ROMEO AND JULIET
by William Shakespeare
Escalus, Prince of Verona.
Paris, a young Nobleman, kinsman to the Prince.
Montague,}Heads of two Houses at variance with each other.
An Old Man, Uncle to Capulet.
Romeo, Son to Montague.
Mercutio, Kinsman to the Prince, and Friend to Romeo.
Benvolio, Nephew to Montague, and Friend to Romeo.
Tybalt, Nephew to Lady Capulet.
Friar Lawrence, a Franciscan.
Friar John, of the same Order.
Balthasar, Servant to Romeo.
Sampson, Servant to Capulet.
Gregory, Servant to Capulet.
Peter, Servant to Juliet's Nurse.
Abraham, Servant to Montague.
Page to Paris; another Page.
Lady Montague, Wife to Montague.
Lady Capulet, Wife to Capulet.
Juliet, Daughter to Capulet.
Nurse to Juliet.
Citizens of Verona; several Men and Women, relations to both
houses; Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants.
SCENE. - During the greater part of the Play in Verona; once, in
the Fifth Act, at Mantua.
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-mark'd 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.
Scene I. A public place.
[Enter Sampson and Gregory armed with swords and bucklers.]
Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.
No, for then we should be colliers.
I mean, an we be in choler we'll draw.
Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o' the collar.
I strike quickly, being moved.
But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.
A dog of that house shall move me to stand:
I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.
That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the
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 wall.
The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant:
when I have fought with the men I will be cruel with the maids,
I will cut off their heads.
The heads of the maids?
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads;
take it in what sense thou wilt.
They must take it in sense that feel it.
Me they shall feel while I am able to stand:
and 'tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst,
thou hadst been poor-John. - Draw thy tool;
Here comes two of the house of Montagues.
My naked weapon is out: quarrel! I will back thee.
How! turn thy back and run?
Fear me not.
No, marry; I fear thee!
Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
I will frown as I pass by; and let them take it as they
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is
disgrace to them if they bear it.
[Enter Abraham and Balthasar.]
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
I do bite my thumb, sir.
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Is the law of our side if I say ay?
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my
Do you quarrel, sir?
Quarrel, sir! no, sir.
But if you do, sir, am for you: I serve as good a man as
Say better; here comes one of my master's kinsmen.
Yes, better, sir.
Draw, if you be men. - Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
Part, fools! put up your swords; you know not what you do.
[Beats down their swords.]
What, art thou drawn among these heartless 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!
[Enter several of both Houses, who join the fray; then enter
Citizens with clubs.]
Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!
[Enter Capulet in his gown, and Lady Capulet.]
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.
[Enter Montague and his Lady Montague.]
Thou villain Capulet! - Hold me not, let me go.
Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
[Enter Prince, with Attendants.]
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 mistemper'd weapons to the ground
And hear the sentence of your moved prince. -
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb'd 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,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate:
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 Free-town, our common judgment-place. -
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.
[Exeunt Prince and Attendants; Capulet, Lady Capulet, Tybalt,
Citizens, and Servants.]
Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? -
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
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 prepar'd;
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head, and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn:
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part,
Till the prince came, who parted either part.
O, where is Romeo? - saw you him to-day? -
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun
Peer'd forth the golden window of the east,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;
Where, - underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from the city's 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, -
That most are busied when they're most alone, -
Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his,
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
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 importun'd him by any means?
Both by myself and many other friends;
But he, his own affections' 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 sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure as know.
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 Montague and Lady.]
Good morrow, cousin.
Is the day so young?
But new struck nine.
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.
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 create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen 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?
No, coz, I rather weep.
Good heart, at what?
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 prest
With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. -
Farewell, my coz.
Soft! I will go along:
An 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.
Tell me in sadness who is that you love?
What, shall I groan and tell thee?
Groan! why, no;
But sadly tell me who.
Bid a sick man in sadness make his will, -
Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill! -
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
I aim'd so near when I suppos'd you lov'd.
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 arm'd,
From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms
Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold:
O, she's 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 makes huge waste;
For beauty, starv'd 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.
Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her.
O, teach me how I should forget to think.
By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.
'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 pass'd that passing fair?
Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.
I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.
Scene II. A Street.
[Enter Capulet, Paris, and Servant.]
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 liv'd at odds so long.
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 marr'd are those so early made.
The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she, -
She is the hopeful lady of my earth:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accustom'd 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 apparell'd April on the heel
Of limping winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house; hear all, all see,
And like her most whose merit most shall be:
Which, among view of many, mine, being one,
May stand in number, though in reckoning none.
Come, go with me. - Go, sirrah, trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, [gives a paper] and to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
[Exeunt Capulet and Paris].
Servant.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!
[Enter Benvolio and Romeo.]
Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
One pain is lessen'd 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?
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,
Whipp'd and tormented and - God-den, good fellow.
God gi' go-den. - 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.
Ye say honestly: rest you merry!
Stay, fellow; I can read. [Reads.]
'Signior Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselmo and his beauteous sisters; the
lady widow of Vitruvio; Signior Placentio and
his lovely nieces; Mercutio and his brother
Valentine; mine uncle Capulet, his wife, and
daughters; my fair niece Rosaline; Livia; Signior
Valentio and his cousin Tybalt; Lucio and the
A fair assembly. [Gives back the paper]: whither should they
To supper; to our house.
Indeed I should have ask'd you that before.
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!
At this same ancient feast of Capulet's
Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lov'st;
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 fires;
And these, - who, often drown'd, 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 pois'd with herself in either eye:
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh'd
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 shows best.
I'll go along, no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendour of my own.
Scene III. Room in Capulet's House.
[Enter Lady Capulet, and Nurse.]
Nurse, where's my daughter? call her forth to me.
Now, by my maidenhea, - at twelve year old, -
I bade her come. - What, lamb! what ladybird! -
God forbid! - where's this girl? - what, Juliet!
How now, who calls?
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 remember'd 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.
I'll lay fourteen of my teeth, -
And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four, -
She is not fourteen. How long is it now
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 wean'd, - 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 dove-house 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 dove-house: 'twas no need, I trow,
To bid me trudge.
And since that time it is eleven years;
For then she could stand alone; nay, by the 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 holidame,
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 yeas,
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 its brow
A bump as big as a young cockerel's stone;
A parlous knock; and it cried bitterly.
'Yea,' quoth my husband, 'fall'st upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou com'st 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 nurs'd:
An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.
Marry, that marry is the very theme
I came to talk of. - Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your disposition to be married?
It is an honour that I dream not of.
An honour! - were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck'd 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.
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 obscur'd 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
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.
[Enter a Servant.]
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. [Exit Servant.] -
Juliet, the county stays.
Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.
Scene IV. A Street.
[Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio, with five or six Maskers;
Torch-bearers, and others.]
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 hoodwink'd with a scarf,
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper;
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter, for our entrance:
But, let them measure us by what they will,
We'll measure them a measure, and be gone.
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.
You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings,
And soar with them above a common bound.
I am too sore enpierced 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. -
Give me a case to put my visage in: [Putting on a mask.]
A visard for a visard! what care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me.
Come, knock and enter; and no sooner in
But every man betake him to his legs.