Romeo and Juliet


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Mercutio, Benvolio, and their men


BENVOLIO

I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire.

The day is hot, the Capels are abroad.

And if we meet we shall not 'scape a brawl,
scape, 'scape (v.) escape, avoid See Topics: Frequency count

For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.


MERCUTIO

Thou art like one of those fellows that, when

he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword
clap (v.) 4 put smartly, place promptly, set effectively
confine (n.) 2 limit, bound, domain

upon the table and says ‘ God send me no need of thee!’,

and by the operation of the second cup draws him on the
draw (v.) 10 draw a sword
operation (n.) 1 effect, force, influence, power

drawer, when indeed there is no need.
drawer (n.) one who draws drink from a cask, tapster, barman


BENVOLIO

Am I like such a fellow?


MERCUTIO

Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy
Jack (n.) 1 Jack-in-office, ill-mannered fellow, lout, knave

mood as any in Italy; and as soon moved to be moody,
moody (adj.) 1 angry, wrathful, rancorous, sullen
move (v.) 3 encourage, instigate, prompt

and as soon moody to be moved.
move (v.) 2 move to anger, provoke, exasperate


BENVOLIO

And what to?


MERCUTIO

Nay, an there were two such, we should have

none shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou! Why,

thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more or a

hair less in his beard than thou hast. Thou wilt quarrel

with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but

because thou hast hazel eyes. What eye but such an eye

would spy out such a quarrel? Thy head is as full of

quarrels as an egg is full of meat; and yet thy head hath
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment

been beaten as addle as an egg for quarrelling. Thou
addle (adj.) addled, rotten, putrid

hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street,

because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in

the sun. Didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing

his new doublet before Easter; with another for tying

his new shoes with old riband? And yet thou wilt tutor
riband (n.) ribbon

me from quarrelling!


BENVOLIO

An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any
apt (adj.) 1 fit, ready, prepared

man should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour
fee-simple, fee simple (n.) private estate [belonging to the owner and his heirs for ever]; permanent lease, full possession

and a quarter.


MERCUTIO

The fee-simple? O simple!
simple (adj.) 2 foolish, silly, stupid

Enter Tybalt and others


BENVOLIO

By my head, here comes the Capulets.


MERCUTIO

By my heel, I care not.


TYBALT

Follow me close, for I will speak to them.

Gentlemen, good-e'en. A word with one of you.


MERCUTIO

And but one word with one of us? Couple it

with something. Make it a word and a blow.


TYBALT

You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you
apt (adj.) 1 fit, ready, prepared

will give me occasion.
occasion (n.) 2 ground, reason, cause, matter


MERCUTIO

Could you not take some occasion without

giving?


TYBALT

Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.


MERCUTIO

Consort? What, dost thou make us minstrels?

An thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but

discords. Here's my fiddlestick. Here's that shall make

you dance. Zounds, consort!


BENVOLIO

We talk here in the public haunt of men.

Either withdraw unto some private place,

And reason coldly of your grievances,
coldly (adv.) 1 calmly, coolly, objectively, rationally
reason (v.) 3 raise, bring up, discuss

Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us.


MERCUTIO

Men's eyes were made to look, and let them gaze.

I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I.

Enter Romeo


TYBALT

Well, peace be with you, sir. Here comes my man.


MERCUTIO

But I'll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery.
livery (n.) 1 uniform, costume, special clothing See Topics: Frequency count

Marry, go before to field, he'll be your follower!
before (adv.) 1 ahead, in advance
field (n.) 2 duelling place
follower (n.) second, attendant

Your worship in that sense may call him ‘ man.’


TYBALT

Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford

No better term than this: thou art a villain.


ROMEO

Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee

Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
appertaining (adj.) related, relevant, appropriate

To such a greeting. Villain am I none.

Therefore farewell, I see thou knowest me not.


TYBALT

Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries

That thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.
draw (v.) 10 draw a sword


ROMEO

I do protest I never injured thee,
injury (v.) injure, wrong, do injustice to

But love thee better than thou canst devise
devise (v.) 2 invent, imagine, make up [an account]

Till thou shalt know the reason of my love.

And so, good Capulet, which name I tender
tender (v.) 3 rate, esteem, regard

As dearly as mine own, be satisfied.


MERCUTIO

O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
submission (n.) compliance, deference, obedience

Alla stoccata carries it away.
carry it (away) [from a falconry term ‘to fly away with the game’] win the day, have the advantage, succeed
stoccado, stoccata (n.) [fencing] thrust, lunge

He draws
walk (v.) 2 walk aside, withdraw to duel

Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?


TYBALT

What wouldst thou have with me?


MERCUTIO

Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your

nine lives. That I mean to make bold withal, and, as you

shall use me hereafter, dry-beat the rest of the eight.
dry-beat (v.) cudgel, thrash, beat soundly
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage

Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears?
pilcher (n.) 2 [contemptuous] scabbard

Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out.


TYBALT

I am for you.

He draws
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


ROMEO

Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.


MERCUTIO

Come, sir, your passado!
passado (n.) forward thrust, lunge

They fight


ROMEO

Draw, Benvolio. Beat down their weapons.

Gentlemen, for shame! Forbear this outrage!
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count

Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath

Forbid this bandying in Verona streets.
bandying (n.) verbal strife, exchange of words

Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!

Tybalt under Romeo's arm thrusts Mercutio
thrust at / in (v.) make a thrust, lunge, stab [at]


A FOLLOWER

Away, Tybalt!

Exit Tybalt with his followers


MERCUTIO

I am hurt.

A plague a' both houses! I am sped.
speed (v.) 4 deal with, bring to an end, defeat

Is he gone and hath nothing?


BENVOLIO

                         What, art thou hurt?


MERCUTIO

Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch. Marry, 'tis enough.

Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
surgeon (n.) doctor, physician
villain (n.) 1 serf, servant, bondman

Exit Page


ROMEO

Courage, man. The hurt cannot be much.


MERCUTIO

No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as

a church door. But 'tis enough.'Twill serve. Ask for me

tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered,

I warrant, for this world. A plague a' both your
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

houses! Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch

a man to death! A braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights

by the book of arithmetic! Why the devil came you between
arithmetic (n.) calculation, computation, reckoning

us? I was hurt under your arm.


ROMEO

I thought all for the best.


MERCUTIO

Help me into some house, Benvolio,

Or I shall faint. A plague a'both your houses!

They have made worms' meat of me.

I have it, and soundly too. Your houses!

Exit Mercutio with Benvolio


ROMEO

This gentleman, the Prince's near ally,
ally (n.) relative, relation, kinsman

My very friend, hath got this mortal hurt

In my behalf – my reputation stained

With Tybalt's slander – Tybalt, that an hour

Hath been my cousin. O sweet Juliet,

Thy beauty hath made me effeminate

And in my temper softened valour's steel!
temper (n.) 1 frame of mind, temperament, disposition

Enter Benvolio
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent


BENVOLIO

O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead!

That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
aspire (v.) 1 ascend, rise up, climb [to]

Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.


ROMEO

This day's black fate on more days doth depend.
depend (v.) 2 have consequences for, menace, hover over

This but begins the woe others must end.

Enter Tybalt


BENVOLIO

Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.


ROMEO

Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain!

Away to heaven respective lenity,
lenity (n.) mildness, gentleness, mercifulness
respective (adj.) 1 careful, attentive, considerate

And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!
conduct (n.) 5 escort, attendant, guide

Now, Tybalt, take the ‘ villain ’ back again

That late thou gavest me. For Mercutio's soul

Is but a little way above our heads,

Staying for thine to keep him company.

Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.


TYBALT

Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,
consort (v.) accompany, attend, go with

Shalt with him hence.


ROMEO

                         This shall determine that.

They fight. Tybalt falls


BENVOLIO

Romeo, away, be gone!

The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
up (adv.) 3 roused, agitated, angry

Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee death
amazed (adj.) dumbfounded, stunned, thunderstruck, overwhelmed
doom (v.) 1 decree, decide, adjudge

If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away!


ROMEO

O, I am fortune's fool!


BENVOLIO

                         Why dost thou stay?

Exit Romeo

Enter Citizens


CITIZENS

Which way ran he that killed Mercutio?

Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?


BENVOLIO

There lies that Tybalt.


CITIZEN

                         Up, sir, go with me.

I charge thee in the Prince's name obey.

Enter Prince, Montague, Capulet, their wives, and all


PRINCE

Where are the vile beginners of this fray?


BENVOLIO

O noble Prince, I can discover all
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count

The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl.
manage (n.) 1 management, handling, control [especially of a horse, as a result of training]

There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,

That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent


LADY CAPULET

Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother's child!

O Prince! O cousin! Husband! O, the blood is spilled

Of my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true,

For blood of ours shed blood of Montague.

O cousin, cousin!


PRINCE

Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?


BENVOLIO

Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand did slay.

Romeo, that spoke him fair, bid him bethink
bethink (v.), past form bethought 1 call to mind, think about, consider, reflect See Topics: Frequency count

How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal
nice (adj.) 5 trivial, unimportant, slight

Your high displeasure. All this – uttered

With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bowed –
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence

Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
spleen (n.) 2 irritability, malice, bad temper
truce, take come to terms, negotiate

Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
tilt (v.) joust, fight [with lances], thrust

With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast;

Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
hot (adj.) 1 hot-tempered, angry, passionate

And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats

Cold death aside and with the other sends

It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity

Retorts it. Romeo he cries aloud,
retort (v.) 1 turn back, return, reflect

‘ Hold, friends! Friends, part!’ and swifter than his tongue

His agile arm beats down their fatal points,

And 'twixt them rushes; underneath whose arm

An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count

Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled.

But by and by comes back to Romeo,
by and by (adv.) 1 immediately, straightaway, directly

Who had but newly entertained revenge,
entertain (v.) 7 admit into consideration, grant as a possibility

And to't they go like lightning. For, ere I

Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain.

And as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly.

This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.


LADY CAPULET

He is a kinsman to the Montague.

Affection makes him false. He speaks not true.
affection (n.) 7 partiality, biased feeling
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken

Some twenty of them fought in this black strife,

And all those twenty could but kill one life.

I beg for justice, which thou, Prince, must give.

Romeo slew Tybalt. Romeo must not live.


PRINCE

Romeo slew him. He slew Mercutio.

Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?
blood (n.) 9 life-blood, spirit
owe (v.) 2 repay, compensate, pay back


MONTAGUE

Not Romeo, Prince. He was Mercutio's friend;

His fault concludes but what the law should end,

The life of Tybalt.


PRINCE

                         And for that offence

Immediately we do exile him hence.

I have an interest in your hate's proceeding,
interest (n.) 4 personal involvement, special concern

My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding.
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship
rude (adj.) 1 violent, harsh, unkind

But I'll amerce you with so strong a fine
amerce (v.) penalize, punish financially
strong (adj.) 4 severe, oppressive, grievous

That you shall all repent the loss of mine.

I will be deaf to pleading and excuses.

Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses.
abuse (n.) 2 offence, wrong, insult, transgression
nor ... nor (prep.) neither...nor
purchase out (v.) buy off punishment for

Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste,

Else, when he is found, that hour is his last.

Bear hence this body, and attend our will.
attend (v.) 6 regard, consider
will (n.) 1 desire, wish, liking, inclination

Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.

Exeunt

 
  Previous scene     Next scene