Shakespeare’s Narrative Sources: Italian Novellas and Their European Dissemination
The Most Excellent and Lamentable
Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.
Newly corrected, augmented,
As it hath been sundry times publicly acted,
by the right honourable the Lord Chamberlain
Printed by Thomas Creed, for Cuthbert Burby,
and are to be sold at his shop near the Exchange.
Two households both alike in dignity,
(In fair Verona where we lay our scene)
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life,
Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which but their children’s end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Enter Sampson and Gregory, with swords and bucklers, of the
house of Capulet.
SAMPSON Gregory, on my word we’ll not carry coals.
GREGORY No, for then we should be colliers.
SAMPSON I mean, and we be in choler we’ll draw.
GREGORY Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of collar.
SAMPSON I strike quickly being moved.
GREGORY But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
SAMPSON A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
GREGORY To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore if thou art moved thou run’st away.
SAMPSON A dog of that house shall move me to stand. I will
take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.
GREGORY That shows thee a weak slave, for the weakest goes
to the wall.
SAMPSON ’Tis true, and therefore women being the weaker
vessels are ever thrust to the wall; therefore I will push.
Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the
GREGORY The quarrel is between our masters and us their
SAMPSON ’Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I
have fought with the men, I will be civil with the maids, I will
cut off their heads.
GREGORY The heads of the maids?
SAMPSON Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.
take it in what sense thou wilt.
GREGORY They must take it in sense that feel it.
SAMPSON Me they shall feel while I am able to stand, and ’tis
known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
GREGORY ’Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst
been Poor John. Draw thy tool – here comes of the house of
1.a Sampson and
Gregory (witty and
1. The first brawl in the
Enter two other Servingmen.
SAMPSON My naked weapon is out. Quarrel, I will back thee.
GREGORY How, turn thy back and run?
SAMPSON Fear me not.
GREGORY No, marry, I fear thee!
SAMPSON Let us take the law of our sides: let them begin.
GREGORY I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as
SAMPSON Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them,
which is disgrace to them if they bear it.
1.b Sampson and
how to start off a
quarrel with the
ABRAHAM Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON I do bite my thumb, sir.
ABRAHAM Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON Is the law of our side if I say “Ay”?
SAMPSON No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite
my thumb, sir.
GREGORY Do you quarrel, sir?
ABRAHAM Quarrel, sir? No, sir.
SAMPSON But if you do, sir, I am for you; I serve as good a
man as you.
ABRAHAM No better.
SAMPSON Well, sir.
Abraham start off a
GREGORY Say ‘better’, here comes one of my master’s
SAMPSON Yes, better, sir.
ABRAHAM You lie.
SAMPSON Draw if you be men. Gregory, remember thy
BENVOLIO Part fools!
Put up your swords, you know not what you do.
1.d Enter Benvolio.
Benvolio tries to
What art thou drawn among these hartless hinds?
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee:
Have at thee, coward.
1.e Enters Tybalt. He
Enter three of four Citizens with Clubs or partisans.
Clubs, bills, and partisans, strike, beat them down,
Down with the Capulets, down with the Montagues!
1.f Enter Citizens.
Enter old Capulet in his gown, and his Wife.
What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!
A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?
My sword I say! Old Montague is come
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
1.g Enter Capulet
and his wife. They
Enter old Montague and his Wife.
Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not, let me go.
Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
Enter Prince Escalus with his train.
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel –
Will they not hear? What ho! You men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins:
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground
And hear the sentence of your moved Prince.
2.a The Prince’s
address to the
2. Prince Escalus arrives
and rebukes the
Capulets and the
Three civil brawls bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet and Montague,
Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets,
And made Verona’s ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Cankered with peace, to part your cankered hate.
2.b Narrative of the
past three civil
If ever you disturb our streets again
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time all the rest depart away.
You, Capulet, shall go along with me;
And Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our farther pleasure in this case,
To old Freetown, our common judgment place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. Exeunt.
[all but Montague, Montague’s Wife, and Benvolio.]
2.c Threat of death
and Montague are
Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
enquires about who
set off the quarrel.
3. Benvolio’s narration
of the brawl.
Here were the servants of your adversary
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach;
I drew to part them; in the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepared,
Which, as he breathed defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hissed him in scorn.
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part,
Till the Prince came, who parted either part.
O where is Romeo? Saw you him today?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
4.a Montague’s wife
4. Benvolio’s and
presentation of Romeo’s
recent sadness and
Madam, an hour before the worshipped sun
Peered forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drive me to walk abroad,
Where underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from this city side,
So early walking did I see your son.
Towards him I made, but he was ware of me,
And stole into the covert of the wood.
I, measuring his affections by my own,
Which then most sought where most might not be found,
Being one too many by my weary self,
Pursued my humour, not pursuing his,
And gladly shunned who gladly fled from me.
narration of his
own seeing him
near a sycamore
tree early in the
Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew,
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon, as the all-cheering sun
Should in the farthest east begin to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,
Away from light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out,
And makes himself an artificial night.
Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
I neither know it nor can learn of him.
Have you importuned him by any means?
Both by myself and many other friends,
But he his own affection’s counsellor,
Is to himself – I will not say how true –
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air
Or dedicate his beauty to the same.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure as know.
sadness, and his
own incapacity to
unveil the cause.
See where he comes. So please you step aside,
I’ll know his grievance or be much denied.
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift. – Come, Madam, let’s away. Exeunt.
4.d Benvolio is
entrusted with the
task of discovering
the cause of
Good morrow, cousin.
ROMEO Is the day so young?
But new struck nine.
ROMEO Ay me, sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?
Not having that which, having, makes them short.
5.a Romeo and
about how Romeo’s
5. Benvolio and Romeo
talk about Romeo’s own
sadness due to
BENVOLIO In love?
ROMEO Out –
BENVOLIO Of love?
Out of her favour where I am in love.
Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof.
Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should without eyes see pathways to his will.
Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all:
Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate,
O anything of nothing first created;
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep that is not what it is.
This love feel I that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?
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 in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate to have it pressed
With more of thine. This love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes,
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers’ tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.
Farewell my coz.
BENVOLIO Soft, I will go along:
And if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
Tut, I have lost myself, I am not here.
This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.
unrequited love as
passion, whose pain
is increased by
Romeo’s avowal of
having lost himself.
Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?
ROMEO What, shall I groan and tell thee?
Groan? Why no; but sadly tell me who.
A sick man in sadness makes his will;
A word ill-urged to one that is so ill.
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
I aimed so near when I supposed you loved.
A right good markman, and she’s fair I love.
A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
Well, in that hit you miss: she’ll not be hit
With Cupid’s arrow, she hath Dian’s wit,
And in strong proof of chastity well armed,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives uncharmed.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide th’encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold.
Oh, she is rich in beauty, only poor
That when she dies, with beauty dies her store.
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
She hath, and in that sparing make huge waste,
For beauty starved with her severity
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair.
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now.
description of the
of his beloved.
Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.
Oh, teach me how I should forget to think.
By giving liberty unto thine eyes:
Examine other beauties.
ROMEO ’Tis the way
To call hers, exquisite, in question more.
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows,
Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair.
He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve but as a note
Where I may read who passed that passing fair?
Farewell, thou canst not teach me to forget.
I’ll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt. Exeunt.
advice to forget
about his beloved
by looking at other
Enter Capulet, County Paris, and the Clown.[ii]
But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike, and ’tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.
Of honourable reckoning are you both,
And pity ’tis you lived at odds so long.
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
at the feast.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
But saying o’er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world,
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.
Let two more summers wither in their pride
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
Younger than she are happy mothers made.
And too soon marred are those so early made.
Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;
She’s the hopeful lady of my earth.
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
And she agreed, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent, and fair according voice.
6.b Paris reminds
Capulet of his suit.
Capulet claims that
his daughter is too
liberty of choice.
This night I hold an old accustomed feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest
Such as I love; and you among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
At my poor house look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.
Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
When well-apparelled April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh fennel buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house. Hear all, all see,
And like her most, whose merit most shall be;
Which, on more view of many, mine being one,
May stand in number, though in reckoning none.
Come, go with me. [To Ser.] Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona, find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them say
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
[Exeunt Paris and Capulet.][iii]
6.c Capulet invites
Paris to the feast
and urges him to
daughter to the
Capulet sends the
with order of
invitation of the
people listed on a
paper he gives him.
SERVINGMAN Find them out whose names are written. Here
it is written that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard
and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil and the
painter with his nets. But I am sent to find those persons
whose names are here writ, and can never find what names
the writing person hath here writ – I must to the learned – in
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 by another’s anguish;
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning;
One desperate grief cures with another’s languish.
Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.
Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.
For what, I pray thee?
ROMEO For your broken shin.
Why Romeo, art thou mad?
Not mad, but bound more than a madman is;
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipped and tormented, and –
8. Benvolio advises
Romeo to cure one
illness with another
Good e’en, good fellow.
SERVINGMAN God gi’goode’en. I pray, sir, can you read?
Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
Perhaps you have learned it without book.
But I pray, can you read anything 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 Vitruvio,
Signor Placentio and his lovely nieces,
Mercutio and his brother Valentine,
Mine Uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters,
My faire niece Rosaline, and Livia,
Signor Valentio and his cousin Tybalt,
Lucio and the lively Helena.”
A fair assembly. Whither should they come?
ROMEO Whither to supper?
SERVINGMAN To our house.
ROMEO Whose house?
SERVINGMAN My master’s.
ROMEO 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
9. Benvolio and Romeo
meet Capulet’s serving
man and are informed
about the feast.
At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s,
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. [Exeunt.]
10. Benvolio suggests
that they go to the feast
so that Romeo may
beauty with other
Enter Capulet’s Wife and Nurse.
Nurse, where’s my daughter? Call her forth to me.
Now by my maidenhead at twelve year old
I bade her come. What, lamb! What, ladybird!
God forbid! Where’s this girl? What, Juliet!
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.
JULIET How now, who calls?
NURSE Your mother.
Madam, I am here. What is your will?
This is the matter. Nurse, give leave awhile,
We must talk in secret. Nurse, come back again,
I have remembered me. Thou’s hear our counsel.
Thou knowest my daughter’s of a pretty age.
Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour.
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
[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 with the dug!
“Shake”, quoth the dovehouse. ’Twas no need, I trow,
To bid me trudge.
And since that time it is eleven years,
For then she could stand high-lone, nay, by th’rood,
She could have run and waddled all about,
For even the day before she broke her brow,
And then my husband – God be with his soul,
A was a merry man – took up the child.
“Yea”, quoth he, “dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,
Wilt thou not Jule?” And by my holidam,
The pretty wretch left crying and said “Ay”.
To see now how a jest shall come about!
I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
I never should forget it. “Wilt thou not, Jule?” quoth he,
And, pretty fool, it stinted and said “Ay”.
Enough of this, I pray thee hold thy peace.
Yes, Madam, yet I cannot choose but laugh
To think it should leave crying and say “Ay”.
And yet, I warrant, it had upon it brow
A bump as big as a young cock’rel’s stone,
A perilous knock, and it cried bitterly.
“Yea”, quoth my husband, “fall’st upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age,
Wilt thou not, Jule?” It stinted and said “Ay”.
And stint thou too, I pray thee, Nurse, say I.
Peace I have done. God mark thee to his grace,
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed.
And I might live to see thee married once,
I have my wish.
11.b Nurse’s bawdy
talk on Juliet’s age.
Marry, that “marry” is the very theme
I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your dispositions to be married?
It is an hour[vi] that I dream not of.
An hour! Were not I thine only Nurse,
I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat.
Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
Are made already mothers – by my count –
I was your mother much upon these years
That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief:
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.
11.c Capulet’s wife
broaches the issue
of marriage and
A man, young lady, lady, such a man
As all the world – why, he’s a man of wax.
Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.
Nay, he’s a flower, in faith, a very flower.
What say you, can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast;
Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face
And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen;
Examine every married lineament,
And see how one another lends content;
And what obscured in this fair volume lies
Find written in the margent of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him only lacks a cover.
The fish lives in the sea, and ’tis much pride
For fair without the fair within to hide.
That book in many’s eyes doth share the glory
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
So shall you share all that he doth possess
By having him, making yourself no less.
No less? Nay, bigger. Women grow by men.
of Paris’s qualities.
Speak briefly, can you like of Paris’ love?
I’ll look to like, if looking liking move.
But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.
11.e Juliet is asked
if she can love
SERVINGMAN Madam, the guests are come, supper served
up, you called, my young lady asked for, the Nurse cursed in
the pantry, and everything in extremity I must hence to wait,
I beseech you follow straight.
We follow thee. Juliet the County stays.
Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days. Exeunt.
12. The serving-man
announces the arrival of
Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six other
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 crowkeeper.
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.
wonders what to
say by way of
that no self-
13. Romeo, Benvolio,
and Mercutio talk
before going to
Give me a torch. I am not for this ambling;
Being but heavy I will bear the light.
Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes
With nimble soles, I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
13.b Romeo asks for
a torch to bear and
claims that he’ll be
You are a lover; borrow Cupid’s wings
And soar with them above a common bound.
I am too sore empierced with his shaft
To soar with his light feathers, and so bound
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe.
Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.
And to sink in it should you burden love,
Too great oppression for a tender thing.
Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.
If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
13.c Mercutio teases
Romeo on his love
Give me a case to put my visage in.
A visor for a visor. What care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.
13.d Mercutio asks
for a visor.
Come, knock and enter, and no sooner in
But every man betake him to his legs.
13.e Benvolio urges
them to get in.
A torch for me. Let wantons light of heart
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels,
For I am proverbed with a grandsire phrase:
I’ll be a candle-holder and look on;
The game was ne’er so fair, and I am done.
Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s own word.
If thou art dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire
Or – save your reverence – love, wherein thou stickest
Up to the ears.
13.f Romeo again
asks for a torch and
is teased by
Come, we burn daylight, ho!
Nay, that’s not so.
MERCUTIO I mean, sir, in delay
We waste our lights in vain, light lights by day.
Take our good meaning, for our judgment sits
Five times in that ere once in our five wits.
13.g Mercutio urges
them to get in.
And we mean well in going to this masque,
But ’tis no wit to go.
MERCUTIO Why, may one ask?
13.h Romeo shows
reluctance to go.
I dreamt a dream tonight.
MERCUTIO And so did I.
Well, what was yours?
MERCUTIO That dreamers often lie.
In bed asleep while they do dream things true.
mentions a dream
Oh, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomi
Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.
Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
Her traces of the smallest spider web,
Her collars of the moonshine’s watery beams,
Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film;
Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a man.[xiii]
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
On courtiers’ knees, that dream on curtsies straight;
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues
Because their breath with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail,
Tickling a parson’s nose as a lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscados, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep, and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plaits the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage.
This is she –
13.j Mercutio teases
Romeo with his
Queen Mab speech.
ROMEO Peace, peace, Mercutio, 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 of substance as the air,
And more inconstant than the wind who woos
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And being angered, puffs away from thence,
Turning his side to the dew-dropping south.
13.k Romeo stops
This wind you talk of blows 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 yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night’s revels, and expire the term
Of a despisèd life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
Direct my suit. On lusty gentlemen.
13.m Romeo gives
voice to his bad
They march about the stage, and Servingmen come forth with
SERVINGMAN Where’s Potpan, that he helps not to take
away? He shift a trencher? He scrape a trencher?
1 [SERVINGMAN] When good manners shall lie all in one
or two men’s hands, and they unwashed too, ’tis a foul thing.
SERVINGMAN Away with the joint stools, remove the
court cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, save me a piece
of marchpane, and as thou loves me, let the porter let in
Susan Grindstone, and Nell, Anthony and Potpan.
2 [SERVINGMAN] Ay boy, ready.
SERVINGMAN You are looked for and called for, asked for
and sought for, in the great chamber.
3 [SERVINGMAN] We cannot be here and there too.
Cheerly boys, be brisk awhile, and the longest liver take all.
Enter all the guests and Gentlewomen to the Masquers.
14. Servants prepare for
Welcome, gentlemen. Ladies that have their toes
Unplagued with corns will walk about with you.
Ah, my mistresses, which of you all
Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty,
She I’ll swear hath corns. Am I come near ye now?
Welcome, gentlemen. I have seen the day
That I have worn a visor and could tell
A whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear
Such as would please. ’Tis gone, ’tis gone, ’tis gone.
You are welcome, gentlemen. Come, musicians, play.
Music plays and they dance.
A hall, a hall, give room! And foot it girls.
More light, you knaves, and turn the tables up,
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.
Ah sirrah, this unlooked-for sport comes well.
15. Romeo and Juliet
meet at the feast.
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet,
For you and I are past our dancing days.
How long is’t now since last yourself and I
Were in a masque?
2. CAPULET By’r Lady, thirty years.
What man, ’tis not so much, ’tis not so much,
’Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio,
Come Pentecost as quickly as it will,
Some five-and-twenty years, and then we masked.
’Tis more, ’tis more, his son is elder, sir.
His son is thirty.
1 CAPULET Will you tell me that?
His son was but a ward two years ago.
15.b Capulet talks
with his cousin.
What lady’s that which doth enrich the hand
Of yonder knight?
SERVINGMAN I know not sir.
Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear,
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows:
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight,
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.
15.c Romeo sees
This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What, dares the slave
Come hither covered with an antic face
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now by the stock and honour of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.
Why, how now, kinsman, wherefore storm you so?
Uncle, this is a Montague our foe;
A villain that is hither come in spite
To scorn at our solemnity this night.
Young Romeo is it?
TYBALT ’Tis he, that villain Romeo.
Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone.
A bears him like a portly gentleman,
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him
To be a virtuous and well-governed youth.
I would not for the wealth of all this town
Here in my house do him disparagement.
Therefore be patient, take no note of him.
It is my will, the which if thou respect,
Show a fair presence and put off these frowns,
An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.
It fits when such a villain is a guest.
I’ll not endure him.
CAPULET He shall be endured.
What, goodman boy, I say he shall. Go to.
Am I the master here or you? Go to.
You’ll not endure him? God shall mend my soul,
You’ll make a mutiny among my guests!
You will set cock-a-hoop, you’ll be the man!
Why Uncle, ’tis a shame.
CAPULET Go to, go to,
You are a saucy boy. Is’t so indeed?
This trick may chance to scathe you. I know what,
You must contrary me – marry ’tis time –
Well said my hearts – you are a princox, go,
Be quiet, or – more light, more light – for shame,
I’ll make you quiet, What! –Cheerly my hearts!
Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting:
I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall,
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall. Exit.
and quarrels with
Capulet over him.
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentler sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this,
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take. [He kisses her.]
Thus from my lips, by thine, 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 th’ book.
15.e Romeo and
Juliet meet (the
shared sonnet and
the first kiss).
Madam your mother craves a word with you.
What is her mother?
NURSE Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous.
I nursed her daughter that you talked withal.
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.
ROMEO Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt.
15.f. The Nurse
and Juliet. Romeo
discovers who Juliet
Away, be gone, the sport is at the best.
Ay, so I fear, the more is my unrest.
Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone.
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.
Is it e’en so? Why then, I thank you all.
I thank you, honest gentlemen, good night.
More torches here, come on then, let’s to bed.
Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late.
I’ll to my rest.
15.g Benvolio urges
his friends to go
away and they say
goodbye to Capulet.
Come hither, Nurse. What is yon gentleman?
The son and heir of old Tiberio.
What’s he that now is going out of door?
Marry, that, I think, be young Petruchio.
What’s he that follows here that would not dance?
NURSE. I know not.
Go ask his name. If he be married,
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.
His name is Romeo, and a Montague,
The only son of your great enemy.
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me
That I must love a loathed enemy.
What’s this? What’s this?
JULIET A rhyme I learn even now
Of one I danced withal.
One calls within: “Juliet!”
NURSE Anon, anon!
Come let’s away, the strangers all are gone. Exeunt.
15.h Juliet discovers
who Romeo is.
Now old desire doth in his deathbed lie,
And young affection gapes to be his heir;
That fair for which love groaned for and would die,
With tender Juliet matched is now not fair.
Now Romeo is beloved and loves again,
Alike bewitched by the charm of looks,
But to his foe supposed he must complain,
And she steal love’s sweet bait from fearful hooks.
Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear,
And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new beloved anywhere:
But passion lends them power, time means, to meet,
Temp’ring extremities with extreme sweet.
Enter Romeo alone.
Can I go forward when my heart is here?
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out.
remains in the
16. Romeo remains in
the orchard while
Benvolio and Mercutio
look for him.
Enter Benvolio with Mercutio.
Romeo, my cousin Romeo, Romeo!
MERCUTIO He is wise
And on my life hath stol’n him home to bed.
He ran this way and leapt this orchard wall.
Call, good Mercutio.
MERCUTIO Nay, I’ll conjure too.
Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh,
Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied;
Cry but “Ay me” pronounce, but “love” and “dove”,
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
One nickname for her purblind son and heir,
Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so trim
When King Cophetua loved the beggar maid. –
He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not,
The ape is dead, and I must conjure him. –
I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes,
By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh,
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
That in thy likeness thou appear to us.
And if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.
This cannot anger him. ’Twould anger him
To raise a spirit in his mistress’ circle
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
Till she had laid it and conjured it down.
That were some spite. My invocation
Is fair and honest, in his mistress’ name
I conjure only but to raise up him.
Come, he hath hid himself among these trees
To be consorted with the humorous night.
Blind is his love, and best befits the dark.
If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
Now will he sit under a medlar tree
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.
O Romeo, that she were, O that she were
An open-arse, thou a pop’rin’ pear.
Romeo, good night. I’ll to my truckle-bed;
This field bed is too cold for me to sleep.
Come, shall we go?
BENVOLIO Go then, for ’tis in vain
To seek him here that means not to be found. [Exeunt.][xv]
16.b Benvolio and
Mercutio look for
Romeo and tease
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady. Oh, it is my love!
Oh, that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold; ’tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing, and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
JULIET Ay me.
ROMEO She speaks.
Oh speak again, bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white upturned wond’ring eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
Nor arm nor face[, nor any other part
Belonging to a man].[xvi] Oh, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
17.a Romeo sees
Juliet at the
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 baptized.
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
17.b Romeo speaks
to Juliet without
What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?
ROMEO By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am.
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee.
Had I it written, I would tear the word.
My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue’s uttering, yet I know the sound.
Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?
Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.
recognizes him by
How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls,
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do, that dares love attempt.
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.
If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet,
And I am proof against their enmity.
I would not for the world they saw thee here.
I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes,
And but thou love me, let them find me here.
My life were better ended by their hate
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.
By whose direction found’st thou out this place?
By love that first did prompt me to inquire.
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.
I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far
As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,
I should adventure for such merchandise.
17.d Juliet asks
Romeo how he got
there and urges him
to go away, being
enemy to her
expresses his love.
Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face,
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.
Fain would I dwell on form; fain, fain deny
What I have spoke, but farewell compliment.
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say “Ay”,
And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear’st,
Thou mayst prove false. At lovers’ perjuries
They say Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully;
Or if thou think’st I am too quickly won,
I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
And therefore thou mayst think my behaviour light;
But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou overheard’st, ere I was ware,
My true-love passion. Therefore pardon me,
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered.
Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow,
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops –
Oh, swear not by the moon, th’inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
What shall I swear by?
JULIET Do not swear at all;
Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,
And I’ll believe thee.
ROMEO If my heart’s dear love –
17.e Juliet is
ashamed for her
and asks for a proof
of his love.
Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract tonight.
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,
Too like the lightning which doth cease to be
Ere one can say “it lightens”. Sweet, good night.
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night. As sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart, as that within my breast.
17.f Juliet is worried
about the rashness
of their love and
wishes him good
Oh, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?
Th’exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.
I gave thee mine before thou didst request it,
And yet I would it were to give again.
Wouldst thou withdraw it? For what purpose, love?
But to be frank and give it thee again,
And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
17.g Romeo does
not want to part
and asks for
I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu. –
Anon, good Nurse! – Sweet Montague, be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again.
O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering sweet to be substantial.
17.h Juliet is called
in by the Nurse.
Three words, dear 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 the rite,
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.
I come, anon! – But if thou meanest not well,
I do beseech thee –
JULIET By and by, I come –
To cease thy strife and leave me to my grief.
Tomorrow will I send.
ROMEO So thrive my soul –
A thousand times good night.
A thousand times the worse to want thy light.
Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.
17.i Juliet asks
Romeo to marry her
and promises to
send him somebody
the following day.
She is called in by
Enter Juliet again.
Hist, Romeo, hist! O for a falconer’s voice
To lure this tassel-gentle back again.
Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud,
Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies
And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine
With repetition of my Romeo’s name.
It is my soul that calls upon my name.
How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,
Like softest music to attending ears.
ROMEO My nyas?[xix]
JULIET What o’clock tomorrow
Shall I send to thee?
ROMEO By the hour of nine.
I will not fail. ’Tis twenty year till then.
I have forgot why I did call thee back.
Let me stand here till thou remember it.
I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
Remembering how I love thy company.
And I’ll still stay, to have thee still forget,
Forgetting any other home but this.
’Tis almost morning. I would have thee gone,
And yet no farther than a wanton’s bird
That lets it hop a little from his hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silken thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.
I would I were thy bird.
JULIET Sweet, so would I,
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
17.j Juliet comes out
again and they
decide to get in
touch by nine the
Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast.
Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest.
The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Checking the eastern clouds with streaks of light;
And [flecked darkness][xxi] like a drunkard reels
From forth day’s path and Titan’s burning wheels.
Hence will I to my ghostly friar’s close cell,
His help to crave and my dear hap to tell. Exit.
17.k Romeo goes
away at dawn and
comments on the
rising sun on his
way to the Friar’s
Enter Friar alone with a basket.
Now ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,
I must upfill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave, that is her womb;
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some, and yet all different.
Oh, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities;
For naught so vile, that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give;
Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
And vice sometime by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this weak flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
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
Good morrow father.
What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?
Young son, it argues a distempered head
So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed.
Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie;
But where unbruised youth with unstuffed brain
Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign.
Therefore thy earliness doth me assure
Thou art uproused with some distemperature,
Or if not so, then here I hit it right,
Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.
That last is true; the sweeter rest was mine.
God pardon sin! Wast 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’ll tell thee ere thou ask it me again.
I have been feasting with mine enemy,
Where on a sudden one hath wounded me
That’s by me wounded. Both our remedies
Within thy help and holy physic lies.
I bear no hatred, blessed man: for lo,
My intercession likewise steads my foe.
Be plain, good 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
Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set
On the fair daughter of rich Capulet.
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine,
And all combined, save what thou must combine
By holy marriage. When and where and how,
We met, we wooed, and made exchange of vow
I’ll tell thee as we pass, but this I pray,
That thou consent to marry us today.
18.c Romeo avows
his love for Juliet
and asks him to
Holy Saint Francis what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
Hath washed thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!
How much salt water thrown away in waste
To season love, that of it doth not taste.
The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,
Thy old groans yet ring in mine ancient ears.
Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit
Of an old tear that is not washed off yet.
If e’er thou wast thyself, and these woes thine,
Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline.
And art thou changed? Pronounce this sentence then:
Women may fall when there’s no strength in men.
Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.
For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.
And bad’st me bury love.
FRIAR Not in a grave,
To lay one in another out to have.
I pray thee, chide me not. Her I love now
Doth grace for grace and love for love allow.
The other did not so.
FRIAR Oh, she knew well
Thy love did read by rote, that 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 households’ rancour to pure love.
Oh, let us hence. I stand on sudden haste.
Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast. [Exeunt.]
18.e The friar
eventually offers to
help him and
alliance. He rebukes
them for their
Enter Benvolio and Mercutio.
MERCUTIO Where the devil should this Romeo be? Came he
not home tonight?
Not to his father’s; I spoke with his man.
Why, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline,
Torments him so that he will sure run mad.
Tybalt, the kinsman to old Capulet,
Hath sent a letter to his father’s house.
MERCUTIO A challenge, on my life.
BENVOLIO Romeo will answer it.
MERCUTIO Any man that can write may answer a letter.
BENVOLIO Nay, he will answer the letter’s master, how he
dares, being dared.
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 Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead, stabbed with
a white wench’s black eye, run 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][xxiii] Why, what is Tybalt?
MERCUTIO More than Prince of Cats. Oh, he’s the
courageous Captain of compliments. He fights as you sing
prick-song, keeps time, distance and proportion; he rests his
minim rests one two, and the third in your bosom. The very
butcher of a silk button, a duellist, a duellist, a gentleman of
the very first house of the first and second cause. Ah, the
immortal passado, the punto reverso, the hay!
BENVOLIO The what?
MERCUTIO The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting phantasies,
these new tuners of accent! By Jesu ,a very good
blade, a very tall man, a very good whore. Why is not this a
lamentable thing, grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted
with these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these pardon-
me’s, who stand so much on the new form that they cannot sit
at ease on the old bench. O, their bones, their bones!
mocks Romeo and
describes Tybalt as
the Prince of Cats.
BENVOLIO Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo.
MERCUTIO Without his roe, like a dried herring. O flesh,
flesh, how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers that
Petrarch flowed in: Laura to his lady was a kitchen wench –
marry, she had a better love to berhyme her – Dido a dowdy,
Cleopatra a gypsy, Helen and Hero hildings and harlots:
Thisbe a grey eye or so, but not to the purpose. Signor Romeo,
bonjour: there’s a French salutation to your French slop. You
gave us the counterfeit fairly last night.
ROMEO Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give
MERCUTIO The slip, sir, the slip. Can you not conceive?
ROMEO Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great, and
in such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy.
MERCUTIO That’s as much as to say such a case as yours
constrains a man to bow in the hams.
ROMEO Meaning to curtsy.
MERCUTIO Thou hast most kindly hit it.
ROMEO A most courteous exposition.
MERCUTIO Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.
ROMEO Pink for flower.
ROMEO Why then is my pump well flowered.
MERCUTIO Sure wit, follow me this jest now till thou hast
worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it is worn, the
jest may remain, after the wearing, solely singular.
ROMEO O single-soled jest, solely singular for the singleness!
MERCUTIO Come between us, good Benvolio. My wits faints.
ROMEO Switch and spurs, switch and spurs, or I’ll cry a match.
MERCUTIO Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am
done, for thou hast more of the wild goose in one of thy wits
than I am sure I have in my whole five. Was I with you there
for the goose?
ROMEO Thou wast never with me for anything when thou wast
not there for the goose.
MERCUTIO I will bite thee by the ear for that jest.
ROMEO Nay, good goose, bite not.
MERCUTIO Thy wit is very bitter sweeting; it is a most sharp
ROMEO And is it not then well served into a sweet goose?
MERCUTIO Oh, here’s a wit of cheveril that stretches from
an inch narrow to an ell broad.
ROMEO I stretch it out for that word ‘broad’, which, added
to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.
MERCUTIO Why, is not this better now than groaning for
love? Now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo, now art
thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature; for this
drivelling love is like a great natural that runs lolling up and
down to hide his bauble in a hole.
BENVOLIO Stop there, stop there.
MERCUTIO Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the
BENVOLIO Thou wouldst else have made thy tale large.
MERCUTIO Oh, thou art deceived; I would have made it short,
for I was come to the whole depth of my tale and meant indeed
to occupy the argument no longer.
ROMEO Here’s goodly gear.
19.c Romeo joins
them and they start
Enter Nurse and her man.
A sail, a sail!
MERCUTIO Two, two, a shirt and a smock.
NURSE My fan, Peter.
MERCUTIO Good Peter, to hide her face, for her fan’s the
NURSE God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
MERCUTIO God ye good den, fair gentlewoman.
NURSE Is it good e’en?
MERCUTIO ’Tis no less, I tell ye, for the bawdy hand of the
dial is now upon the prick of noon.
NURSE Out upon you! What a man are you?
ROMEO One, gentlewoman, that God hath made, himself to
NURSE By my troth, it is well said. “For himself to mar” quoth
a? Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I may find the
ROMEO I can tell you, but young Romeo will be older when
you have found him than he was when you sought him. I am
the youngest of that name, for fault of a worse.
NURSE You say well.
MERCUTIO Yea, is the worst well? Very well took, i’faith
NURSE If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you.
BENVOLIO She will indite him to some supper.
MERCUTIO A bawd, a bawd, a bawd. So ho!
ROMEO What hast thou found?
MERCUTIO No hare, sir, unless a hare, sir, in a Lenten pie,
that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.
An old hare hoar and an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in Lent.
But a hare that is hoar is too much for a score
When it hoars ere it be spent.
Romeo, will you come to your father’s? We’ll to dinner thither.
ROMEO I will follow you.
MERCUTIO Farewell ancient lady, farewell lady, lady, lady.
Exeunt. [Benvolio and Mercutio.]
19.d The Nurse and
Peter arrive and
Mercutio teases her.
NURSE I pray you, sir, what saucy merchant was this that
was so full of his ropery?
ROMEO A gentleman, Nurse, that loves to hear himself talk,
and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a
NURSE An a speak anything against me, I’ll take him down,
an a were lustier than he is, and twenty such jacks; and if I
cannot, I’ll find those that shall. Scurvy knave, I am none of
his flirt-gills, I am none of his skains-mates. [to her man] And
thou must stand by too and suffer every knave to use me at
PETER I saw no man use you at his pleasure. If I had, my
weapon should quickly have been out. I warrant you, I dare
draw as soon as another man, if I see occasion in a good
quarrel, and the law on my side.
NURSE Now afore God, I am so vexed, that every part about
me quivers. Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word. And, as I told
you, my young lady bid me enquire you out. What she bid me
say, I will keep to myself. But first let me tell ye, if ye should
lead her in a fool’s paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
kind of behaviour, as they say. For the gentlewoman is young;
and therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly it were
an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak
ROMEO Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress, I
protest unto thee –
NURSE Good heart, and i’faith I will tell her as much. Lord,
lord, she will be a joyful woman.
ROMEO What wilt thou tell her, Nurse? Thou dost not mark
NURSE I will tell her, sir, that you do protest, which, as I take
it, is a gentlemanlike offer.
Bid her devise some means to come to shrift this afternoon,
And there she shall at Friar Laurence’ cell
Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.
NURSE No, truly, sir, not a penny.
ROMEO Go to, I say you shall.
This afternoon, sir? Well, she shall be there.
And stay, good Nurse, behind the abbey wall,
Within this hour my man shall be with thee
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair,
Which to the high topgallant of my joy,
Must be my convoy in the secret night.
Farewell; be trusty, and I’ll quit thy pains.
Farewell; commend me to thy mistress.
Now God in heaven bless thee! Hark you, sir.
What say’st thou my dear Nurse?
Is your man secret? Did you ne’er here say
“Two may keep counsel, putting one away”?
Warrant thee, my man’s as true as steel.
NURSE Well sir, my mistress is the sweetest lady. Lord, Lord!
when ’twas a little prating thing – Oh, there is a nobleman in
town, one Paris, That would fain lay knife aboard, but she,
good soul, had as lief see a toad, a very toad, as see him. I anger
her sometimes and tell her that Paris is the properer man, but
I’ll warrant you, when I say so, she looks as pale as any clout
in the versal world. Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both
with a letter?
ROMEO Ay Nurse, what of that? Both with an “R”.
NURSE Ah, mocker, that’s the dog’s name. “R” is for the –
no, I know it begins with some other letter, and she hath the
prettiest sententious of it, of you and rosemary, that it would
do you good to hear it.
ROMEO Commend me to thy lady.
NURSE Ay, a thousand times. – Peter!
NURSE Before and apace. [Exeunt.][xxiv]
19.e Romeo informs
the Nurse about the
plan for the secret
marriage which will
take place in the
offers the Nurse
The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse;
In half an hour she promised to return.
Perchance she cannot meet him. That’s not so.
Oh she is lame! Love’s heralds should be thoughts,
Which ten times faster glides then the sun’s beams,
Driving back shadows over louring hills.
Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw Love,
And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve
Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
She would be as swift in motion as a ball;
My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
And his to me.
But old folks, many feign as they were dead,
Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.
20.a Juliet is
anxious about the
Nurse who has not
come back yet (it is
20. The Nurse informs
Juliet about the plan for
the secret marriage.
Enter Nurse. [and Peter.]
O God, she comes! – O honey Nurse, what news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.
NURSE. Peter stay at the gate.
20.b The Nurse
arrives and tells
Peter to stay at the
Now good sweet Nurse – O Lord, why lookest thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;
If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.
I am aweary, give me leave a while.
Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunce have I!
I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news.
Nay come, I pray thee, speak, good good Nurse, speak.
Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay awhile?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?
How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that,
Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
Let me be satisfied; is’t good or bad?
Well, you have made a simple choice. You know not how to
choose a man. Romeo? No, not he, though his face be better
then any man’s, yet his leg excels all men’s, and for a hand and
a foot and a body, though they be not to be talked on, yet they
are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy, but I’ll
warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. Go thy ways, wench, serve
God. What, have you dined at home?
No, no. But all this did I know before.
What says he of our marriage, what of that?
Lord how my head aches! what a head have I!
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
My back o’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!
Beshrew your heart for sending me about
To catch my death with jauncing up and down.
I’faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Nurse, tell me what says my love?
Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome,
And, I warrant, a virtuous – Where is your mother?
Where is my mother? Why, she is within.
Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest:
“Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
Where is your mother?”
NURSE O God’s lady dear,
Are you so hot? Marry come up, I trow.
Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
Henceforward do your messages yourself.
Here’s such a coil. Come, what says Romeo?
Have you got leave to go to shrift today?
JULIET I have.
Then high you hence to Friar Laurence’ cell,
There stays a husband to make you a wife.
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;
They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
Hie you to church. I must another way,
To fetch a ladder by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,
But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
Go. I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse, farewell. Exeunt.
20.c The Nurse
Juliet about the
plan for the secret
into her room at
Enter Friar and Romeo.
So smile the heavens upon this holy act
That after-hours with sorrow chide us not.
Amen, amen! But come what sorrow can,
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short minute gives me in her sight.
Do thou but close our hands with holy words,
Then love-devouring death do what he dare,
It is enough I may but call her mine.
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore love moderately. Long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
21.a The friar and
Romeo wait for
Juliet and the friar
21 The secret marriage.
Here comes the lady. Oh so light a foot
Will ne’er wear out the everlasting flint.
A lover may bestride the gossamers
That idles in the wanton summer air,
And yet not fall, so light is vanity.
Good even to my ghostly confessor.
Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.
As much to him, else is his thanks too much.
Ah Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heaped like mine, and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich music’s tongue
Unfold the imagined happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter.
Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament.
They are but beggars that can count their worth,
But my true love is grown to such excess
I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
Come, come with me, and we will make short work;
For by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
Till Holy Church incorporate two in one. [Exeunt.]
21.b Juliet arrives.
The friar invites
them to go with
him for the
celebration of the
Enter Mercutio, Benvolio, and men.
I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire.
The day is hot, the Capels are abroad,
And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl,
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
MERCUTIO Thou art like one of these fellows that, when he
enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the
table and says, “God send me no need of thee” and by the
operation of the second cup draws him on the drawer when
indeed there is no need.
BENVOLIO Am I like such a fellow?
MERCUTIO Come, come, thou art as hot a jack in thy mood
as any in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as soon
moody to be moved.
BENVOLIO And what to?
MERCUTIO Nay, an there were two such, we should have none
shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou – why, thou
wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more or a hair less in
his beard then thou hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man for
cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast
hazel eyes. What eye but such an eye would spy out such a
quarrel? Thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat,
and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg for
quarrelling. Thou hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in
the street because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain
asleep in the sun. Didst thou not fall out with a tailor for
wearing his new doublet before Easter? With another for tying
his new shoes with old ribbon? And yet thou wilt tutor me
BENVOLIO And I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man
should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.
MERCUTIO The fee simple? O simple!
22.a Knowing the
roaming the streets
of Verona, Benvolio
wants to retire.
22. A new brawl erupts
between Montagues and
Capulets in Verona’s
Enter TYBALT, PETRUCHIO, and others.
BENVOLIO By my head, here comes the Capulets.
MERCUTIO By my heel I care not.
Follow me close, for I will speak to them. –
Gentlemen, good e’en. A word with one of you.
MERCUTIO And but one word with one of us? Couple it with
something; make it a word and a blow.
TYBALT You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you will
give me occasion.
MERCUTIO Could you not take some occasion without
TYBALT Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.
MERCUTIO Consort? What, doest thou make us minstrels?
And thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but
discords. Here’s my fiddlestick; here’s that shall make you
dance. Zounds, consort!
We talk here in the public haunt of men.
Either withdraw unto some private place,
Or reason coldly of your grievances,
Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us.
Men’s eyes were made to look, and let them gaze.
I will not budge for no man’s pleasure, I.
22.b Enter Tybalt,
others. Tybalt and
Benvolio tries to
drive them to some
Well, peace be with you, sir, here comes my man.
But I’ll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery.
Marry, go before to field, he’ll be your follower.
Your Worship in that sense may call him ‘man’.
Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford
No better term than this: thou art a villain.
22.c Romeo arrives. Tybalt challenges
Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting. Villain am I none.
Therefore farewell, I see thou know’st me not.
Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
That thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.
I do protest I never injured thee
But love thee better then thou canst devise
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love.
And so, good Capulet, which name I tender
As dearly as mine own, be satisfied.
22.d Romeo refuses
to fight and protests
his love for Tybalt.
O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccado carries it away.
Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?
TYBALT What wouldst thou have with me?
MERCUTIO Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine
lives, that I mean to make bold withal, and as you shall use me
hereafter dry beat the rest of the eight. Will you pluck your
sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be
about your ears ere it be out.
TYBALT I am for you.
fights with Tybalt.
Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.
MERCUTIO Come, sir, your “passado”.
Draw, Benvolio, beat down their weapons.
Gentlemen, for shame forbear this outrage.
Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath
Forbid this bandying in Verona streets.
Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio![xxv]
23.a Romeo tries to
stop the fight and
Mercutio is mortally
wounded by Tybalt.
23. Mercutio is killed by
23.b Tybalt and the
other Capulets flee.
MERCUTIO I am hurt.
A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone and hath nothing?
BENVOLIO What, art thou hurt?
Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch. Marry ’tis enough.
Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon. [Exit Page.]
Courage, man, the hurt cannot be much.
MERCUTIO No ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
church door, but ’tis enough, ’twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow,
and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered,
I warrant, for this world. A plague o’ both your houses!
Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death!
A braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of
arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt
under your arm.
ROMEO I thought all for the best.
Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses!
They have made worms’ meat of me.
I have it, and soundly, too. Your houses! Exit.
23.c Mercutio exits
about his wound
cursing the two
This gentleman, the Prince’s near ally,
My very friend, hath got this mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation stained
With Tybalt’s slander – Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my cousin! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper softened valor’s steel.
23.d Romeo blames
Juliet’s beauty for
O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead.
That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.
This day’s black fate on more days doth depend;
This but begins the woe others must end.
Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.
He gone[xxvii] 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
That late thou gavest me, for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company.
Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.
Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,
Shalt with him hence.
ROMEO This shall determine that.
They fight. Tybalt falls.
24.a Romeo throws
caution to the
Tybalt, they fight
and he kills him.
24. Romeo kills Tybalt.
Romeo, away, be gone!
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee death
If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away!
Oh, I am fortune’s fool!
BENVOLIO Why dost thou stay?
24.b Benvolio urges
him to leave and
Romeo flees away.
Which way ran he that killed Mercutio?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?
There lies that Tybalt.
CITIZEN Up sir, go with me.
I charge thee in the Prince’s name obey.
25.a Enter Citizens
and start inquiring
about Tybalt’s and
25. Benvolio’s narration.
Enter Prince, old Montague, Capulet, their Wives, and all.
Where are the vile beginners of this fray?
O Noble Prince, I can discover all
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl.
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.
Tybalt, my cousin, O my brother’s child!
O Prince, O cousin, husband, Oh, the blood is spilled
Of my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true,
For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.
O cousin, cousin!
Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?
25.b Enter the
Capulet, and their
wives. The Prince
asks who started
the fight while Lady
over Tybalt’s body
Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay.
Romeo, that spoke him fair, bid him bethink
How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal
Your high displeasure. All this uttered
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bowed
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio’s breast,
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point
And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats
Cold death aside and with the other sends
It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity
Retorts it. Romeo he cries aloud,
“Hold, friends! Friends, part!” and swifter then his tongue,
His agile arm beats down their fatal points,
And ’twixt them rushes; underneath whose arm
An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled;
But by and by comes back to Romeo,
Who had but newly entertained revenge,
And to’t they go like lightning, for, ere I
Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain,
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly.
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.
narration of the
He is a kinsman to the Montague;
Affection makes him false; he speaks not true.
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,
And all those twenty could but kill one life.
I beg for justice, which thou, Prince, must give:
Romeo slew Tybalt; Romeo must not live.
Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio.
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?
26.a Lady Capulet
asks for a death
sentence to be
26. The Prince’s verdict.
Not Romeo, Prince, he was Mercutio’s friend;
His fault concludes but what the law should end,
The life of Tybalt.
26.b Old Montague
defends his son.
PRINCE And for that offence
Immediately we do exile him hence.
I have an interest in your hearts’ proceeding;
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding;
But I’ll amerce you with so strong a fine
That you shall all repent the loss of mine.
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses.
Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses.
Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste,
Else, when he is found, that hour is his last.
Bear hence this body and attend our will,
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill. [Exeunt.][xxix]
26.c The Prince
sentences Romeo to
Enter Juliet alone.
Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus’ lodging. Such a wagoner
As Phaeton would whip you to the west
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
That runaways’ eyes may wink, and Romeo
Leap to these arms, untalked of and unseen.
Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
By their own beauties; or, if love be blind,
It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
Thou sober-suited matron all in black,
And learn me how to lose a winning match
Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods.
Hood my unmanned blood, bating in my cheeks,
With thy black mantle till strange love grow bold,
Think true love acted simple modesty.
Come, night, come, Romeo, come, thou day in night,
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter then new snow upon a raven’s back.
Come, gentle night, come, loving black-browed night,
Give me my Romeo, and when I shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Oh, I have bought the mansion of a love
But not possessed it, and though I am sold,
Not yet enjoyed. So tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them.
27.a Juliet eagerly
waits for her
wedding night with
27. Juliet learns about
Tybalt’s death and
Oh, here comes my nurse,
Enter Nurse with cords.
And she brings news, and every tongue that speaks
But Romeo’s name speaks heavenly eloquence.
Now, Nurse, what news? What hast thou there?
The cords that Romeo bid thee fetch?
NURSE Ay, ay, the cords.
Ay me, what news? Why dost thou wring thy hands?
Ah weraday, he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!
We are undone, lady, we are undone.
Alack the day, he’s gone, he’s killed, he’s dead.
Can heaven be so envious?
NURSE Romeo can,
Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo,
Whoever would have thought it? Romeo!
27.b Enters the
understands it is
What devil art thou that dost torment me thus?
This torture should be roared in dismal hell.
Hath Romeo slain himself? Say thou but “Ay”,
And that bare vowel “I” shall poison more
Than the death darting eye of cockatrice.
I am not I if there be such an “I”,
Or those eyes shut, that makes thee answer “Ay”,
If he be slain say “Ay”, or if not, “No”.
Brief sounds determine my weal or woe.
frantically begs the
Nurse to stop
tormenting her and
Romeo is dead and
I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes,
God save the mark, here on his manly breast.
A piteous corpse, a bloody piteous corpse,
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood,
All in gore blood. I swounded at the sight.
27.d The Nurse says
she saw the wound
Oh, break, my heart, poor bankrupt, break at once!
To prison, eyes, ne’er; look on liberty.
Vile earth to earth resign, end motion here,
And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier.
27.e Juliet wishes
her heart to break
and be dead.
O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!
O courteous Tybalt, honest gentleman,
That ever I should live to see thee dead!
What storm is this that blows so contrary?
Is Romeo slaughtered and is Tybalt dead?
My dearest cousin, and my dearer lord?
Then dreadful trumpet sound the general doom,
For who is living if those two are gone?
Tybalt is gone and Romeo banished,
Romeo that killed him, he is banished.
O God, did Romeo’s hand shed Tybalt’s blood?
It did, it did, alas the day, it did.
27.f The Nurse tells
her that Tybalt is
dead, killed by
Romeo who has
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical,
Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show,
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain.
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? Oh, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!
27.g Juliet curses
looks hiding a
NURSE There’s no trust,
No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,
All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
Ah, where’s my man? Give me some aqua vitae.
These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old.
Shame come to Romeo!
27.h The Nurse also
JULIET Blistered be thy tongue
For such a wish! He was not born to shame.
Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit,
For ‘tis a throne where honour may be crowned
Sole monarch of the universal earth.
Oh, what a beast was I to chide at him!
Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin?
Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name
When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?
But wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?
That villain cousin would have killed my husband.
Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring.
Your tributary drops belong to woe,
Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy.
My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain,
And Tybalt’s dead, that would have slain my husband.
All this is comfort. Wherefore weep I then?
27.i Juliet rebukes
the Nurse and
repents the words
she has just said
whom she has just
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt’s death,
That murdered me. I would forget it fain,
But oh, it presses to my memory
Like damned guilty deeds to sinners’ minds:
“Tybalt is dead and Romeo banished”.
That “banished”, that one word “banished”,
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt’s death
Was woe enough if it had ended there;
Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship
And needly will be ranked with other griefs,
Why followed not when she said “Tybalt’s dead”,
“Thy father” or “thy mother”, nay, or both,
Which modern lamentation might have moved?
But with a rearward following Tybalt’s death,
“Romeo is banished”: to speak that word
Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,
All slain, all dead. “Romeo is banished”.
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,
In that word’s death. No words can that woe sound.
27.l Juliet muses
banishment and its
Where is my father and my mother, Nurse?
Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corpse,
Will you go to them? I will bring you thither.
27.m Juliet asks the
Nurse about her
parents and she
answers they are
crying over Tybalt’s
Wash they his wounds with tears? Mine shall be spent,
When theirs are dry, for Romeo’s banishment.
Take up those cords. Poor ropes, you are beguiled,
Both you and I, for Romeo is exiled.
He made you for a highway to my bed,
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.
Come cords, come Nurse, I’ll to my wedding bed,
And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!
27.n Since Romeo
has been exiled, Juliet
calls herself a
and wishes death
were her spouse.
Hie to your chamber. I’ll find Romeo
To comfort you. I wot well where he is.
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night.
I’ll to him; he is hid at Laurence’ cell.
27.o The Nurse says
she will find
O find him, give this ring to my true knight
And bid him come to take his last farewell. [Exeunt.][xxxii]
27.p Juliet gives her
a ring for Romeo.
Enter Friar and Romeo.
Romeo, come forth, come forth thou fearful man.
Affliction is enamoured of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.
Father, what news? What is the Prince’s doom?
What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand,
That I yet know not?
FRIAR Too familiar
Is my dear son with such sour company.
I bring thee tidings of the Prince’s doom.
What less than doomsday is the Prince’s doom?
A gentler judgment vanished from his lips:
Not body’s death, but body’s banishment.
Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say “death”,
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death. Do not say “banishment”.
Here 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’s exile is death. Then “banished”,
Is death mistermed. Calling death “banished”,
Thou cut’st my head off with a golden axe
And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.
O deadly sin, O rude unthankfulness!
Thy fault our law calls death, but the kind Prince
Taking thy part, hath rushed aside the law
And turned that black word “death” to “banishment”.
This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.
’Tis torture and not mercy. Heaven is here
Where Juliet lives, and every cat and dog
And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
Live here in heaven and may look on her,
But Romeo may not. More validity,
More honourable state, more courtship lives
In carrion flies than Romeo. They may seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who even in pure and vestal modesty
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin.
But Romeo may not, he is banished.
Flies may do this, but I from this must fly.
They are free men, but I am banished.
And sayest thou yet, that exile is not death?
Hadst thou no poison mixed, no sharp-ground knife,
No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean,
But “banished” to kill me? “Banished”?
O Friar, the damned use that word in hell.
Howling attends it. How hast thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
A sin-absolver, and my friend professed,
To mangle me with that word “banished”?
Thou fond mad man, hear me a little speak.
Oh, thou wilt speak again of banishment.
I’ll give thee armour to keep off that word,
Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy,
To comfort thee though thou art banished.
Yet “banished”? Hang up philosophy!
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
Displant a town, reverse a prince’s doom,
It helps not, it prevails not, talk no more.
Oh, then I see that mad men 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 that thou dost not feel.
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
Doting like me, and like me banished,
Then might’st thou speak, then might’st 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.
Enter Nurse, and knock.[xxxiii]
Arise, one knocks. Good Romeo, hide thyself.
Not I, unless the breath of heartsick groans,
Mistlike enfold me from the search of eyes.
Hark, how they knock! – Who’s there? – Romeo, arise.
Thou wilt be taken. – Stay a while – Stand up.
Run to my study. By and by, God’s will,
What simpleness is this? I come, I come.
Who knocks so hard? Whence come you? What’s your will?
Let me come in, and you shall know my errand.
I come from Lady Juliet.
FRIAR Welcome then.
O holy Friar, Oh, tell me, holy Friar,
Where’s my lady’s lord? Where’s Romeo?
There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.
Oh, he is even in my mistress’ case,
Just in her case! O woeful sympathy,
Piteous predicament! Even so lies she,
Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering. –
Stand up, stand up. Stand and you be a man.
For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand.
Why should you fall into so deep an O?
NURSE Ah sir, ah sir, death’s the end of all.
Spakest thou of Juliet? How is it with her?
Doth not she think me an old murderer,
Now I have stained the childhood of our joy
With blood removed but little from her own?
Where is she, and how doth she, and what says
My concealed lady to our cancelled love?
Oh, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps,
And now falls on her bed, and then starts up,
And Tybalt calls, and then on Romeo cries,
And then down falls again.
28.b Enters the
Juliet’s news: the
girl is also
keeps crying in her
ROMEO As if that name
Shot from the deadly level of a gun,
Did murder her, as that name’s cursed hand
Murdered her kinsman. Oh, tell me, Friar, tell me,
In what vile part of this anatomy
Doth my name lodge? Tell me, that I may sack
The hateful mansion.
threatens to kill
FRIAR Hold thy desperate hand!
Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art.
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast.
Unseemly woman in a seeming man,
And 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 thyself?
And slay thy lady, that in thy life lives,
By doing damned hate upon thyself?
Why railest thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth,
Since birth and heaven and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once, which thou at once wouldst lose?
Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit,
Which like a usurer abound’st in all
And usest none in that true use indeed
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit.
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valour of a man;
Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
Killing that love which thou hast vowed to cherish;
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
Like powder in a skilless soldier’s flask,
Is set afire by thine own ignorance,
And thou dismembered with thine own defence.
What, rouse thee, man! Thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew’st Tybalt; there art thou happy.
The law that threatened death becomes thy friend,
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy.
A pack of blessings light upon thy back,
Happiness courts thee in her best array,
But like a mishaved and sullen wench
Thou pouts upon thy fortune and thy love.
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
28.d The Friar
Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed;
Ascend her chamber; hence and comfort her.
But look thou stay not till the watch be set,
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua,
Where thou shalt live till we can find a time
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
Beg pardon of the Prince, and call thee back
With twenty hundred thousand times more joy
Than thou went’st forth in lamentation.
28.e The Friar tells
Romeo to pay one
last visit to his wife
and then leave for
dawn; he also says
that in his absence
he will try to favour
Go before, Nurse, commend me to thy lady,
And bid her hasten all the house to bed,
Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto.
Romeo is coming.
O Lord, I could have stayed here all the night
To hear good counsel. Oh, what learning is!
My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.
Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.
28.f The Friar tells
the Nurse to inform
Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir.
Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late.
How well my comfort is revived by this.
28.g The Nurse
gives Juliet’s ring to
Go hence, good night, and here stands all your state:
Either be gone before the watch be set,
Or by the break of day disguised from hence.
Sojourn in Mantua. I’ll find out your man,
And he shall signify from time to time
Every good hap to you, that chances here.
Give me thy hand. ’Tis late. Farewell, good night.
But that a joy past joy calls out on me,
It were a grief so brief to part with thee.
28.h The Friar tells
Romeo to go and
leave Juliet’s house
Enter old Capulet, his Wife and Paris.
Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily
That we have had no time to move our daughter.
Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly,
And so did I. Well, we were born to die.
’Tis very late. She’ll not come down tonight.
I promise you, but for your company,
I would have been abed an hour ago.
These times of woe afford no times to woo.
Madam, good night. Commend me to your daughter.
I will, and know her mind early tomorrow.
Tonight she’s mewed up to her heaviness.
29.a Capulet tells
Paris he could not
speak to Juliet
because of Tybalt’s
29. Capulet gives his
daughter to Paris.
Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender
Of my child’s love. I think she will be ruled
In all respects by me; nay more, I doubt it not.
Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed.
Acquaint her here, of my son Paris’ love,
And bid her, mark you me, on Wednesday next –
But soft, what day is this?
PARIS Monday, my lord.
Monday! Ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon,
A Thursday let it be. A Thursday, tell her,
She shall be married to this noble earl.
Will you be ready? Do you like this haste?
We’ll keep no great ado, a friend or two;
For hark you, Tybalt being slain so late,
It may be thought we held him carelessly,
Being our kinsman, if we revel much.
Therefore we’ll have some half a dozen friends,
And there an end. But what say you to Thursday?
My Lord, I would that Thursday were tomorrow.
Well, get you gone. A Thursday be it, then.
Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed,
Prepare her, wife, against this wedding day. –
Farewell my lord – Light to my chamber, ho!
Afore me, it is so very late
That we may call it early by and by. Good night. Exeunt.
his mind and sets a
date (the following
Thursday) for her
Paris, and begs his
wife to inform the
girl about his
Enter Romeo and Juliet aloft.
Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.
It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
Yond light is not daylight, I know it, I.
It is some meteor that the sun exhaled
To be to thee this night a torchbearer
And light thee on thy way to Mantua.
Therefore stay yet; thou need’st not to be gone.
Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye;
’Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow.
Nor that is not the lark whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.
I have more care to stay then will to go.
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is’t, my soul? Let’s talk. It is not day.
It is, it is. Hie hence, be gone, away!
It is the lark that sings so out of tune,
Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.
Some say the lark makes sweet division:
This doth not so, for she divideth us.
Some say the lark and loathed toad changed eyes;
Oh, now I would they had changed voices too,
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence with hunt’s-up to the day.
O, now be gone. More light and light it grows.
More light and light, more dark and dark our woes.
30.a The two lovers
over which bird is
30. Romeo and Juliet
share their last farewell.
Enter Madam and Nurse.[xxxvi]
Your lady mother is coming to your chamber.
The day is broke, be wary, look about.
30.b Enters the
Juliet’s mother is
Then, window, let day in, and let life out.
Farewell, farewell. One kiss and I’ll descend.
Art thou gone so? Love, lord, ay husband, friend!
I must hear from thee every day in the hour,
Oh, by this count I shall be much in years
Ere I again behold my Romeo.
I will omit no opportunity
That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.
O, think’st thou we shall ever meet again?
I doubt it not; and all these woes shall serve
For sweet discourses in our times to come.
O God, I have an ill-divining soul!
Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low,
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale.
And trust me, love, in my eye so do you.
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu. Exit.
O Fortune, Fortune, all men call thee fickle.
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him
That is renowned for faith? Be fickle, Fortune,
For then I hope thou wilt not keep him long,
But send him back.
30.c Romeo leaves
window: the two
lovers have an
Enter [Capulet’s Wife.][xxxviii]
[CAPULET’S WIFE][xxxix] Ho, daughter, are you up?
Who is’t that calls? It is my lady mother.
Is she not down so late or up so early?
What unaccustomed cause procures her hither?
Why, how now, Juliet?
JULIET Madam, I am not well.
Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?
What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears?
An if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live.
Therefore have done. Some grief shows much of love,
But much of grief shows still some want of wit.
Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss.
So shall you feel the loss, but not the friend
Which you weep for.
JULIET Feeling so the loss,
I cannot choose but ever weep the friend.
Well, girl, thou weep’st not so much for his death
As that the villain lives which slaughtered him.
What villain, Madam?
[CAPULET’S WIFE][xliv] That same villain Romeo.
Villain and he be many miles asunder.
God pardon him. I do with all my heart;
And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart.
That is because the traitor murderer lives.
Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands.
Would none but I might venge my cousin’s death.
We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not.
Then weep no more. I’ll send to one in Mantua,
Where that same banished runagate doth live,
Shall give him such an unaccustomed dram
That he shall soon keep Tybalt company;
And then I hope thou wilt be satisfied.
Indeed, I never shall be satisfied
With Romeo till I behold him – dead –
Is my poor heart so for a kinsman vexed.
Madam, if you could find out but a man
To bear a poison, I would temper it,
That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,
Soon sleep in quiet. Oh, how my heart abhors
To hear him named and cannot come to him
To wreak the love I bore my cousin
Upon his body that hath slaughtered him.
Find thou the means, and I’ll find such a man.
31.a Enters Lady
Capulet and asks
Juliet the reason for
wishes she could
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
But now I’ll tell thee joyful tidings, girl.
And joy comes well in such a needy time.
What are they, beseech your ladyship?
Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child,
One who, to put thee from thy heaviness,
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy
That thou expects not, nor I looked not for.
Madam, in happy time. What day is that?
Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn
The gallant, young, and noble gentleman,
The County Paris, at Saint Peter’s Church,
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.
31.b Lady Capulet
tells Juliet that she
has joyful tidings
for her: she will be
married to Paris on
Now, by Saint Peter’s Church, and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride.
I wonder at this haste, that I must wed
Ere he that should be husband comes to woo.
I pray you tell my lord and father, madam,
I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,
Rather then Paris. These are news indeed.
31.c Juliet is upset,
says that she will
not be a happy
bride, and appears
to be especially
because Paris has
not even courted
Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself,
And see how he will take it at your hands.
31.d Juliet’s mother
is taken aback and
tells her to talk to
Enter Capulet and Nurse.
When the sun sets, the earth doth drizzle dew,
But for the sunset of my brother’s son
It rains downright.
How now, a conduit, girl? What, still in tears?
Evermore showering? In one little body
Thou counterfeits a bark, a sea, a wind;
For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,
Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is,
Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy sighs,
Who, raging with thy tears and they with them,
Without a sudden calm will overset
Thy tempest-tossed body. – How now, wife?
Have you delivered to her our decree?
Ay, sir, but she will none, she gives you thanks.
I would the fool were married to her grave.
Soft, take me with you, take me with you, wife.
How, will she none? Doth she not give us thanks?
Is she not proud? Doth she not count her blest,
Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought
So worthy a gentleman to be her bride?
32.a Enters Capulet.
He learns from his
wife about his
32. Juliet confronts her
Not proud you have, but thankful that you have.
Proud can I never be of what I hate,
But thankful even for hate that is meant love.
32.b Juliet confirms
her refusal to get
married to Paris.
How, how, how, how? Chopped logic? What is this?
“Proud”, and “I thank you”, and “I thank you not”,
And yet “not proud”? Mistress minion you?
Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds,
But fettle your fine joints ’gainst Thursday next
To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!
[CAPULET’S WIFE][lii] Fie, fie, what, are you mad?
32.c Capulet gets
Good father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.
Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church a Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face.
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me.
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child;
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her.
Out on her, hilding!
32.d Juliet begs her
father to listen to
her but he violently
NURSE God in heaven bless her!
You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.
And why, my lady Wisdom? Hold your tongue,
Good Prudence, smatter with your gossips, go.
I speak no treason.
[CAPULET][liv] O, God ’i’ g e’en!
May not one speak?
CAPULET[lvi] Peace, you mumbling fool!
Utter your gravity o’er a gossip’s bowl,
For here we need it not.
[CAPULET’S] WIFE. You are too hot.
32.e Capulet is deaf
to his wife’s and the
to calm down.
God’s bread, it makes me mad! Day, night, hour, tide,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her matched; and having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,
Of faire demesnes, youthful and nobly ligned,
Stuffed, as they say, with honourable parts,
Proportioned as one’s thought would wish a man –
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,
To answer “I’ll not wed, I cannot love,
I am too young, I pray you pardon me.”
But, an you will not wed, I’ll pardon you.
Graze where you will, you shall not house with me.
Look to’t, think on’t; I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near. Lay hand on heart, advise.
An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend;
An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good.
Trust to’t, bethink you, I’ll not be forsworn. Exit.
32.f Capulet tells
Juliet that she can
either obey or be cut
off and disowned. He
Is there no pity sitting in the clouds
That sees into the bottom of my grief?
O sweet my mother, cast me not away.
Delay this marriage for a month, a week,
Or if you do not, make the bridal bed
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.
Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word.
Do as 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
O God! O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?
My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven.
How shall that faith return again to earth,
Unless that husband send it me from heaven
By leaving earth? Comfort me, counsel me.
Alack, alack, that heaven should practice stratagems
Upon so soft a subject as myself. 0
What sayst thou? Hast thou not a word of joy?
Some comfort, Nurse.
NURSE Faith, here it is.
Romeo is banished, and all the world to nothing
That he dares ne’er come back to challenge you,
Or if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the County,
Oh, he’s a lovely gentleman!
Romeo’s a dishclout to him. An eagle, madam,
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,
I think you are happy in this second match,
For it excels your first, or if it did not,
Your first is dead, or ’twere as good he were,
As living here and you no use of him.
Speak’st thou from thy heart?
And from my soul too, else beshrew them both.
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 marvellous much.
Go in and tell my lady I am gone,
Having displeased my father, to Laurence’ cell
To make confession and to be absolved.
Marry, I will; and this is wisely done. [Exit.]
33.c Juliet pretends
to appreciate the
Ancient damnation! Oh most wicked fiend!
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue
Which she hath praised him with above compare
So many thousand times? Go, counsellor,
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.
33.d Juliet curses
the Nurse for her ill
advice as soon as
I’ll to the friar to know his remedy,
If all else fail, myself have 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 County Paris.
On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.
My Father Capulet will have it so,
And I am nothing slow to slack 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 talk of love,
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous
That she do give her sorrow so much sway,
And in his wisdom hastes our marriage
To stop the inundation of her tears,
Which, too much minded by herself alone,
May be put from her by society.
Now do you know the reason of this haste.
I would I knew not why it should be slowed. –
Look sir, here comes the lady toward my cell.
34.a Paris discusses
his marriage with
Paris justifies its
being so sudden by
referring to Juliet’s
over Tybalt’s death.
34. Paris and Juliet meet
at the Friar’s cell.
Happily met my lady and my wife.
That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.
That “may be” must be, love, on Thursday next
What must be shall be.
FRIAR That’s a certain text.
Come you to make confession to this Father?
To answer that, I should confess to you.
Do not deny to him that you love me.
I will confess to you that I love him.
So will ye, I am sure, that you love me.
If I do so, it will be of more price,
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.
Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.
The tears have got small victory by that
For it was bad enough before their spite.
Thou wrong’st it more than tears with that report.
That is no slander, sir, which is a truth,
And what I spake, I spake it to my face.
Thy face is mine, and thou hast 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. –
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye.
Till then adieu, and keep this holy kiss. Exit.
34.b Enters Juliet.
She tells Paris she
has come for
O shut the door, and when thou hast done so,
Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help.
O Juliet, I already know thy grief;
It strains me past the compass of my wits.
I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
On Thursday next be married to this County.
Tell me not, Friar, that thou hearest of this,
Unless thou tell me, how I may prevent it.
If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help,
Do thou but call my resolution wise,
And with this knife I’ll help it presently.
God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands,
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo’s sealed,
Shall be the label to another deed,
Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
Turn to another, this shall slay them both.
Therefore, out of thy long-experienced time,
Give me some present counsel, or behold,
’Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that
Which the commission of thy years and art
Could to no issue of true honour bring.
Be not so long to speak; I long to die
If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.
35.a Juliet declares
that she is ready to
35. The Friar’s ‘fake
Hold, daughter, I do spy a kind of hope
Which craves as desperate an execution
As that is desperate which we would prevent.
If rather then to marry County Paris
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,
Then is it likely thou wilt undertake
A thing like death to chide away this shame,
That cop’st with death himself to scape from it;
And if thou dar’st, I’ll give thee remedy.
O bid me leap, rather then marry Paris,
From of the battlements of any tower,
Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk
Where serpents are. Chain me with roaring bears,
Or hide me nightly in a charnel-house,
O’recovered quite with dead men’s rattling bones,
With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;
Or bid me go into a new-made grave,
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud –
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble –
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstained wife to my sweet love.
Hold then, go home, be merry, give consent
To marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow.
Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone;
Let not the nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.
Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
And this distilling liquor drink thou off,
When presently through all thy veins shall run
A cold and drowsy humour; for no pulse
Shall keep his native progress, but surcease;
No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest;
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
To wanny ashes, thy eyes’ windows fall
Like death when he shuts up the day of life.
Each part, deprived of supple government,
Shall stiff and stark, and cold appear like death,
And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death
Thou shalt continue two and forty hours,
And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes
To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead.
Then, as the manner of our country is,
In thy best robes, uncovered on the bier
Thou shall be borne to that same ancient vault
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,
Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,
And hither shall he come, and he and I
Will watch thy waking, and that very night
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
And this shall free thee from this present shame,
If no inconstant toy nor womanish fear
Abate thy valour in the acting it.
Give me, give me! O tell not me of fear!
35.b Laurence tells
her that there is
still hope; he gives
her a sleeping
instructs her about
the ‘fake death’
Hold, get you gone; Be strong and prosperous
In this resolve, I’ll send a Friar with speed
To Mantua with my letters to thy Lord.
Love give me strength, and strength shall help afford
Farewell dear father. [Exeunt.][lix]
35.c The Friar gives
her the potion and
tells her that he will
send a friar to
Mantua in order to
about their plan.
Enter Father Capulet, Mother, Nurse, and Servingmen, two or three.
So many guests invite as here are writ.
Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks.
SERVINGMAN You shall have none ill sir, for I’ll try if they
can lick their fingers.
CAPULET How canst thou try them so?
SERVINGMAN Marry sir, ’tis an ill cook that cannot lick his
own fingers; therefore he that cannot lick his fingers goes not
CAPULET Go, be gone.
We shall be much unfurnished for this time.
details of the
wedding feast with
36. Juliet feigns
repentance in front of
her father. The wedding
is moved up to the
What, is my daughter gone to Friar Laurence?
NURSE Ay, forsooth.
Well, he may chance to do some good on her.
A peevish self-willed harlotry it is.
36.b Capulet is
happy to hear that
Juliet has gone to
see Friar Laurence.
See where she comes from shrift with merry look.
How now, my headstrong, where have you been gadding?
Where I have learnt me to repent the sin
Of disobedient opposition
To you and your behests, and am enjoined
By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here,
To beg your pardon. Pardon, I beseech you.
Henceforward I am ever ruled by you.
36.c Juliet comes
back home and
repentance to her
Send for the County; go tell him of this.
I’ll have this knot knit up tomorrow morning.
I met the youthful lord at Laurence’ cell,
And gave him what becomed love I might,
Not stepping o’er the bounds of modesty.
Why, I am glad on’t. This is well. Stand up.
This is as ’t should be. Let me see the County;
Ay, marry, go, I say, and fetch him hither.
Now, afore God, this reverend holy friar,
All our whole city is much bound to him.
36.d Capulet is
pleased by the news
and orders that
Paris be called for.
Nurse, will you go with me into my closet
To help me sort such needful ornaments,
As you think fit to furnish me tomorrow?
No, not till Thursday. There is time enough.
36.e Juliet asks the
Nurse to help her
for the wedding.
Go Nurse, go with her, we’ll to church tomorrow. Exeunt.
36.f Capulet decides
to move up the
wedding to the
We shall be short in our provision.
’Tis now near night.
CAPULET[lxiii] Tush, I will stir about,
And all things shall be well, I warrant thee wife.
Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her.
I’ll not to bed tonight. Let me alone.
I’ll play the housewife for this once. – What, ho! –
36.g Capulet tells
his wife that he will
personally attend to
the organization of
the wedding feast.
They are all forth. Well, I will walk myself
To County Paris, to prepare up him
Against tomorrow. My heart is wondrous light
Since this same wayward girl is so reclaimed. [Exeunt.][lxiv]
36.h Capulet says
that he will
Paris about the
good news of
Enter Juliet and Nurse.
Ay, those attires are best. But, gentle Nurse,
I pray thee leave me to myself tonight,
For I have need of many orisons
To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
Which, well thou knowest, is cross and full of sin.
Enter [Capulet’s Wife.][lxv]
What are you busy, ho? Need you my help?
No, madam, we have culled such necessaries
As are behooveful for our state tomorrow.
So please you, let me now be left alone,
And let the Nurse this night sit up with you,
For I am sure you have your hands full all
In this so sudden business.
[CAPULET’S] WIFE. Good night.
Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need. Exeunt.
37.a Juliet has
chosen her attire
for the wedding and
begs both the Nurse
and her mother to
leave her alone for
37. Juliet drinks the
Friar’s potion and is
believed to be dead.
Farewell. – God knows when we shall meet again.
I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins
That almost freezes up the heat of life.
I’ll call them back again to comfort me. –
Nurse! – What should she do here?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
37.b Juliet is scared
and would call the
Nurse back, yet
changes her mind
and resolves to
carry on the plan
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
No, no, this shall forbid it. Lie thou there.
37.c Juliet is
worried about the
effectiveness of the
potion and places a
knife beside her.
What if it be a poison which the Friar
Subtly hath ministered to have me dead,
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonoured,
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear it is; and yet me thinks it should not,
For he hath still been tried a holy man.
37.d Juliet briefly
calls into doubt the
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Come to redeem me? There’s a fearful point!
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,
To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place –
As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where for this many hundred years the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are packed;
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies festering in his shroud, where, as they say,
At some hours in the night, spirits resort –
Alack, alack, is it not like that I,
So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
And shrikes like mandrakes torn out of the earth,
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad –
Oh if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environed with all these hideous fears,
And madly play with my forefathers’ joints,
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud,
And in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
37.e Juliet fears to
die anyway, either
terrified by the
place she will find
O look! Methinks I see my cousin’s ghost,
Seeking out Romeo that did spit his body
Upon a rapier’s point. Stay, Tybalt, stay!
37.f She thinks she
sees Tybalt’s ghost.
Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee.
the potion and
Enter [Capulet’s Wife][lxvii] and Nurse.
Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices, Nurse.
They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.
Enter old Capulet.
Come, stir, stir, stir! The second cock hath crowed.
The curfew bell hath rung; ’tis three a clock.
Look to the baked meats, good Angelica,
Spare not for cost.
NURSE Go, you cotquean, go,
Get you to bed. Faith, you’ll be sick tomorrow
For this night’s watching.
No not a whit. What, I have watched ere now
All night for lesser cause, and ne’er been sick.
Ay, you have been a mouse-hunt in your time,
But I will watch you from such watching now.
Exit Lady and Nurse.
38.a Lady Capulet
and the Nurse
bicker with Old
Capulet over who
will be in charge of
the feast. Exit the
Lady and the Nurse.
38. Capulet’s house is
animated by the
A jealous hood, a jealous hood.
Enter three or four with spits and logs and baskets.
Now fellow, What is there?
Things for the cook, sir, but I know not what.
Make haste, make haste. Sirrah, fetch drier logs!
Call Peter. [Exit. 1 Ser.] He will show thee where they are.
[2 SERVINGMAN] [lxxi] I have a head sir, that will find out logs
And never trouble Peter for the matter.
Mass, and well said. A merry whoreson, ha!
Thou shalt be loggerhead. Good faith, ’tis day.
38.b Capulet gives
instructions to the
urges them to be
The County will be here with music straight,
For so he said he would. I hear him near.
Nurse! Wife! What ho! What, Nurse, I say!
Go waken Juliet; go and trim her up.
I’ll go and chat with Paris. Hie, make haste,
Make haste. The bridegroom, he is come already.
Make haste I say.
38.c Music is being
played and Capulet
calls for the Nurse.
He tells her to wake
Juliet up and help
her get ready, as
the bridegroom has
Mistress, what, mistress! Juliet!– Fast, I warrant her, she. –
Why lamb, why lady. Fie, you slugabed!
Why, love, I say, Madam, sweet heart, why, bride!
What, not a word? – You take your pennyworths now.
Sleep for a week, for the next night, I warrant,
The County Paris hath set up his rest
That you shall rest but little. – God forgive me,
Marry, and amen. How sound is she asleep!
I needs must wake her. – Madam, madam, madam!
Ay, let the County take you in your bed;
He’ll fright you up i’faith. – Will it not be?
What, dressed, and in your clothes, and down again?
I must needs wake you. Lady, lady, lady!
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
Alas, alas! Help, help! My lady’s dead. –
Oh, weraday that ever I was born!
Some aqua-vitae, ho! – My Lord! my lady!
39.b The Nurse
realizes that Juliet is
dead and calls on
What noise is here?
NURSE. O lamentable day.
What is the matter?
NURSE Look, look! O heavy day!
O me, O me, my child, my only life!
Revive, look up, or I will die with thee.
Help, help! Call help!
39.c Enters Lady
Capulet and when
she realizes that
Juliet is dead
For shame, bring Juliet forth. Her Lord is come.
She’s dead, deceased. She’s dead, alack the day!
Alack the day, she’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead.
39.d Enters Capulet
and is told that
Juliet is dead.
Ha, let me see her. Out, alas she’s cold.
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff.
Life and these lips have long been separated.
Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
39.e Capulet sees
for himself that
Juliet is dead.
O lamentable day!
[CAPULET’S WIFE][lxxix] O woeful time!
Death, that hath ta’en her hence to make me wail,
Ties up my tongue and will not let me speak.
39.f They all start
Enter Friar and the County.
Come, is the bride ready to go to church?
Ready to go, but never to return.
O son, the night before thy wedding day
Hath death lain with thy wife. There she lies,
Flower as she was, deflowered by him.
Death is my son-in-law, death is my heir.
My daughter he hath wedded. I will die
And leave him all; life, living, all is death’s.
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 give me such a sight as this?
Accursed, unhappy, wretched hateful day!
Most miserable hour that e’er time saw
In lasting labour of his pilgrimage!
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,
But one thing to rejoice and solace in,
And cruel death hath catched it from my sight!
O woe, O woeful, woeful, woeful day!
Most lamentable day, most woeful day
That ever, ever I did yet behold!
O day, O day, O day, O hateful day,
Never was seen so black a day as this!
O woeful day, O woeful day!
Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spited, slain!
Most detestable death, by thee beguiled,
By cruel, cruel, thee quite overthrown!
O love, O life, not life, but love in death!
Despised, distressed, hated, martyred, killed!
Uncomfortable time, why cam’st thou now
To murder, murder our solemnity?
O child, O child, my soul and not my child!
Dead art thou, alack, my child is dead,
And with my child my joys are buried
39.h Lady Capulet,
Nurse, Paris and
mourn over the
Peace, ho for shame! Confusion’s cure lives not
In these confusions. Heaven and yourself
Had part in this fair maid; now heaven hath all,
And all the better is it for the maid.
Your part in her you could not keep from death,
But heaven keeps his part in eternal life.
The most you sought was her promotion,
For ’twas your heaven she should be advanced;
And weep ye now, seeing she is advanced
Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?
Oh, in this love you love your child so ill
That you run mad, seeing that she is well.
She’s not well married that lives married long,
But she’s best married that dies married young.
Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary
On this fair corpse, and, as the custom is,
And in her best array, bear her to Church;
For though fond nature bids us all lament,
Yet nature’s tears are reason’s merriment.
39.i Friar Laurence
tries to comfort
them saying that
Juliet is now in
All things that we ordained festival
Turn from their office to black funeral:
Our instruments to melancholy bells,
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corpse,
And all things change them to the contrary.
Sir, go you in, and madam, go with him,
And go, Sir Paris. Everyone prepare
To follow this fair corpse unto her grave.
The heavens do lour upon you for some ill;
Move them no more by crossing their high will.
Exeunt. Manent [Musici.][lxxxv]
39.j The marriage
solemnity has been
turned into funeral
Faith, we may put up our pipes and be gone.
Honest good fellows, ah, put up, put up,
For well you know, this is a pitiful case. [Exit Nurse.]
musicians enter and
ask the Nurse
whether they can
leave. The Nurse
sends them away
40. Enter some
Ay, by my troth, the case may be amended.
Enter Will Kemp.
PETER. Musicians, O musicians, “Hearts ease”, “Hearts ease”. Oh, an you will have me live, play “Hearts ease”.
FIDDLER Why “Hearts ease”?
PETER O musicians, because my heart itself plays “My heart
is full”. Oh, play me some merry dump to comfort me.
MINSTREL. Not a dump, we. ’Tis no time to play now.
PETER You will not then?
PETER I will then give it you soundly.
MINSTREL What will you give us?
PETER No money, on my faith, but the gleek. I will give you
MINSTREL Then will I give you the serving-creature.
PETER Then will I lay the serving-creature’s dagger on your
pate. I will carry no crotchets; I’ll re you, I’ll fa you. Do you
MINSTREL And you re us and fa us, you note us.
2 MUSICIAN Pray you, put up your dagger and put out your
PETER Then have at you with my wit. I will dry-beat you with
an iron wit, and put up my iron dagger. Answer me like men.
“When griping grief the heart doth wound,
And doleful dumps the mind oppress,
Then music with her silver sound –
Why “silver sound”? Why “music with her silver sound”?
What say you, Simon Catling?
MINSTREL Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.
PETER. Prates. What say you, Hugh Rebeck?
2 MUSICIAN I say “silver sound” because musicians sound
PETER Prates too. What say you, James Soundpost?
3 MUSICIAN Faith, I know not what to say.
PETER Oh, I cry you mercy, you are the singer. I will say
for you. It is “music with her silver sound” because
musicians have no gold for sounding:
“Then music with her silver sound
With speedy help doth lend redress.”
MINSTREL What a pestilent knave is this same!
2 MUSICIAN Hang him, Jack. Come, we’ll in here, tarry for
the mourners, and stay dinner. [Exeunt.]
40.b The musicians
bicker with Peter.
If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand.
My bosom’s lord sits lightly in his throne,
And all this day an unaccustomed spirit
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
I dreamt my lady came and found me dead –
Strange dream that gives a dead man leave to think! –
And breathed such life with kisses in my lips
That I revived and was an emperor.
Ah me, how sweet is love itself possessed
When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!
dream: he was dead
and was revived by
41. Romeo learns about
Juliet’s death and
decides to go back to
Enter Romeo’s man [Balthasar.]
News from Verona! How now, Balthasar,
Dost thou not bring me letters from the Friar?
How doth my Lady? Is my Father well?
How fares my Juliet? That I ask again,
For nothing can be ill if she be well.
Then she is well and nothing can be ill.
Her body sleeps in Capels’ monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.
I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault
And presently took post to tell it you.
Oh, pardon me for bringing these ill news,
Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
arrives bringing news
about Juliet’s death.
He tells Romeo that
she has been buried
in the family tomb.
Is it e’en so? Then I deny you, stars! –
Thou knowest my lodging. Get me ink and paper,
And hire post-horses. I will hence tonight.
I do beseech you sir, have patience.
Your looks are pale and wild and do import
ROMEO Tush, thou art deceived.
Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.
41.c Romeo decides
to return to Verona
asks for ink and
paper and post
Hast thou no letters to me from the Friar?
No, my good Lord.
ROMEO No matter. Get thee gone,
And hire those horses. I’ll be with thee straight. Exit.
41.d Romeo asks
he carries any
messages from Friar
Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight.
Let’s see for means. O mischief, thou art swift
To enter in the thoughts of desperate men.
41.e Romeo resolves
to lie with Juliet that
I do remember an apothecary,
And hereabouts a dwells, which late I noted
In tattered weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of simples. Meager were his looks;
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones;
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
An alligator stuffed, and other skins
Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves
A beggarly account of empty boxes,
Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses
Were thinly scattered to make up a show.
Noting this penury, to myself I said,
“An if a man did need a poison now,
Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.”
Oh, this same thought did but forerun my need,
And this same needy man must sell it me.
remembers where a
lives (description of
As I remember, this should be the house.
Being holiday, the beggar’s shop is shut. –
What ho, apothecary!
APOTHECARY Who calls so loud?
Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor.
Hold, there is forty ducats. Let me have
A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear,
As will disperse itself through all the veins,
That the life-weary taker may fall dead,
And that the trunk may be discharged of breath
As violently as hasty powder fired
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon’s womb.
41.g Romeo goes to
shop and asks for
Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law
Is death to any he that utters them.
that the sale of
poison is prohibited
by Mantua’s laws.
Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
And fearest to die? Famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,
Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back.
The world is not thy friend, nor the world’s law;
The world affords no law to make thee rich.
Then be not poor, but break it and take this.
My poverty but not my will consents.
I pay thy poverty and not thy will.
41.i Convinced by
and his own
neediness, he sells
Romeo the poison.
Put this in any liquid thing you will
And drink it off, and if you had the strength
Of twenty men it would dispatch you straight.
41.j The apothecary
tells Romeo about the
power of the poison.
Doing more murder in this loathsome world
Then these poor compounds that thou mayest not sell.
I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none.
Farewell, buy food, and get thyself in flesh.
41.k Romeo says
that gold is a
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 to Friar Laurence.
Holy Franciscan friar brother, ho!
This same should be the voice of Friar John.
Welcome from Mantua. What says Romeo?
Or if his mind be writ, give me his letter.
42.a Friar Laurence
asks Friar John about
news from Romeo.
42. Friar John has failed
to deliver the letter to
Going to find a barefoot brother out,
One of our order, to associate me
Here in this city visiting the sick,
And finding him, the searchers of the town
Suspecting that we both were in a house
Where the infectious pestilence did reign,
Sealed up the doors, and would not let us forth,
So that my speed to Mantua there was stayed.
42.b Friar John tells
Laurence that he
has been detained
in a house because
of the plague.
Who bare my letter then to Romeo?
I could not send it – here it is again –
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
So fearful were they of infection.
42.c John still
carries the letter on
him, as he could not
Unhappy fortune! By my brotherhood,
The letter was not nice but full of charge,
Of dear import, and the neglecting it
May do much danger: Friar John, go hence;
Get me an iron crow and bring it straight
Unto my cell.
JOHN. Brother I’ll go and bring it thee. Exit.
42.d Very worried,
orders John to bring
him an iron crow at
Now must I to the monument alone.
Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake.
She will beshrew me much that Romeo
Hath had no notice of these accidents;
decides to go to the
alone: Juliet will be
awake in three
But I will write again to Mantua,
And keep her at my cell till Romeo come –
Poor living corpse, closed in a dead man’s tomb. Exit.
42.f The Friar also
plans to write
another letter to
Romeo and to keep
Juliet in his cell
while waiting for
Enter Paris and his Page.
Give me thy torch, boy. Hence and stand aloof.
Yet put it out, for I would not be seen.
Under yond yew trees lay thee all along,
Holding thy ear close to the hollow ground.
So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread,
Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,
But thou shalt hear it. Whistle then to me
As signal that thou hearest something approach.
Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.
I am almost afraid to stand alone,
Here in the churchyard, yet I will adventure.
43.a Paris arrives
with his page at the
Paris tells his page
to keep watch and
warn him of any
43. Romeo kills Paris at
the Capulet tomb.
Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew –
O woe, thy canopy is dust and stones! –
Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,
Or wanting that, with tears distilled by moans.
The obsequies that I for thee will keep
Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.
43.b Paris strews
flowers over the
The boy gives warning something doth approach.
What cursed foot wanders this way tonight
To cross my obsequies and true love’s rite?
What, with a torch? Muffle me, night, awhile.
43.c Paris’ page
whistles to signal
that someone is
coming; Paris hides
Enter Romeo and [Balthasar.][xc]
Give me that mattock and the wrenching iron.
Hold, take this letter. Early in the morning
See thou deliver it to my lord and father.
Give me the light. Upon thy life I charge thee,
Whate’er thou hearest or seest, stand all aloof
And do not interrupt me in my course.
Why I descend into this bed of death
Is partly to behold my lady’s face,
But chiefly to take thence from her dead finger
A precious ring, a ring that I must use
In dear employment. Therefore hence, begone.
But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry
In what I farther shall intend to do,
By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint
And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs.
The time and my intents are savage-wild,
More fierce and more inexorable far
Then empty tigers or the roaring sea.
I will be gone, sir, and not trouble ye.
So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that.
Live and be prosperous, and farewell, good fellow.
43.d Romeo and his
arrive at the tomb;
Romeo instructs him
and them dismisses
For all this same, I’ll hide me hereabout,
His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.
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 open,
And in despite I’ll cram thee with more food.
43.f Romeo opens
This is that banished haughty Montague
That murdered my love’s cousin, with which grief
It is supposed the fair creature died,
And here is come to do some villainous shame
To the dead bodies. I will apprehend him.
Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague!
Can vengeance be pursued further than death?
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee.
Obey and go with me, for thou must die.
43.g Paris sees
him and tries to
I must indeed, and therefore came I hither.
Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man.
Fly hence and leave me. Think upon these gone;
Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
Put not another sin upon my head
By urging me to fury. Oh, begone,
By heaven, I love thee better then myself,
For I come hither armed against myself.
Stay not, begone; live, and hereafter say
A madman’s mercy bid thee run away.
43.h Romeo begs
him to leave for his
I do defy thy [conjuration][xci],
And apprehend thee for a felon here.
Wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee, boy!
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.
Oh, I am slain. If thou be merciful,
Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.
43.k Paris is
before dying, begs
Romeo to be buried
In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.
Mercutio’s kinsman, noble County Paris!
What said my man when my betossed soul
Did not attend him as we rode? I think
He told me Paris should have married Juliet.
Said he not so? Or did I dream it so?
Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,
To think it was so? Oh, give me thy hand,
One writ with me in sour misfortune’s book.
I’ll bury thee in a triumphant grave.
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
A grave? O no! A lantern, slaughtered youth,
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
This vault a feasting presence full of light.
Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interred.
How oft when men are at the point of death
Have they been merry which their keepers call
A light’ning before death. Oh, how may I
Call this a light’ning? O my Love, my wife!
Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty
Thou art not conquered, beauty’s ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.
44.b Romeo enters
the monument, sees
Juliet, and wonders
at her still incorrupt
Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
Oh, what more favour can I do to thee
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To sunder his that was thine enemy?
Forgive me, cousin.
44.c Romeo sees
Tybalt’s body and
Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that I still will stay with thee
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again. Here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chambermaids. Oh, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh.
44.d Romeo wishes
to be with Juliet to
snatch her away
Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace: And lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
farewell to Juliet.
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide,
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark.
Here’s to my love. O true apothecary,
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
44.f Romeo, drinks
the poison, kisses
Juliet and dies.
Enter Friar with lantern, crow, and spade.
Saint Francis be my speed! How oft tonight
Have my old feet stumbled at graves. Who’s there?
Here’s one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
45.a Friar Laurence
gets to the
45. Juliet wakes up in
Bliss be upon you. Tell me, good my friend,
What torch is yond that vainly lends his light
To grubs and eyeless skulls? As I discern,
It burneth in the Capels’ monument.
It doth so, holy sir, and there’s my master,
One that you love.
FRIAR. Who is it?
How long hath he been there?
[BALTHASAR] Full half an hour.
45.b Balthasar tells
the Friar that Romeo
is also there.
Go with me to the Vault.
45.c The Friar
wants Balthasar to
go with him.
[BALTHASAR] I dare not, sir.
My Master knows not but I am gone hence,
And fearfully did menace me with death
If I did stay to look on his intents.
45.d Balthasar will
Stay then, I’ll go alone. Fear comes upon me.
Oh, much I fear some ill unthrifty thing.
45.e The Friar says
that he will go
alone, even though
he starts to fear
some adversity at
As I did sleep under this yew tree here
I dreamt my master and another fought,
And that my master slew him.
45.f Balthasar, who
has fallen asleep
under a nearby tree,
says that he dreamt
about a fight.
FRIAR LAURENCE Romeo!
Alack, alack, what blood is this which stains
The stony entrance of the sepulchre?
What mean these masterless and gory swords
To lie discoloured by this place of peace?
Romeo! Oh pale! Who else? What, Paris too?
And steeped in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour
Is guilty of this lamentable chance!
45.g The Friar goes
alone and sees
blood at the
entrance of the
finds Romeo’s and
Paris’ dead bodies.
The Lady stirs.
O comfortable Friar, where is my Lord?
I do remember well where I should be,
And there I am. Where is my Romeo?
45.h Juliet wakes up
and asks for Romeo.
I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep.
A greater power then we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away,
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead,
And Paris, too. Come, I’ll dispose of thee
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
Stay not to question, for the watch is coming.
Come, go good Juliet. I dare no longer stay. Exit.
45.i The Friar hears
some noise and
begs Juliet to go
with him: he will
hide her in a
convent. He then
Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.
What’s here? A cup, closed in my true love’s hand?
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end.
O churl, drunk all, and left no friendly drop
To help me after? I will kiss thy lips;
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,
To make me die with a restorative.
Thy lips are warm.
46.a Juliet refuses
the Friar’s offer to
follow him to a
convent, stays with
Romeo and kisses
46. Juliet commits
Enter Boy and Watch.
[CHIEF] WATCH. Lead, boy. Which way?
46.b Enters the
with Paris’ page.
Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger
This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die.
46.c Juliet stabs
herself and dies.
This is the place, there where the torch doth burn.
The ground is bloody. Search about the churchyard.
Go, some of you, whoe’er you find attach.
Pitiful sight! Here lies the County slain,
And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,
Who here hath lain this two days buried.
Go tell the Prince. Run to the Capulets,
Raise up the Montagues. Some others search.
We see the ground whereon these woes do lie,
But the true ground of all these piteous woes
We cannot without circumstance descry.
47.a The watchman
47. Everybody (Guards,
Citizens, the Prince, the
Capulets and old
Montague) gets at the
Enter Romeo’s man.
Here’s Romeo’s man. We found him in the churchyard.
Hold him in safety till the Prince come hither.
Enter Friar [Laurence] and another Watchman.
Here is a Friar that trembles, sighs, and weeps.
We took this mattock and this spade from him
As he was coming from this churchyard’s side.
A great suspicion. Stay the friar too.
47.b Balthasar and
the Friar are
Enter the Prince.
What misadventure is so early up
That calls our person from our morning rest?
Enter [Capulet and his Wife].[xciii]
What should it be that is so shrieked abroad?
Oh, the people in the street cry “Romeo”,
Some “Juliet”, and some “Paris”, and all run
With open outcry toward our monument.
47.c Waked by the
shrieks and the
general racket, the
Prince, Capulet and
Lady Capulet arrive at
What fear is this which startles in your ears?
Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain,
And Romeo dead, and Juliet, dead before,
Warm and new killed.
Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes.
Here is a Friar, and slaughtered Romeo’s man,
With instruments upon them fit to open
These dead men’s tombs.
47.d The Prince
happened and the
describes what and
whom he has found
at the monument.
Enter Capulet and his Wife.[xciv]
O heavens! O wife, look how our daughter bleeds!
This dagger hath mista’en, for, lo, his house
Is empty on the back of Montague,
And it mis-sheathed in my daughter’s bosom.
O me, this sight of death, is as a bell
That warns my old age to a sepulchre.
47.e Capulet and
Lady Capulet see
their daughter dead
and covered in
Come Montague, for thou art early up
To see thy son and heir, now early down.
Alas, my liege, my wife is dead tonight.
Grief of my son’s exile hath stopped her breath.
What further woe conspires against mine age?
his wife’s death.
Look, and thou shalt see.
O thou untaught! What manners is in this,
To press before thy father to a grave?
47.g Montague sees
his dead son.
Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
Till we can clear these ambiguities
And know their spring, their head, their true descent,
And then will I be general of your woes
And lead you even to death. Meantime, forbear,
And let mischance be slave to patience.
Bring forth the parties of suspicion.
48.a The Prince
wants to investigate
what happened and
48. The final
I am the greatest, able to do least,
Yet most suspected, as the time and place
Doth make against me of this direful murder;
And here I stand both to impeach and purge
Myself condemned and myself excused.
48.b The Friar
comes forth and
speaks for himself.
Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
I will be brief, for my short date of breath
Is not so long as is a tedious tale.
Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet,
And she, there dead, that’s Romeo’s faithful wife.
I married them, and their stol’n marriage day
Was Tybalt’s doomsday, whose untimely death
Banished the new-made bridegroom from this city,
For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.
You, to remove that siege of grief from her,
Betrothed and would have married her perforce
To County Paris. Then comes she to me,
And with wild looks bid me devise some means
To rid her from this second marriage,
Or in my Cell there would she kill herself.
Then gave I her – so tutored by my art –
A sleeping potion, which so took effect
As I intended, for it wrought on her
The form of death. Meantime I writ to Romeo
That he should hither come as this dire night
To help to take her from her borrowed grave,
Being the time the potion’s force should cease.
But he which bore my letter, Friar John,
Was stayed by accident, and yesternight
Returned my letter back. Then all alone
At the prefixed hour of her waking
Came I to take her from her kindred’s vault,
Meaning to keep her closely at my cell
Till I conveniently could send to Romeo.
But when I came, some minute ere the time
Of her awakening, here untimely lay
The noble Paris and true Romeo dead.
She wakes, and I entreated her come forth
And bear this work of heaven with patience.
But then a noise did scare me from the tomb,
And she, too desperate, would not go with me,
But, as it seems, did violence on herself.
All this I know, and to the marriage
Her Nurse is privy; and if ought in this
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
Be sacrificed some hour before his time
Unto the rigor of severest law.
48.c At the Prince’s
We still have known thee for a holy man.
Where’s Romeo’s man? What can he say to this?
48.d The Prince
believes the Friar and
asks Balthasar to give
I brought my master news of Juliet’s death,
And then in post he came from Mantua
To this same place, to this same monument.
48.e Balthasar tells
about Rome’s return
from Mantua after
he informed him
about Juliet’s death.
This letter he early bid me give his father,
And threatened me with death, going in the vault,
If I departed not, and left him there.
Give me the letter; I will look on it.
48.f Balthasar gives
the Prince the letter
Romeo wrote to his
Where is the County’s page that raised the watch?
Sirrah, what made your master in this place?
He came with flowers to strew his lady’s grave,
And bid me stand aloof, and so I did.
Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb,
And by and by my master drew on him,
And then I ran away to call the Watch.
48.g Asked by the
Prince, Paris’ page
gives his own
version of what has
just happened at
This letter doth make good the Friar’s words,
Their course of love, the tidings of her death;
And here he writes that he did buy a poison
Of a poor ’pothecary, and therewithall,
Came to this vault to die and lie with Juliet.
48.h Romeo’s letter,
read by the Prince,
Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague,
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
49.a The Prince
considers the young
people’s deaths as
49. The final
the feuding families.
And I, for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punished.
49.b The Prince also
blames himself for
having been too
O brother Montague, give me thy hand.
This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more
Can I demand.
49.c Capulet shakes
Montague’s hand and
reconciles with him.
This is his daughter’s
MONTAGUE But I can give thee more,
For I will raise her statue in pure gold,
That whiles Verona by that name is known
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.
promises to raise a
golden statue of
Juliet to eternize
her and Verona’s
As rich shall Romeo’s by his lady’s lie,
Poor sacrifices of our enmity.
declares that he will
do the same for
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
Go hence to have more talk of these sad things.
Some shall be pardoned, and some punished;
For never was a story of more woe
Then this of Juliet and her Romeo.
49.f The Prince
invites all to leave
and talk about these
[i] Acts and scenes added.
[ii] In the role of a servingman.
[iii] Exit. Q2]
[iv] Old La. Q2]
[v] Old La. Q2]
[vi] honor Q1] houre Q2/Q3/Q4/F]
[vii] Old La. Q2]
[viii] Old La. Q2]
[ix] Old La. Q2]
[x] Old La. Q2]
[xi] Mo. Q2]
[xii] Erroneously assigned to Horatio.
[xiii] Possible error in Q2, where Q1’s reading “maid” is more consistent with “the folklore belief that idle maids grow worms in their
fingers” (René Weis, ad loc.: 2012. Romeo and Juliet, The Arden Shakespeare, Third Series. London: Bloomsbury).
[xiv] 1 and 2 identify Old Capulet and Capulet’s Cousin.
[xv] Exit. Q2]
[xvi] The original ll-41-3: misplace the sequence “Nor arm nor face, oh be some other name / Belonging to a man. / What’s in a name
that which we call a rose”.
[xvii] No SH.
[xviii] No SH.
[xix] Neece (niess = nyas).
[xx] 186 is erroneously assigned to Iu in Q2, while the SH Ro is added at 187.
[xxi] darkness flecked Q2]. These lines are replicated, with a few differences, at the beginning of the following scene, where they are
assigned to the Friar. This constitutes a famous crux which is often solved by assigning them Romeo. See note below.
[xxii] “The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning / Checking the Eastern cloud with streaks of light: / And fleckled darkness like a
drunkard reels, / For forth day’s path, and Titan’s burning wheels:” the lines duplicate 1.5.188-91 (cf. Silvia Bigliazzi. 2012. “Romeo
and Juliet: una croce testuale fra Q2 e Q1.” Memoria di Shakespeare 8: 203-28).
[xxiii] Erroneously assigned to Ro.
[xxiv] Exit. Q2]
[xxv] Mercutio is hurt at this point; see corresponding SD in Q1: Tybalt under Romeo’s arm thrusts Mercutio in and flies.
[xxvi] No speech heading; line usually assigned to a follower or to Petruchio.
[xxvii] Alive Q1] He gan Q2] He gon Q3/Q4/F]
[xxviii] Erroneously assigned to Capu.
[xxix] Exit. Q2]
[xxx] Wrongly assigned to Juliet.
[xxxi] Wrongly assigned to Nurse.
[xxxii] Exit. Q2]
[xxxiii] Q2 mentions twice the Nurse’s entry: here and a few lines below.
[xxxiv] “Slud” is present only in Q2 and Q3. Conjectures have been offered on the meaning of this word as an obsolete variant of ’Sblood
(the earliest recorded entry in OED is however 1606). See Hunter and Lichtenfels ad loc. (eds. 2009. Romeo and Juliet. Farnham:
Ashgate, and: http://romeoandjulietedition.com/): “On other occasions in Q2 the Nurse’s interjections have no speech prefix (see
2.2.149 and 151), or are rendered as an SD as at 3.5.37; see also the Page at 5.3.71. It seems reasonable to conjecture that ’Slud is an
interjection with no SP to the Nurse, and is rendered as part of an SD”. The whole series of SDs in these lines varies in the Quarto
editions prior to F as well as in F: Nurse knockes Q1] Enter Nurse, and knockes Q2/Q3] Nurse knocks Q4] Enter Nurse, and knockes
F]; She knockes again Q1] They knocke Q2/Q3] Knocke Q4] Knocke F]; Slud knocke Q2/Q3] Knocke again Q4] Knocke F]; Nurse
knocks Q2/Q3] Nurse knocks Q4] Knocke F]; Knocke Q2/Q3/Q4/F]; Enter Nurse Q2/Q3/Q4/F].
[xxxv] La. Q2]
[xxxvi] Q2 signals Lady Capulet’s entry twice, here and at 64. Unless this SD is rectified, we should assume that she enters a different part
of the stage or at a different stage level (cfr. e.g. John Cranford Adams. 1956. “Shakespeare’s Use of the Upper Stage in Romeo and
Juliet, III.v.” Shakespeare Quarterly. 7 (2): 145-52).
[xxxvii] Lines erroneously assigned to Ro.
[xxxviii] Mother. Q2]
[xxxix] La. Q2]
[xl] La. Q2]
[xli] La. Q2]
[xlii] La. Q2]
[xliii] La. Q2]
[xliv] La. Q2]
[xlv] La. Q2]
[xlvi] La. Q2]
[xlvii] Mo. Q2]
[xlviii] M. Q2]
[xlix] M. Q2]
[l] M. Q2]
[li] La. Q2]
[lii] La. Q2]
[liii] Fa. Q2]
[liv] “Father” in place of SH.
[lv] No SH.
[lvi] Fa. Q2]
[lvii] Fa. Q2]
[lviii] Mo. Q2]
[lix] Exit. Q2]
[lx] Mo. Q2]
[lxi] Fa. Q2]
[lxii] Mo. Q2]
[lxiii] Fa. Q2]
[lxiv] Exit. Q2]
[lxv] Mother. Q2]
[lxvi] Mo. Q2]
[lxvii] Lady of the house Q2]
[lxviii] La. Q2]
[lxix] La. Q2]
[lxx] Fel. Q2]
[lxxi] Fel. Q2]
[lxxii] Mo. Q2]
[lxxiii] Mo. Q2]
[lxxiv] Mo. Q2]
[lxxv] father Q2]
[lxxvi] Fa. Q2]
[lxxvii] M. Q2]
[lxxviii] Fa. Q2]
[lxxix] Mo. Q2]
[lxxx] Fa. Q2]
[lxxxi] Fa. Q2]
[lxxxii] Mo. Q2]
[lxxxiii] Fa. Q2]
[lxxxiv] Fa. Q2]
[lxxxv] Exeunt manet Q2]; Exeunt manent Musici Q4]. This suggests that the musicians are already on stage.
[lxxxvi] Peter names only three musicians, alluding in all cases to string instruments in line with the presence of a Fiddler: Simon Catling
(Minstrel), Hugh Rebeck (2 Musician), James Soundpost (3 Musician). Mention of a Fiddler could suggest a fourth musician or a
different name for one the other three musicians.
[lxxxvii] Man Q2]
[lxxxviii] Man Q2]
[lxxxix] Man Q2]
[xc] Erroneously Q2 has the name Peter (Pe.) in the SD and in the following speech headings (also retained in Q3 and F), while Q1 and
Q4 have the correct Balthasar.
[xci] commiration Q2] conjuration Q1]; “commiration” is a nonce word and has sometimes been read as ‘commination’ as an alternative
to the Q1 reading ‘conjuration’, with the meaning of solemn entreaty.
[xcii] Boy: i.e. Paris’ page.
[xciii] Capels Q2]
[xciv] This SD apparently duplicates the previous one, as Capulet and his Wife are already on stage at this point, although they see the
bodies only now. Q4 and F have only this second SD with reference to Capulet and his Wife’s first entry. Q1 suggests a shorter stage