Romeo and Juliet


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V


(coming forward)

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

Enter Juliet above

But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count

Who is already sick and pale with grief

That thou her maid art far more fair than she.

Be not her maid, since she is envious.
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count

Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
livery (n.) 1 uniform, costume, special clothing See Topics: Frequency count
sick (adj.) 7 pale, wan, of a sickly hue

And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.

It is my lady, O, it is my love!

O that she knew she were!

She speaks. Yet she says nothing. What of that?

Her eye discourses. I will answer it.

I am too bold. 'Tis not to me she speaks.

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
star (n.) 1 planet

Having some business, do entreat her eyes
business (n.) 2 mission, errand, purpose

To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
sphere (n.) 1 celestial globe in which a heavenly body was thought to move, orbit See Topics: Cosmos

What if her eyes were there, they in her head?

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars

As daylight doth a lamp. Her eyes in heaven

Would through the airy region stream so bright
region (n.) 1 sky, air, heavens

That birds would sing and think it were not night.

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

O that I were a glove upon that hand,

That I might touch that cheek!


                         Ay me!


                                                         She speaks.

O, speak again, bright angel! – for thou art

As glorious to this night, being o'er my head

As is a winged messenger of heaven

Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes

Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him

When he bestrides the lazy, puffing clouds
puffing (adj.) puffed-out, swollen, swelling

And sails upon the bosom of the air.
bosom (n.) 6 surface


O Romeo, Romeo! – wherefore art thou Romeo?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name.
deny (v.) 4 disown, disavow, renounce
refuse (v.) spurn, disown, cast off

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

And I'll no longer be a Capulet.



Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?


'Tis but thy name that is my enemy.

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot

Nor arm nor face nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet.

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes
owe (v.) 1 own, possess, have See Topics: Frequency count

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
doff (v.) throw off, get rid of, do away with

And for thy name, which is no part of thee,

Take all myself.


                         I take thee at thy word.

Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized.

Henceforth I never will be Romeo.


What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night,
bescreen (v.) hide from sight, cover up

So stumblest on my counsel?
counsel (n.) 8 private reflection, self-communing


                         By a name

I know not how to tell thee who I am.

My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
hateful (adj.) 2 repulsive, obnoxious, incompatible [with]

Because it is an enemy to thee.

Had I it written, I would tear the word.


My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words

Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?


Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.
dislike (v.) 1 upset, displease, offend


How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?

The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,

And the place death, considering who thou art,

If any of my kinsmen find thee here.


With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls.
overperch (v.) fly over, surmount

For stony limits cannot hold love out,

And what love can do, that dares love attempt.

Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.


If they do see thee, they will murder thee.


Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye

Than twenty of their swords! Look thou but sweet,

And I am proof against their enmity.


I would not for the world they saw thee here.


I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes.

And but thou love me, let them find me here.

My life were better ended by their hate
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.
prorogue (v.) 1 postpone, delay, defer


By whose direction foundest thou out this place?


By love, that first did prompt me to inquire.

He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.

I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far

As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,

I would adventure for such merchandise.
adventure (v.) venture, dare, chance, risk


Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face,

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
bepaint (v.) cover over, colour, tinge
else (adv.) 1 otherwise See Topics: Discourse markers

For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.

Fain would I dwell on form – fain, fain deny
dwell on / upon 1 preserve, maintain, pay attention to
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count
form (n.) 6 formal procedure, due process, formality

What I have spoke. But farewell compliment!
compliment, complement (n.) 2 ceremony, etiquette, protocol

Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘ Ay.’

And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swearest,

Thou mayst prove false. At lovers' perjuries,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

They say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully.

Or if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,

I'll frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay,

So thou wilt woo. But else, not for the world.

In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
fond (adj.) 4 infatuated, doting, passionate

And therefore thou mayst think my 'haviour light.
haviour (n.) behaviour, manner, demeanour
light (adj.) 6 facile, frivolous, of no consequence

But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true

Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
cunning (n.) 3 deviousness, deceit, craftiness, artfulness

I should have been more strange, I must confess,
strange (adj.) 7 aloof, distant, reserved

But that thou overheardest, ere I was ware,
ware (adj.) 1 aware, conscious, sensible

My true-love passion. Therefore pardon me,

And not impute this yielding to light love,
light (adj.) 6 facile, frivolous, of no consequence
yielding (n.) consent, compliance, agreement

Which the dark night hath so discovered.
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count


Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow,

That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops –


O, swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon,

That monthly changes in her circled orb,
circled (adj.) 1 in a circular motion, encircling
orb (n.) 2 sphere, orbit, circle

Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.


What shall I swear by?


                         Do not swear at all.

Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,

Which is the god of my idolatry,

And I'll believe thee.


                         If my heart's dear love –


Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,
joy (v.) 1 feel joy, be happy, rejoice

I have no joy of this contract tonight.

It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
unadvised (adj.) rash, foolhardy, thoughtless, unconsidered

Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be

Ere one can say ‘ It lightens.’ Sweet, good night!

This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,

May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.

Good night, good night! As sweet repose and rest

Come to thy heart as that within my breast!


O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?


What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?


Th' exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.


I gave thee mine before thou didst request it.

And yet I would it were to give again.


Wouldst thou withdraw it? For what purpose, love?


But to be frank and give it thee again.
frank (adj.) 1 generous, liberal, bounteous

And yet I wish but for the thing I have.

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
bounty (n.) 1 great generosity, gracious liberality, munificence

My love as deep. The more I give to thee,

The more I have, for both are infinite.

I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu!

Nurse calls within
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count
true (adj.) 2 constant, faithful in love

Anon, good Nurse! – Sweet Montague, be true.

Stay but a little, I will come again.

Exit Juliet


O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard,

Being in night, all this is but a dream,
afeard (adj.) afraid, frightened, scared See Topics: Frequency count

Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.
flattering-sweet (adj.) sweetly appealing, enticingly delightful
substantial (adj.) 1 real, of substance, not imaginary

Enter Juliet above


Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.

If that thy bent of love be honourable,
bent (n.) 1 direction, turning, inclination

Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
procure (v.) 1 bring, induce, make come

Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite,

And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay

And follow thee my lord throughout the world.





I come, anon – But if thou meanest not well,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

I do beseech thee –





                                                         By and by I come –

To cease thy strife and leave me to my grief.
strife (n.) striving, endeavour, strong effort

Tomorrow will I send.


                         So thrive my soul –


A thousand times good night!

Exit Juliet


A thousand times the worse, to want thy light!
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books;

But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

Enter Juliet above again


Hist! Romeo, hist! O for a falconer's voice,

To lure this tassel-gentle back again!
tassel-gentle (n.) male peregrine falcon

Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud,

Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,

And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine

With repetition of ‘ My Romeo!’


It is my soul that calls upon my name.

How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,

Like softest music to attending ears!


nyas eyas, hawk nestling, young hawk


                         My nyas?


                                                         What o'clock tomorrow

Shall I send to thee?


                         By the hour of nine.


I will not fail. 'Tis twenty years till then.

I have forgot why I did call thee back.


Let me stand here till thou remember it.


I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Remembering how I love thy company.


And I'll still stay, to have thee still forget,

Forgetting any other home but this.


'Tis almost morning. I would have thee gone.

And yet no farther than a wanton's bird,
wanton (n.) 5 young rogue, scamp, rascal

That lets it hop a little from her hand,

Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
gyve (n.) 1 (plural) fetters, shackles

And with a silken thread plucks it back again,

So loving-jealous of his liberty.


I would I were thy bird.


                         Sweet, so would I.

Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow

That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

Exit Juliet


Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!

Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
morn (n.) morning, dawn See Topics: Frequency count

Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,

And darkness fleckled like a drunkard reels
fleckled (adj.) dappled, flecked, speckled

From forth day's pathway made by Titan's wheels.

Hence will I to my ghostly Friar's close cell,
cell (n.) small humble dwelling
close (adj.) 2 private, secluded, sequestered
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count
ghostly (adj.) spiritual, holy

His help to crave and my dear hap to tell.
hap (n.) 1 fortune, lot, fate


  Previous scene     Next scene