The Play

Act 3


Benvolio urges Mercutio to come away with him and avoid the Capulets in the streets. Mercutio brushes him off. Tybalt and other Capulets arrive, whom Mercutio taunts. Benvolio tries to move the conflict somewhere private, but Romeo interrupts with his arrival. Tybalt challenges him to fight, citing prior grievances; Romeo refuses and attempts to de-escalate the situation. Mercutio goads Tybalt into a duel, which Romeo tries and fails to stop. Tybalt stabs Mercutio, who in his dying moments curses both the Montague and Capulet houses. Benvolio informs Romeo that Mercutio is dead; upon re-encountering Tybalt, Romeo fights and kills him. Benvolio convinces Romeo to flee before passersby arrive. The Prince and both families then arrive to the scene. Benvolio explains what happened, but Lady Capulet, observing Benvolio to be biased, urges the Prince to punish the Montague family by executing Romeo. The Prince chooses instead to banish Romeo from the city.

On a street somewhere in Verona:



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

The day is hot, the Capulets are abroad,

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

For these hot days is the mad blood stirring.


5Thou art like one of these fellows who, when he enters the

confines of a tavern, claps down his sword upon the table and

says “God send me no need of thee,” but under the influence


of the second cup, draws it on the drawer°, when indeed there is no



10Am I like such a fellow?


Come, come, thou art such a Jack in thy moods as any in Italy,

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



And what to?[1]


15Nay, an there were two such, we should have none shortly, for

one would kill the other. Thou—why, thou wilt quarrel with a

man who hath a hair more or a hair less in his beard than thou


hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts°, having no

other reason than that thou hast hazel eyes. What eye but such

20an 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 has been


beaten as addled° as an egg from quarrelling. Thou once

quarreled with a man for coughing in the street because he hath

wakened thy dog that had lain asleep in the sun. Didst thou not


25fall out with a tailor for wearing his new doublet° before Easter?

With another for tying his new shoes with old ribbons? And

thou wilt tutor[2] me from quarrelling?


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


fee-simple° of my life for an hour and a quarter.


30The fee-simple? O, simple!

Enter TYBALT and his company


By my head, here come the Capulets.


By my heel, I care not.


[To his company] Follow me close, for I will speak to them.

good afternoon

Gentlemen, good den°. A word with one of you.


35Only one word with one of us? Couple it with something. Make it

a word and a blow.


You shall find me apt enough to that sir, if you will give me



Could you not take some occasion if not given?


40Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.


Consort! What, dost thou make us minstrels?[3] An thou make

ugly noise

minstrels of us, you will hear nothing but discords°. Here’s my


fiddlestick°; here’s that shall make you dance—zounds,[4]



45We talk here in the public haunt[5] of men.

Either withdraw unto some private place,

Or reason coldly[6] of your grievances,

Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us.


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

50I will not budge for no man’s pleasure, I.



Well, peace be with you, sir. Here comes my man.[7]


servant’s uniforms

But I’ll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery°. Marry, go before


into the field°, and he may be your follower; Your Worship in

that sense may call him “man.”


55Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford

No better term than this: thou art a villain.


Tybalt, a reason which I have to love thee

Doth much excuse the appertaining rage[8]

To such a greeting. Villain am I none—

60Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest me not.


Boy, that shall not excuse the injuries

That thou hast done me—therefore, turn and draw.


I do protest I never injured thee,

But love thee better than thou canst devise

65Til thou shalt know the reason of my love.

And so, good Capulet—whose name I value

As dearly as mine own—be satisfied.


O, calm, dishonorable, vile submission!

Alla stoccatta carries it away.[9]

He draws.

70Tybalt, you Ratcatcher, will you walk?[10]


What wouldst thou have with me?


Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives that I

mean to make bold withal, and, as you shall use me hereafter,

dry-beat[11] the rest of the eight. Therefore, come, draw your rapier

75out of your scabbard, lest mine be about your ears ere you be



I am for you.


Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up—


Come, sir, your passado!



80Draw, Benvolio! Beat down their weapons!

Gentlemen, for shame! Forbear this outrage.

Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath

Forbid this bandying in Verona streets.

ROMEO steps in between them

Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!

TYLBALT under ROMEO’s arm stabs MERCUTIO, and leaves with his company


85I am hurt.

done for

A plague o’ both houses! I am sped°.

no wounds

Is he gone and hath nothing°?


What, art thou hurt?


Aye, aye, a scratch. Marry, ‘tis enough.

90Where is my page?—

Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.



Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.


No—’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but

‘tis enough, ‘twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find

done for

95me a grave man.[12] 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![13] Why the devil came you between us? I

was hurt under your arm.


100I thought all for the best.


Help me into some house, Benvolio,

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

They have made worm’s meat of me.

I have it, and soundly too. Your houses!



close relative

105This 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,

womanish; unmanly

110Thy beauty hath made me effeminate°,

And in my temper softened valor’s steel.



O Romeo, Romeo! Brave Mercutio is dead!

gone up towards

That gallant spirit hath aspired° the clouds,

Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.


115This day’s black fate on more days doth depend.[14]

This but begins the woe others must end.



Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.


Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain!

Away to Heaven, respective leniency,

120And fire and 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.

125Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.


Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here

Shalt with him hence.


This shall determine that.

They fight; TYBALT falls and dies


Romeo, away, begone!

130The Citizens are up,[15] and Tybalt slain.

Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee dead

If thou art taken. Hence, begone! Away!


O, I am fortune’s fool!


Why dost thou stay?




135Which way ran he that killed Mercutio?

Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?


There lies that Tybalt.


[To TYBALT] Up, sir, go with me.

I charge thee, in the Prince’s name, obey.



140Where are the vile beginners of this fray?


O noble Prince, I can reveal all

The unlucky manage of this fateful brawl.

There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,

That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.


145Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother’s child!

O Prince! O cousin! Husband! O, the blood is spilled

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

For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.

O cousin, cousin –


150Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?


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

with civility

Romeo that spoke him fair°, bade him bethink


How nice° the quarrel was, and urged withal

Your high displeasure. All this—uttered

155With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bowed—

bad temper

Could not make truce with the unruly spleen°

Of Tybalt, deaf to peace, who straightway tilts

With piercing steel at bold Mercutio’s breast,

Who, just as hot, turned deadly point to point,


160And, with a martial° scorn, with one hand beat

Cold death aside, and with the other sends

It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity

Retorts it. Romeo, he cried aloud:

“Hold friends! Friends, part!” and, swifter than his tongue,

165His 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, came back to Romeo,

170Who had but newly entertained revenge,

And to’t they went like lightning, for ere I

Could draw to part them was stout Tybalt slain.

And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and flee.

This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.


175He is a kinsman of the Montagues.

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:

180Romeo slew Tybalt; Romeo must not live.


Romeo slew him; he slew Mercutio.

Who now the price of his dear blood[16] doth owe?


Not Romeo, Prince. He was Mercutio’s friend.

His fault concludes that which the law should end:

185The life of Tybalt.


And for that offense

Immediately we do exile him hence.

I have an interest in your hearts’ proceeding—-

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


190But 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.

No tears, no prayers, shall bribe away abuses.

Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste;

195Else, when he is found, that hour is his last.

Bear hence this body and obey our will.

Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.

Exit all



Juliet impatiently waits to be with Romeo again. The Nurse returns and is evasive about what happened before finally explaining that Romeo killed Tybalt and was subsequently banished. In shock, Juliet defends Romeo to the nurse and tries to feel relief that her husband survived rather than the other way around. She despairs at Romeo’s banishment. The Nurse offers to bring Romeo to her for one final night before he leaves; Juliet agrees and sends the Nurse with the token of a ring.

Somewhere within the Capulet estate:

Enter JULIET alone


Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,

Towards Phoebus’ lodging.[17] Such a wagoner

As Phaeton[18] would whip you to the west

And bring in cloudy night immediately.


5Spread thy close° curtain, love-performing night,


That runaway’s eyes may wink°, and Romeo

Leap to these arms, untalked of and unseen.

Lovers can see to do their amorous rights

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

10It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,

Thou sober-footed matron all in black,[19]

And learn me how to lose a winning match


Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods°.

Hood my unmanned blood bating in my cheeks[20]


15With thy black mantle°, till strange° love grow bold,

Think true love acted simple modesty—[21]

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

For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night

Whiter than new snow upon a raven’s back.

20Come, 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

25And pay no worship to the garish sun.

O, 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

30To an impatient child that hath new robes

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

Enter NURSE with cords of rope

And she brings news, and every tongue that speaks

But Romeo’s name speaks heavenly eloquence—

Now, Nurse, what news? What hast thou there,

35The cords that Romeo bid thee fetch?


Aye, aye. The cords.

Throws down the rope ladder


Aye me, what news?

Why dost thou wring thy hands?


(expression of woe)

Ah, welladay°! He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!

40We are undone, lady, we are undone.

(expression of grief)

Alack° the day—he’s gone, he’s killed, he’s dead.


Can heaven be so envious?


Romeo can,

Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo!

45Whoever would have thought it? Romeo!


What devil art thou that dost torment me thus?


This torture should be roared° in dismal hell.

Hath Romeo slain himself? Say thou but “Aye,”

And that bare vowel “I” shall poison more

50than the death-darting eye of cockatrice.[22]

I am not I, if there be such an “I,”

Or those eyes[23] shut that makes thee answer “Aye.”

If he be slain, say “Aye,” or if not, “No.”


Brief sounds determine of my weal° and woe.


55I saw the wound; I saw it with mine eyes—

God save the mark![24]—here on his manly breast.

A piteous corpse, a bloodied piteous corpse,


Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed° in blood,


All in gore° blood. I swooned at the sight.


60O, break my heart! Poor bankrupt, break at once!

To prison, eyes; ne’er look at liberty.


Vile earth,[25] to earth resign°, end motion here:

And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier.[26]


O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!

65O 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?

70Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom,[27]

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?


75It did, it did. Alas the day, it did.


O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face.

Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?

Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical!

Ravenous dove-feathered raven,

80Wolfish-ravening lamb!


Despisèd substance of divinest show°!

Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,

A damned Saint, an honorable villain.

O Nature! What had’st thou to do in hell

gives sanctuary

85When 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? O, that deceit should dwell

In such a gorgeous palace!


90There’s no trust, no faith, no honesty in men.


All perjured, all forsworne, 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!


95Blistered 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 honor may be crowned

Sole monarch of the universal earth.

100O, what a beast was I to chide 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?

105But 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—

110My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain,

And Tybalt’s dead, that would have slain my husband.

All this comfort, wherefore weep I then?

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


That murdered me. I would forget it fain°,

115But, O, it presses to my memory

Like damned guilty deeds to sinners’ minds:

“Tybalt is dead and Romeo—banished.”

That “banished,” that one word “banished”

Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt’s death

120Was 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


125Which 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.”

130There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,

In that word’s death. No words can that woe sound.[28]

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.


135Wash they his wounds with tears? Mine shall go on

When theirs are dry, for Romeo is banished.


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,

140But I, a maid, die maiden-widowèd.

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

And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!


Hie to your chamber. I’ll find Romeo


To comfort you. I wot° well where he is.


145Hark° you, your Romeo will be here at night.

I’ll to him—he is hid at Lawrence’s cell.

JULIET hands NURSE a ring


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

And bid him come, to take his last farewell.

Exit all



Friar Lawrence returns to Romeo, who was hiding in his quarters. He tells Romeo he has been banished. Romeo says he’d prefer execution to exile. Lawrence tries to make Romeo understand the Prince’s mercy, but he refuses to be consoled. The Nurse arrives and tells Romeo of Juliet’s grief. In despair, Romeo draws his dagger to kill himself, but the Friar stops him and chastises him for being willing to abandon his wife in death. He urges Romeo to flee to Mantua until the issue can be settled, and he and Juliet can be reunited. The Nurse leaves to prepare for Romeo’s arrival that evening, leaving Juliet’s ring with him. The Friar warns Romeo to leave for Mantua by dawn to escape capture.

Friar Lawrence’s cell in Verona:



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


Affliction° is enamored of thy parts°;

And thou art wedded to calamity.



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

5What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand

That I yet know not?


Too familiar

Is my dear son with such sorry company.

I bring thee tidings of the Prince’s doom.


10What 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,

15Much more than death. Do not say “banishment.”


Here from Verona are thou banished;

Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.


There is no world without Verona walls,

But purgatory, torture, hell itself.

20Hence banishèd, is banished from the world.

And world’s exile is death. Then banishèd,

Is death, mistermed. Calling death “banished,”

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

And smiles upon the stroke that murders me.


25O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!

Thy fault our law calls death,[29] 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 seeth it not.


30Tis 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°,

35More honorable state, more courtship lives

rotting meat

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

40Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin.

This may flies do, when I from this must fly,

And says thou yet, that exile is not death?

But Romeo may not, he is banished.

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

45They are free men, but I am banished.

Hadst thou no poison mixed, no sharp-ground knife,

No sudden means of death—though ne’er so mean—

But “banishèd,” to kill me? “Banishèd?”

O Friar, the damned use that word in hell:

50Howling 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 “banishèd?”



Then, fond° mad man, hear me a little speak—


55O, thou wilt speak again of banishment!


I’ll give thee armor to keep off that word.

Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy,

To comfort thee though thou art banishèd.


Still “banishèd?” Hang up philosophy,

60Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,


Displant° a town, reverse a Prince’s doom,

It helps not, it prevails not.[30] Talk no more.


O, then I see that mad men have no ears.


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


65Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.[31]


Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel.

Were thou as young as I, Juliet they love,

An hour but married, Tybalt murderèd,


Doting° like me, and like me banishèd,

70Then mightest thou speak,

Then mightest thou tear thy hair

And fall upon the ground, as I do now,

Taking the measure of an unmade grave.[32]

There is a knock from within


Arise; one knocks. Good Romeo, hide thyself.


75Not I, unless the breath of heartsick groans,

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

Continuous knocking


Hark! How they knock.—Who’s there?—Romeo, arise!

Thou wilt be taken.—Stay awhile!—Stand up.


Run to my study.—By and by![33]—God’s will,


80What simpleness° is this?—I come, I come.


Who knocks so hard? Whence come you? What’s your will?


[From within] Let me come in, and you shall know my errand: I come from Lady Juliet.



Welcome then.


85O holy Friar! O tell me, holy Friar, where’s my lady’s lord?

Where’s Romeo?


There on the ground,

With his own tears made drunk.


O, he is even in my mistress’ case,[34]

90Just 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.

95Why should you fall into so deep an O?[35]




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


Spaketh thou of Juliet? How is it with her?

Doth not she think of me an old murderer,

100Now 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 canceled love?


Oh she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps,

105And now falls on her bed, and then starts up,

And “Tybalt” calls, and then on “Romeo” cries,

And then down falls again.


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

Did murder her; as that name’s cursed hand

110Murdered her kinsman.—O, tell me Friar, tell me,

In what vile part of this anatomy


Doth my name lodge? Tell me that I may sack°

The hateful mansion.

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


Hold thy desperate hand!

115Art though a man? Thy form cries out thou art.

Thy tears are womanly, thy wild acts denote

The unreasonable fury of a beast.

Unseemly woman in a seeming man,


And ill-beseeming° beast in seeming both!

120Thou hast amazed me. By my holy order,

I thought thy disposition better tempered.

Hast thou slain Tybalt? Wilt thou slay thy self?

And slay thy Lady, that in thy life lives,

By doing damned hate upon thyself?


125Why rails° 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?

(expression of disgust)

Fie, fie°, thou shames thy shape, thy love, thy wit,

Which, like a usurer[36] abound’st in all

130And uses 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[37] the valor of a man.

Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,

135Killing 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 skill-less soldier’s flask,

Is set afire by thine own ignorance,

140And thou dismembered with thine own defense.[38]

What, rouse thee, man! Thy Juliet is alive,

For whose dear sake thou was but lately dead.


There art thou happy°. Tybalt would kill thee,

But thou slewest Tybalt; there art thou happy.

145The law that threatened death becomes thy friend

And turns it to exile; there art thou happy.

A pack of blessings lights upon thy back;

Happiness courts thee in her best array;

But like a missbehaved and sullen wench,

150Thou pouts upon thy fortune and thy love.

Take heed, take heed; such men die miserable.

Go, get thee to thy love as was decreed,

Ascend her chamber, hence, and comfort her.

be careful

But look° thou stay not till the watch be set,[39]

155For 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

160Then when thou went forth in lamentation.—

Go before, Nurse; commend me to thy Lady,

And bid her hasten all the house to bed,

Which heavy sorry makes them apt to do.

Romeo is coming.


165O Lord, I could have stayed here all the night,

To hear such good council. O, what learning is!—

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



Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide°.


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

She hands ROMEO a ring

170Hie you! Make haste, for it grows very late.



How well my comfort is revived by this.


Go hence, goodnight; and here stands all your state:[40]

Either be gone before the watch be set,

Or at the break of day, disguised, go hence.

stay awhile

175Sojourn° in Mantua. I’ll seek out your man,

And he shall let you know from time to time


Every good hap° to you that happens here.

Give me thy hand. ‘Tis late; farewell, goodnight.


But that a joy past joy calls out to me,

180It were a grief so brief to part with thee.


Exit all



Lord and Lady Capulet explain to Paris that Juliet will not see him tonight due to her grieving for Tybalt. They agree to marry Juliet to Paris in a respectfully humble ceremony on Thursday. Lord Capulet commands Lady Capulet to break the news to their daughter.

Somewhere within the Capulet estate:



Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily,

That we have had no time to move our daughter.[41]

Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly,

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

5Tis very late. She’ll not come down tonight.

I promise you, but for your company,

I would have been a-bed an hour ago,


These times of woe afford no times to woo.

Madam, goodnight. Commend me to your daughter.


(will know)

10I will, and know° her mind early tomorrow,

Tonight she’s mewed up to her heaviness.[42]


risky offer

Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender°

Of my child’s love. I think she will be ruled,

In all respects, by me. Surely; I doubt it not.—

15Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed.

Acquaint her here of my son Paris’s love,

And bid her—Mark you me?—on Wednesday next—


But soft°! What day is this?


Monday, my lord.


20Monday, 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.

25For hark you, Tybalt being slain so late,

without care

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.[43] But what say you to Thursday?


30My 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!—

35Afore me,[44] it is so very late that we may call it early by and by.—


Exit all



 In her chambers, Juliet and Romeo go back and forth on whether Romeo needs to leave yet or whether he can stay longer. The Nurse enters to warn them that Lady Capulet is approaching. Romeo departs in secret. Lady Capulet enters to talk to Juliet. Juliet pretends to hate Romeo while telling the audience that she forgives him completely. Lady Capulet tells Juliet that she is set to be married to Paris next Thursday. Juliet protests that it is far too soon. Her father enters, just as surprised as his wife that Juliet is still grieving. He expects Juliet to be pleased at the news of the marriage; when she begs him to change their plans, he flies into a rage, silencing the Nurse who jumps to Juliet’s defense. He threatens to disown Juliet if she refuses to marry and then leaves. Juliet asks her mother for help; she refuses and also exits. Juliet then goes to the Nurse for comfort, who tells her that she should marry Paris and be happy since Romeo is as good as dead in exile. Juliet decides to find Friar Lawrence for help, resolving to kill herself if he will not help her.

Juliet’s chambers within the Capulet estate, near a window overlooking the orchard:

Enter ROMEO and JULIET aloft


Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.

It was the nightingale, and not the lark,[45]


That pierced the fearful° hollow of thine ear.

Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.

5Believe 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

10Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

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


Yond light is not daylight—I know it. Aye:

It is some meteor that the sun exhales,

To be to thee this night a torch-bearer

15And light thee on thy way to Mantua.

Therefore stay yet; thou needst not to be gone.



Let me be ta’en°. Let me be put to death.

I am content, if thou wilt have it so.

I’ll say yon gray is not the morning’s eye.

20‘Tis but the pale reflect of Cynthia’s[46] brow.

Nor that is not the lark whose notes do beat

The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.

I have more care to stay than will to go:

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

25How is my soul? Let’s talk; ’tis not yet day.


It is, it is! Begone fly hence away!

It is the lark that sings so out of tune,

Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.


Some say the lark makes sweet division°:

30This is not so, for she divideth us.

Some say the lark and loathèd toad change eyes.[47]

O, now I would they had changed voices too,

tear apart

Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray°,

Hunting thee hence with hunt’s-up[48] to the day.

35O, now begone! More light and light it grows.


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







Your Lady Mother is coming to your chamber.

40The day is broke. Be wary, look about.



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


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

They kiss, and ROMEO begins to climb down 


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

I must hear from thee every day in the hour,

45For in a minute there are many days.

O, by this count I shall be much in years,

Ere I again behold my Romeo.



I will omit no opportunity

50That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.


O, thinkst 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.[49]

55Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low,

As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.

Either my eyesight fails, or thou lookest pale.


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

Dry sorrow drinks our blood.[50] Adieu, adieu!



60O Fortune, Fortune,[51] all men call thee fickle.

If thou art fickle, what doest thou with him

faithfulness; steadiness

That is renowned for faith°? Be fickle, Fortune,

For then I hope thou wilt not keep him long,

But send him back. 


65[From within] Ho, daughter. Are you up?


Who is’t that calls? It is my lady mother.

in bed

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


What unaccustomed cause procures° her hither?



Why, how now, Juliet?


70Madam, I am not well.


Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?

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

And if thou could’st, thou could’st not make him live.

Therefore, be done. Some grief shows much of love,

75But much of grief shows 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.


Feeling so the loss,

80I 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?


That same villain: Romeo.



85[Hushed] Villain and he be many miles asunder°.

[To LADY CAPULET] God pardon him. I do, with all my heart

And yet, no man like he doth grieve my heart.


That is because the traitor lives.


Aye, madam, from the reach of these, my hands

90Would 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 runaway doth live,

Shall give him such an unaccustomed drink

95That he shall soon keep Tybalt company.

And then I hope thou wilt be satisfied.


Indeed, I never shall be satisfied

With Romeo, ‘til I behold him. Dead

distressed; frustrated

Is my poor heart so for a kinsman vexed°.

100Madam, if you could find out but a man

mix, or dilute

To bear a poison, I would temper° it;

That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,


Soon sleep in quiet. O, how my heart abhors°

To hear him named, and cannot come to him

105To wreak the love I bore my cousin

Upon the body that hath slaughtered him.


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

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


And joy comes well in such a needy time.


110What are they, beseech° your ladyship?


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


One who, to put thee from thy heaviness°,

Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy

That thou expects not, nor I looked not for.


115Madam, 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!


120Now, 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,

125I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear

It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,

Rather than Paris. These are news, indeed!


Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself,

And see how he will take it at your hands.



130When 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 showring in one little body?


Thou counterfeit’st a bark°, a sea, a wind.

135For 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,[52] will overset

140Thy tempest-tossed body.—How now, wife?

Have you delivered to her our decree?


Aye, sir, but she will none. She gives you thanks.[53]

I would the fool were married to her grave!


Soft, take me with you, take me with you,[54] wife.

145How will she none? Doth she not give us thanks?

Is she not proud? Doth she not count her blessed,

Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought

So worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom?


Not proud you have, but thankful that you have!

150Proud can I never be of what I hate,

But thankful even for hate that is meant love.[55]


How, now? How, now? Chopped logic. What is this?

Proud, and I thank you, and I thank you not?

And yet not proud? Mistress minion[56] you,

155Thank 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[57] thither.

useless woman
rotting meat

Out, you green-sickness[58] carrion°! Out, you baggage°!


160You tallow° face!


Fie, fie! What, are you mad?

JULIET kneels


Good father, I beseech you on my knees.

Hear me with patience, but to speak a word.


Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch.

165I tell thee what: get thee to church on Thursday,

Or never after look me in the face.

Speak not, reply not, do not answer me.

My fingers itch![59] Wife, we scarce thought us blessed

That God had lent us but this only child;

170But now I see this one is one too much,

And that we have a curse in having her.

worthless person

Out on her, hilding°!


God in heaven, bless her!

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


175And why, my Lady Wisdom? Hold your tongue,

Good Prudence. Smatter with your gossips, go.


I speak no treason.


O, God ‘I’ good e’en.


May not one speak?


180Peace, you mumbling fool.

“serious” things

Utter your gravity° o’er a gossip’s drink,

For here we need it not.


You are too hot!


God’s bread,[60] it makes me mad!

185Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,

Alone, in company: still my goal hath been

To have her matched! And having now provided

A gentleman of noble parentage,

lands owned

Of fair demesnes°, youthful, and nobly-allied,

190Stuffed, as they say, with honorable parts,

Proportioned as one’s thought would wish a man—


And then to have a wretchèd puling° fool,


A whining mammet°, to her fortune’s tender

Answer, “I’ll not wed, I cannot love;

195I am too young, I pray you, pardon me.”

But if 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 often jest.

Thursday is near. Lay hand on heart, advise.

200If you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend.

If you be not? Hang, drown, starve, beg, die in the streets,

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

Nor what is mine shall never do thee good.

go back on my word
think hard

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



205Is 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

210In 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.


JULIET rises


O God, O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?

My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven.

215How shall that faith return again to earth,

Unless that husband send it me from heaven

By leaving earth? Comfort me, counsel me!

play tricks

Alack, alack, that heaven should practice stratagems°

Upon so soft a subject as myself.

220What sayst thou? Hast thou not a word of joy?

Some comfort, Nurse.


Faith, here it is: Romeo is banished, and all the world to nothing[61]


That he dares ne’er come back to challenge° you.

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

225Then since the case so stands as now it doth,

I think it best you married with the county.

O, he’s a lovely gentleman:

Romeo is but a dish cloth in respect of him. An eagle, madam,

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

230As 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,

Not living here, and you no use of him.


235Speakst thou from thy heart?


And from my soul too; else beshrew them both.






Well, thou hast comforted me marvelous much.

240Go in, and tell my lady I am gone,

Having displeased my father, to Lawrence’s cell,

To make confession, and to be absolved.


Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.



Ancient damnation! O, most wicked fiend!

245Is 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, counselor.

Thou and my bosom[62] henceforth shall be twain.

250I’ll to the friar to know his remedy.

If all else fail, myself have power to die.


  1. what to?: Mercutio deliberately misconstrues “to” as “two.”
  2. tutor: scold
  3. minstrels: musicians, thought of as homeless wanderers
  4. zounds: an exclamation or swearword
  5. public haunt: frequent gathering place
  6. coldly: calmly
  7. Here comes my man: the man I want to fight; Mercutio deliberately misconstrues Tybalt’s “my man,” as “my servant.”
  8. appertaining rage: appropriately angry reaction
  9. Alla stoccatta carries it away: the first thrust wins the fight
  10. will you walk?: i.e., will you fight me?
  11. dry-beat: beat with a sword
  12. grave: serious; dead
  13. A dog… by the book of arithmetic: all referring to Tybalt
  14. This day’s black fate on more days doth depend: This day will affect future days
  15. The Citizens are up: meaning, up in arms
  16. dear blood: beloved
  17. Gallop apace…Towards Phoebus’ loding: Juliet wants night to come; in Classical mythology Phoebus’ horses pulled the chariot of the sun across the sky.
  18. Phaeton: Phaeton, the sun god’s son, was allowed to drive the chariot of the sun, but lost control and had to be killed by Zeus.
  19. sober-footed matron all in black: like a widow dressed in black
  20. Hood (cover with a hood), unmanned (untamed), and bating (fluttering) are all terms used in falconry.
  21. Think true love acted simple modesty: to think of sex (“true love acted”) as modest
  22. cockatrice: a mythical beast that can kill with a look
  23. Or those eyes: i.e., if those eyes are Romeo’s
  24. God save the mark: i.e., God avert the ill omen
  25. Vile earth: here Juliet seems to be referring to her own body
  26. And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier: meaning, my body and Romeo’s will share a coffin
  27. dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom: A biblical reference to the “last trump,” which announces Judgment Day
  28. No words can that woe sound: no words can express that woe
  29. Thy fault our law calls death: i.e., your crime is punishable by death
  30. prevails not: has no effect
  31. dispute with thee of they estate: i.e., discuss your state of affairs
  32. Taking the measure of an unmade grave: taking the measurements of a grave not yet dug
  33. By and by: just a moment
  34. he is even in my mistress case: i.e., he is just like my mistress
  35. so deep an O: moaning fit
  36. usurer: someone who makes a profit by lending money and being repaid with interest. This was considered greedy, immoral, and a misuse of wealth.
  37. Digressing from: lacking of
  38. thou dismembered by thine own defense: i.e., harmed by what was intended to defend
  39. the watch be set: when the night watchmen take their positions, usually at dusk
  40. here stands all your state: i.e., everything depends on this
  41. we have had no time to move our daughter: i.e., we haven’t had time to convince Juliet
  42. mewed up to: shut up with
  43. there an end: that’s it
  44. Afore me: a mild swear
  45. It was the nightingale, and not the lark: The nightingale sings at night; the lark sings in the morning
  46. Cynthia: another name for the goddess of the moon.
  47. the lark and loathèd toad change eyes: Juliet is referring to the tale that the lark traded its pretty eyes for the toad’s ugly ones
  48. hunts-up: a song to wake huntsmen
  49. ill-divining soul: i.e., a bad feeling
  50. Dry sorrow drinks our blood: It was thought that sorrow dried up the blood, drop by drop
  51. Fortune: Fortuna, the goddess of chance, was thought to control peoples’ fates, but did so in a very fickle and unpredictable manner
  52. without a sudden calm: i.e., unless you calm down
  53. She gives you thanks: i.e., she says no thanks
  54. take me with you: catch me up
  55. that is meant love: that is meant with love
  56. Mistress minion: spoiled brat
  57. hurdle: used to drag criminals to their executions
  58. green-sickness: anemia, associated with the paleness of young virgins
  59. My fingers itch: i.e., his fingers itch to hit someone
  60. God’s bread: a strong swear
  61. all the world to nothing: I’d bet anything
  62. my bosom: in this context, “bosom” means trust.


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