Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Romeo and Juliet (Modern)
  • Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
  • ISBN: 1-55058-299-2

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Roger Apfelbaum
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Romeo and Juliet (Modern)

    Enter Romeo alone.
    Romeo Can I go forward when my heart is here?
    Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out.
    [Romeo withdraws.]
    Enter Benvolio with Mercutio.
    Benvolio Romeo, my cousin Romeo, Romeo!
    Mercutio He is wise,
    And on my life hath stol'n him home to bed.
    Benvolio He ran this way and leapt this orchard wall.
    755Call, good Mercutio.
    Nay, I'll conjure too.
    Romeo! Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover!
    Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh,
    Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied;
    760Cry but "Ay me," pronounce, but "love" and "dove,"
    Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
    One nickname for her purblind son and heir,
    Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so true
    When King Cophetua loved the beggar maid. --
    765He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not,
    The ape is dead, and I must conjure him. --
    I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,
    By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
    By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh,
    770And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
    That in thy likeness thou appear to us.
    Benvolio An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.
    Mercutio This cannot anger him. 'Twould anger him
    To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle
    775Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
    Till she had laid it and conjured it down.
    That were some spite. My invocation
    Is fair and honest, in his mistress' name
    I conjure only but to raise up him.
    780Benvolio Come, he hath hid himself among these trees
    To be consorted with the humorous night.
    Blind is his love, and best befits the dark.
    Mercutio If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
    Now will he sit under a medlar tree
    785And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
    As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.
    O Romeo, that she were, O that she were
    An open-arse, thou a pop'rin' pear.
    Romeo, good night. I'll to my truckle bed;
    790This field bed is too cold for me to sleep.
    Come, shall we go?
    Go then, for 'tis in vain
    To seek him here that means not to be found.
    Exit [with Mercutio]