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

Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

Q2 Modernised

    The Most Excellent and Lamentable

          Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

               Newly corrected, augmented,

                          and amended

    As it hath been sundry times publicly acted,

by the right honourable the Lord Chamberlain

                                his servants.


       Printed by Thomas Creed, for Cuthbert Burby,

       and are to be sold at his shop near the Exchange.




                        The Prologue



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.












[BR: Argument]








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

bawdy punning).



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

they list.

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

Gregory discuss

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.

1.c Sampson,

Gregory and

Abraham start off a





Enter Benvolio.

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

washing blow.

They fight.

BENVOLIO  Part fools!

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

1.d Enter Benvolio.

They fight.

Benvolio tries to

part them.




Enter Tybalt.


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

challenges Benvolio.

They fight.





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.

They fight.



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.

1.h Enter

Montague. They





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

rebellious subjects.





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

sentence. Capulet

and Montague are

summoned to

Freetown (“the

common judgement







Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?

Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?

3.a Montague

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.

3.b Benvolio’s






O where is Romeo? Saw you him today?

Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

4.a Montague’s wife

enquires about





4. Benvolio’s and


presentation of Romeo’s

recent sadness and








Madam, an hour before the worshipped sun

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.

4.b Benvolio’s

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.

4.c Montague’s

narration of

Romeo’s recent

solitariness and

sadness, and his

own incapacity to

unveil the cause.









Enter Romeo.


See where he comes. So please you step aside,

I’ll know his grievance or be much denied.


I would thou wert so happy by thy stay

To hear true shrift. – Come, Madam, let’s away.       Exeunt.

4.d Benvolio is

entrusted with the

task of discovering

the cause of

Romeo’s sadness.





Good morrow, cousin.

ROMEO                       Is the day so young?


But new 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

Benvolio’s talk

about how Romeo’s

sadness expands





5. Benvolio and Romeo

talk about Romeo’s own

sadness due to

unrequited love.





BENVOLIO  In love?

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.

5.b Romeo’s

description of

unrequited love as

an oxymoronic

passion, whose pain

is increased by

Benvolio’s own

feelings of


Romeo’s avowal of

having lost himself.











Tell me in sadness, 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.

5.c Romeo’s

description of the

tormenting chastity

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.

5.d Benvolio’s

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

young and

underlines her

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

compare his

daughter to the

other beauties.

Capulet sends the

serving-man out

with order of

invitation of the

people listed on a

paper he gives him.












SERVINGMAN  Find them out whose names are written. Here

it is written that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard

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

painter with his nets. But I am sent to find those persons

whose names are here writ, and can never find what names

the writing person hath here writ – I must to the learned – in

good time.










7. The serving-man

can’t read the list of










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

merry.                                                                            [Exit.]


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

compare Rosaline’s

beauty with other














Enter Capulet’s Wife and Nurse.


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


Now by my 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.






Enter Juliet.

JULIET  How now, who calls?

NURSE  Your mother.


Madam, I am here. What is your will?


This is the matter. Nurse, give leave 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

To Lammas-tide?

[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

Paris’ proposal.













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.

11.d Capulet’s

wife’s description

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





Enter Serving[man.]

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

the guests.








Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six other

masquers, torchbearers.


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.

13.a Romeo

wonders what to

say by way of

introduction, and

Benvolio replies

that no self-

presentation is











13. Romeo, Benvolio,

and Mercutio talk

before going to

Capulet’s house.






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

standing aside.











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.

13.i Romeo

mentions a dream

he’s had.





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

Mercutio short;

Mercutio comments

on dreams.





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.

But he that hath the steerage of my course

Direct my suit. On lusty gentlemen.


Strike drum.

13.m Romeo gives

voice to his bad

premonitions (life

voyage metaphor).







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

the feast.








1. CAPULET[xiv]

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.a Capulet

welcomes the






15. Romeo and Juliet

meet at the feast.


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

For you and I are past our 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.

15.d Tybalt

recognises Romeo

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

interrupts Romeo

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.

16.a Romeo

withdraws and

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

him (mock









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

window and

overhears her






17. The first balcony

scene. Romeo and Juliet

exchange vows of love

and decide to married.






ROMEO                I take thee at thy word.

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

Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

17.b Romeo speaks

to Juliet without

presenting himself.





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.

17.c Juliet

recognizes him by

his voice.






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

family; Romeo

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

own outspokenness

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.

[NURSE][xvii]  Madam!


I come, anon! – But if thou meanest not well,

I do beseech thee –

[NURSE][xviii]               Madam!

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

the nurse.










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

following morning.

They part.











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.

Enter Romeo.

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

marry them.







Good morrow father.

FRIAR                         Benedicite!

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

night, supposing

with Rosaline.






Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set

On the fair daughter of rich Capulet.

As mine on hers, so hers 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

marry them.










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

favours this

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.

19.a Benvolio

informs Mercutio

that Tybalt has sent

a challenge to






19. Benvolio tells

Mercutio about Tybalt’s

challenge sent to

Romeo; Romeo informs

the Nurse about the

plan for the secret







MERCUTIO  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!

19.b Mercutio

mocks Romeo and

describes Tybalt as

the Prince of Cats.










Enter ROMEO.

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

joking around.





Enter Nurse and her man.

                                               A sail, a sail!

MERCUTIO  Two, two, a shirt and a smock.

NURSE  Peter.

PETER  Anon.

NURSE  My fan, Peter.

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

fairer face.

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

young Romeo?

ROMEO  I can tell you, but young Romeo will be older when

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

wisely, wisely.

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

his pleasure.

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!

PETER  Anon.

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

afternoon. Romeo

offers the Nurse

some money.














Enter Juliet.


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

12 a.m).





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.

[Exit Peter.]

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

praises Romeo,

postpones all

answer, and

eventually tells

Juliet about the

plan for the secret

marriage, and

Romeo’s getting

into her room at











Enter 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.

















Enter Juliet.

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

from quarrelling?

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

Capulets are

roaming the streets

of Verona, Benvolio

wants to retire.

Mercutio refuses.





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,

Petruchio, and

others. Tybalt and

Mercutio start

quarrelling and

Benvolio tries to

drive them to some

private place.














Enter Romeo.


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


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

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

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


Romeo, the 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.

22.e Mercutio

intervenes and

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



Away, Tybalt.[xxvi]

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

assisted by

Benvolio (joking

about his wound

but eventually

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

making him







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.

23.e Benvolio

re-enters and


Mercutio’s death.






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

winds, assails

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?

Exit Romeo.

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

Mercutio’s deaths.









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

Prince, old

Montague and

Capulet, and their

wives. The Prince

asks who started

the fight while Lady

Capulet grieves

over Tybalt’s body

(her nephew).






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.

25.c Benvolio’s

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

pronounced against











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

Romeo’s exile.






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

Nurse announcing

someone’s death

and Juliet

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.

27.c Juliet

frantically begs the

Nurse to stop

tormenting her and

confirm whether

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

and fainted.






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

been therefore







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

Romeo’s angelic

looks hiding a

fiendish nature.








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

curses Romeo.





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

against Romeo,

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

over Romeo’s

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

dead body.





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.

They knock.


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

Thou wilt be taken. – Stay a while – Stand up.

Slud knock.[xxxiv]

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?

Enter Nurse.


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 –

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

Nurse bringing

Juliet’s news: the

girl is also


despairing and

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.

28.c Romeo

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

rebukes him.






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

Mantua before

dawn; he also says

that in his absence

he will try to favour

his return.







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

Juliet about

Romeo’s visit.









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.

Farewell.                                                                     Exeunt.

28.h The Friar tells

Romeo to go and

leave Juliet’s house

before dawn.








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.

29.b Capulet

suddenly changes

his mind and sets a

date (the following

Thursday) for her

marriage with

Paris, and begs his

wife to inform the

girl about his















Enter Romeo and Juliet 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

amorously bicker

over which bird is

singing outside

Juliet’s window












30. Romeo and Juliet

share their last farewell.






Enter Madam and Nurse.[xxxvi]

NURSE  Madam.

JULIET  Nurse?


Your lady mother is coming to your chamber.

The day is broke, be wary, look about.

30.b Enters the

Nurse announcing

Juliet’s mother is

coming upstairs.




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,

For in a minute there are many days.

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

from Juliet’s

window: the two

lovers have an

ominous feeling.













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

her protracted

weeping. Juliet

wishes she could

revenge Tybalt’s

death  and her

mother promises that

she will send someone to Mantua

in order to settle the











31. Lady Capulet tells

Juliet about her

upcoming marriage to







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


And joy comes well in such a needy time.

What are they, beseech your ladyship?

[CAPULET’S WIFE][xlviii]

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

the following












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

her yet.











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

her father.









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

daughter’s refusal.










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!

You tallow-face!

[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

abuses her.









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

Nurse’s invitations

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.


NURSE  What?

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

Nurse’s advice.







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

she exits.





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

Friar Laurence.

Paris justifies its

being so sudden by

referring to Juliet’s

excessive mourning

over Tybalt’s death.





34. Paris and Juliet meet

at the Friar’s cell.






Enter Juliet.


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

confession. Exits







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

commit suicide

rather than

marrying Paris.










35. The Friar’s ‘fake

death’ plan.







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

potion, and

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

inform Romeo

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

with me.

CAPULET  Go, be gone.

We shall be much unfurnished for this time.

36.a. Capulet

discusses some

details of the

wedding feast with

his servants.




36. Juliet feigns

repentance in front of

her father. The wedding

is moved up to the

following day.






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.




Enter Juliet.


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

expresses her

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

choose the


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

following day.





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

personally inform

Paris about the

good news of

Juliet’s consent.








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

the night.












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.

Come, vial.


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

honourableness of

the Friar’s





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

suffocated or

terrified by the

place she will find

herself in.








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.

37.g Juliet

eventually drinks

the potion and













Enter [Capulet’s Wife][lxvii] and Nurse.

[CAPULET’S WIFE][lxviii]

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

upcoming celebration.







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.

Play music

38.b Capulet gives

instructions to the

servingmen and

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!

Enter Nurse.

Go waken Juliet; go and trim her up.

I’ll go and chat with Paris. Hie, make haste,

Make haste. The bridegroom, he is come already.

Make haste I say.

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

Lady Capulet.











What noise is here?

NURSE.                     O lamentable day.

[CAPULET’S] WIFE[lxxiii]

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











Enter [Capulet.][lxxv]


For shame, bring Juliet forth. Her Lord is come.


She’s dead, deceased. She’s dead, alack the day!

[CAPULET’S WIFE][lxxvii]

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?

[CAPULET’S WIFE][lxxxii]

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

Juliet’s father

mourn over the

girl’s body.











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.]

40.a Some

musicians enter and

ask the Nurse

whether they can

leave. The Nurse

sends them away

and leaves.




40. Enter some

musicians (comic








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

the minstrel.

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

note me?

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

for silver.

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.






Enter Romeo.


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!

41.a Romeo’s

dream: he was dead

and was revived by

Juliet’s kiss.





41. Romeo learns about

Juliet’s death and

decides to go back to







Enter 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.


41.b  Balthasar

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

Some misadventure.

ROMEO                            Tush, thou art deceived.

Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.

41.c Romeo decides

to return to Verona

immediately. He

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

Balthasar whether

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.

41.f Romeo

remembers where a

poor apothecary

lives (description of

his shop).








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

the apothecary’s

shop and asks for

some deadly











Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law

Is death to any he that utters them.


41.h The

apothecary says

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

Romeo’s money

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.









There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,

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

stronger poison.




Come Cordial and not poison, go with me

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

41.l The poison will

be for him as a

cordial. He will

drink it at Juliet’s






Enter Friar John to Friar Laurence.


Holy Franciscan friar brother, ho!

Enter Laurence.


This same should be the voice of Friar John.

Welcome from Mantua. What says Romeo?

Or if his mind be writ, give me his letter.

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

deliver it.







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,

Friar Laurence

orders John to bring

him an iron crow at

his cell.






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;


42.e Laurence

decides to go to the

Capulet monument

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

Capulet monument;

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






Whistle Boy.

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

man (Balthasar)

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

the tomb.











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

Romeo, recognizes

him and tries to

apprehnd him.





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

own good.






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

wounded and,

before dying, begs

Romeo to be buried

with Juliet.





In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.

Mercutio’s kinsman, noble County Paris!

What said my man when my betossed soul

Did not attend him as we rode? I think

He told me Paris should have married Juliet.

Said he not so? Or did I dream it so?

Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,

To think it was so? 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

asks for









                                       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

from Death’s





                                                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!

44.e Romeo’s

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

monument and

meets Balthasar.











45. Juliet wakes up in

the tomb.







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?

[BALTHASAR]                         Romeo.


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

not disobey

Romeo’s orders.





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

monument. He

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

chief watchman

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

starts the






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

the tomb.












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

asks what

happened and the

chief watchman

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






Enter Montague.


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?

47.f Montague

enters announcing

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

summons the









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

request, Laurence

recapitulates the











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

his version.





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

the tomb.





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,

confirms the










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

admonishes both

families and

considers the young

people’s deaths as

God’s punishment.




49. The final

reconciliation between

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.

49.d Montague

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.

49.e  Capulet

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

sad events.








[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: “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


[xcv] Boy.

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