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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Friar [Laurence]
    1800Friar Laurence Romeo, come forth, come forth thou fearful man.
    Affliction is enamored of thy parts,
    And thou art wedded to calamity.
    [Enter] Romeo
    Romeo Father, what news? 1805What is the Prince's doom?
    What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand,
    That I yet know not?
    Friar Laurence
    Too familiar
    Is my dear son with such sour company?
    1810I bring thee tidings of the Prince's doom.
    Romeo What less than doomsday is the Prince's doom?
    Friar Laurence A gentler judgment vanished from his lips:
    Not body's death, but body's banishment.
    1815Romeo Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say "death,"
    For exile hath more terror in his look,
    Much more than death. Do not say "banishment."
    Friar Laurence Here from Verona art thou banishèd.
    Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.
    1820Romeo There is no world without Verona walls
    But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
    Hence "banishèd" is banished from the world,
    And world's exile is death. Then "banishèd,"
    Is death mistermed. Calling death "banishèd,"
    1825Thou cutst my head off with a golden ax
    And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.
    Friar Laurence O deadly sin, O rude unthankfulness!
    Thy fault our law calls death, but the kind Prince
    Taking thy part, hath rushed aside the law
    1830And turned that black word "death" to "banishment."
    This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.
    Romeo 'Tis torture and not mercy. Heaven is here
    Where Juliet lives, and every cat and dog
    And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
    1835Live here in heaven and may look on her,
    But Romeo may not. More validity,
    More honorable state, more courtship lives
    In carrion flies than Romeo. They may seize
    On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand
    1840And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
    Who even in pure and vestal modesty
    Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin.
    1845But Romeo may not, he is banishèd.
    Flies may do this, but I from this must fly.
    They are free men, but I am banishèd.
    And sayest thou yet, that exile is not death?
    Hadst thou no poison mixed, no sharp-ground knife,
    No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean,
    But "banishèd" to kill me? "Banishèd"?
    O Friar, the damnèd use that word in hell.
    1850Howling 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 Laurence Thou fond mad man, hear me a little speak.
    1855Romeo Oh, thou wilt speak again of banishment.
    Friar Laurence I'll give thee armor to keep off that word,
    Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy,
    To comfort thee though thou art banishèd.
    Romeo Yet "banishèd"? Hang up philosophy!
    1860Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
    Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom,
    It helps not, it prevails not, talk no more.
    Friar Laurence Oh, then I see that mad men have no ears.
    Romeo How should they 1865when that wise men have no eyes.
    Friar Laurence Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.
    Romeo Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel.
    Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
    An hour but married, Tybalt murderèd,
    1870Doting like me, and like me banishèd,
    Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair
    And fall upon the ground as I do now,
    Taking the measure of an unmade grave.
    Friar Laurence Arise, one knocks. Good Romeo, hide thyself.
    Romeo Not I, unless the breath of heartsick groans,
    1880Mistlike enfold me from the search of eyes.
    Friar Laurence Hark, how they knock! -- Who's there? -- Romeo, arise.
    Thou wilt be taken. -- Stay a while -- Stand up. 1885Still knock
    Run to my study. -- By and by -- God's will,
    What simpleness is this? -- I come, I come. Knock.
    Who knocks so hard? 1890Whence come you? What's your will?
    Nurse[within]: Let me come in, and you shall know my errand.
    I come from Lady Juliet.
    1895Friar Laurence
    Welcome then.
    Enter Nurse.
    Nurse O holy Friar, Oh, tell me, holy Friar,
    Where's my lady's lord? Where's Romeo?
    Friar Laurence There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.
    1900Nurse Oh, he is even in my mistress' case,
    Just in her case! O woeful sympathy,
    Piteous predicament! Even so lies she,
    Blubb'ring and weeping, weeping and blubb'ring. --
    Stand up, stand up, stand an you be a man.
    1905For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand.
    Why should you fall into so deep an O?
    [He rises]: Nurse.
    Ah sir, ah sir, death's the end of all.
    Romeo Spakest thou of Juliet? How is it with her?
    1910Doth not she think me an old murderer,
    Now I have stained the childhood of our joy
    With blood removed but little from her own?
    Where is she, and how doth she, and what says
    My concealed lady to our cancelled love?
    1915Nurse Oh, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps,
    And now falls on her bed, and then starts up,
    And Tybalt calls, and then on Romeo cries,
    And then down falls again.
    As if that name
    Shot from the deadly level of a gun,
    1920Did murder her, as that name's cursèd hand
    Murdered her kinsman. Oh, tell me, Friar, tell me,
    In what vile part of this anatomy
    Doth my name lodge? Tell me, that I may sack
    The hateful mansion.
    1925Friar Laurence
    Hold thy desperate hand!
    [He draws a weapon.]
    Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art.
    Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
    The unreasonable fury of a beast.
    Unseemly woman in a seeming man,
    1930And ill-beseeming beast in seeming both.
    Thou hast amazed me. By my holy order,
    I thought thy disposition better tempered.
    Hast thou slain Tybalt? Wilt thou slay thyself?
    And slay thy lady, that in thy life lives,
    1935By doing damnèd hate upon thyself?
    Why railest thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth,
    Since birth and heaven and earth, all three do meet
    In thee at once, which thou at once wouldst lose?
    Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit,
    1940Which like a usurer aboundst in all
    And usest none in that true use indeed
    Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit.
    Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
    Digressing from the valor of a man;
    1945Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
    Killing that love which thou hast vowed to cherish;
    Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
    Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
    Like powder in a skilless soldier's flask,
    1950Is set afire by thine own ignorance,
    And thou dismembered with thine own defence.
    What, rouse thee, man! Thy Juliet is alive,
    For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
    There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee,
    1955But thou slewest Tybalt; there art thou happy.
    The law that threatened death becomes thy friend,
    And turns it to exile; there art thou happy.
    A pack of blessings light upon thy back,
    Happiness courts thee in her best array,
    1960But like a mishavèd and sullen wench
    Thou pouts upon thy fortune and thy love.
    Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
    Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed;
    Ascend her chamber; hence and comfort her.
    1965But look thou stay not till the watch be set,
    For then thou canst not pass to Mantua,
    Where thou shalt live till we can find a time
    To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
    Beg pardon of the Prince, and call thee back
    1970With twenty hundred thousand times more joy
    Than thou wentst forth in lamentation.
    Go before, Nurse, commend me to thy lady,
    And bid her hasten all the house to bed,
    Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto.
    1975Romeo is coming.
    Nurse O Lord, I could have stayed here all the night
    To hear good counsel. Oh, what learning is!
    My lord, I'll tell my lady you will come.
    Romeo Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.
    1980Nurse Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir.
    Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late.
    Romeo How well my comfort is revived by this.
    [Exit the Nurse]
    Friar Laurence Go hence, good night, and here stands all your state:
    1985Either be gone before the watch be set,
    Or by the break of day disguised from hence.
    Sojourn in Mantua. I'll find out your man,
    And he shall signify from time to time
    Every good hap to you, that chances here.
    1990Give me thy hand. 'Tis late. Farewell, good night.
    Romeo But that a joy past joy calls out on me,
    It were a grief so brief to part with thee.