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Act 3, Scene 1


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Original Play

Modern Translation

 

Enter MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, Mercutio’s PAGE, and others

MERCUTIO, his page, and BENVOLIO enter with other men.
 






 

BENVOLIO
I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire.
The day is hot; the Capulets, abroad;
And if we meet we shall not ’scape a brawl,
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

BENVOLIO
I’m begging you, good Mercutio, let’s go home. It’s hot, and the Capulets are all over the place. If we should meet up with them, we’ll end up fighting them. Hot days like today get people all worked up and angry.

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5
 

MERCUTIO
Thou art like one of those fellows that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the table and says “God send me no need of thee!” and, by the operation of the second cup, draws it on the drawer when indeed there is no need.

MERCUTIO
You’re the kind of guy who walks into a bar, slaps his sword down on the table and says, “I hope I don’t have to use you.” By the time he’s having his second drink, he draws his sword on the bartender for no reason.

*
10
 

BENVOLIO
Am I like such a fellow?

BENVOLIO
You think I’m like that?

 

MERCUTIO
Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood as any in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved.

MERCUTIO
Come now. You can be as hot-blooded as any man in Italy. You get angry at the smallest thing, and when you’re in the mood to get angry you always find something to get angry about.

 

BENVOLIO
And what to?

BENVOLIO
So what?

*
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15
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20
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25
 

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 been beaten as addle as an egg for quarreling. Thou hast quarreled 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 ribbon? And yet thou wilt tutor me from quarreling!

MERCUTIO
So, if there were two men such as you, it wouldn’t take long for there to be none because each of you would kill the other. You, why, you would fight with a man if he had one more or one less hair in his beard than you have in yours. You’ll fight a man who’s cracking nuts simply because your own eyes are the color of hazelnuts. Only someone like you would look for that kind of fight. Your head is as full of fights as an egg is full of food, but your head has gotten scrambled like an egg from all your fighting. You once fought with a man who coughed in the street because he woke up your dog that was sleeping in the sun. And can you deny that you had a falling out with a tailor because he was wearing a new jacket before Easter? And with another for tying his new shoes with old laces? And yet you’re trying to tell me how to avoid fighting?

*
*
30
 

BENVOLIO
An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.

BENVOLIO
If I were as quick to get into fights as you are, my life insurance rates would be immense.

 

MERCUTIO
The fee simple? O simple!

MERCUTIO
Your life insurance? You’re a fool!

 

Enter TYBALT, PETRUCHIO, and other CAPULETS

TYBALT, PETRUCHIO, and some other CAPULETS enter.
 

 

BENVOLIO
By my head, here comes the Capulets.

BENVOLIO
By God, Here come the Capulets.

 

MERCUTIO
By my heel, I care not.

MERCUTIO
By my foot, I couldn’t care less.

*
*
35
 

TYBALT
Follow me close, for I will speak to them.
Gentlemen, good e’en. A word with one of you.

TYBALT
(to his men) Follow me closely. I’ll speak to them. (to BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO) Good afternoon, gentlemen. I’d like to have 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.

MERCUTIO
You want a single word with one of us? Combine it with something else. Make it a word and a blow.

 

TYBALT
You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you will give me occasion.

TYBALT
You’ll find me happy to do that, sir, if you give me a reason.

 

MERCUTIO
Could you not take some occasion without giving?

MERCUTIO
You can’t find a reason without my giving you one?

*
40
 

TYBALT
Mercutio, thou consort’st with Romeo.

TYBALT
Mercutio, you hang 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”!

MERCUTIO
“Hang?” What, are we musicians in a band? If we look like musicians to you, you can expect to hear nothing but noise. (touching his sword) This is my fiddlestick. It will make you dance. My God — “hang!”

*
45
 

BENVOLIO
We talk here in the public haunt of men.
Either withdraw unto some private place,
And reason coldly of your grievances,
Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us.

BENVOLIO
We’re talking here in public. Either let’s go somewhere private and calmly discuss your grievance, or else just go our separates ways. Here, everybody can see us.

*
*
50
 

MERCUTIO
Men’s eyes were made to look and let them gaze.
I will not budge for no man’s pleasure, I.

MERCUTIO
Men’s eyes were made to see. Let them watch. I won’t move for anyone.

 

Enter ROMEO

ROMEO enters.
 

 

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

TYBALT
Well, may peace be with you. Here comes the man I’m after.

 

MERCUTIO
But I’ll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery.
Marry, go before to field, he’ll be your follower.
Your worship in that sense may call him “man.”

MERCUTIO
I’ll be hanged if he’s your servant. Walk out into a field and he’ll chase you. That’s the only sense in which you can call him your “man.”

*
55
 

TYBALT
Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford
No better term than this: thou art a villain.

TYBALT
Romeo, I have just one thing to say to you: you’re a villain.

*
*
*
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60
 

ROMEO
Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting. Villain am I none.
Therefore, farewell. I see thou know’st me not.

ROMEO
Tybalt, I love you for a reason that allows me to ignore the rage I would normally feel in response to such a greeting. I’m not a villain. Therefore, goodbye. I can see that you don’t know me at all.




 

TYBALT
Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
That thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.

TYBALT
Boy, these words don’t excuse the injuries you’ve done to me. Turn and draw your sword.

*
*
*
65
 

ROMEO
I do protest I never injured thee,
But love thee better than thou canst devise,
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love.
And so, good Capulet—which name I tender
As dearly as my own—be satisfied.

ROMEO
I’ve never done you harm. In fact, I love you more than you’ll be able to understand until you know the reason behind my love. And so, good Capulet—which is a name I love as dearly as my own—be satisfied.

*
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70
 

MERCUTIO
O calm dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away. (draws his sword)
Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?

MERCUTIO
Such a calm submission is both dishonorable and vile! The thrust of a sword will sweep it away. (draws his sword) Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you duel with me?

 

TYBALT
What wouldst thou have with me?

TYBALT
What do you want from me?

*
*
*
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75
 

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. Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out.

MERCUTIO
Good King of Cats, I want nothing more than one of your nine lives. I’ll boldly take that one, and, depending on how you behave after that, I just may also beat the rest of the eight out of you too. Will you draw your sword from its sheath? Hurry, or mine will be at your ears before you have yours out.

 

TYBALT
I am for you. (draws his sword)

TYBALT
I’ll duel with you. (draws his sword)

 

ROMEO
Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.

ROMEO
Noble Mercutio, put your sword away.

 

MERCUTIO
Come, sir, your passado.

MERCUTIO
(to TYBALT) Get on with it, sir, attack.

 

MERCUTIO and TYBALT fight

MERCUTIO and TYBALT fight
 

*
80


 

ROMEO
(draws his sword) Draw, Benvolio. Beat down their weapons.
Gentlemen, for shame! Forbear this outrage.
Tybalt, Mercutio! The Prince expressly hath
Forbidden bandying in Verona streets.
Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!

ROMEO
(draws his sword) Draw your sword, Benvolio, and help me beat down their weapons. Gentlemen, this is shameful Tybalt! Mercutio! The Prince has explicitly forbidden fighting in the streets of Verona. Stop! Tybalt! Good Mercutio!

 

ROMEO tries to break up the fight TYBALT stabs MERCUTIO under ROMEO’s am

ROMEO tries to break up the fight. TYBALT stabs Mercutio under ROMEO’s outstretched arm.

*
85
 

PETRUCHIO
Away, Tybalt.

PETRUCHIO
Let’s get out of here, Tybalt.

 

Exeunt TYBALT, PETRUCHIO, and the other CAPULETS

TYBALT, PETRUCHIO, and the other CAPULETS exit.
 




 

MERCUTIO
I am hurt.
A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone and hath nothing?

MERCUTIO
I’m hurt. May a plague strike both your families. I’m done. Did he get away without injury?

 

BENVOLIO
               What, art thou hurt?

BENVOLIO
What, are you hurt?

*
*
90
 

MERCUTIO
Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch. Marry, ’tis enough.
Where is my page?—Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.

MERCUTIO
Yes, yes. A scratch, just a scratch. Yet it’s enough. Where is my page? Go, villain. Get a doctor.

 

Exit MERCUTIO’S PAGE

MERCUTIO’S PAGE exits.
 

 

ROMEO
Courage, man. The hurt cannot be much.

ROMEO
Have courage, man. The injury can’t be so bad.

*
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95
 

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 o’ both your 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 us? I was hurt under your arm.

MERCUTIO
It’s not as deep as a well or as wide as a church door, but it’s enough. Ask for me tomorrow, and you’ll find me a grave man. My time in this world is done, I believe. May a plague strike both your families. God! That dog, that rat, that mouse, that cat has scratched me to death! That braggart, that scoundrel, that villain who fights as if he learned it all from some manual! (To ROMEO) Why the devil did you step between us? He wounded me by reaching under your arm.

*
100
 

ROMEO
I thought all for the best.

ROMEO
I was trying to do what was right.

 

MERCUTIO
Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses!
They have made worms’ meat of me. I have it,
And soundly too. Your houses!

MERCUTIO
Carry me inside some house, Benvolio, or else I will faint. May a plague strike both your families! They’ve made me into worm food. I’m finished. Curse your families!

 

Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO

MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO exit.
 

*
105
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110
 

ROMEO
This gentleman, the Prince’s near ally,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf. My reputation stained
With Tybalt’s slander.—Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper softened valor’s steel!

ROMEO
This gentleman, a kinsman of the Prince and my friend, was killed while fighting on my behalf, to defend me against Tybalt’s insults. Tybalt, who has been my own kinsman for an hour! Oh, sweet Juliet, your beauty has made me effeminate and softened the steel of my valor.

 

Enter BENVOLIO

BENVOLIO enters.
 

 

BENVOLIO
O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead!
That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.

BENVOLIO
Oh Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead! His noble spirit has gone to heaven, but it was too early for him to leave this life.

*
115
 

ROMEO
This day’s black fate on more days doth depend.
This but begins the woe others must end.

ROMEO
Today’s dark fate will determine the future. These events only begin the sorrow that is to come.

 

Enter TYBALT

TYBALT enters.
 

 

BENVOLIO
Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

BENVOLIO
The furious Tybalt jas returned.

*
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120
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125
 

ROMEO
Alive in triumph—and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now.
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.

ROMEO
Alive and triumphant, while Mercutio is dead? Begone, respect and compassion. Rage and fury will be my guide. Now, Tybalt, take back the “villain” that you called me earlier. Mercutio’s soul is waiting just a bit above our heads for you to join him. Either you, I, or both of us must go with him.

 

TYBALT
Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here
Shalt with him hence.

TYBALT
Wretched boy, you hung out with him here on earth, and now you’re going to go with him to heaven.

 

ROMEO
               This shall determine that.

ROMEO
Our fight will decide who goes to heaven.

 

They fight. TYBALT falls

They fight. TYBALT falls and dies.
 


*
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130
 

BENVOLIO
Romeo, away, be gone!
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee death
If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away!

BENVOLIO
Romeo, get away from here. The citizens are coming, and Tybalt is dead. Don’t just stand there staring. If you’re caught, the Prince will execute you. Get out of here!

 

ROMEO
Oh, I am fortune’s fool!

ROMEO
Oh, fate has played me for a fool!

 

BENVOLIO
               Why dost thou stay?

BENVOLIO
Why are you still here?

 

Exit ROMEO

ROMEO exits.
 

 

Enter CITIZENS OF THE WATCH

The CITIZENS OF THE WATCH enter.
 

*
*
135
 

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH
Which way ran he that killed Mercutio?
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH
Where did the man who killed Mercutio run? Tybalt, that murderer, which way did he go?

 

BENVOLIO
There lies that Tybalt.

BENVOLIO
Tybalt is lying right there.




 

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH
(to TYBALT) Up, sir, go with me.
I charge thee in the Prince’s name, obey.

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH
(to TYBALT) Get up, sir, and come with me. By the name of the Prince, I command you to obey.

 

Enter PRINCE, MONTAGUE, CAPULET, LADY MONTAGUE, LADY CAPULET, and OTHERS

The PRINCE enters with MONTAGUE, CAPULET, LADY MONTAGUE, LADY CAPULET, and OTHERS.
 

 

PRINCE
Where are the vile beginners of this fray?

PRINCE
Where are the evil instigators of this fight?

*
140



 

BENVOLIO
O noble prince, I can discover all
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl.
There lies the man, slain by young Romeo,
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.

BENVOLIO
Oh, noble prince, I can explain everything about the unfortunate events that led to this deadly fight. There lies Tybalt, the man who killed your relative, brave Mercutio. Tybalt was then killed by young Romeo.

*
*
145



 

LADY CAPULET
Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother’s child!
O Prince! O cousin! Husband! Oh, the blood is spilled
Of my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true,
For blood of ours shed blood of Montague.
O cousin, cousin!

LADY CAPULET
Tybalt, my nephew! My brother’s son! Oh Prince, oh nephew, oh husband! Oh, my dear kinsman is dead! Prince, you are a man of honor, and therefore must respond to this murder by killing a Montague. Oh cousin, cousin!

 

PRINCE
      Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?

PRINCE
Benvolio, who began this deadly fight?

*
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150
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*
155
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160
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165
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170


 

BENVOLIO
Tybalt here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay.
Romeo, that spoke him fair, bade him bethink
How nice the quarrel was and urged withal
Your high displeasure. All this uttered
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bowed,
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio’s breast,
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
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,
“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
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled.
But by and by comes back to Romeo,
Who had but newly entertained revenge,
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.

BENVOLIO
Tybalt did, who then was killed by Romeo. Romeo spoke politely to Tybalt and begged him to see how ridiculous the disagreement was and to remember how displeased you would be if there was a fight. All this he said gently, calmly, kneeling down with humility. But he could not make peace. Tybalt’s anger was irrational, and he was deaf to any talk of peace. Soon Tybalt attacked Mercutio, who just as angry, fought back. They thrusted and parried. Romeo cried out, “Stop, my friends. Step apart,” jumped between, and forced down their swords. Tybalt, though, thrust his sword under Romeo’s arm and hit brave Mercutio’s heart. Then Tybalt ran. But, soon after, Tybalt returned to fight Romeo, who by now wanted revenge for Mercutio’s death. They began to fight as quick as lightning. Before I could separate them, Tybalt was killed. As Tybalt fell, Romeo turned and ran. This is the truth, I swear on my life.

*
*
175
 

LADY CAPULET
He is a kinsman to the Montague.
Affection makes him false. He speaks not true.
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.

LADY CAPULET
Benvolio is a Montague. His loyalty compels him to lie. He’s lying. There must have been twenty Montagues fighting, and together all twenty of them could only kill one man. I beg for justice that only you, Prince, can give. Romeo killed Tybalt. Romeo must die.

*
180
 

PRINCE
Romeo slew him; he slew Mercutio.
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?

PRINCE
Romeo killed Tybalt. Tybalt killed Mercutio. Who should pay the price for Mercutio’s life?

 

MONTAGUE
Not Romeo, Prince, he was Mercutio’s friend.
His fault concludes but what the law should end,
The life of Tybalt.

MONTAGUE
Not Romeo, Prince. He was Mercutio’s friend. His “crime” was justice, because it took the life of Tybalt.

*
*
185
*
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*
*
190



 

PRINCE
      And for that offence
Immediately we do exile him hence.
I have an interest in your hearts’ proceeding.
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding.
But I’ll amerce you with so strong a fine
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,
Therefore use none. Let Romeo hence in haste,
Else, when he’s found, that hour is his last.
Bear hence this body and attend our will.
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.

PRINCE
And for that crime, Romeo is now exiled from Verona. I’m now caught up in the strife between your families. My kinsman is now dead because of your damned dispute. I’ll punish you with a fine so large that you’ll regret the loss you’ve caused me. I refuse to listen to any of your pleas or excuses. Neither crying nor praying will help you to escape this punishment, so don’t even try. Romeo must leave the city immediately, or else, if he’s found, he’ll be immediately killed. Carry away this body, and obey my commands. Pardoning murderers just creates more murders by making every would-be murderer think that they’ll probably be pardoned too.

 

Exeunt

They exit.
 

 

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