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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Juliet and Nurse.
    Juliet Ay, those attires are best. But, gentle Nurse,
    2480I pray thee leave me to myself tonight,
    For I have need of many orisons
    To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
    Which, well thou knowest, is cross and full of sin.
    Enter Mother [Capulet's wife].
    2485Capulet's Wife What are you busy, ho? Need you my help?
    Juliet No, madam, we have culled such necessaries
    As are behooveful for our state tomorrow.
    So please you, let me now be left alone,
    And let the Nurse this night sit up with you,
    2490For I am sure you have your hands full all
    In this so sudden business.
    Capulet's Wife
    Good night.
    Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need.
    Exeunt [Capulet's wife and Nurse].
    Juliet Farewell.2495 -- God knows when we shall meet again.
    I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins
    That almost freezes up the heat of life.
    I'll call them back again to comfort me. --
    Nurse! -- What should she do here?
    2500My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
    Come, vial. [She takes out the vial.]
    What if this mixture do not work at all?
    Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
    No, no, this shall forbid it. lie thou there. [She lays down a dagger.]
    What if it be a poison which the Friar
    2505Subtly hath ministered to have me dead,
    Lest in this marriage he should be dishonored,
    Because he married me before to Romeo?
    I fear it is; and yet me thinks it should not,
    For he hath still been tried a holy man.
    2510How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
    I wake before the time that Romeo
    Come to redeem me? There's a fearful point!
    Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,
    To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
    2515And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
    Or, if I live, is it not very like
    The horrible conceit of death and night,
    Together with the terror of the place --
    As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
    2520Where for this many hundred years the bones
    Of all my buried ancestors are packed;
    Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
    Lies fest'ring in his shroud, where, as they say,
    At some hours in the night, spirits resort --
    2525Alack, alack, is it not like that I,
    So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
    And shrikes like mandrakes torn out of the earth,
    That living mortals, hearing them, run mad --
    Oh if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
    2530Environèd with all these hideous fears,
    And madly play with my forefathers' joints,
    And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud,
    And in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone,
    As with a club, dash out my desp'rate brains?
    2535O look! Methinks I see my cousin's ghost,
    Seeking out Romeo that did spit his body
    Upon a rapier's point. Stay, Tybalt, stay!
    Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here's drink. I drink to thee.
    [She drinks and falls upon her bed within the curtains.]