Romeo and Juliet


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Paris and his Page, with flowers and sweet water
aloof (adv.) a short distance away, to one side See Topics: Stage directions
sweet (adj.) 1 perfumed, scented, fragrant


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,
along (adv.) at full length, stretched out, prostrate

Holding thy ear close to the hollow ground.

So shall no foot upon the churchyard tread,

Being loose, unfirm, with digging up of graves,
unfirm (adj.) 3 unstable, not compact, of loose consistency

But thou shalt hear it. Whistle then to me,

As signal that thou hearest something approach.

Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go.


stand (v.) 2 continue, remain, wait, stay put

I am almost afraid to stand alone

Here in the churchyard. Yet I will adventure.
adventure (v.) venture, dare, chance, risk
retire (v.) 1 withdraw, take oneself away

Page retires


Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew –

O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones –
canopy (n.) 2 covering above a bed

Which with sweet water nightly I will dew;
dew (v.) bedew, moisten, water
sweet (adj.) 1 perfumed, scented, fragrant

Or, wanting that, with tears distilled by moans.
distil (v.) 2 trickle down, fall in tiny drops
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

The obsequies that I for thee will keep
keep (v.) 4 keep up, maintain, carry on
obsequy (n.) funeral rite, burial ceremony

Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.

Page whistles

The boy gives warning something doth approach.

What cursed foot wanders this way tonight

To cross my obsequies and true love's rite?
cross (v.) 1 prevent, thwart, forestall
obsequy (n.) funeral rite, burial ceremony

What, with a torch! Muffle me, night, awhile.
retire (v.) 1 withdraw, take oneself away

Paris retires

Enter Romeo and Balthasar, with a torch, a mattock,

and a crow of iron


Give me that mattock and the wrenching iron.
crow (n.) 1 crowbar
mattock (n.) tool for loosening hard ground
mattock (n.) tool for loosening hard ground

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
aloof (adv.) a short distance away, to one side See Topics: Stage directions

And do not interrupt me in my course.
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

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

In dear employment. Therefore hence, be gone.
dear (adj.) 2 important, major, significant

But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry
jealous (adj.) 1 suspicious, mistrustful, wary, watchful

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.

The time and my intents are savage-wild,
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

More fierce and more inexorable far

Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.


I will be gone, sir, and not trouble ye.


So shalt thou show me friendship. Take thou that.

Live, and be prosperous; and farewell, good fellow.



For all this same, I'll hide me hereabout.

His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt.
doubt (v.) 2 suspect, have suspicions about, fear
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

Balthasar retires


Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
maw (n.) belly, stomach; throat, gullet
womb (n.) belly, paunch

Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth,

Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,

And in despite I'll cram thee with more food.
despite (n.) 2 malice, spite, hatred

Romeo begins to open the tomb


This is that banished haughty Montague

That murdered my love's cousin – with which grief

It is supposed the fair creature died –

And here is come to do some villainous shame

To the dead bodies. I will apprehend him.
apprehend (v.) 1 seize, arrest, lay hold of

Comes forward
unhallowed (adj.) 1 unholy, wicked, sacrilegious

Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague!

Can vengeance be pursued further than death?

Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee.

Obey, and go with me. For thou must die.


I must indeed; and therefore came I hither.

Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

Fly hence and leave me. Think upon these gone.

Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
affright (v.) frighten, terrify, scare

Put not another sin upon my head

By urging me to fury. O, be gone!

By heaven, I love thee better than myself,

For I come hither armed against myself.

Stay not, be gone. Live, and hereafter say

A madman's mercy bid thee run away.


I do defy thy conjuration
conjuration (n.) 1 entreaty, injunction, solemn appeal

And apprehend thee for a felon here.


Wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee, boy!

They fight
watch (n.) 1 watchmen, officers, street patrol


O Lord, they fight! I will go call the Watch.

Exit Page

Paris falls


O, I am slain! If thou be merciful,

Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet.

Paris dies


In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.

Mercutio's kinsman, noble County Paris!

What said my man when my betossed soul
betossed (adj.) tossed about, shaken up

Did not attend him as we rode? I think
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]

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? O, give me thy hand,

One writ with me in sour misfortune's book.

I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave.
triumphant (adj.) triumphal, glorious, celebrating a great victory

A grave? O, no, a lantern, slaughtered youth.
lantern (n.) light-filled arena, brilliantly lit place

He opens the tomb

For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes

This vault a feasting presence full of light.
feasting (adj.) jubilant, sumptuous, festive
presence (n.) 2 royal reception chamber

Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interred.

He lays him in the tomb
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

How oft when men are at the point of death

Have they been merry! which their keepers call
keeper (n.) 2 nurse, carer

A lightning before death. O, how may I

Call this a lightning? O my love, my wife!

Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath,

Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.
power (n.) 7 control, influence, sway

Thou art not conquered. Beauty's ensign yet
ensign (n.) 1 standard, banner, flag

Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,

And death's pale flag is not advanced there.
advance (v.) 2 display, present, promote

Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?

O, what more favour can I do to thee

Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain

To sunder his that was thine enemy?
sunder (v.) 2 cut, divide, put an end to

Forgive me, cousin! Ah, dear Juliet,

Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe

That unsubstantial death is amorous,

And that the lean abhorred monster keeps

Thee here in dark to be his paramour?

For fear of that I still will stay with thee
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And never from this palace of dim night

Depart again. Here, here will I remain

With worms that are thy chambermaids. O here

Will I set up my everlasting rest
set up one's rest (n.) [in primero] venture one's final stake, stake all

And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars

From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!

Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you

The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss

A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
dateless (adj.) everlasting, eternal, endless
engrossing (adj.) all-absorbing, monopolizing

Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
conduct (n.) 3 conductor, leader, director

Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on

The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark!
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel
seasick (adj.) weary of sea travel, tired of voyaging,

Here's to my love! (He drinks) O true Apothecary!

Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

He falls

Enter Frair Laurence, with lantern, crow, and spade


Saint Francis be my speed! How oft tonight
speed (n.) 2 assistance, aid, protector

Have my old feet stumbled at graves! Who's there?
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count


Here's one, a friend, and one that knows you well.


Bliss be upon you! Tell me, good my friend,

What torch is yond that vainly lends his light
vainly (adv.) 1 uselessly, fruitlessly, ineffectively

To grubs and eyeless skulls? As I discern,
grub (n.) maggot, worm

It burneth in the Capel's monument.


It doth so, holy sir; and there's my master,

One that you love.


                         Who is it?




How long hath he been there?


                         Full half an hour.


Go with me to the vault.


                         I dare not, sir.

My master knows not but I am gone hence,

And fearfully did menace me with death

If I did stay to look on his intents.
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count


Stay then; I'll go alone. Fear comes upon me.

O much I fear some ill unthrifty thing.
unthrifty (adj.) 3 harmful, pernicious, unfortunate


As I did sleep under this yew tree here,

I dreamt my master and another fought,

And that my master slew him.



He stoops and looks on the blood and weapons

Alack, alack, what blood is this which stains

The stony entrance of this sepulchre?

What mean these masterless and gory swords
masterless (adj.) abandoned, lacking an owner

To lie discoloured by this place of peace?

He enters the tomb

Romeo! O, pale! Who else? What, Paris too?

And steeped in blood? Ah, what an unkind hour

Is guilty of this lamentable chance!

The lady stirs.

Juliet rises
comfortable (adj.) 2 comforting, encouraging, reassuring


O comfortable Friar! Where is my lord?

I do remember well where I should be,

And there I am. Where is my Romeo?


I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest

Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep.
unnatural (adj.) 2 abnormal, monstrous, aberrant

A greater power than we can contradict

Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;

And Paris too. Come, I'll dispose of thee

Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.

Stay not to question, for the Watch is coming.
watch (n.) 1 watchmen, officers, street patrol

Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay.


Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.

Exit Friar

What's here? A cup, closed in my true love's hand?

Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end.
timeless (adj.) untimely, premature, ill-timed

O churl! drunk all, and left no friendly drop
churl (n.) 3 [term of endearment] wretch, miser, villain

To help me after? I will kiss thy lips.

Haply some poison yet doth hang on them
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

To make die with a restorative.

She kisses him

Thy lips are warm!



Lead, boy. Which way?


Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger!
happy (adj.) 2 opportune, appropriate, propitious, favourable

She snatches Romeo's dagger

This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.

She stabs herself and falls

Enter Paris's Page and the Watch


This is the place. There, where the torch doth burn.


The ground is bloody. Search about the churchyard.

Go, some of you. Whoe'er you find attach.
attach (v.) 1 arrest, seize, apprehend

Exeunt some of the Watch

Pitiful sight! Here lies the County slain!
county (n.) 1 [title of rank] count

And Juliet bleeding, warm, and newly dead,

Who here hath lain these two days buried.

Go, tell the Prince. Run to the Capulets.

Raise up the Montagues. Some others search.

Exeunt others of the Watch

We see the ground whereon these woes do lie,
woe (n.) pitiable creature, mournful sight

But the true ground of all these piteous woes

We cannot without circumstance descry.
circumstance (n.) 1 detail(s), particular(s), specifics
descry (v.) 2 find out, detect, discover

Enter some of the Watch, with Balthasar


Here's Romeo's man. We found him in the churchyard.


Hold him in safety till the Prince come hither.
safety (n.) 2 safe keeping, custody

Enter Friar Laurence and another of the Watch


Here is a Friar that trembles, sighs, and weeps.

We took this mattock and this spade from him
mattock (n.) tool for loosening hard ground

As he was coming from this churchyard's side.


A great suspicion! Stay the Friar too.
stay (v.) 7 detain, confine, keep

Enter the Prince and attendants
misadventure (n.) misfortune, mishap, tragic accident


What misadventure is so early up,

That calls our person from our morning rest?

Enter Capulet and his wife with others


What should it be, that is so shrieked abroad?


O the people in the street cry ‘ Romeo,’

Some ‘ Juliet,’ and some ‘ Paris ’; and all run

With open outcry toward our monument.


What fear is this which startles in your ears?


Sovereign, here lies the County Paris slain;

And Romeo dead; and Juliet, dead before,

Warm and new killed.


Search, seek, and know, how this foul murder comes.


Here is a Friar, and slaughtered Romeo's man,

With instruments upon them fit to open

These dead men's tombs.


O heavens! O wife, look how our daughter bleeds!

This dagger hath mista'en, for, lo, his house
house (n.) 6 housing, sheath, place of rest
mistake (v.) 2 act in error, perform the wrong action

Is empty on the back of Montague,

And it mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom!
mis-sheathe (v.) sheathe wrongly


O me! This sight of death is as a bell

That warns my old age to a sepulchre.

Enter Montague and others


Come, Montague. For thou art early up

To see thy son and heir now early down.
down (adv.) 1 dead on the ground


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?


Look, and thou shalt see.


O thou untaught! what manners is in this,
untaught (adj.) 1 uninstructed, uneducated, uncultivated

To press before thy father to a grave?


Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
mouth (n.) 1 utterance, expression, voice
outrage (n.) 2 passionate expression, emotional outcry

Till we can clear these ambiguities

And know their spring, their head, their true descent.

And then will I be general of your woes
general (n.) 2 leader, chief

And lead you, even to death. Meantime forbear,
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count

And let mischance be slave to patience.
mischance (n.) misfortune, calamity, mishap

Bring forth the parties of suspicion.


I am the greatest, able to do least,

Yet most suspected, as the time and place

Doth make against me, of this direful murder.
direful (adj.) dreadful, terrible, frightful
make (v.) 4 prove effective, be of avail

And here I stand, both to impeach and purge
impeach (v.) 1 accuse, charge, challenge
purge (v.) 3 clear, excuse, exonerate

Myself condemned and myself excused.


Then say at once what thou dost know in this.


I will be brief, for my short date of breath
breath (n.) 4 life, spirit, living and breathing existence
date (n.) 1 duration, period of existence

Is not so long as is a tedious tale.

Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet;

And she, there dead, that Romeo's faithful wife.

I married them; and their stolen marriage day
stolen (adj.) secret, stealthy, clandestine

Was Tybalt's doomsday, whose untimely death
doomsday (n.) death-day, day of judgement
untimely (adj.) premature, coming before its time

Banished the new-made bridegroom from this city;

For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.

You, to remove that siege of grief from her,
siege (n.) 1 onslaught, storm, assail

Betrothed and would have married her perforce
perforce (adv.) 1 forcibly, by force, violently See Topics: Frequency count

To County Paris. Then comes she to me

And with wild looks bid me devise some mean

To rid her from this second marriage,

Or in my cell there would she kill herself.
cell (n.) small humble dwelling

Then gave I her – so tutored by my art –
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science

A sleeping potion; which so took effect

As I intended, for it wrought on her
work (v.), past form wrought 1 bring about, arrange, effect

The form of death. Meantime I writ to Romeo
form (n.) 8 physical appearance, outward appearance

That he should hither come as this dire night

To help to take her from her borrowed grave,
borrowed (adj.) assumed, pretended, feigned

Being the time the potion's force should cease.

But he which bore my letter, Friar John,

Was stayed by accident and yesternight
stay (v.) 8 stop, prevent, end
yesternight (n.) last night

Returned my letter back. Then all alone

At the prefixed hour of her waking
prefixed (adj.) fixed, settled, prearranged, decided in advance

Came I to take her from her kindred's vault;

Meaning to keep her closely at my cell
cell (n.) small humble dwelling
closely (adv.) 1 secretly, covertly, privately

Till I conveniently could send to Romeo.

But when I came, some minute ere the time

Of her awakening, here untimely lay
untimely (adv.) 1 prematurely, too soon, before due time

The noble Paris and true Romeo dead.
true (adj.) 2 constant, faithful in love

She 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.

All this I know; and to the marriage

Her nurse is privy; and if aught in this
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
privy 1 privately aware [of], secretly knowledgeable [about]

Miscarried by my fault, let my old life
miscarry (v.) 3 go wrong, fail, be unsuccessful

Be sacrificed, some hour before his time,

Unto the rigour of severest law.


We still have known thee for a holy man.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Where's Romeo's man? What can he say to this?


I brought my master news of Juliet's death;

And then in post he came from Mantua
post, in in haste, at top speed

To this same place, to this same monument.

This letter he early bid me give his father,

And threatened me with death, going in the vault,

I departed not and left him there.


Give me the letter. I will look on it.

Where is the County's page that raised the Watch?
county (n.) 1 [title of rank] count

Sirrah, what made your master in this place?
make (v.) 1 do, have to do


He came with flowers to strew his lady's grave,

And bid me stand aloof, and so I did.
aloof (adv.) a short distance away, to one side See Topics: Stage directions

Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count
ope (v.) open See Topics: Frequency count

And by and by my master drew on him.
by and by (adv.) 1 immediately, straightaway, directly

And then I ran away to call the Watch.


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 therewithal
apothecary, pothecary (n.) one who prepares and sells medicinal drugs

Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.

Where 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,
wink (v.) 1 shut one's eyes

Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punished.
brace (n.) 1 group of two, couple, pair See Topics: Numbers


O brother Montague, give me thy hand.

This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
jointure (n.) marriage settlement, part of a husband's estate due to his widow

Can I demand.


                         But I can give thee more.

For I will raise her statue in pure gold,

That whiles Verona by that name is known,

There shall no figure at such rate be set
figure (n.) 5 portrayal, rendering, presentation
rate (n.) 4 worth, value, merit
set (v.) 1 value, rate, esteem

As that of true and faithful Juliet.
true (adj.) 2 constant, faithful in love


As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie,

Poor sacrifices of our enmity!


A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
glooming (adj.) gloomy, dark, dismal

The sun for sorrow will not show his head.

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

Some shall be pardoned, and some punished:

For never was a story of more woe

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.


  Previous scene