry you mercy, my busines was great, and in such

a case as mine, a man may strain courtesy.

MERCUTIO  O, that’s as much to say as such a case as yours

will constrain a man to bow in the hams.

ROMEO  A most courteous exposition.

MERCUTIO  Why, I am the very pink of courtesy.

ROMEO  Pink for flower?


ROMEO  Then is my pump well flowered.

MERCUTIO  Well said, follow me now that jest till thou hast

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

jest may remain, after the wearing, solely singular.

ROMEO  O single-soled jest, solely singular for the singleness.

MERCUTIO  Come between us, good Benvolio, for my wits


ROMEO  Swits and spurs, swits and spurs, or I’ll cry a match.

MERCUTIO  Nay if thy wits run the wildgoose chase, I have

done: for I am sure thou hast more of the goose in one of thy

wits, than I have in all my five. Was I with you there for the


ROMEO  Thou were never with me for an thing when, thou

wert not with me for the goose.

MERCUTIO  I’ll bite thee by the ear for that jest.

ROMEO Nay, good goose, bite not.

MERCUTIO  Why, thy wit is a bitter sweeting, a most sharp


ROMEO  And was it not well serv’d in to a sweet goose?

MERCUTIO  Oh here is a wit of cheverel that stretcheth from

an inch narrow to an ell broad.

ROMEO  I stretched it out for the word ‘broad’, which, added

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

MERCUTIO  Why is not this better now than groaning for

love? Why, now art thou sociable, now art thou thy self, now

art thou what thou art, as well by art as nature. This drivelling

love is like a great natural, that runs up and down to hide his

babble in a hole.

BENVOLIO  Stop there.

MERCUTIO  Why thou wouldst have me stop my tale against

the hair.

BENVOLIO  Thou wouldst have made thy tale too long?

MERCUTIO  Tut, man thou art deceived, I meant to make it

short, for I was come to the whole depth of my tale, and meant

indeed to occupy the argument no longer.

ROMEO Here’s goodly gear.

19.c Romeo joins

them and they start

joking around.






Enter Nurse and her man [Peter.]

MERCUTIO  A sail, a sail, a sail!

BENVOLIO  Two, two, a shirt and a smock.

NURSE  Peter, prithee, give me my fan.

MERCUTIO  Prithee do, good Peter, to hide her face: for her

fan is the fairer of the two.

NURSE  God ye good morrow, gentlemen.

MERCUTIO  God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.

NURSE. Is it ‘God ye good den?’ I pray you.

MERCUTIO  ’Tis no less, I assure you, for the baudy hand of

the dial is even now upon the pricke of noon.

NURSE  Fie, what a man is this?

ROMEO  A Gentleman, Nurse, that God hath made for himself

to mar.

NURSE  By my troth, well said: for himself to mar, quoth he?

I pray, you can any of you tell where one may find young


ROMEO  I can: but young Romeo will be elder when you have

found him, than he was when you sought him, I am the

youngest of that name for fault of a worse.

NURSE  Well said.

MERCUTIO  Yea, is the worst well? Mass, well noted,

wisely, wisely.

NURSE  If you be he sir, I desire some conference with you.

BENVOLIO  O, belike she means to invite him to supper.

MERCUTIO  So ho, a bawd, a bawd, a bawd!

ROMEO  Why, what hast found, man?

MERCUTIO  No hare sir, unless it be a hare in a Lenten pie,

that is somewhat stale and hoar ere it be eaten.

He walks by them, and sings.

And an old hare hoar, and an old hare hoar,

Is very good meat in Lent.

But a hare that’s hoar is too much for a score,

If it hoar ere it be spent

You’ll come to your father’s to supper?

ROMEO  I will.

MERCUTIO  Farewell, ancient Lady, farewell sweet lady.

Exeunt Benuolio, Mercutio.

19.d The Nurse and

Peter arrive and

Mercutio teases her.





NURSE  Marry, farewell. Pray, what saucy merchant was this that was so full of his rope-ripe?

ROMEO  A gentleman, Nurse, that loves to hear himself talk,

and will speak more in an hour than he will stand to in a month.

NURSE  If he stand to any thing against me, I’ll take him down

if he were lustier than he is. If I cannot take him, down I’ll find

them that shall. I am none of his flirt-gills, I am none of his

skains mates.

She turns to Peter her man.

And thou like a knave must stand by, and see every Jack use

me at his pleasure.

PETER I see no body use you at his pleasure. If I had, I would

soon have drawn: you know my tool is as soon out as

another’s if I see time and place.

NURSE  Now, afore God, he hath so vexed me, that every

member about me quivers: scurvy Jack! But, as I said, my lady

bade me seek ye out, and what she bade me tell ye, that I’ll keep

to myself. But if you should lead her into a fool’s paradise, as

they say, it were a very gross kind of behaviour, as they say, for

the gentlewoman is young. Now, if you should deal doubly with

her, it were very weak dealing, and not to be offered to any


ROMEO  Nurse, commend me to thy lady, tell her I protest –

NURSE  Good heart, i’faith I’ll tell her so: oh she will be a joyful


ROMEO  Why, what wilt thou tell her?

NURSE  That you do protest: which, as I take it, is a

gentlemanlike proffer.


Bid her get leave to morrow morning

To come to shrift to Friar Laurence’ cell,

And stay thou, Nurse, behind the Abbey wall.

My man shall come to thee, and bring along

The cords, made like a tackled stair,

Which to the hightop-gallant of my ioy

Must be my conduct in the secret night.

Hold, take that for thy pains.

NURSE  No, not a penny, truly.

ROMEO  I say you shall not choose.

NURSE  Well, tomorrow morning she shall not fail.

ROMEO  Farewell, be trusty, and I’ll quit thy paine.     Exit.

NURSE  Peter, take my fan and go before.

Ex[eunt] omnes.

19.e Romeo informs

the Nurse about the

plan for the secret

marriage which will

take place in the

afternoon. Romeo

offers the Nurse

some money.













Enter Juliet.


The clock struck nine when I did send my Nurse,

In half an hour she promised to return.

Perhaps she cannot finde him. That’s not so.

O, she is lazy. Love’s heralds should be thoughts,

And run more swift than hasty powder fiered

Doth hurry from the fearful cannon’s mouth.

20.a Juliet is

anxious about the

Nurse who has not

come back yet (it is

12 a.m).




20. The Nurse informs

Juliet about the plan for

the secret marriage.






Enter Nurse.

O, now she comes! Tell me, gentle Nurse,

What says my love?


20.b The Nurse

arrives and tells

Peter to stay at the







O I am weary, let me rest a while.

Lord how my bones ache. O where’s my man?

Give me some aquavitae.


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

NURSE  Fie, what a jaunt have I had! And my back a’t’

other side. Lord, Lord, what a case am I in.


But tell me, sweet Nurse, what says Romeo?

NURSE  Romeo, nay, alas you cannot choose a man. He’s no

body, he is not the flower of curtesy, he is not a proper man;

and for a hand, and a foote, and a body – well go thy way

wench, thou hast it i’faith, Lord, Lord, how my head beats!


What of all this? Tell me, what says he to our marriage?


Marry, he says like an honest gentleman,

And a kind, and I warrant, a virtuous –

Where’s your mother?


Lord, Lord, how oddly thou repliest?

“He says, like a kind gentleman,

And an honest, and a virtuous –

Where’s your mother?”


Marry, come up, cannot you stay a while?

Is this the poultice for mine aching bones?

Next errand you’ll have done, even do’t yourself.


Nay, stay sweet Nurse, I do entreat thee now,

What says my love, my lord, my Romeo?


Go, hie you straight to Friar Laurence’ cell,

And frame a scuse that you must go to shrift:

There stays a bridegroom to make you a bride.

Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks,

I must provide a ladder made of cords,

With which your lord must climb a bride’s nest soon.

I must take pains to further your delight,

But you must bear the burden soon at night.

Doth this news please you now?


How doth her latter words revive my heart!

Thanks, gentle Nurse, dispatch thy business,

And I’lll not fail to meet my Romeo.                         Exeunt.

20.c The Nurse

praises Romeo,

postpones all

answer, and

eventually tells

Juliet about the

plan for the secret

marriage, and

Romeo’s getting

into her room at









Enter Romeo, Friar.


Now, Father Laurence, in thy holy grant

Consists the good of me and Juliet.


Without more words I will do all I may,

To make you happy if in me it lie.


This morning here she pointed we should meet,

And consummate those never-parting bands,

Witness of our hearts’ love, by joyning hands,

And come she will.

FRIAR                     I guess she will indeed,

 Youth’s love is quick, swifter than swiftest speed.


21.a The Friar and

Romeo wait for

Juliet, and the Friar






21 The secret marriage.


















Enter Juliet somewhat fast, and embraceth Romeo.

See where she comes.

So light of foot ne’er hurts the trodden flower:

Of love and joy, see, see the sovereign power.



My Juliet, welcome. As do waking eyes

Closed in night’s mists, attend the frolic day,

So Romeo hath expected Juliet,

And thou art come.

JULIET                   I am, if I be day,

Come to my sun: shine forth, and make me fair.


All beauteous fairness dwelleth in thine eyes.


Romeo from thine all brightness doth arise.


Come, wantons, come, the stealing hours do pass,

Defer embracements till some fitter time.

Part for a while, you shall not be alone,

Till holy Church have joyned ye both in one.


Lead, holy Father, all delay seems long.


Make haste, make haste, this lingering doth us wrong.


O, soft and fair makes sweetest work, they say.

Haste is common hind’rer in cross’ way.       Exeunt omnes.

21.b Juliet arrives.

The Friar invites

them to go with

him for the

celebration of the







Enter Benvolio, Mercutio [and boy.]


I prithee, good Mercutio, let’s retire,

The day is hot, the Capels are abroad.

MERCUTIO  Thou art like one of those that, when he comes

into the confines of a tavern, claps me his rapier on the board,

and says, “God send me no need of thee”. And by the operation

of the next cup of wine, he draws it on the drawer, when

indeed there is no need.

BENVOLIO  Am I like such a one?

MERCUTIO  Go too, thou art as hot a Jack being moved, and as

soon moved to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved.

BENVOLIO  And what too?

MERCUTIO  Nay, and there were two such, we should have

none shortly. Didst not thou fall out with a man for cracking

of nuts, having no other reason, but because thou hadst hazel

eyes? What eye but such an eye would have picked out such a

quarrel? With another for coughing because he waked thy dog

that lay asleep in the sun? With a taylor for wearing his new

dublet before Easter: and with another for tying his new shoes

with old ribbons. And yet thou wilt forbid me of quarrelling.

BENVOLIO  By my head, here comes a Capulet.

22.a Knowing that the

Capulets are

roaming the streets

of Verona, Benvolio

wants to retire.

Mercutio refuses.




22. A new brawl erupts

between the Montagues

and the Capulets in

Verona’s streets.






Enter Tybalt.

MERCUTIO  By my heel, I care not.

TYBALT Gentlemen, a word with one of you.

MERCUTIO  But one word with one of us? You had best couple

it with somewhat, and make it a word and a blow.

TYBALT  I am apt enough to that if I have occasion.

MERCUTIO  Could you not take occasion?

TYBALT  Mercutio, thou consorts with Romeo?

MERCUTIO  Consort? Zounds, consort? The slave will make

fiddlers of us. If you do, sirrah, look for nothing but discord:

for here’s my fiddlestick.


22.b Tybalt arrives.

Tybalt and

Mercutio start
















Enter Romeo.

TYBALT  Well, peace be with you, here comes my man.

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

go before into the field, and he may be your follower, so in that

sense your worship may call him ‘man’.


Romeo, the hate I bear to thee can afford

No better words then these: thou art a villain.[xxiv]


22.c Romeo arrives.

Tybalt challenges









Tybalt, the love I bear to thee, doth excuse

The appertaining rage to such a word:

Villain am I none, therefore I well perceive

Thou know’st me not.[xxv]

TYBALT  Base boy –

This cannot serve thy turn, and therefore draw.[xxvi]


I do protest I never injured thee,

But love thee better than thou canst devise,

Till thou shalt know the reason of my love.[xxvii]


22.d Romeo refuses

to fight and protests

his love for Tybalt.







O dishonuorable vile submission.

Alla stoccado carries it away.

You, rat-catcher, come back, come back.[xxviii]

TYBALT  What wouldest with me?

MERCUTIO  Nothing, King of Cats, but borrow one of your

nine lives, therefore come draw your rapier out of your

scabbard, least mine be about your ears ere you be aware.

22.e Mercutio

intervenes and

fights with Tybalt.





ROMEO  Stay, Tybalt! Hold, Mercutio! Benvolio, beat down

their weapons!

Tybalt under Romeo’s arms thrusts Mercutio in and flies.


23.a Romeo

tries to stop the fight

and Mercutio is

mortally wounded

by Tybalt. Tybalt flees.





23. Mercutio is killed by


MERCUTIO  Is he gone, hath he nothing? A pox on your houses.

ROMEO  What, art thou hurt, man, the wound is not deep.

MERCUTIO  No, not so deep as a well, not so wide as a barn-

door, but it will serve, I warrant. What meant you to come

between us? I was hurt under your arm.

ROMEO  I did all for the best.

MERCUTIO  A pox of your houses! I am fairly dressed. Sirrah,

go fetch me a surgeon.

BOY  I go my lord.

MERCUTIO  I am peppered for this world, I am sped, i’faith;

he hath made worms’ meat of me. And ye ask for me

tomorrow you shall find me a grave man. A pox of your

houses! I shall be fairly mounted upon four men’s shoulders,

for your house of the Mountagues and the Capulets. And then

some peasantly rogue, some sexton, some base slave shall write

my epitapth, that Tybalt came and broke the Princes’ laws, and

Mercutio was slain for the first and second cause. Where’s the


BOY  He’s come sir.

MERCUTIO  Now he’ll keep a mumbling in my guts – on the

other side – come Benvolio, lend me thy hand. A pox of your

houses!                                                                       Exeunt.

23.c Mercutio exits

assisted by

Benvolio (joking

about his wound

but eventually

cursing the two







This gentleman, the Prince’s neer ally,

My very friend hath ta’en this mortal wound

In my behalf, my reputation stained

With Tybalt’s slander, Tybalt that an hour

Hath been my kinsman. Ah Juliet,

Thy beauty makes me thus effeminate,

And in my temper softens valour’s steel.

23.d Romeo blames

Juliet’s beauty for

making him






Enter Benvolio.


Ah Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead,

That gallant spirit hath aspir’d the clouds,

Which too untimely scorned the lowly earth.


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

This but begins what other days must end.

23.e Benvolio

re-enters and


Mercutio’s death.




Enter Tybalt.


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.

Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,

Which late thou gav’st me: for Mercutio’s soul

Is but a little way above the clouds,

And stays for thine to bear him company.

Or thou, or I, or both shall follow him.

Fight, Tybalt falls.


24.a Romeo throws

caution to the

winds, assails

Tybalt, they fight

and he kills him.









24. Romeo kills Tybalt.







Romeo, away, thou seest that Tybalt’s slain.

The citizens approach, away, be gone!

Thou wilt be taken.

ROMEO                   Ah, I am fortune’s slave.          [Exit.][xxix]

24.b Benvolio urges

him to leave and

Romeo flees away.





Enter Citizens.

WATCH  Where’s he that slave Mercutio, Tybalt, that villain?


There is that Tybalt.

[WATCH]               Up, sirrah, go with us.


25.a Enter Citizens

and start inquiring

about Tybalt’s and

Mercutio’s deaths.





25. Benvolio’s narration.






Enter Prince, Capulet’s Wife.


Where be the vile beginners of this fray?


Ah, noble Prince, I can discover all

The most unlucky manage of this brawl.

Here lies the man slain by young Romeo,

That slew thy kinsman brave Mercutio,


Tybalt, Tybalt, O my brother’s child,

Unhappy fight! Ah the blood is spilt

Of my dear kinsman. Prince, as thou art true,

For blood of ours, shed blood of Mountague.


Speake, Benvolio, who began this fray?

25.b Enter the

Prince, and asks

who started

the fight while. Lady

Capulet grieves

over Tybalt’s body.





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

Romeo, who spake him fair, bid him bethink

How nice the quarrel was.

But Tybalt still persisting in his wrong,

The stout Mercutio drew to calm the storm,

Which Romeo seeing called “Stay gentlemen!”

And on me cried, who drew to part their strife,

And with his agil arm young Romeo,

As fast as tongue cried peace, fought peace to make.

While they were interchanging thrusts and blows,

Under young Romeo’s labouring arm to part,

The furious Tybalt cast an envious thrust,

That rid the life of stout Mercutio.

With that he fled, but presently return’d,

And with his rapier braved Romeo,

That had but newly entertain’d revenge,

And ere I could draw forth my rapier

To part their fury, down did Tybalt fall,

And this way Romeo fled.

25.c Benvolio’s

narration of the







He is a Montague and speaks partial,

Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,

And all those twenty could but kill one life.

I do entreat, sweet Prince, thou’lt justice give:

Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo may not live.

26.a Lady Capulet

asks for a death

sentence to be

pronounced against








26. The Prince’s verdict.







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 large 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 for abuses.

Pity shall dwell and govern with us still;

Mercy to all but murderers, pardoning none that kill.

Exeunt omnes.


26.c The Prince

sentences Romeo to











Enter Juliet.


Gallop apace you fiery-footed steeds

To Phoebus’ mansion. Such a wagoner

As Phaeton, would quickly bring you thither,

And send in cloudy night immediately.


27.a Juliet eagerly

waits for her

wedding night with







27. Juliet learns about

Tybalt’s death and

Romeo’s exile.






Enter Nurse wringing her hands, with the ladder of cords in

her lap.

But how now, Nurse? O Lord, why look’st thou sad?

What hast thou there, the cords?


Ay, ay, the cords. Alack, we are undone,

We are undone, lady, we are undone.


What devil art thou that torments me thus?


Alack the day, he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead.


This torture should be roared in dismal hell.

Can heavens be so envious?

NURSE  Romeo can if heavens cannot.

27.b Enters the

Nurse announcing

someone’s death

and Juliet

understands it is






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

God save the sample, on his manly breast.

A bloody corpse, a piteous bloody corpse,

All pale as ashes. I swounded at the sight.

27.d The Nurse says

she saw the wound

and fainted.






Ah, Romeo, Romeo, what disaster hap

Hath severed thee from thy true Juliet?

Ah, why should heaven so much conspire with woe,

Or fate envy our happy marriage,

So soon to sunder us by timeless Death.

27.e Juliet wishes

her heart to break

and be dead.











O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had,

O honest Tybalt, courteous gentleman.


What storm is this that blows so contrary?

Is Tybalt dead, and Romeo murdered?

My dear-loved cousin, and my dearest lord?

Then let the trumpet sound a general doom.

These two being dead, then living is there none.


Tybalt is dead, and Romeo banished,

Romeo that murdered him is banished.


Ah heavens, did Romeo’s hand shed Tybalt’s blood?


It did, it did, alack the day it did.

27.f The Nurse tells

her that Tybalt is

dead, killed by

Romeo who

therefore has been








O serpent’s hate, hid with a flow’ring face,

O painted sepulcher, including filth.

Was never book containing so foul matter

So fairly bound. Ah, what meant Romeo?


27.g Juliet curses

Romeo’s angelic

looks hiding a

fiendish nature.








There is no truth, no faith, no honesty in men:

All false, all faithless, perjured, all forsworn.

Shame come to Romeo.

27.h The Nurse also

curses Romeo.






A blister on that tongue, he was not born to shame.

Upon his face shame is ashamed to sit.

But wherefore villain didst thou kill my cousin?

That villain cousin would have killed my husband.

All this is comfort.

27.i Juliet rebukes

the Nurse and

repents the words

she has just said

against Romeo,

whom she has just









                                But there yet remains

Worse than his death, which fain I would forget.

But ah, it presseth to my memory,

Romeo is banished. Ah that word “banished”

Is worse than death. “Romeo is banished”

Is father, mother, Tybalt, Juliet,

All killed, all slain, all dead, all banished.

27.l Juliet muses

over Romeo’s

banishment and its






Where are my father and my mother Nurse?


Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corpse.

Will you go to them?

27.m Juliet asks the

Nurse about her

parents and she

answers they are

crying over Tybalt’s

dead body.





JULIET                  Ay, ay, when theirs are spent,

Mine shall he shed for Romeo’s banishment.

27.n Juliet cries over

Romeo’s banishment.









Lady, your Romeo will be here to night,

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

27.o The Nurse says

she will find










Do so, and bear this Ring to my true knight,

And bid him come to take his last farewell.               Exeunt.

27.p Juliet gives her

a ring for Romeo.






Enter Friar.


Romeo, come forth, come forth, thou fearful man,

Affliction is enamoured on thy parts,

And thou art wedded to calamity.

Enter Romeo.


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

What sorrow craves acquaintance at our hands,

Which yet we know not.

FRIAR.                            Too familiar

Is my young son with such sour company.

I bring thee tidings of the Prince’s doom.


What less than doomesday is the Prince’s doom?


A gentler judgement vanished from his lips,

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


Ha, banished? Be merciful, say death:

For exile hath more terror in his looks

Than death itself, do not say banishment.


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 banished from the world:

And world-exiled is death. Calling death “banishment”,

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

And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.


Oh monstrous sin, O rude unthankfulness,

Thy fault our law calls death, but the mild Prince,

Taking thy part, hath rushed aside the law,

And turned that black word “death” to “banishment”.

This is mere 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 may seize

On the white wonder of fair Juliet’s skin,

And steal immortal kisses from her lips;

But Romeo may not, he is banished.

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

O father, hadst thou no strong poison mixed,

No sharp ground-knife, no present mean of death,

Though ne’er so mean, but “banishment”

To torture me withal? Ah, “banished”.

O Friar, the damned use that word in hell:

Howling attends it. How hadst thou the heart,

Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,

A sin-absolver, and my friend professed,

To mangle me with that word, “banishment”?


Thou, fond madman, hear me but speak a word.


O, thou wilt talk again of banishment.


I’ll give thee armour to bear off this word,

Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy,

To comfort thee though thou be 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.


O, now I see that madmen have no ears.


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


Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.


Thou canst not speak of what 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.

28.a Romeo learns

from the Friar that

the Prince banished

him from Verona

and plunges into

the depths of






28. Romeo goes to Friar

Laurence’s cell and

learns he has been

exiled from Verona.






Nurse knocks.


Romeo arise, stand up, thou wilt be taken.

I hear one knock, arise and get thee gone.


Ho, Friar!

FRIAR  God’s will, what wilfulness is this?

She knocks again.

NURSE  Ho, Friar, open the door,

FRIAR  By and by I come. Who is there?

NURSE  One from lady Juliet.

FRIAR  Then come near.


O holy Friar, tell me, O holy Friar,

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


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


O, he is even in my mistress’ case.

Just in her case! O, woeful simpathy,

Piteous predicament, even so lies she,

Weeping and blubbering, blubbering and weeping.

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?

He rises.

ROMEO  Nurse.


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 stained the childhood of her joy,

With blood remov’d but little from her own?

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

My conceal’d lady to our cancelled love?


O, she saith nothing, but weeps and pules,

And now falls on her bed, now on the ground,

And Tybalt cries, and then on Romeo calls.

28.b Enters the

Nurse bringing

Juliet’s news: the

girl is also


despairing and

keeps crying in her







As if that name shot from the deadly level of a gun

Did murder her, as that name’s cursed hand

Murdered her kinsman. Ah tell me, holy Friar,

In what vile part of this anatomy

Doth my name lie? Tell me that I may sack

The hateful mansion?

He offers to stab himself, and Nurse snatches the dagger away.


28.c Romeo

threatens to kill









Hold, stay thy hand! Art thou a man? Thy form

Cries out thou art, but thy wild acts denote

The unreasonable furies of a beast.

Unseemely 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 tempered.

Hast thou slain Tybalt? Wilt thou slay thy self?

And slay thy lady too, that lives in thee?

Rouse up thy spirits, thy lady Juliet lives,

For whose sweet sake thou wert but lately dead;

There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee,

But thou slewest Tybalt; there art thou happy too.

A pack of blessings lights upon thy back,

Happiness courts thee in his best array,

But like a misbehaved and sullen wench

Thou frown’st upon thy Fate that smiles on thee.

Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.

28.d The Friar

rebukes him.






Go get thee to thy love as was decreed:

Ascend her chamber window, hence, and comfort her,

But look thou stay not till the watch be set:

For then thou canst not pass to Mantua.

28.e The Friar tells

Romeo to pay one

last visit to his wife

and then leave for

Mantua before








Nurse, provide all things in a readiness.

Comfort thy mistress, haste the house to bed,

Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto.


Good Lord, what a thing learning is! I could

Have stayed here all this night to hear good counsel. Well, sir,

I’ll tell my lady that you will come.[xxxii]


Do so and bid my sweet prepare to [chide],[xxxiii]

Farwell, good Nurse.


28.f The Friar tells

the Nurse to inform

Juliet about

Romeo’s visit.








Nurse offers to go in and turns again.


Here is a ring, sir, that she bade me give you.


How well my comfort is revived by this.             Exit Nurse.

28.g The Nurse

gives Juliet’s ring to







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

And he shall signify from time to time,

Every good hap that doth befall thee here.



But that a ioy, past joy cries out on me,

It were a grief so brief to part with thee.

28.h The Friar tells

Romeo to go and that

he will keep informed







Enter old Capulet and his Wife, with County Paris.


Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily,

That we have had no time to move my daughter.

Look ye, sir, she loved her kinsman dearly,

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

Wife, wher’s your daughter, is she in her chamber?

I think she means not to come down tonight.


These times of woe afford no time to woo,

Madam, farwell, commend me to your daughter.

29.a Capulet tells

Paris he could not

speak to Juliet

because of Tybalt’s





29. Capulet gives his

daughter to Paris.






Paris offers to go in, and Capulet calls him again.


Sir Paris? I’ll make a desperate tender of my child.

I think she will be ruled in all respects by me.

But soft, what day is this?

PARIS.  Monday, my lord.

CAPULET  O, then Wednesday is too soon,

On Thursday let it be, you shall be married.

We’ll make no great ado, a friend or two, or so.

For look ye, sir, Tybalt being slain so lately,

It will be thought we held him carelessly.

If we should revel much, therefore we will have

Some half a dozen friends and make no more ado.

But what say you to Thursday?


My lord I wish that Thursday where tomorrow.


Wife, go you to your daughter, ere you go to bed.

Acquaint her with the County Paris’ love,

Farewell, my lord, till Thursday next.

Wife, get you to your daughter. Light to my chamber.

Afore me, it is so very very late,

That we may call it early by and by.                         Exeunt.

29.b Capulet

suddenly changes

his mind and sets a

date (the following

Thursday) for her

marriage with

Paris, and begs his

wife to inform the

girl about his















Enter Romeo and Juliet at the window.


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,

And not the nightingale. See, love, what envious strakes

Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day

Stands tiptoes on the mysty mountain tops.

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


Yon light is not daylight, I know it, I:

It is some meteor that the sun exhales,

To be this night to thee a torch-bearer,

And light thee on thy way to Mantua.

Then stay awhile, thou shalt not go soon.


Let me stay here, let me be ta’en, and die.

If thou wilt have it so, I am content.

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

It is the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow.

I’ll say it is the nightingale that bear

The vaulty heaven so high above our heads,

And not the larke the messenger of morn.

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

What says my love? Let’s talk, ’tis not yet day.


It is, it is. Be gone, fly hence, 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 this divideth us.

Some say the lark and loathed toad change eyes,

I would that now they had changed voices too,

Since arm from arm her voice doth us affray,

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

So now be gone, more light and light it grows.


More light and light, more dark and dark our woes.

30.a The two lovers

amorously bicker

over which bird is

singing outside

Juliet’s window








30. Romeo and Juliet

share their last farewell.






Farewell my love, one kiss and I’ll descend.

He goeth down.


Art thou gone so, my lord, my love, my friend?

I must hear from thee every day in the hour,

For in an hour there are many minutes.

Minutes are dayes, so will I number them.

O, by this count I shall be much in years

Ere I see thee again.


Farewell, I will omit no opportunity

That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.


Oh, think’st thou we shall ever meet againe?


No doubt, no doubt, and all this woe shall serve

For sweet discourses in the time to come.


O God, I have an ill-divining soul!

Me thinks I see thee, now thou art below

Like one dead in the bottom of a tomb:

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

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

Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu.                   Exit.

30.c Romeo leaves

from Juliet’s

window: the two

lovers have an

ominous feeling.












Enter Nurse hastily.


Madam beware, take heed the day is broke,

Your mother’s coming to your chamber, make all sure.

She goeth down from the window.

Enter Juliet’s Mother, Nurse.

[CAPULET’S WIFE][xxxiv]  Where are you, daughter?

NURSE  What, lady, lamb, what Juliet?

JULIET  How now, who calls?

NURSE  It is your mother.

[CAPULET’S WIFE][xxxv]  Why, how now Iuliet?

JULIET  Madam, I am not well.


What, evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?

I think thou’lt wash him from his grave with tears.


I cannot choose, having so great a loss.

[CAPULET’S WIFE][xxxvii]  I cannot blame thee.

But it grieves thee more that villain lives.

JULIET  What villain, madam?

[CAPULET’S WIFE][xxxviii]  That villain Romeo.


Villain and he are many miles asunder.


Content thee, girl. If I could find a man,

I soon would send to Mantua where he is,

That should bestow on him so sure a draught,

As he should soon beare Tybalt company.


Find you the means, and I’ll find such a man:

For whilst he lives, my heart shall ne’er be light

Till I behold him – dead – is my poor heart.

Thus for a kinsman vexed.

31.a Enters the Nurse

announcing the

arrival of Lady

Capulet. Once

arrived, Lady Capulet

asks Juliet the reason

for her protracted

weeping. Juliet

wishes she could

revenge Tybalt’s

death  and her

mother promises that

she will send

someone to Mantua

in order to settle the







31. Lady Capulet tells

Juliet about her

upcoming marriage to








Well, let that pass. I come to bring thee joyful news?


And joy comes well in such a needful time.


Well then, thou hast a careful father, girl,

And one who, pitying thy needful state,

Hath found thee out a happy day of ioy.


What day is that I pray you?

[CAPULET’S WIFE][xlii]            Marry my child,

The gallant, young and youthful gentleman,

The County Paris at Saint Peters’ Church,

Early next Thursday morning must provide,

To make you there a glad and joyful bride.

31.b Lady Capulet

tells Juliet that she

has joyful tidings

for her: she will be

married to Paris on

the following







Now by Saint Peter’s Church and Peter too,

He shall not there make me a joyful bride.

Are these the news you had to tell me of?

Marry, here are news indeed! Madam,

I will not marry yet. And when I do,

It shall be rather Romeo, whom I hate,[xliii]

Than County Paris, that I cannot love.

31.c Juliet is upset,

and fefuses to be

married to Paris






Enter old Capulet.


Here comes your father, you may tell him so.

31.d Juliet’s mother

is taken aback and

tells her to talk to

her father.








Why, how now, evermore show’ring?

In one little body thou resemblest a sea, a bark, a storm.

For this thy body, which I terme a bark,

Still floating in thy ever-falling tears,

And tossed with sighs arising from thy heart,

Will without succour shipwreck presently.

But hear you, wife, what, have you sounded her?

What says she to it?[xlv]


I have, but she will none; she thanks ye.

Would God that she were married to her grave.


What, will she not? Doth she not thank us?

Doth she not wax proud?[xlvii]


32.a Enters Capulet.

He learns from his

wife about his

daughter’s refusal.






32. Juliet confronts her








Not proud ye have, but thankful that ye have:

Proud can I never be of that I hate,

But thankful even for hate that is meant love.

32.b Juliet confirms

her refusal to get

married to Paris.











“Proud” and “I thank you”, and “I thank you not”,

And yet “not proud”. What’s here, chop logick?

Proud me no prouds, nor thank me no thanks,

But settle your fine joints on Thursday next

To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,

Or I will drag you on a hurdle thither.

Out you green-sickness baggage! Out you tallow face!


32.c Capulet gets









JULIET  Good father, hear me speak.        She kneels down.


I tell thee what: either resolve on Thursday next

To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,

Or henceforth never look me in the face.

Speak not, reply not, for my fingers itch.

Why, wife, we thought that we were scarcely blessed

That God had sent us but this onely child.

But now I see this one is one too much,

And that we have a cross in having her.


32.d Juliet begs her

father to listen to

her but he violently

abuses her.







Marry, God in heaven bless her, my lord,

You are to blame to rate her so.


And why, my Lady Wisdom? Hold your tongue,

Good Prudence, smatter with your gossips, go.

NURSE  Why, my lord, I speak no treason.

CAPULET  O God ’i’good e’en!

Utter your gravity over a gossip’s bowl,

For here we need it not.

[CAPULET’S WIFE][xlviii]  My lord, ye are too hot.

32.e Capulet is deaf

to his wife’s and the

Nurse’s invitations

to calm down.





God’s blessed mother, wife, it mads me.

Day, night, early, late, at home, abroad,

Alone, in company, waking or sleeping,

Still my care hath been to see her matched.

And having how found out a gentleman,

Of princely parentage, youthful, and nobly trained,

Stuffed, as they say, with honourable parts,

Proportioned as one’s heart could wish a man:

And then to have a wretched winning fool,

A puling mammet in her fortune’s tender,

To say “I cannot love, I am too young,

I pray you pardon me”.[xlix]

But if you cannot wed, I’ll pardon you.

Graze where you will, you shall not house with me.

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

I tell yee what, Thursday is near,

Lay hand on heart, advise, bethink yourself,

If you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend.

If not, hang, drown, starve, beg,

Die in the streets: for by my soul

I’ll never more acknowledge thee,

Nor what I have shall ever do thee good.

Think on’t, looke to’t, I do not use to jest.                     Exit.

32.f Capulet tells

Juliet that she can

either obey or be cut

off and disowned. He







Is there no pity hanging in the clouds,

That looks into the bottom of my woes?

I do beseech you, madam, cast me not away,

Defer this marriage for a day or two,

Or if you cannot, make my marriage bed

In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.


Nay, be assured, I will not speak a word.

Do what thou wilt, for I have done with thee.           Exit.

33.a Juliet wishes that

her mother could

help her, but Lady

Capulet  turns her

down and exits.





33. Juliet turns for help

to her mother and to the








Ah Nurse, what comfort? What counsel canst thou give me?


Now trust me, madam, I know not what to say.

Your Romeo, he is banished, and all the world to nothing.

He never dares return to challenge you.

Now I think good you marry with this County.

O, he is a gallant gentleman. Romeo is but a dish-clout

In respect of him. I promise you.[li]

I think you happy in this second match.

As for your husband, he is dead, or ’twere

As good he were, for you have no use of him.[lii]

JULIET  Speak’st thou this from thy heart?


Ay, and from my soul, or else beshrew them both.


NURSE  What say you, madam?

33.b Juliet then

turns to the Nurse

who advises her to

marry Paris and

forget about Romeo

as if he were dead.







Well, thou hast comforted me wondrous much,

I pray thee, go thy ways unto my mother,

Tell her I am gone, having displeased my father,

To Friar Laurence’ cell to confess me,

And to be absolv’d.

NURSE                I will, and this is wisely done.

She looks after Nurse.

33.c Juliet pretends

to appreciate the

Nurse’s advice.







Ancient damnation! O most cursed fiend!

Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,

Or to dispraise him with the self-same tongue

That thou hast praised him with above compare

So many thousand times? Go, counsellor,

Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.

33.d Juliet curses

the Nurse for her ill

advice as soon as

she exits.





I’ll to the Friar to know his remedy,

If all fail else, I have the power to die.                        Exit.

33.e Juliet decides

to go to Friar

Laurence for help

or, if he cannot help

her either, kill

herself. She exits.







Enter Friar and Paris.


On Thursday say ye: the time is very short.


My father Capulet will have it so,

And I am nothing slack to slow his haste.


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 talked of love.

For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.

Now, sir, her father thinks 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 ye know the reason of this haste.


I would I knew not why it should be slowed.

34.a Paris discusses

his marriage with

Friar Laurence.

Paris justifies its

being so sudden by

referring to Juliet’s

excessive mourning

over Tybalt’s death.




34. Paris and Juliet meet

at the Friar’s cell.






Enter [Juliet.][liii]

Here comes the lady to my cell.


Welcome my love, 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                       That’s a certain text.


What, come ye to confession to the Friar?


To tell you that were to confess to you.


Do not deny to him that you love me.


I will confess to you that I love him.


So I am sure you will that you love me.


And if I do, 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 by that report.


That is no wrong, sir, that is a truth:

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


Thy face is mine, and thou hast slandered 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?


My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now.

My lord, we must entreat the time alone.


God shield I should disturb devotion.


Farewell, and keep this holy kiss.

Exit Paris.

34.b Enters Juliet.

She tells Paris she

has come for

confession. Exits







Go, shut the door, and when thou hast done so,

Come, weep with me that am past cure, past help.


Ah, Juliet, I already know thy grief.

I hear thou must and nothig may prorogue it,

On Thursday next be married to the County.


Tell me not, Friar, that thou hear’st of it,

Unless thou tell me how we may prevent it.

Give me some sudden counsel; else 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.

Speak not, be brief: for I desire to die,

If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

35.a Juliet declares

that she is ready to

commit suicide

rather than

marrying Paris.






35. The Friar’s ‘fake

death’ plan.







Stay, Juliet, I do spy a kind of hope,

Which craves as desperate an execution,

As that is desperate we would prevent.

If rather than to marry County Paris

Thou hast the strength or will to slay thyself,

’Tis not unlike that thou wilt undertake

A thing like death to chide away this shame,

That cop’st with death itself to fly from blame;

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


O bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,

From off the battlements of yonder tower;

Or chain me to some steepy mountain’s top,

Where roaring bears and savage lions are;

Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house,

With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless sculls;

Or lay me in tomb with one new dead –

Things that to hear them named have made me tremble –

And I will do it without fear or doubt,

To keep my self a faithful unstained wife

To my dear lord, my dearest Romeo.


Hold, Juliet, hie thee home, get thee to bed,

Let not thy Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber;

And when thou art alone, take thou this vial,

And this distilled liquor drink thou off;

When presently through all thy veines shall run

A dull and heavy slumber, which shall sieze

Each vital spirit, for no pulse shall keep

His natural progress, but surcease to beat,

No sign of breath shall testify thou liv’st;

And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death,

Thou shalt remain full two-and-forty hours.

And when thou art laid in thy kindred’s vault,

I’ll send in haste to Mantua to thy lord,

And he shall come and take thee from thy grave.


Friar I go, be sure thou send for my dear Romeo.       Exeunt.

35.b Laurence tells

her that there is

still hope; he gives

her a sleeping

potion, and

instructs her about

the ‘fake death’













Enter old Capulet, his Wife, Nurse, and Servingman.

CAPULET  Where are you sirrah?

SERVINGMAN  Here, forsooth.

CAPULET  Go, provide me twenty cunning cooks.

SERVINGMAN  I warrant you, sir, let me alone for that. I’ll

know them by licking their fingers.

CAPULET  How canst thou know them so?

SERVINGMAN  Ah, sir, ’tis an ill cook cannot lick his own fingers.

CAPULET  Well, get you gone.                   Exit Servingman.

36.a. Capulet

discusses some

details of the

wedding feast with

his servants.




36. Juliet feigns

repentance in front of

her father. The wedding

is moved up to the

following day.






But where’s this headstrong?


She’s gone, my Lord, to Friar Laurence’ cell

Too be confessed.


Ah, he may hap to do some good of her,

A headstrong self-willed harlotry it is.


36.b Capulet is

happy to hear that

Juliet has gone to

see Friar Laurence.





Enter Juliet.


See, here she commeth from confession,


How now my headstrong, where have you been gadding?


Where I have learned to repent the sin

Of froward wilful opposition

’Gainst you and your behests, and am enjoined

By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here,

And crave remission of so foul a fact.

She kneels down.


36.c Juliet comes

back home and

expresses her

repentance to her







[CAPULET’S WIFE][lvi]  Why, that’s well said.


Now, before God, this holy reverent Friar

All our whole city is much bound unto.

Go, tell the County presently of this,

For I will have this knot knit up tomorrow.


36.d Capulet is

pleased by the news

and decides to move

up the wedding to

the following day.








Nurse, will you go with me to my closet,

To sort such things as shall be requisite

Against to morrow?


I prithee do, good Nurse, go in with her:

Help her to sort tires, rebatos, chains,

And I will come unto you presently,


Come sweet heart, shall we go?

JULIET.                                  I prithee, let us.

Exeunt Nurse and Juliet.


36.e Juliet asks the

Nurse to help her

choose the


for the wedding.










Methinks on Thursday would be time enough.


I say I will have this dispatched tomorrow.

36.f Capulet insists

that he wants to

move up the

wedding to the

following day.





Go one and certify the Count thereof.


I pray my Lord, let it be Thursday.


I say tomorrow, while she’s in the mood.


We shall be short in our provision.


Let me alone for that, go, get you in.

Now before God my heart is passing light,

To see her thus conformed to our will.                      Exeunt.

36.g Capulet tells

his wife that he will

personally attend to

the organization of

the wedding feast.





Enter Nurse, Juliet.


Come, come, what need you anything else?


Nothing, good Nurse, but leave me to myself,

For I do mean to lie alone to night.

NURSE  Well, there’s a clean smock under your pillow, and so

goodnight.                                                                      Exit.

Enter [CAPULET’S WIFE][lxi]


What, are you busie, do you need my help?


No, madam, I desire to lie alone,

For I have many things to think upon.


Well then, good night, be stirring Juliet,

The County will be early here tomorrow.                      Exit.


37.a Juliet has

chosen her attire

for the wedding and

begs both the Nurse

and her mother to

leave her alone for

the night.










37. Juliet drinks the

Friar’s potion and is

believed to be dead.







Farewell – God knows when we shall meet again.

Ah, I do take a fearful thing in hand.


37.b Juliet says

goodbye and is








What if this potion should not work at all,

Must I of force be married to the County?

This shall forbid it. – Knife, lie thou there.


37.c Juliet is

worried about the

effectiveness of the

potion and places a

knife beside her.







What if the Friar should give me this drink

To poison me, for fear I should disclose

Our former marriage? Ah, I wrong him much,

He is a holy and religious man;

I will not entertain so bad a thought.


37.d Juliet briefly

calls into doubt the

honourableness of

the Friar’s






What if I should be stifled in the tomb?

Awake an hour before the appointed time:

An then I fear I shall be lunatic,

And playing with my dead forefathers’ bones,

Dash out my frantic brains.


37.e Juliet fears to

die anyway, either

suffocated or

terrified by the

place she will find

herself in.









                                       Methinks I see

My cousin Tybalt welt’ring in his blood,

Seeking for Romeo: stay, Tybalt, stay!

37.f  She thinks she

sees Tybalt’s ghost.








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

She falls upon her bed within the curtains.


37.g Juliet

eventually drinks

the potion and









Enter Nurse with herbs, [Capulet’s Wife.][lxiv]


That’s well said, Nurse, set all in readiness,

The County will be here immediately.

Enter Capulet.[lxvi]


Make haste, make haste, for it is almost day,

The curfew bell hath rung, ’tis four o’clock,

Look to your backed meats, good Angelica.

NURSE  Go, get you to bed, you cotquean. I’faith you will be

sick anon.

CAPULET  I warrant thee, Nurse, I have ere now watched all

night, and have taken no harm at all.

[CAPULET’S WIFE.][lxvii] I you have been a mouse hunt in your



38.a Lady Capulet

and the Nurse

bicker with Old

Capulet over who

will be in charge of

the feast.




38. Capulet’s house is

animated by the

upcoming celebration.






Enter a Servingman with logs and coals.

CAPULET  A jealous hood, a jealous hood! Now now sirrah?

What have you there?

SERVINGMAN  Forsooth, logs.

CAPULET  Go, go, choose drier. Will will tell thee where thou

shalt fetch them.

SERVINGMAN  Nay, I warrant, let me alone, I have a head, I

trow, to choose a log.                                                        Exit.


38.b Capulet gives

instructions to the

servingmen and

urges them to be







Well, go thy way, thou shalt be loggerhead.

Come, come, make haste, call up your daughter,

The County will be here with music straight.

Gods me, he’s come. Nurse call up my daughter.


38.c The bridegroom

has arrived and

Capulet tells the

Nurse to wake

Juliet up.






NURSE  Go, get you gone. [Exeunt Capulet and his Wife.]

What lamb, what ladybird? Fast, I warrant.

What, Juliet! Well, let the County take you in your bed.

Ye sleep for a week now, but the next night

The County Paris hath set up his rest

That you shall rest but little. What lamb, I say!

Fast still. What, lady, love, what, bride, what Juliet!

Gods me, how sound she sleeps! Nay, then I see

I must wake you indeed. What’s here,

Laid on your bed, dressed in your cloaths and down –

Ah me, alack the day! Some aqua-vitae, ho!


39.a The Nurse goes

into Juliet’s room

and starts to call

her to wake her up.






39. Juliet is found

(apparently) dead in her







Enter [Capulet’s Wife.][lxviii]

[CAPULET’S WIFE.][lxix]How now whats the matter?


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


39.b  Lady Capulet

arrives, alerted by

the Nurse’s cries.









Accursed, unhappy, miserable time!


39.c Lady Capulet and









Enter [Capulet.][lxxi]

CAPULET  Come, come, make haste! Where’s my daughter?

[CAPULET’S WIFE.][lxxii]  Ah, she’s dead, she’s dead!

CAPULET  Stay, let me see, all pale and wan.

Accursed time, unfortunate old man!


39.f They all start







Enter Friar and Paris.


What is the bride ready to goe to Church?


Ready to go, but never to return.

O, son, the night before thy wedding day,

Hath Death lain with thy bride. Flower as she is,

Deflowered by him, see, where she lies,

Death is my son-in-law, to him I give all that I have.


39.g Enter Laurence

and Paris: Capulet

tells them about

Juliet’s death (death

as lover motif).






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

And doth it now present such prodigies?

Accursed, unhappy, miserable man,

Forlorn, forsaken, destitute I am;

Born to the world to be a slave in it.

Distressed, remediless, and unfortunate.

O heavens, O nature, wherefore did you make me

To live so vile, so wretched as I shall.


O here she lies that was our hope, our ioy,

And being dead, dead sorrow nips us all.

All at once cry out and wring their hands.


All our joy, and all our hope is dead,

Dead, lost, undone, absented, wholly fled.


Cruel, unjust, impartial destinies,

Why to this day have you preserv’d my life?

To see my hope, my stay, my joy, my life,

Deprived of sense, of life, of all by death.

Cruel, unjust, impartial destinies.


O sad-fac’d sorrow map of misery,

Why this sad time have I desired to see.

This day, this unjust, this impartial day

Wherein I hop’d to see my comfort full,

To be deprived by sudden destiny.

[CAPULET’S WIFE.][lxxiv]

O wo, alack, distressed, why should I live?

To see this day, this miserable day.

Alack the time that ever I was born,

To be partaker of this destiny.

Alack the day, alack and welladay!


39.h Paris, Capulet,

and Lady Capulet,

mourn over the

girl’s body.








O peace for shame, if not for charity.

Your daughter lives in peace and happiness,

And it is vain to wish it otherwise.

Come, stick your rosemary in this dead corpse,

And as the custom of our country is,

In all her best and sumptuous ornaments,

Convey her where her ancestors lie tomb’d.


39.i Friar Laurence

tries to comfort

them saying that

Juliet is now in






Let it be so. Come, woeful sorrow-mates,

Let us together taste this bitter fate.

They all but the Nurse go forth, casting rosemary on her and

shutting the curtains.


39.j They mornfully

cast rosemary on

her bed and shut the







Enter Musicians.


Put up, put up, this is a woeful case.                                 Exit.

1.  I by my troth, Mistress, is it, it had need be mended.

Enter Servingman.

40.a  The Nurse sends

the musicians away.




40. Enter some

musicians (comic







SERVINGMAN  Alack, alack, what shal I do, come fiddlers

play me some merry dump.

1.  A sir, this is no time to play.

SERVINGMAN  You will not then?

1.  No, marry, will we.

SERVINGMAN  Then will I give it you, and soundly to.

1.  What will you give us?

SERVINGMAN  The fiddler. I’ll re you, I’ll fa you, I’ll sol you.

1.  If you re us and fa us, we will note you.

SERVINGMAN  I will put up my iron dagger, and beat you with

my wooden wit. Come on, Simon Soundpost, I’ll pose you.

1.  Let’s hear.


When griping grief the heart doth wound,

And doleful dumps the mind oppress,

Then music with her silver sound –

Why “silver sound”? Why “silver sound”?

1.  I think because music hath a sweet sound.

SERVINGMAN  Pretty. What say you Mathew Minikin?

2.  I think because Musicians sound for silver.

SERVINGMAN  Pretty too: come, what say you?

3.  I say nothing.

SERVINGMAN  I think so. I’ll speak for you because you are the

singer. I say “silver sound” because such fellows as you have

seldom gold for sounding. Farewell, fiddlers, farewell.   Exit.

1. Farewell and be hanged! Come, let’s go.                   Exeunt.


40.b The musicians

bicker with the








Enter Romeo.


If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,

My dream presaged some good event to come.

My bosom-lord sits chearful in his throne,

And I am comforted with pleasing dreams.

Methought I was this night already dead –

Strange dreams that give a dead man leave to think –

And that my lady Juliet came to me,

And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,

That I revived and was an emperor.


41.a Romeo’s

dream: he was dead

and was revived by

Juliet’s kiss.


41. Romeo learns about

Juliet’s death and

decides to go back to






Enter Balthasar his man booted.

News from Verona. How now, Balthasar,

How doth my lady? Is my father well?

How fares my Juliet? That I ask again.

If she be well, then nothing can be ill.


Then nothing can be ill, for she is well,

Her body sleeps in Capels’ monument,

And her immortal parts with angels dwell.

Pardon me, sir, that am the messenger

Of such bad tidings.[lxxv]


41.b  Balthasar

arrives bringing news

about Juliet’s death.

He tells Romeo that

she has been buried

in the family tomb.







Is it even so? Then I defy my stars.

Go, get mee ink and paper, hire post-horse,

I will not stay in Mantua tonight.


Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you thus;

Your looks are dangerous and full of fear.

I dare not, nor I will not leave you yet.


Do as I bid thee, get me ink and paper,

And hire those horse. Stay not, I say.             Exit Balthasar.


41.c Romeo decides

to return to Verona

immediately. He

asks for ink and

paper and post











Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight.

Let’s see for means.

41.e Romeo resolves

to lie with Juliet that










                                    As I do remember

Here dwells a ’pothecary whom oft I noted

As I passed by, whose needy shop is stuffed

With beggerly accounts of empty boxes;

And in the same an alligator hangs,

Old ends of packthread, and cakes of roses

Are thinly strewd to make up a show.

Him as I noted, thus with myself I thought:

And if a man should need a poison now,

Whose present sale is death in Mantua

Here he might buy it. This thought of mine

Did but forerun my need;


41.f Romeo

remembers where a

poor apothecary

lives (description of

his shop).






                                          and here about he dwells.

Being holiday the beggar’s shop is shut.

What ho! Apothecary, come forth I say.

Enter Apothecary.


Who calls, what would you sir?

ROMEO                                      Here’s twenty ducats,

Give me a dram of some such speeding gear,

As will dispatch the weary taker’s life,

As suddenly as powder being fiered

From forth a cannon’s mouth.

41.g Romeo goes to

the apothecary’s

shop and asks for

some deadly









Such drugs I have I must of force confess,

 But yet the law is death to those that sell them.


41.h The

apothecary says

that the sale of

poison is prohibited

by Mantua’s laws.







Art thou so bare and full of poverty,

And dost thou fear to violate the law?

The law is not thy friend, nor the law’s friend,

And therefore make no conscience of the law.

Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,

And starved famine dwelleth in thy cheeks.


My poverty, but not my will, consents.


I pay thy poverty, but not thy will.

41.i Convinced by

Romeo’s money

and his own

neediness, he sells

Romeo the poison.









APOTHECARY  Hold, take you this, and put it in any liquid

thing you will, and it will serve had you the lives of twenty men.



41.j The apothecary

tells Romeo about the

power of the poison.








Hold, take this gold, worse poison to men’s souls

Than this which thou hast given me. Go, hie thee hence;

Go, buy the clothes, and get thee into flesh.


41.k Romeo says

that gold is a

stronger poison.





Come, cordial and not poison, go with me

To Juliet’s grave, for there must I use thee.                Exeunt.


41.l The poison will

be for him as a

cordial. He will

drink it at Juliet’s







Enter Friar John.


What, Friar Laurence, brother, ho?


This same should be the voice of Friar John.

What news from Mantua, what, will Romeo come?


42.a Friar Laurence

asks Friar John about news from Romeo.




42. Friar John has failed

to deliver the letter to








Going to seek a barefoot brother out,

One of our order to associate me,

Here in this city visiting the sick,

Whereas the infectious pestilence remained,

And being by the searchers of the town

Found and examined, we were both shut up.


42.b Friar John tells

Laurence that he

has been detained

in a house because

of the plague.







Who bare my letters then to Romeo?


I have them still, and here they are.


42.c John still

carries the letters on

him, as he could not

deliver them.






LAURENCE  Now by my holy order,

The letters were not nice, but of great weight.

Go, get thee hence, and get me presently

A spade and a mattock.


Well, I will presently go fetch thee them.                     Exit.


42.d Very worried,

Friar Laurence

orders John to bring

him an iron crow at

his cell.






Now must I to the monument alone,

Least that the lady should before I come

Be waked from sleep. I will hie

To free her from that tomb of misery.                             Exit.


42.e Laurence

decides to go to the

Capulet monument

alone before Juliet

wakes up.





Enter County Paris and his Page with flowers and sweet water.


Put out the torch, and lie thee all along

Under this ewe-tree,

Keeping thine ear close to the hollow ground.[lxxvi]

And if thou hear one tread within the churchyard,

Staight give me notice.

PAGE[lxxvii]                                   I will my Lord.


43.a Paris arrives

with his page at the

Capulet monument;

Paris tells his page

to keep watch and

warn him of any





43. Romeo kills Paris at

the Capulet tomb.






Paris strews the tomb with flowers.


Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy bridale bed,

Sweet tomb that in thy circuit dost contain

The perfect model of eternity.

Fair Juliet, that with angels dost remain,

Accept this latest favour at my hands,

That living honoured thee, and being dead,

With funeral praises do adorn thy tomb.

43.b Paris strews

flowers over the







[Page][lxxviii] whistles and calls.

[PAGE]  My Lord!

Enter Romeo and Balthasar, with a torch, a mattock, and a crow

of iron.


The boy gives warning, something doth approach.

What cursed foot wanders this [way][lxxix] tonight

To stay my obsequies and true loves rites?

What with a torch, muffle me night a while.


43.c Paris’ page

whistles to signal

that someone is

coming. Paris hides.






Give me this mattock, and this wrentching-iron;

And take these letters early in the morning,

See thou deliver them to my lord and father.

So get thee gone and trouble me no more.

Why I descend into this bed of death

Is partly to behold my lady’s face,

But chiefly to take from her dead finger

A precious ring which I must use

In dear employment. But if thou wilt stay,

Further to pry in what I undertake,

By heaven, I’ll tear thee joint by joint,

And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs.

The time and my intents are savage, wild.


Well, I’ll be gone and not trouble you.


So shalt thou win my favour, take thou this,

Commend me to my father, farwell, good fellow.


43.d Romeo and his

man (Balthasar)

arrive at the tomb;

Romeo instructs him

and them dismisses










Yet, for all this, will I not part from hence.


43.e Balthasar does

not leave, but hides











Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,

Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth.

Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to ope.


43.f Romeo opens

the tomb.








This is that banished naughty Montague,

That murdered my love’s cousin, I will apprehend him.

Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague!

Can vengeance be pursued further than death?

I do attach thee as a felon here.

The law condemns thee, therefore thou must die.


43.g Paris sees

Romeo, recognizes

him and tries to

apprehnd him.






I must indeed, and therefore came I hither.

Good youth, be gone, tempt not a desperate man.

Heap not another sin upon my head

By shedding of thy blood. I do protest,

I love thee better then I love myself:

For I come hither armed against myself.


43.h Romeo begs

him to leave for his

own good.






I do defy thy conjurations,

And do attach thee as a felon here.


What, dost thou tempt me, then have at thee, boy!

They fight.


43.i Paris refuses to

leave and Romeo

and Paris fight.






 O Lord, they fight! I will go call the watch.


43.j Paris’s page

calls the watch.






Ah I am slain! If thou be merciful

Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.


43.k Paris is

wounded and,

before dying, begs

Romeo to be buried

with Juliet.






I’faith, I will, let me peruse this face.

Mercutio’s kinsman, noble County Paris!

What said my man, when my betossed soul

Did no regard him as we past along?

Did he not say Paris should have married Juliet?

Either he said so, or I dreamed it so.[lxxxi]

But I will satisfy thy last request,

For thou hast prized thy love above thy life.

44.a Romeo looks at

the man he has just

killed, realizes that

it is Paris, and vows

to grant him his last





44. Romeo enters the

monument, sees Juliet,

drinks the poison and







Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interred.

How oft have many, at the hour of death,

Been blithe and pleasant, which their keepers call

A light’ning before death. But how may I

Call this a light’ning? Ah dear Juliet,

How well thy beauty doth become this grave.

44.b Romeo enters

the monument, sees

Juliet, and wonders

at her still incorrupt









O, I believe that unsubstantial death,

Is amorous, and doth court my love.

Therefore will I, O here, O ever here,

Set up my everlasting rest

With worms, that are thy chambermaids.


44.d Romeo sets his

everlasting rest with





Come, desperate pilot, now at once run on

The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary barge.

Here’s to my love. O true apothecary,

Thy drugs are swift. Thus with a kiss I die.                  Falls.


44.f Romeo, drinks

the poison, kisses

Juliet and dies.











Enter Friar with a lantern.

How oft tonight have these my aged feet

Stumbled at graves as I did pass along.

Who’s there?

[BALTHASAR][lxxxii]    A friend and one that knows you well.

45.a Friar Laurence

gets to the

monument and

meets Balthasar.





45. Juliet wakes up in

the tomb.







Who is it that consorts so late the dead?

What light is yon? if I be not deceived,

Methinks it burns in Capels’ monument?


It doth so, holy sir, and there is one

That loves you dearly.

FRIAR                            Who is it?



FRIAR     How long hath he been there?


Full half an hour and more.


45.b Balthasar tells

the Friar that Romeo

is also there.






FRIAR                                Go with me thither.

45.c The Friar

wants Balthasar to

go with him.






I dare not, sir, he knows not I am here:

On paine of death he charged me to be gone,

And not for to disturb him in his enterprise.


45.d Balthasar will

not disobey

Romeo’s orders.






Then must I go. My mind presageth ill.


45.e The Friar says

that he will go

alone, even though

he starts to fear

some adversity at






Friar stoops and looks on the blood and weapons.

What blood is this that stains the entrance

Of this marble stony monument?

What means these masterless and gory weapons?

Ah me, I doubt. Who’s here? What, Romeo dead?

Who – and Paris too? What unlucky hour

Is accessory to so foul a sin?


45.g The Friar goes

alone and sees

blood at the

entrance of the

monument. He

finds Romeo’s and

Paris’ dead bodies.







Juliet rises.

The lady stirs.

[JULIET][lxxxvii]          Ah comfortable Friar,

I do remember well where I should be,

And what we talked of. But yet I cannot see

Him for whose sake I undertook this hazard.


45.h Juliet wakes up

and asks for Romeo.








Lady, come forth. I hear some noise at hand,

We shall be taken. Paris, he is slain,

And Romeo dead; and if we here be ta’en

We shall be thought to be as accessory.

I will provide for you in some close nunnery.


Ah leave me, leave me, I will not from hence.


I hear some noise, I dare not stay: come, come.


45.i The Friar hears

some noise and

begs Juliet to go

with him: he will

hide her in a

convent. He then













JULIET  Go get thee gone.

What’s here? A cup closed in my lover’s hands?

Ah churl, drink all, and leave no drop for me?

46.a Juliet refuses

the Friar’s offer. She

sees a cup in Romeo’s






46. Juliet commits







Enter Watch.

WATCH  This way, this way.


46.b Enters the










Ay, noise? Then must I be resolute.

O happy dagger, thou shalt end my fear.

Rest in my bosom, thus I come to thee.

She stabs herself and falls.


46.c Juliet stabs

herself and dies.







Enter Watch.[lxxxviii]


Come, look about, what weapons have we here?

See, friends, where Juliet, two days buried,

New bleeding wounded – search and see who’s near.

Attach and bring them to us presently.


47.a The watchman

starts the





47. Everybody (Guards,

Citizens, the Prince, the

Capulets and old

Montague) gets at the






Enter one with the Friar.

1.  Captain, here’s a friar with tools about him

Fit to ope a tomb.

CAPTAIN          A great suspicion. Keep him safe.

Enter one with Romeo’s man.

1.  Here’s Romeo’ man.

CAPTAIN                  Keep him to be examined.


47.b Balthasar and

the Friar are








Enter Prince with others.


What early mischief calls us up so soon?

47.c Waked by

the shrieks and the

general racket, the

Prince, arrives at

the tomb.







CAPTAIN  O noble Prince, see here

Where Juliet that hath lain entombed two days,

Warm and fresh bleeding, Romeo and County Paris

Likewise newly slain.


Search, seek about to find the murderers.


47.d The Prince

asks what

happened and the

Captain describes

what and whom he

has found at the







Enter old Capulet and his Wife.


What rumour’s this that is so early up?

[CAPULET’S WIFE][lxxxix]

The people in the streets cry Romeo,

And some on Juliet, as if they alone

Had been the cause of such a mutiny.


 See, wife, this dagger hath mistook:

For lo, the back is empty of young Montague,

And it is sheathed in our daughter’s breast.


47.e Capulet and

Lady Capulet see

their daughter dead

and covered in






Enter old Montague.


Come, Montague, for thou art early up,

To see thy son and heir more early down.


Dread sovereign, my wife is dead to night,

And young Benvolio is deceased too.

What further mischief can there yet be found?


47.f Montague

enters and

announces, the death

of his wife

and Benvolio.






First come and see, then speak.


O thou untaught, what manners is in this

To press before thy father to a grave.


47.g Montague sees

his dead son.






Come, seal your mouths of outrage for a while,

And let us seek to find the authors out

Of such a hainous and seld seen mischance.

Bring forth the parties in suspicion.


48.a The Prince

wants to investigate

what happened and

summons the






48. The final








I am the greatest able to do least.

Most worthy Prince, hear me but speak the truth.

And I’ll inform you how these things fell out.


48.b The Friar

comes forth and

speaks for himself.








Juliet here slain was married to that Romeo,

Without her father’s or her mother’s grant;

The Nurse was privy to the marriage.

The baleful day of this unhappy marriage,

Was Tybalt’s doomsday, for which Romeo

Was banished from hence to Mantua.

He gone, her father sought by foul constraint

To marry her to Paris; but her soul,

Loathing a second contract, did refuse

To give consent; and therefore did she urge me

Hither to find a means she might avoid

What so her father sought to force her to,

Or else all desperately she threatened

Even in my presence to dispatch of herself.

Then did I give her, tutored by mine art,

A potion that should make her seem as dead,

And told her that I would with all post-speed

Send hence to Mantua for her Romeo,

That he might come and take her from the tomb.

But he that had my letters, Friar John,

Seeking a brother to associate him,

Whereas the sick infection remained,

Was stayed by the searchers of the town.

But Romeo, understanding by his man

That Juliet was deceased, returned in post

Unto Verona for to see his love.

What after happened touching Paris’ death,

Or Romeo’s is to me unknown at all.

But when I came to take the lady hence,

I found them dead, and she awaked from sleep,

Whom fain I would have taken from the tombe,

Which she refused seeing Romeo dead.

Anon I heard the watch and then I fled.

What after happened I am ignorant of.

And if in this aught have miscarried

By me, or by my means, let my old life

Be sacrificed some hour before his time

To the most strictest rigour of the law.


48.c At the Prince’s

request, Laurence

recapitulates the










We still have known thee for a holy man.

Where’s Romeo’s man? What can he say in this?


48.d The Prince

believes the Friar and

asks Balthasar to give

his version.






I brought my master word that she was dead,

And then he posted straight from Mantua,

Unto this tomb.

48.e Balthasar tells

about Rome’s return

from Mantua after

he informed him

about Juliet’s death.








                         These letters he delivered me,

Charging me early give them to his father.


Let’s see the letters, I will read them over.


48.f Balthasar gives

the Prince the letter

Romeo wrote to his









Where is the County’s boy that called the watch?


I brought my master unto Juliet’s grave,

But one approaching, straight I called my master.

At last they fought, I ran to call the watch;

And this is all that I can say or know.

48.g Asked by the

Prince, Paris’ page

gives his own







These letters do make good the Friar’s words,


48.h Romeo’s letters,

read by the Prince,

confirm the









Come, Capulet, and come, old Mountague.

Where are these enemies? See what hate hath done.

49.a The Prince

admonishes both

families and

considers the young

people’s deaths as

God’s punishment.




49. The final

reconciliation between

the feuding families.







Come, brother Montague, give me thy hand,

There is my daughter’s dowry, for now no more

Can I bestow on her. That’s all I have.


49.c Capulet shakes

 Montague’s hand and

reconciles with him.

This is his daughter’s










But I will give them more, I will erect

Her statue of pure gold,

That while Verona by that name is known,

There shall no statue of such price be set,

As that of Romeo’s loved Juliet.


49.d Montague

promises to raise a

golden statue of

Juliet to eternize

her and Verona’s











As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie,

Poor sacrifices to our enmity.


49.e Capulet

declares that he will

do the same for










A gloomy peace this day doth with it bring.

Come, let us hence, to have more talk of these sad things;[xci]

Some shall be pardoned and some punished.

Fore ne’er was heard a story of more woe,

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.




49.f The Prince

invites all to leave

and talk about these

sad events.





[i] Acts and scenes added.

[ii] 1: Sampson; 2: Gregory.

[iii] honor Q1] humor Q2]

[iv] SH missing.

[v] He hands him a paper.

[vi] In italics and in prose in Q1. If not otherwise stated, lineation of the Nurse’s speeches here and below to end of scene after Hubbard

 (followed by Levinson, Erne, Halio). Referencese here and below are to the following editions: Frank G. Hubbard. 1924. The First

 Quarto Edition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Madison: University of Wisconsin Studies in Language and Literature (n. 9); Jill

  1. Levinson. 2000. Romeo and Juliet. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lukas Erne. 2007. The First Quarto of Romeo and Juliet

. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; J. L. Halio. 2008. Romeo and Juliet. Parallel Texts of Quarto 1 (1597) and Quarto 2 (1598).

 Newark: University of Delaware Press.

[vii] Relineated in Hubbard (3 lines).

[viii] In the role of a servingman.

[ix] This … the night Q1] one line; lineation after Hubbard (and Erne).

[x] What Lady  . . . hand / Of . . . bright Q1]. Lineation after Hubbard (followed by Erne and Halio).

[xi] Here and below to end of scene, the Nurse’s lines are in italics and prose.

[xii] Montague Q1]

[xiii] dancest Q1]

[xiv] This speech and the following exchanges down to 27 are printed as prose in Q1.

[xv] liver Q1] lover Q2]

[xvi] nor any other part / Belonging to a man Q2]

[xvii] thee Q1]

[xviii] Thou . . . false / At lovers’. . . smiles / Ah gentle . . .  faithfully Q1]. Lineation after Hubbard (followed by Levenson and Erne).

[xix] This line is erroneously assigned to Romeo in Q1.

[xx] of Q1]

[xxi] Francis. Q1]

[xxii] Mer. Q1]

[xxiii] SH missing.

[xxiv] Lineation after Q2; prose in Q1.

[xxv] Lineation after Q2; prose in Q1.

[xxvi] Prose in Q1.

[xxvii] Lineation after Q2; prose in Q1.

[xxviii] Lineation after Q2; prose in Q1.

[xxix] Exeunt. Q1]

[xxx] M. Q1]

[xxxi] M. Q1]

[xxxii] Good Lord . . . will come Q1]. Lineation after Hubbard (followed by Erne and Halio).

[xxxiii]  childe Q1] chide Q2].

[xxxiv] Moth. Q1]

[xxxv] Moth. Q1]

[xxxvi] Moth. Q1]

[xxxvii] Moth. Q1]

[xxxviii] Moth. Q1]

[xxxix] Moth. Q1]

[xl] Moth. Q1]

[xli] Moth. Q1]

[xlii] Moth. Q1]

[xliii]  Marry . . .  whom I hate] two lines in Q1; lineation after Hubard (followed by Erne and Halio).

[xliv] Moth. Q1]

[xlv]  But . . . to it] one line in Q1; lineation from Hubbars 1924 (followed by Erne 2007 and Halio 2008).

[xlvi] Moth. Q1]

[xlvii] What . . . proud] one line in Q1; lineation after Hubbard (followed by Erne and Halio).

[xlviii] Moth. Q1]

[xlix] To say . . . me] one line in Q1; lineation after Hubbard 1924 (followed by Levenson, Erne 2007 and Halio 2008).

[l] Moth. Q1]

[li] O . . . you] 2 lines in Q1 (and Hubbard). Erne and Halio follow Levenson in making three ierregular lines (. . . gentleman / . . . him

 / . . . you).

[lii]  As for . . . dead / . . . him Q1]. Lineation after Hubbard (followed by Erne and Halio).

[liii] Paris. Q1]

[liv] Moth. Q1]

[lv] Moth. Q1]

[lvi] Moth. Q1]

[lvii] Moth. Q1]

[lviii] Moth. Q1]

[lix] Moth. Q1]

[lx] Moth. Q1]

[lxi] Moth. Q1]

[lxii] Moth. Q1]

[lxiii] Moth. Q1]

[lxiv] Mother. Q1]

[lxv] Moth. Q1]

[lxvi] Old man. Q1]

[lxvii] Moth. Q1]

[lxviii] Mother. Q1]

[lxix] Moth. Q1]

[lxx] Moth. Q1]

[lxxi] Old man. Q1]

[lxxii] Moth. Q1]

[lxxiii] Cap. Q1] Hubbard emends into Paris (followed by Erne 2007). For a discussion of this passage within the overall lamentation scene

 see Giorgio Melchiori. 2007. “The Music of Words. From Madrigal to Drama and Beyond: Shakespeare Foreshadowing an Operatic

 Technique.” In Italian Culture in the Drama of Shakespeare & his Contemporaries, edited by Michele Marrapodi, 241-50. Aldershot:


[lxxiv] Moth. Q1]

[lxxv] Pardon . . . tidings] one line in Q1; lineation after Hubbard (followed by Levenson and Erne).

[lxxvi]  Put . . . along / Under . . . ground] two lines in Q1. Lineation from Hubbard (followed by Levenson, Erne, Halio).

[lxxvii] Boy  Q1]

[lxxviii] Boy  Q1]

[lxxix] was Q1]

[lxxx] Boy Q1]

[lxxxi] Did . . . married / Juliet . . . it so Q1]. Lineation after Hubbard (followed by Levenson, Erne, Halio).

[lxxxii] Man. Q1]

[lxxxiii] Man. Q1]

[lxxxiv] Man. Q1]

[lxxxv] Man. Q1]

[lxxxvi] Man. Q1]

[lxxxvii] No SH in Q1.

[lxxxviii] Reference to a different watchman, indicated below by the SH Cap. / Capt. (Captain, after Hubbard –

followed by Levenson, Erne and Halio).

[lxxxix] Moth. Q1]

[xc] Boy Q1]

[xci] Come . . . hence / To have . . . things Q1]. Lineation after Hubbard (followed by Levenson and Erne).



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