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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Paris and his Page.
    Paris Give me thy torch, boy. Hence and stand aloof.
    Yet put it out, for I would not be seen.
    Under yond yew trees lay thee all along,
    2855Holding thy ear close to the hollow ground.
    So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread,
    Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,
    But thou shalt hear it. Whistle then to me
    As signal that thou hearest something approach.
    2860Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.
    Pageaside I am almost afraid to stand alone,
    Here in the churchyard, yet I will adventure.
    He retires
    Paris Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew --
    O woe, thy canopy is dust and stones! --
    2865Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,
    Or wanting that, with tears distilled by moans.
    The obsequies that I for thee will keep
    Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep. Whistle Boy.
    2870The boy gives warning something doth approach.
    What cursèd foot wanders this way tonight
    To cross my obsequies and true love's rite?
    What, with a torch? Muffle me, night, awhile.
    He retires.
    Enter Romeo and [Balthasar].
    2875Romeo Give me that mattock and the wrenching iron.
    Hold, take this letter. Early in the morning
    See thou deliver it to my lord and father.
    Give me the light. Upon thy life I charge thee,
    Whate'er thou hearest or seest, stand all aloof
    2880And do not interrupt me in my course.
    Why I descend into this bed of death
    Is partly to behold my lady's face,
    But chiefly to take thence from her dead finger
    A precious ring, a ring that I must use
    2885In dear employment. Therefore hence, begone.
    But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry
    In what I farther shall intend to do,
    By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint
    And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs.
    2890The time and my intents are savage-wild,
    More fierce and more inexorable far
    Then empty tigers or the roaring sea.
    Balthasar I will be gone, sir, and not trouble ye.
    Romeo So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that. [He gives him money.]
    2895Live and be prosperous, and farewell, good fellow.
    Balthasar[Aside] For all this same, I'll hide me hereabout,
    His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.
    [He retires.]
    [Romeo opens the tomb.]
    Romeo Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
    Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth,
    2900Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,
    And in despite I'll cram thee with more food.
    Paris This is that banished haughty Montague
    That murdered my love's cousin, with which grief
    It is supposèd the fair creature died,
    2905And here is come to do some villainous shame
    To the dead bodies. I will apprehend him. [He comes forward.]
    Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague!
    Can vengeance be pursued further than death?
    Condemnèd villain, I do apprehend thee.
    2910Obey and go with me, for thou must die.
    Romeo I must indeed, and therefore came I hither.
    Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man.
    Fly hence and leave me. Think upon these gone;
    Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
    2915Put not another sin upon my head
    By urging me to fury. Oh, begone,
    By heaven, I love thee better then myself,
    For I come hither armed against myself.
    Stay not, begone; live, and hereafter say
    2920A madman's mercy bid thee run away.
    Paris I do defy thy conjuration,
    And apprehend thee for a felon here.
    Romeo Wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee, boy!
    [They fight.]
    Page O Lord, they fight! I will go call the watch.
    2925Paris Oh, I am slain. If thou be merciful,
    Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.
    [He dies.]
    Romeo In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.
    Mercutio's kinsman, noble County Paris!
    What said my man when my betossèd soul
    2930Did not attend him as we rode? I think
    He told me Paris should have married Juliet.
    Said he not so? Or did I dream it so?
    Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,
    To think it was so? Oh, give me thy hand,
    2935One writ with me in sour misfortune's book.
    I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave.
    A grave? O no! A lantern, slaughtered youth,
    For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
    This vault a feasting presence full of light.
    2940Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interred.
    How oft when men are at the point of death
    Have they been merry which their keepers call
    A lightening before death! Oh, how may I
    Call this a lightening? O my Love, my wife!
    2945Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath,
    Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.
    Thou art not conquered, beauty's ensign yet
    Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
    And death's pale flag is not advancèd there.
    2950Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
    Oh, what more favor can I do to thee
    Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
    To sunder his that was thine enemy?
    Forgive me, cousin. Ah, dear Juliet,
    2955Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe
    That unsubstantial death is amorous,
    And that the lean abhorrèd monster keeps
    Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
    For fear of that I still will stay with thee
    2960And never from this pallet of dim night
    2965Depart again. Here, here will I remain
    With worms that are thy chambermaids. Oh, here
    Will I set up my everlasting rest
    And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
    From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
    2970Arms, take your last embrace: And lips, O you
    The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
    A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
    Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavory guide,
    Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
    2975The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark.
    Here's to my love.
    He drinks the poison.
    O true apothecary,
    Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
    He dies.
    Enter Friar [Laurence] with lantern, crow, and spade.
    Friar Laurence Saint Francis be my speed! How oft tonight
    2980Have my old feet stumbled at graves. Who's there?
    Balthasar Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you well.
    Friar Laurence Bliss be upon you. Tell me. good my friend,
    What torch is yond that vainly lends his light
    To grubs and eyeless skulls? As I discern,
    2985It burneth in the Capels' monument.
    Balthasar It doth so, holy sir, and there's my master,
    One that you love.
    Friar Laurence
    Who is it?
    2990Friar Laurence
    How long hath he been there?
    Full half an hour.
    Friar Laurence
    Go with me to the Vault.
    I dare not, sir.
    My Master knows not but I am gone hence,
    2995And fearfully did menace me with death
    If I did stay to look on his intents.
    Friar Laurence Stay then, I'll go alone. Fear comes upon me.
    Oh, much I fear some ill unthrifty thing.
    Balthasar As I did sleep under this yew tree here
    3000I dreamt my master and another fought,
    And that my master slew him.
    Friar Laurence
    [Friar Laurence stoops and looks on the blood and weapons.]
    Alack, alack, what blood is this which stains
    The stony entrance of the sepulcher?
    3005What mean these masterless and gory swords
    To lie discolored by this place of peace?
    Romeo! Oh pale! Who else? What, Paris too?
    And steeped in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour
    Is guilty of this lamentable chance! [Juliet rises.]
    3010The Lady stirs.
    Juliet O comfortable Friar, where is my Lord?
    I do remember well where I should be,
    And there I am. Where is my Romeo?
    Friar Laurence I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest
    3015Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep.
    A greater power then we can contradict
    Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away,
    Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead,
    And Paris, too. Come, I'll dispose of thee
    3020Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
    Stay not to question, for the watch is coming.
    Come, go good Juliet. I dare no longer stay.
    Exit [Friar Laurence].
    Juliet Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.
    What's here? A cup, closed in my true love's hand?
    3025Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end.
    O churl, drunk all, and left no friendly drop
    To help me after? I will kiss thy lips;
    Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,
    To make me die with a restorative. [She kisses him.]
    3030Thy lips are warm.
    Enter [Page] and Watch.
    Chief Watchman
    Lead, boy. Which way?
    Juliet Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger [She takes Romeo's dagger.]
    3035This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die.
    [She stabs herself and dies.]
    Page This is the place, there where the torch doth burn.
    Chief Watchman The ground is bloody. Search about the churchyard.
    3040Go, some of you, whoe'er you find attach. [Some Watchmen exit.]
    Pitiful sight! Here lies the County slain,
    And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,
    Who here hath lain this two days burièd.
    Go tell the Prince. Run to the Capulets,
    3045Raise up the Montagues. Some others search. [Other Watchmen exit.]
    We see the ground whereon these woes do lie,
    But the true ground of all these piteous woes
    We cannot without circumstance descry.
    Enter [some of the Watchmen with] Romeo's man [Balthasar].
    30502 Watchman Here's Romeo's man. We found him in the churchyard.
    Chief Watchman Hold him in safety till the Prince come hither.
    Enter Friar [Laurence] and another Watchman.
    3 Watchman Here is a Friar that trembles, sighs, and weeps.
    3055We took this mattock and this spade from him
    As he was coming from this churchyard's side.
    Chief Watchman A great suspicion. Stay the friar too.
    Enter the Prince.
    Prince What misadventure is so early up
    3060That calls our person from our morning rest?
    Enter Capels [Capulet and his Wife].
    Capulet What should it be that is so shrieked abroad?
    Capulet's Wife Oh, the people in the street cry "Romeo,"
    Some "Juliet," and some "Paris," and all run
    3065With open outcry toward our monument.
    Prince What fear is this which startles in your ears?
    Chief Watchman Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain,
    And Romeo dead, and Juliet, dead before,
    Warm and new killed.
    3070Prince Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes.
    Chief Watchman Here is a Friar, and slaughtered Romeo's man,
    With instruments upon them fit to open
    These dead men's tombs.
    3075Capulet O heavens! O wife, look how our daughter bleeds!
    This dagger hath mista'en, for, lo, his house
    Is empty on the back of Montague,
    And it mis-sheathèd in my daughter's bosom.
    3080Capulet's Wife O me, this sight of death, is as a bell
    That warns my old age to a sepulcher.
    Enter Montague.
    Prince Come Montague, for thou art early up
    To see thy son and heir, now early down.
    3085Montague Alas, my liege, my wife is dead tonight.
    Grief of my son's exile hath stopped her breath.
    What further woe conspires against mine age?
    Prince Look, and thou shalt see.
    Montague O thou untaught! What manners is in this,
    3090To press before thy father to a grave?
    Prince Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
    Till we can clear these ambiguities
    And know their spring, their head, their true descent,
    And then will I be general of your woes
    3095And lead you even to death. Meantime, forbear,
    And let mischance be slave to patience.
    Bring forth the parties of suspicion.
    Friar Laurence I am the greatest, able to do least,
    Yet most suspected, as the time and place
    3100Doth make against me of this direful murder;
    And here I stand both to impeach and purge
    Myself condemnèd and myself excused.
    Prince Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
    Friar Laurence I will be brief, for my short date of breath
    3105Is not so long as is a tedious tale.
    Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet,
    And she, there dead, that's Romeo's faithful wife.
    I married them, and their stol'n marriage day
    Was Tybalt's doomsday, whose untimely death
    3110Banished the new-made bridegroom from this city,
    For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.
    You, to remove that siege of grief from her,
    Betrothed and would have married her perforce
    To County Paris. Then comes she to me,
    3115And with wild looks bid me devise some means
    To rid her from this second marriage,
    Or in my Cell there would she kill herself.
    Then gave I her -- so tutored by my art --
    A sleeping potion, which so took effect
    3120As I intended, for it wrought on her
    The form of death. Meantime I writ to Romeo
    That he should hither come as this dire night
    To help to take her from her borrowed grave,
    Being the time the potion's force should cease.
    3125But he which bore my letter, Friar John,
    Was stayed by accident, and yesternight
    Returned my letter back. Then all alone
    At the prefixèd hour of her waking
    Came I to take her from her kindred's vault,
    3130Meaning to keep her closely at my cell
    Till I conveniently could send to Romeo.
    But when I came, some minute ere the time
    Of her awakening, here untimely lay
    The noble Paris and true Romeo dead.
    3135She wakes, and I entreated her come forth
    And bear this work of heaven with patience.
    But then a noise did scare me from the tomb,
    And she, too desperate, would not go with me,
    But, as it seems, did violence on herself.
    3140All this I know, and to the marriage
    3140Her Nurse is privy; and if ought in this
    Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
    Be sacrificed some hour before his time
    Unto the rigor of severest law.
    Prince We still have known thee for a holy man.
    3145Where's Romeo's man? What can he say to this?
    Balthasar I brought my master news of Juliet's death,
    And then in post he came from Mantua
    To this same place, to this same monument.
    This letter he early bid me give his father,
    3150And threatened me with death, going in the vault,
    If I departed not, and left him there.
    Prince Give me the letter; I will look on it.
    Where is the County's page that raised the watch?
    Sirrah, what made your master in this place?
    3155Page He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave,
    And bid me stand aloof, and so I did.
    Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb,
    And by and by my master drew on him,
    And then I ran away to call the Watch.
    3160Prince This letter doth make good the Friar's words,
    Their course of love, the tidings of her death;
    And here he writes that he did buy a poison
    Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithall,
    Came to this vault to die and lie with Juliet.
    3165Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague,
    See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
    That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
    And I, for winking at your discords too
    Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punished.
    3170Capulet O brother Montague, give me thy hand.
    This is my daughters jointure, for no more
    Can I demand.
    But I can give thee more,
    For I will raise her statue in pure gold,
    3175That whiles Verona by that name is known
    There shall no figure at such rate be set
    As that of true and faithful Juliet.
    Capulet As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie,
    Poor sacrifices of our enmity.
    3180Prince A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
    The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
    Go hence to have more talk of these sad things.
    Some shall be pardoned, and some punishèd;
    For never was a story of more woe
    3185Then this of Juliet and her Romeo.