Romeo and Juliet


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Juliet alone
apace (adv.) quickly, speedily, at a great rate See Topics: Frequency count


JULIET

Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,

Towards Phoebus' lodging! Such a waggoner
waggoner, wagoner (n.) driver, charioteer

As Phaëton would whip you to the West

And bring in cloudy night immediately.

Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,

That runaway's eyes may wink, and Romeo
wink (v.) 2 [of the eyes] close, shut

Leap to these arms untalked of and unseen.

Lovers can see to do their amorous rites

By their own beauties; or, if love be blind,

It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
civil (adj.) 2 seemly, decent, well-behaved
sober-suited (adj.) sedately dressed

Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,

And learn me how to lose a winning match,
learn (v.) 1 teach, instruct [not a regional dialect usage as in modern English]

Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods.

Hood my unmanned blood, bating in my cheeks,
bate (v.) 6 [falconry] beat the wings, flutter
unmanned (adj.) [falconry] untrained; also: without a husband

With thy black mantle till strange love grow bold,
strange (adj.) 5 unfamiliar, unknown, not previously experienced

Think true love acted simple modesty.
act (v.) 2 enact, enforce, bring about

Come, night. Come, Romeo. Come, thou day in night;

For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night

Whiter than new snow upon a raven's back.

Come, gentle night. Come, loving, black-browed night.
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

Give me my Romeo. And when I shall die,

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun.

O I have bought the mansion of a love,

But not possessed it; and though I am sold,

Not yet enjoyed. So tedious is this day

As is the night before some festival

To an impatient child that hath new robes

And may not wear them.

Enter Nurse, wringing her hands, with the ladder of cords

                         O here comes my Nurse,

And she brings news; and every tongue that speaks

But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence.

Now, Nurse, what news? What, hast thou there the cords

That Romeo bid thee fetch?


NURSE

                         Ay, ay, the cords.

She throws them down


JULIET

Ay me! what news? Why dost thou wring thy hands?


NURSE

Ah, weraday! He's dead, he's dead, he's dead!

We are undone, lady, we are undone!
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down See Topics: Frequency count

Alack the day! he's gone, he's killed, he's dead!


JULIET

Can heaven be so envious?
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count


NURSE

                         Romeo can,

Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo!

Who ever would have thought it? Romeo!


JULIET

What devil art thou that dost torment me thus?

This torture should be roared in dismal hell.

Hath Romeo slain himself? Say thou but ‘ Ay,’

And that bare vowel ‘ I ’ shall poison more

Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice.
cockatrice (n.) murderous serpent, basilisk

I am not I, if there be such an ‘ I ’

Or those eyes shut that makes thee answer ‘ I.’

If he be slain, say ‘ Ay ’; or if not, ‘ No.’

Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe.
determine (v.) 1 make a decision [about], reach a conclusion [about]
weal 2 welfare, well-being, prosperity


NURSE

I saw the wound. I saw it with mine eyes –

God save the mark! – here on his manly breast.

A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse;
corse (n.) corpse, dead body See Topics: Frequency count

Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood,

All in gore-blood. I swounded at the sight.
gore-blood (n.) gory blood, clotted blood
swound (v.) faint, swoon


JULIET

O, break, my heart! Poor bankrupt, break at once!
break (v.) 18 go bankrupt, become insolvent

To prison, eyes; ne'er look on liberty!

Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here,

And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


NURSE

O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had!

O courteous Tybalt, honest gentleman!
honest (adj.) 2 honourable, respectable, upright

That ever I should live to see thee dead!


JULIET

What storm is this that blows so contrary?

Is Romeo slaughtered, and is Tybalt dead,

My dearest cousin and my dearer lord?

Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the General Doom!
doom (n.) 3 doomsday, day of judgement

For who is living, if those two are gone?


NURSE

Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished;

Romeo that killed him, he is banished.


JULIET

O God! Did Romeo's hand shed Tybalt's blood?


NURSE

It did, it did! Alas the day, it did!


JULIET

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!

Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?

Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
tyrant (n.) 1 pitiless ruffian, cruel villain

Dove-feathered raven! Wolvish-ravening lamb!
wolvish-ravening (adj.) devouring like a wolf

Despised substance of divinest show!

Just opposite to what thou justly seemest –
justly (adv.) exactly, precisely, closely

A damned saint, an honourable villain!

O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell

When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
bower (v.) enclose, fence in

In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh?
mortal (adj.) 2 human, subject to death, characterized by mortality

Was ever book containing such vile matter
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance

So fairly bound? O, that deceit should dwell

In such a gorgeous palace!


NURSE

                         There's no trust,

No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,

All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
dissembler (n.) hypocrite, deceiver, charlatan
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count
naught, nought (adj.) 3 bad, wicked, sinful

Ah, where's my man? Give me some aqua vitae.
aqua-vitae (n.) spirits, alcohol, strong drink, brandy

These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old.

Shame come to Romeo!


JULIET

                         Blistered be thy tongue

For such a wish! He was not born to shame.

Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit.
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

For 'tis a throne where honour may be crowned

Sole monarch of the universal earth.

O, what a beast was I to chide at him!
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count


NURSE

Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin?


JULIET

Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?

Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name
smooth (v.) 4 defend, gild, speak well of

When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?

But wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?

That villain cousin would have killed my husband.

Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring!

Your tributary drops belong to woe,
tributary (adj.) paying a tribute, contributory

Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy.

My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain;

And Tybalt's dead, that would have slain my husband.

All this is comfort. Wherefore weep I then?

Some word there was, worser than Tybalt's death,
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

That murdered me. I would forget it fain.

But O, it presses to my memory

Like damned guilty deeds to sinners' minds!

‘ Tybalt is dead, and Romeo – banished.’

That ‘ banished,’ that one word ‘ banished,’

Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt's death

Was woe enough, if it had ended there;

Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship

And needly will be ranked with other griefs,
needly (adv.) of necessity, unavoidably
rank (v.) 3 find, accompany [by]

Why followed not, when she said ‘ Tybalt's dead,’

Thy father, or thy mother, nay, or both,

Which modern lamentation might have moved?
modern (adj.) ordinary, trite, commonplace, everyday

But with a rearward following Tybalt's death,
rearward (n.) 2 rearguard action

‘ Romeo is banished ’ – to speak that word

Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,

All slain, all dead. ‘ Romeo is banished ’ –

There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,

In that word's death. No words can that woe sound.
sound (v.) 3 cry out, declare, proclaim

Where is my father and my mother, Nurse?


NURSE

Weeping and wailing over Tybalt's corse.
corse (n.) corpse, dead body See Topics: Frequency count

Will you go to them? I will bring you thither.


JULIET

Wash they his wounds with tears. Mine shall be spent,
spend (v.) 1 use up, wear out, exhaust, bring to an end

When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment.

Take up those cords. Poor ropes, you are beguiled,
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

Both you and I, for Romeo is exiled.

He made you for a highway to my bed,

But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.

Come, cords. Come, Nurse. I'll to my wedding bed,

And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!


NURSE

Hie to your chamber. I'll find Romeo
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count

To comfort you. I wot well where he is.
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night.

I'll to him. He is hid at Laurence' cell.


JULIET

O, find him! Give this ring to my true knight

And bid him come to take his last farewell.

Exit Juliet with Nurse

 
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