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    Not Peer Reviewed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 and Juliet aloft.
    Juliet Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.
    It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
    2035That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
    Nightly she sings on yon pom'granate tree.
    Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.
    Romeo It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
    No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
    2040Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
    Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
    Stands 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, I.
    2045It is some meteor that the sun exhaled
    To be to thee this night a torchbearer
    And light thee on thy way to Mantua.
    Therefore stay yet; thou needst not to be gone.
    Romeo Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death;
    2050I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
    I'll say yon gray is not the morning's eye;
    'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow.
    Nor that is not the lark whose notes do beat
    The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.
    2055I have more care to stay then will to go.
    Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
    How is't, my soul? Let's talk. It is not day.
    Juliet It is, it is. Hie hence, be gone, away!
    It is the lark that sings so out of tune,
    2060Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.
    Some say the lark makes sweet division.
    This doth not so, for she divideth us.
    Some say the lark and loathèd toad changed eyes;
    Oh, now I would they had changed voices too,
    2065Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
    Hunting thee hence with hunt's-up to the day.
    O, now be gone. More light and light it grows.
    Romeo More light and light, more dark and dark our woes.
    Enter the Nurse.
    2070Nurse Madam.
    Juliet Nurse?
    Nurse Your lady mother is coming to your chamber.
    The day is broke, be wary, look about.
    Juliet Then, window, let day in, and let life out.
    2075Romeo Farewell, farewell. One kiss and I'll descend.
    [He goes down.]
    Juliet Art thou gone so? Love, lord, ay husband, friend!
    I must hear from thee every day in the hour,
    For in a minute there are many days.
    Oh, by this count I shall be much in years
    2080Ere I again behold my Romeo.
    Romeo Farewell.
    I will omit no opportunity
    That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.
    Juliet Oh, think'st thou we shall ever meet again?
    2085Romeo 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!
    Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low,
    As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.
    2090Either my eye-sight fails, or thou lookst pale.
    Romeo And trust me, love, in my eye so do you.
    Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu.
    Juliet O Fortune, Fortune, all men call thee fickle.
    If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him
    2095That is renowned for faith? Be fickle, Fortune,
    For then I hope thou wilt not keep him long,
    But send him back.
    Capulet's Wife
    Ho, daughter, are you up?
    Enter Mother [Capulet's wife]
    2100Juliet Who is't that calls? It is my lady mother.
    Is she not down so late or up so early?
    What unaccustomed cause procures her hither?
    [She goes down and enters below.]
    Capulet's Wife
    Why, how now, Juliet?
    Madam, I am not well.
    2105Capulet's Wife Evermore weeping for your cousin's death?
    What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears?
    An if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live.
    Therefore have done. Some grief shows much of love,
    But much of grief shows still some want of wit.
    2110Juliet Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss.
    Capulet's Wife So shall you feel the loss, but not the friend
    Which you weep for.
    Feeling so the loss,
    I cannot choose but ever weep the friend.
    2115Capulet's Wife Well, girl, thou weepst not so much for his death
    As that the villain lives which slaughtered him.
    What villain, Madam?
    Capulet's Wife
    That same villain Romeo.
    Juliet Villain and he be many miles asunder.
    2120God pardon him. I do with all my heart;
    And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart.
    Capulet's Wife That is because the traitor murderer lives.
    Juliet Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands.
    Would none but I might venge my cousin's death.
    2125Capulet's Wife We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not.
    Then weep no more. I'll send to one in Mantua,
    Where that same banished runagate doth live,
    Shall give him such an unaccustomed dram
    That he shall soon keep Tybalt company;
    2130And then I hope thou wilt be satisfied.
    Juliet Indeed, I never shall be satisfied
    With Romeo till I behold him -- dead --
    Is my poor heart so for a kinsman vexed.
    Madam, if you could find out but a man
    2135To bear a poison, I would temper it,
    That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,
    Soon sleep in quiet. Oh, how my heart abhors
    To hear him named and cannot come to him
    To wreak the love I bore my cousin
    2140Upon his body that hath slaughtered him.
    Capulet's Wife 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.
    What are they, beseech your ladyship?
    2145Capulet's Wife 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.
    Juliet Madam, in happy time. What day is that?
    2150Capulet's Wife 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 Now, by Saint Peter's Church, and Peter too,
    2155He 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,
    I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear
    2160It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,
    Rather then Paris. These are news indeed.
    Capulet's Wife Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself,
    And see how he will take it at your hands.
    Enter Capulet and Nurse
    2165Capulet When 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 show'ring? In one little body
    2170Thou counterfeits a bark, a sea, a wind;
    For 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,
    2175Without a sudden calm will overset
    Thy tempest-tossèd body. -- How now, wife?
    Have you delivered to her our decree?
    Capulet's Wife Ay, sir, but she will none, she gives you thanks.
    2180I would the fool were married to her grave.
    Capulet Soft, take me with you, take me with you, wife.
    How, will she none? Doth she not give us thanks?
    Is she not proud? Doth she not count her blest,
    Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought
    2185So worthy a gentleman to be her bride?
    Juliet Not proud you have, but thankful that you have.
    Proud can I never be of what I hate,
    But thankful even for hate that is meant love.
    2190Capulet 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 you?
    Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds,
    But fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next
    2195To go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church,
    Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
    Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!
    You tallow-face!
    Capulet's Wife
    Fie, fie, what, are you mad?
    2200Juliet Kneels down. Good father, I beseech you on my knees,
    Hear me with patience but to speak a word.
    Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!
    I tell thee what: get thee to church a Thursday,
    Or never after look me in the face.
    2105Speak not, reply not, do not answer me.
    My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest
    That God had lent us but this only child;
    But now I see this one is one too much,
    And that we have a curse in having her.
    2210Out on her, hilding!
    God in heaven bless her!
    You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.
    Capulet And why, my lady Wisdom? Hold your tongue,
    Good Prudence, smatter with your gossips, go.
    I speak no treason.
    O, God 'i' g' e'en!
    May not one speak?
    Peace, you mumbling fool!
    Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl,
    2220For here we need it not.
    Capulet's Wife
    You are too hot.
    Capulet God's bread, it makes me mad!
    Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
    Alone, in company, still my care hath been
    2225To have her matched; and having now provided
    A gentleman of noble parentage,
    Of faire demesnes, youthful and nobly ligned,
    Stuffed, as they say, with honorable parts,
    Proportioned as one's thought would wish a man --
    2230And then to have a wretched puling fool,
    A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender,
    To answer "I'll not wed, I cannot love,
    I am too young, I pray you pardon me."
    But, an you will not wed, I'll pardon you.
    2235Graze where you will, you shall not house with me.
    Look to't, think on't; I do not use to jest.
    Thursday is near. Lay hand on heart, advise.
    An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
    An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
    2240For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,
    Nor what is mine shall never do thee good.
    Trust to't, bethink you, I'll not be forsworn.
    Juliet Is there no pity sitting in the clouds
    That sees into the bottom of my grief?
    2245O sweet my mother, cast me not away.
    Delay this marriage for a month, a week,
    Or if you do not, make the bridal bed
    In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.
    Capulet's Wife Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word.
    2250Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.
    Juliet O God! O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?
    My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven.
    How shall that faith return again to earth,
    2255Unless that husband send it me from heaven
    By leaving earth? Comfort me, counsel me.
    Alack, alack, that heaven should practice stratagems
    Upon so soft a subject as myself.
    What sayst thou? Hast thou not a word of joy?
    2260Some comfort, Nurse.
    Faith, here it is.
    Romeo is banished, and all the world to nothing
    That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you,
    Or if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
    2265Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
    I think it best you married with the County,
    Oh, he's a lovely gentleman!
    Romeo's a dishclout to him. An eagle, madam,
    Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
    2270As 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,
    As living here and you no use of him.
    2275Juliet Speakst thou from thy heart?
    Nurse And from my soul too, else beshrew them both.
    Juliet Amen.
    Nurse What?
    2280Juliet Well, thou hast comforted me marvelous much.
    Go in and tell my lady I am gone,
    Having displeased my father, to Laurence' cell
    To make confession and to be absolved.
    Nurse Marry, I will; and this is wisely done.
    2285Juliet Ancient damnation! Oh most wicked fiend!
    Is 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,
    2290Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.
    I'll to the friar to know his remedy,
    If all else fail, myself have power to die.