THE PLAY

ACT 3

ACT 3, SCENE 1

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:

Enter MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO

BENVOLIO

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

Capulets

The day is hot, the ° are abroad,

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

For these hot days is the mad blood stirring.

MERCUTIO

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

bartender

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

need.

BENVOLIO

10Am I like such a fellow?

MERCUTIO

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

moved.

BENVOLIO

And what to?[1]

MERCUTIO

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

hazelnuts

hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking °, 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

beaten as ° 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

jacket

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

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

thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling?

BENVOLIO

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

ownership

° of my life for an hour and a quarter.

MERCUTIO

30The fee-simple? O, simple!

Enter TYBALT and his company

BENVOLIO

By my head, here come the Capulets.

MERCUTIO

By my heel, I care not.

TYBALT

Follow me close, for I will speak to them.

ownership

Gentlemen, °. A word with one of you.

MERCUTIO

35Only 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 if not given?

TYBALT

40Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.

MERCUTIO

Consort! What, dost thou make us minstrels?[2] An thou make

ugly noise

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

sword

°; here’s that shall make you dance—zounds,[3]

“Consort!”

BENVOLIO

45We talk here in the public haunt[4] of men.

Either withdraw unto some private place,

Or reason coldly of your grievances,

Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us.

MERCUTIO

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

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

Enter ROMEO

TYBALT

Well, peace be with you, sir. Here comes my man.[5]

MERCUTIO

servant’s uniforms

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

dueling-place

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

that sense may call him “man.”

TYBALT

55Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford

No better term than this: thou art a villain.

ROMEO

Tybalt, a reason which I have to love thee

Doth much excuse the appertaining rage[6]

To such a greeting. Villain am I none.

60Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest me not.

TYBALT

Boy, that shall not excuse the injuries

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

ROMEO

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.

MERCUTIO

O, calm, dishonorable, vile submission!

Alla stoccatta carries it away.[7]

He draws.

70Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?[8]

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[9] the rest of the eight. Therefore, come, draw your rapier

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

aware.

TYBALT

I am for you.

ROMEO

Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up—

MERCUTIO

Come, sir, your passado!

TYBALT and MERCUTIO fight

ROMEO

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

MERCUTIO

85I am hurt.

done for

A plague o’ both houses! I am °.

no wounds

Is he gone and hath °?

BENVOLIO

What, art thou hurt?

MERCUTIO

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

90Where is my page?—

Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.

Exit PAGE

ROMEO

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

done for

95me a grave man.[10] I am °, 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![11] Why the devil came you between us? I

was hurt under your arm.

ROMEO

100I thought all for the best.

MERCUTIO

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!

Exit MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO

ROMEO

close relative

105This gentleman, the Prince’s °,

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 °,

And in my temper softened valor’s steel.

Enter BENVOLIO

BENVOLIO

O Romeo, Romeo! Brave Mercutio is dead!

gone up towards

That gallant spirit hath ° the clouds,

Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.

ROMEO

115This day’s black fate on more days doth depend.[12]

This but begins the woe others must end.

Enter TYBALT

BENVOLIO

Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

ROMEO

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.

TYBALT

Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here

Shalt with him hence.

ROMEO

This shall determine that.

They fight; TYBALT falls and dies

BENVOLIO

Romeo, away, begone!

130The Citizens are up,[13] and Tybalt slain.

Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee dead

If thou art taken. Hence, begone! Away!

ROMEO

O, I am fortune’s fool!

BENVOLIO

Why dost thou stay?

Exit ROMEO

Enter CITIZENS

CITIZEN

135Which way ran he that killed Mercutio?

Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?

BENVOLIO

There lies that Tybalt.

CITIZEN

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

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

Enter PRINCE ESKALES, MONTAGUE, LADY MONTAGUE, CAPULET, and LADY CAPULET

PRINCE

140Where are the vile beginners of this fray?

BENVOLIO

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.

LADY CAPULET

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 –

PRINCE

150Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?

BENVOLIO

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

with civility

Romeo that spoke him °, bade him bethink

unimportant

How ° 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 °

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,

solider-like

160And, with a ° 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

malicious

An ° 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.

LADY CAPULET

175He 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:

180Romeo slew Tybalt; Romeo must not live.

PRINCE

Romeo slew him; he slew Mercutio.

Who now the price of his dear blood[14] doth owe?

MONTAGUE

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

His fault concludes that which the law should end:

185The life of Tybalt.

PRINCE

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.

punish

190But I’ll ° 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

❖❖❖

ACT 3, SCENE 2

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

JULIET

Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,

Towards Phoebus’ lodging.[15] Such a wagoner

As Phaeton[16] would whip you to the west

And bring in cloudy night immediately.

concealing

5Spread thy ° curtain, love-performing night,

shut

That runaway’s eyes may °, 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,[17]

And learn me how to lose a winning match

virginities

Played for a pair of stainless °.

Hood my unmanned blood bating in my cheeks[18]

cloak
unfamailiar

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

Think true love acted simple modesty—[19]

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?

NURSE

Aye, aye. The cords.

Throws down the rope ladder

JULIET

Aye me, what news?

Why dost thou wring thy hands?

NURSE

(expression of woe)

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

40We are undone, lady, we are undone.

(expression of grief)

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

JULIET

Can heaven be so envious?

NURSE

Romeo can,

Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo,

45Whoever would have thought it, Romeo?

JULIET

What devil art thou that dost torment me thus?

used

This torture should be ° 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.[20]

I am not I, if there be such an “I,”

Or those eyes[21] shut that makes thee answer “Aye.”

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

happiness

Brief sounds determine of my ° and woe.

NURSE

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

God save the mark![22]—here on his manly breast.

A piteous corpse, a bloodied piteous corpse,

smeared

Pale, pale as ashes, all ° in blood,

clotted

All in ° blood. I swooned at the sight.

JULIET

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

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

return

Vile earth,[23] to earth °, end motion here:

And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier.[24]

NURSE

O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!

65O courteous Tybalt, honest gentleman,

That ever I should live to see thee dead!

JULIET

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,[25]

For who is living if those two are gone?

NURSE

Tybalt is gone and Romeo banished.

Romeo that killed him: he is banished.

JULIET

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

NURSE

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

JULIET

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!

appearance

Despisèd substance of divinest °!

Just opposite to what thou justly seemest,

A damned Saint, an honorable villain.

O Nature! What hadest thou to do in hell

gives sanctuary

85When thou didst ° 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!

NURSE

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

evil
liars

All perjured, all forsworne, all °, all °.

liquor

Ah, where’s my man?—Give me some °.—

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

Shame come to Romeo.

JULIET

95Blistered be thy tongue

For such a wish! He was not born to shame.

Upon his brow shame is ashamed to fit

For ‘tis a throne where honor may be crowned

Sole monarch of the universal earth.

100O, what a beast was I to chide him!

NURSE

Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin?

JULIET

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

gladly

That murdered me. I would forget it °,

115But, O, it presses to my memory

Like damned guilty deeds to sinner’s 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

necessarily

And ° will be ranked with other griefs,

Why followed not when she said ‘Tybalt’s dead,”

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

ordinary
provoked

125Which ° lamentation might have °.

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.[26]

Where is my father and my mother, Nurse?

NURSE

Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corpse.

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

JULIET

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

When theirs are dry, for Romeo is banished.

deceived

Take up those cords. Poor ropes, you are °,

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!

NURSE

Hie to your chamber. I’ll find Romeo

know

To comfort you. I ° well where he is.

listen

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

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

JULIET hands NURSE a ring

JULIET

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

And bid him come, to take his last farewell.

Exit all

❖❖❖

ACT 3, SCENE 3

 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:

Enter FRIAR LAWRENCE

FRIAR LAWRENCE

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

disaster
qualities

° is enamored of thy °;

And thou art wedded to calamity.

Enter ROMEO

ROMEO

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

5What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand

That I yet know not?

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Too familiar

Is my dear son with such sorry company.

I bring thee tidings of the Prince’s doom.

ROMEO

10What less than Doomsday is the Prince’s doom?

FRIAR LAWRENCE

A gentler judgment vanished from his lips.

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

ROMEO

Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say “death,”

For exile hath more terror in his look,

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

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Here from Verona are thou banished;

Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

ROMEO

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.

 FRIAR LAWRENCE

25O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!

Thy fault our law calls death,[27] 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.

ROMEO

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.

value

But Romeo may not. More °,

35More honorable 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,

virginal

Who even in pure and ° 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?”

FRIAR LAWRENCE

foolish

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

ROMEO

55O, thou wilt speak again of banishment!

FRIAR LAWRENCE

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

Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy,

To comfort thee though thou art banishèd.

ROMEO

Still “banishèd?” Hang up philosophy,

60Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,

displace

° a town, reverse a Prince’s doom,

It helps not, it prevails not.[28] Talk no more.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

O then I see that mad men have no ears.

ROMEO

How should they when that wise men have no eyes?

FRIAR LAWRENCE

65Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.[29]

ROMEO

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,

lovesick

° 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.[30]

There is a knock from within

 FRIAR LAWRENCE

Arise; one knocks. Good Romeo, hide thyself.

ROMEO

75Not I, unless the breath of heartsick groans,

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

Continuous knocking

FRIAR LAWRENCE

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

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

Knock

Run to my study.—By and by![31]—God’s will,

nonsense

80What ° is this?—I come, I come.

Knock

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

NURSE

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

Enter NURSE

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Welcome then.

NURSE

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

Where’s Romeo?

FRIAR LAWRENCE

There on the ground,

With his own tears made drunk.

NURSE

O, he is even in my mistress case,[32]

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?[33]

ROMEO

Nurse.

NURSE

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

ROMEO

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?

NURSE

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.

ROMEO

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

destroy

Doth my name lodge? Tell me that I may °

The hateful mansion.

FRIAR

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,

unnatural

And ° 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 thy self?

complains

125Why ° 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, °, thou shames thy shape, thy love, thy wit,

Which, like a usurer[34] abound’st in all

130And uses none in that true use indeed

decorate

Which should ° thy shape, thy love, thy wit.

Thy noble shape is but a form of wax

Digressing from[35] the valor of a man.

Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,

135Killing that love which thou hast vowed to cherish.

body

Thy wit, that ornament to ° 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.[36]

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

For whose dear sake thou was but lately dead.

fortunate

There art thou °. 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 ° thou stay not till the watch be set,[37]

155For then thou canst not pass to Mantua,

Where thou shalt live till we can find a time

publicize

To ° 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.

NURSE

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.

ROMEO

scold

Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to °.

NURSE

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

She hands ROMEO a ring

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

Exit NURSE

ROMEO

How well my comfort is revived by this.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Go hence, goodnight; and here stands all your state:[38]

Either be gone before the watch be set,

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

stay awhile

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

And he shall let you know from time to time

happening

Every good ° to you that happens here.

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

ROMEO

But that a joy past joy calls out to me,

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

Farewell.

Exit all

❖❖❖

ACT 3, SCENE 4

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:

Enter CAPULET, LADY CAPULET and PARIS

CAPULET

Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily,

That we have had no time to move our daughter.[39]

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,

PARIS

These times of woe afford no times to woo.

Madam, goodnight. Commend me to your daughter.

LADY CAPULET

(will know)

10I will, and ° her mind early tomorrow,

Tonight she’s mewed up to her heaviness.[40]

CAPULET

risky offer

Sir Paris, I will make a °

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—

wait

But °! What day is this?

PARIS

Monday, my lord.

CAPULET

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 °

Being our kinsman, if we revel much.

Therefore we’ll have some half a dozen friends,

And there an end.[41] But what say you to Thursday?

PARIS

30My Lord, I would that Thursday were tomorrow.

CAPULET

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,[42] it is so very late that we may call it early by and by.—

Goodnight.

Exit all

❖❖❖

ACT 3, SCENE 5

 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

 JULIET

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

It was the nightingale, and not the lark,[43]

anxious

That pierced the ° hollow of thine ear.

Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.

5Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

ROMEO

It was the lark, the herald of the morn,

No nightingale. Look, love: what envious streaks

parting

Do lace the ° clouds in yonder east;

cheerful

Night’s candles are burnt out, and ° day

10Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

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

JULIET

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.

ROMEO

taken

Let me be °. 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[44] brow;

And 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 love? Let’s talk; it is not day.

JULIET

It is, it is! Hie hence, begone!

It is the lark that sings so out of tune,

Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.

melody

Some say the lark makes sweet °:

30This is not so, for she divideth us.

Some say the lark and loathèd toad change eyes.[45]

O, now I would they had changed voices too,

tear apart

Since arm from arm that voice doth us °,

Hunting thee hence with hunt’s-up[46] to the day.

45O, now begone! More light and light it grows!

ROMEO

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

Enter NURSE

NURSE

Madam.

JULIET

Nurse?

NURSE

Your Lady Mother is coming to your chamber.

50The day is broke. Be wary; look about.

Exit NURSE

JULIET

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

ROMEO

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

They kiss, and ROMEO begins to climb down 

JULIET

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

I must hear from thee every day in the hour,

55For in a minute there are many days.

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

Ere I again behold my Romeo.

ROMEO

Farewell!

I will omit no opportunity

60That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.

JULIET

O, thinkst thou we shall ever meet again?

ROMEO

I doubt it not, and all these woes shall serve

For sweet discourses in our times to come.

JULIET

O God, I have an ill-divining soul.[47]

65Methinks 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.

ROMEO

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

Dry sorrow drinks our blood.[48] Adieu, adieu!

Exit ROMEO

JULIET

70O Fortune, Fortune![49] All men call thee fickle.

If thou art fickle, what doest thou with him

faithfulness; steadiness

That is renowned for °? Be fickle, Fortune,

For then I hope thou wilt not keep him long,

But send him back. 

LADY CAPULET

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

JULIET

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

in bed

Is she not ° so late or up so early?

sends

What unaccustomed cause ° her hither?

 Enter LADY CAPULET

LADY CAPULET

Why, how now, Juliet?

JULIET

80Madam, I am not well.

LADY CAPULET

Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?

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

And if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live.

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

85But much of grief shows some want of wit.

JULIET

devastating

Yet let me weep for such a ° loss.

LADY CAPULET

So shall you feel the loss, but not the friend

Which you weep for.

JULIET

Feeling so the loss,

90I cannot choose but ever weep the friend.

LADY CAPULET

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

As that the villain lives which slaughtered him.

JULIET

What villain, madam?

LADY CAPULET

That same villain: Romeo.

JULIET

apart

95[Hushed] Villain and he be many miles °.

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

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

LADY CAPULET

That is because the traitor murderer lives.

JULIET

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

100Would none but I might ‘venge my cousin’s death.

LADY CAPULET

We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not.

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

Where that same banished runaway doth live,

Shall give him such an unaccustomed drink

105That he shall soon keep Tybalt company.

And then I hope thou wilt be satisfied.

JULIET

Indeed, I never shall be satisfied

With Romeo, ‘til I behold him… dead

distressed; frustrated

Is my poor heart so for a kinsman °.

110Madam, if you could find out but a man

mix, or dilute

To bear a poison, I would ° it

That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,

hates

Soon sleep in quiet. O, how my heart °

To hear him named, and cannot come to him

115To wreak the love I bore my cousin

Upon the body that hath slaughtered him.

LADY CAPULET

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

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

JULIET

And joy comes well in such a needy time.

beg

120What are they, ° your ladyship?

LADY CAPULET

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

sadness

One who, to put thee from thy °,

Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy

That thou expects not, nor I looked not for.

JULIET

125Madam, in happy time, what day is that?

LADY CAPULET

Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn.

The gallant, young, and noble gentleman,

The County Paris at Saint Peter’s Church

Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride!

JULIET

130Now, 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,

135I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear

It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,

Rather than Paris. These are news, indeed!

LADY CAPULET

Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself,

And see how he will take it at your hands.

 Enter CAPULET and NURSE

CAPULET

140When the sun sets, the earth doth drizzle dew,

death

But for the ° of my brother’s son

fountain

It rains downright. How now? A °, girl? What, still in tears?

Evermore showring? In one little body

sailboat

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

145For 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,[50] will overset

150Thy tempest-tossed body.—How now, wife?

Have you delivered to her our decree?

LADY CAPULET

Aye, sir, but she will none. She gives you thanks.[51]

I would the fool were married to her grave!

CAPULET

Soft, take me with you, take me with you,[52] wife.

155How 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?

JULIET

Not proud you have, but thankful that you have!

160Proud can I never be of what I hate,

But thankful even for hate that is meant love.[53]

CAPULET

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[54] you,

165Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds,

prepare

But ° your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next,

To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,

Or I will drag thee on a hurdle[55] thither.

rotting meat
useless woman

Out, you green-sickness[56] °! Out, you °!

pale

170You ° face!

LADY CAPULET

Fie, fie! What, are you mad?

JULIET kneels

JULIET

Good father, I beseech you on my knees.

Hear me with patience, but to speak a word.

CAPULET

Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch.

175I 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![57] Wife, we scarce thought us blessed

That God had lent us but this only child;

180But now I see this one is one too much,

And that we have a curse in having her.

worthless person

Out on her, °!

NURSE

God in heaven, bless her!

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

CAPULET

185And why, my Lady Wisdom? Hold your tongue,

Good Prudence. Smatter with your gossips, go.

NURSE

I speak no treason.

CAPULET

O, God ‘I’ good e’en.

NURSE

May not one speak?

CAPULET

190Peace, you mumbling fool.

“serious” things

Utter your ° o’er a gossip’s drink,

For here we need it not.

LADY CAPULET

You are too hot!

CAPULET

God’s bread![58] It makes me mad!

195Day, 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 °, youthful, and nobly-trained,

200Stuffed, as they say, with honorable parts,

Proportioned as one’s thought would wish a man—

whimpering

And then to have a wretchèd ° fool,

doll

A whining °, to her fortune’s tender

Answer, “I’ll not wed, I cannot love;

205I 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. Think well.

210If you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend.

If 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.

think hard
go back on my word

Trust to’t; ° you. I’ll not °.

Exit CAPULET

JULIET

215Is 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

220In that dim monument where Tybalt lies!

LADY CAPULET

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

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

Exit LADY CAPULET

JULIET rises

JULIET

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

My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven.

225How 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 °

Upon so soft a subject as myself.

230What 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[59]

claim

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

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

235Then since the case so stands as now it doth,

I think it best you married with the county.

O, he’s a lovely gentleman:

Romeo’s a dish cloth to him. An eagle, madam,

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

240As 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.

JULIET

245Speakst thou from thy heart?

 NURSE

And from my soul too; else beshrew them both.

JULIET

Amen.

NURSE

What?

JULIET

Well, thou hast comforted me marvelous much.

250Go in, and tell my lady I am gone,

Having displeased my father, to Lawrence’s cell,

To make confession, and to be absolved.

NURSE

Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.

Exit NURSE

JULIET

Ancient damnation! O, most wicked fiend!

255Is 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[60] henceforth shall be twain.

260I’ll to the friar to know his remedy.

If all else fail, myself have power to die.

Exit JULIET


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

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Romeo and Juliet by Rebecca Olson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.