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Act 3, Scene 5


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Original Play

Modern Translation

 

Enter ROMEO and JULIET aloft

ROMEO and JULIET enter above the stage.  

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5
 

JULIET
Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

JULIET
You’re leaving? It’s not yet close to daytime. The sound you just heard was a nightingale, not a lark. Each night the nightingale sings on that pomegranate tree. Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

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10
 

ROMEO
It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

ROMEO
It was the lark, who sings to greet the dawn, not the nightingale. Look, love, at the streaks illuminating the clouds parting in the east? Night is over. Day is creeping over the mountain tops. I must leave in order to live. If I stay, I’ll die.

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15
 

JULIET
Yon light is not daylight, I know it, I.
It is some meteor that the sun exhales
To be to thee this night a torchbearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua.
Therefore stay yet. Thou need’st not to be gone.

JULIET
That light isn’t daylight, I know it. It’s some meteor sent from the sun to be a torchbearer in order to light your way to Mantua. So stay for a bit longer. You don’t have leave.

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25
 

ROMEO
Let me be ta’en. Let me be put to death.
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye.
‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow.
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.
I have more care to stay than will to go.
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.—
How is ’t, my soul? Let’s talk. It is not day.

ROMEO
Let me be caught. Let me be put to death. I’ll be happy, if that’s how you want it. I’ll say the greyness over there is not the coming morning. Rather, it’s a pale reflection of the moon. And that isn’t the lark singing in the sky above our heads. I’d rather stay than go. Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it. How are you, my love? Let’s talk. It is not day.

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35
 

JULIET
It is, it is. Hie hence! Be gone, away!
It is the lark that sings so out of tune,
Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.
Some say the lark makes sweet division.
This doth not so, for she divideth us.
Some say the lark and loathèd toad change eyes.
Oh, now I would they had changed voices too,
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence with hunt’s-up to the day.
O, now be gone. More light and light it grows.

JULIET
It’s day. It is. Get going, be gone, go away! It’s the lark that’s singing so harshly and out of tune. Some say the lark’s singing makes a sweet transition between day and night. That’s not true, because the song divides the two of us. Some say the lark and the disgusting toad traded eyes. Now I wish they had also traded voices because the lark’s voice pulls us from each other’s arms and sets men hunting after you. Oh, get going. It’s getting more and more light.

 

ROMEO
More light and light, more dark and dark our woes!

ROMEO
The lighter it gets, the darker is our misery.

 

Enter NURSE

The NURSE enters  

 

NURSE
Madam.

NURSE
Madam.

 

JULIET
Nurse?

JULIET
Nurse?

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40
 

NURSE
Your lady mother is coming to your chamber.
The day is broke. Be wary, look about.

NURSE
Your mother is on her way to your bedroom. Day has arrived. Be careful. Watch out.

 

Exit NURSE

The NURSE exits  

 

JULIET
Then, window, let day in and let life out.

JULIET
The window lets day in, and now my life goes out the window.

 

ROMEO
Farewell, farewell. One kiss, and I’ll descend.

ROMEO
Farewell, farewell! One more kiss, and I’ll go down.

 

Kiss. ROMEO goes down

They kiss. ROMEO climbs out the window and down the wall.  

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45


 

JULIET
Art thou gone so, love, lord? Ay, husband, friend,
I must hear from thee every day in the hour,
For in a minute there are many days.
Oh, by this count I shall be much in years
Ere I again behold my Romeo.

JULIET
Are you gone just like that, my love, my lord? Husband, lover, I must hear from you every day. There are many days in each minute. Oh, by this count I’ll be so much older before I see you again, my Romeo.





 

ROMEO
               Farewell!
I will omit no opportunity
That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.

ROMEO
Farewell! I’ll take every opportunity to send my love to you.

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JULIET
Oh, think’st thou we shall ever meet again?

JULIET
Oh, do you think we’ll ever meet again?




 

ROMEO
I doubt it not, and all these woes shall serve
For sweet discourses in our time to come.

ROMEO
I don’t doubt it. When we’re older these difficulties will just be stories that we tell each other.

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55
 

JULIET
O God, I have an ill-divining soul.
Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale.

JULIET
Oh God, my soul senses some coming evil! It seems to me that, standing down there as you are, you look as if you are lying dead in the bottom of a tomb. Either my eyesight is failing me, or you look pale.




 

ROMEO
And trust me, love, in my eye so do you.
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!

ROMEO
Trust me, love, in my eyes you look pale as well. Sadness steals our color. Goodbye, goodbye!

 

Exit ROMEO

ROMEO exits  

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60



 

JULIET
O Fortune, Fortune! All men call thee fickle.
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him
That is renowned for faith? Be fickle, fortune,
For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long,
But send him back.

JULIET
Oh, Fortune. People say that you are fickle, always changing your mind. If you are so fickle, what will you do to Romeo, who’s so renowned for being faithful? Be fickle, fortune, and do not keep him away long. Instead send him back to Verona soon.

 

LADY CAPULET
(from within) Ho, daughter, are you up?

LADY CAPULET
(offstage) Hello, my daughter! Are you up?

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JULIET
Who is ’t that calls? Is it my lady mother?
Is she not down so late or up so early?
What unaccustomed cause procures her hither?

JULIET
Who’s calling? My mother? Why is she up so late, or so early? What could possibly be her reason for coming to see me?

 

Enter LADY CAPULET

LADY CAPULET enters.  

 

LADY CAPULET
Why, how now, Juliet?

LADY CAPULET
What’s the matter, Juliet?

 

JULIET
               Madam, I am not well.

JULIET
Madam, I’m not feeling well.

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70



 

LADY CAPULET
Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?
What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears?
An if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live.
Therefore, have done. Some grief shows much of love,
But much of grief shows still some want of wit.

LADY CAPULET
Are you going to weep forever about your cousin’s death? Do you think you can wash him out of his grave with tears? Even if you could, you couldn’t bring him back to life. So stop crying. Some grief shows a lot of love. But too much grief makes you look silly.

 

JULIET
Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss.

JULIET
Let me weep for such a terrible loss.

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LADY CAPULET
So shall you feel the loss, but not the friend
Which you weep for.

LADY CAPULET
Weeping like this will make you feel the loss, but won’t help you feel the friend you’ve lost.




 

JULIET
               Feeling so the loss,
Cannot choose but ever weep the friend.

JULIET
Feeling the loss so strongly, I can’t help but weep for him forever.




 

LADY CAPULET
Well, girl, thou weep’st not so much for his death,
As that the villain lives which slaughtered him.

LADY CAPULET
Well, girl, you’re weeping not for his death, but rather because the villain who murdered him still lives.

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JULIET
What villain, madam?

JULIET
What villain, madam?

 

LADY CAPULET
               That same villain, Romeo.

LADY CAPULET
That same villain, Romeo.





 

JULIET
(aside) Villain and he be many miles asunder.
(to LADY CAPULET) God pardon him! I do, with all my heart,
And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart.

JULIET
(to herself) He’s far from a villain. (to LADY CAPULET) May God pardon him! I do, with all my heart. And yet he makes my heart grieve more than any other man.

 

LADY CAPULET
That is because the traitor murderer lives.

LADY CAPULET
That’s because the traitorous murderer still lives.

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JULIET
Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands.
Would none but I might venge my cousin’s death!

JULIET
Yes, madam, because he lives outside the reach of my hands. I wish that I was the only one who could avenge my cousin’s death!

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LADY CAPULET
We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not.
Then weep no more. I’ll send to one in Mantua,
Where that same banished runagate doth live,
Shall give him such an unaccustomed dram
That he shall soon keep Tybalt company.
And then, I hope, thou wilt be satisfied.

LADY CAPULET
We’ll get revenge for it, don’t you worry. Stop your weeping. I’ll send a note to a certain man we know in Mantua, which is where that banished renegade Romeo is living. The man will poison Romeo so that Romeo will soon be keeping Tybalt company in death. And then, I hope, you’ll be satisfied.

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JULIET
Indeed, I never shall be satisfied
With Romeo, till I behold him—dead—
Is my poor heart for a kinsman vexed.
Madam, if you could find out but a man
To bear a poison, I would temper it,
That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,
Soon sleep in quiet. Oh, how my heart abhors
To hear him named, and cannot come to him.
To wreak the love I bore my cousin
Upon his body that slaughtered him!

JULIET
In fact, I’ll never be satisfied with Romeo until I see him. . . dead is the way my poor heart feels when I think of my poor cousin. Madam, if you could only find a man with poison, I’d mix it myself so that Romeo would, once dosed with it, sleep quietly. Oh, I hate to hear his name and not be able to go after him! How I’d like to take my love for my cousin and take it out on the body of the man who killed him!




 

LADY CAPULET
Find thou the means, and I’ll find such a man.
But now I’ll tell thee joyful tidings, girl.

LADY CAPULET
Find a way to do it, and I’ll find the man we need to help you. But now I’ll tell you some joyful news, girl.

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105
 

JULIET
And joy comes well in such a needy time.
What are they, beseech your ladyship?

JULIET
It’s good when there is joy during such sad times. What’s the news, please?

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110
 

LADY CAPULET
Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child.
One who, to put thee from thy heaviness,
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy
That thou expect’st not, nor I looked not for.

LADY CAPULET
Well, you have a father who cares for you, child. To help you escape your sadness, he has arranged a soon-to-come day of joy that you didn’t expect and that I had not considered.

 

JULIET
Madam, in happy time, what day is that?

JULIET
Madam, quickly, what day is that?

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115
 

LADY CAPULET
Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn,
The gallant, young, and noble gentleman,
The County Paris, at Saint Peter’s Church,
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.

LADY CAPULET
Well, my child, early Thursday morning, at Saint Peter’s Church, the gallant, young, and noble gentleman Count Paris will make you a joyful bride.

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120



 

JULIET
Now, by Saint Peter’s Church and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride.
I wonder at this haste, that I must wed
Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo.
I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam,
I will not marry yet. And when I do, I swear
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,
Rather than Paris. These are news indeed!

JULIET
Right now I swear by Saint Peter’s Church and Peter too that he will not make me a joyful bride. I’m confused by this sudden hurry. Why I would I marry this would-be husband before he’s even come to court me? I beg you, tell my father, madam, I won’t marry yet. And when I do marry, I swear, I’d marry Romeo, whom you know I hate, before I’d marry Paris. Now that is news!

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125
 

LADY CAPULET
Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself,
And see how he will take it at your hands.

LADY CAPULET
Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself, and see how he takes it from you.

 

Enter CAPULET and NURSE

CAPULET and the NURSE enter.  

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130
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135



 

CAPULET
When the sun sets the air doth drizzle dew,
But for the sunset of my brother’s son
It rains downright.
How now? A conduit, girl? What, still in tears,
Evermore showering? In one little body
Thou counterfeit’st a bark, a sea, a wind,
For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,
Do ebb and flow with tears. The bark thy body is,
Sailing in this salt flood. The winds thy sighs,
Who, raging with thy tears, and they with them,
Without a sudden calm will overset
Thy tempest-tossèd body.—How now, wife?
Have you delivered to her our decree?

CAPULET
When the sun sets the air drizzles dew. But when the son of my brother died, the rain came in a downpour. (to JULIET) What’s with you? Are you a fountain? Still crying? Will you cry forever? You’re like a ship, the sea, and the winds. Like the sea, your eyes ebb and flow with tears. Your body is like the ship, sailing in the salt water of your tears. The winds are your sighs, which rage with tears and, unless you immediately calm down, will toss your body as if it’s in a storm and sink you. So what’s the story, wife? Have you told her about our announcement?

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140
 

LADY CAPULET
Ay, sir, but she will none, she gives you thanks.
I would the fool were married to her grave!

LADY CAPULET
Yes. And in reply she says thank you but no thanks. May the fool be married to her grave!

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145
 

CAPULET
Soft, take me with you, take me with you, wife.
How, will she none? Doth she not give us thanks?
Is she not proud? Doth she not count her blessed,
Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought
So worthy a gentleman to be her bride?

CAPULET
What? Explain this to me again, wife. She refuses? She doesn’t just say thank you? Is she not proud of the match? Is she not counting her blessings that we have found for her, unworthy as she is, such a noble gentleman to be her bridegroom?





 

JULIET
Not proud you have, but thankful that you have.
Proud can I never be of what I hate,
But thankful even for hate that is meant love.

JULIET
I’m not proud of what you found, but thankful for your efforts. I can’t be proud of what I hate. But I can be thankful for what I hate, if it was meant with love.

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CAPULET
How, how, how, how? Chopped logic! What is this?
“Proud,” and “I thank you,” and “I thank you not,”
And yet “not proud”? Mistress minion you,
Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds,
But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next
To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green sickness, carrion! Out, you baggage!
You tallow face!

CAPULET
What, what, what, what? Insane logic! What is this? How can you say “proud” and “I thank you” and “no thank you” and “not proud?” You spoiled brat, don’t give me these “thank you no thank yous” and “proud not prouds.” Just get yourself together for Thursday when you’ll be going with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church. And if you refuse to go, I’ll drag you there. My god, you sick corpse! You worthless bit of baggage! You pale face!

 

LADY CAPULET
      Fie, fie! What, are you mad?

LADY CAPULET
(to CAPULET) Shame on you! What, are you crazy?




 

JULIET
Good Father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

JULIET
Good father, I’m on my knees, begging you, please be patient and le me say just one thing.

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165



 

CAPULET
Hang thee, young baggage! Disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face.
Speak not. Reply not. Do not answer me.
My fingers itch.—Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child,
But now I see this one is one too much
And that we have a curse in having her.
Out on her, hilding!

CAPULET
You disobedient wretch of a worthless girl! I’ll tell you what: get yourself to church on Thursday or never again look me in the face. Don’t speak. Don’t reply. Don’t answer me. (JULIET rises) My fingers itch to slap you. Wife, we never thought we had been blessed that God gave us just this one child, but now I see that this one is one too many. We were cursed when we had her. She sickens me, the good-for-nothing.




 

NURSE
               God in heaven bless her!
You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.

NURSE
God in heaven bless her! You’re wrong, my lord, to shout at her that way.

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170
 

CAPULET
And why, my Lady Wisdom? Hold your tongue,
Good prudence. Smatter with your gossips, go.

CAPULET
And why is that, my lady of such wisdom? Now shut up. Go chatter with your gossiping cronies.

 

NURSE
I speak no treason.

NURSE
I’ve not said anything wrong.

 

CAPULET
      Oh, God ‘i’ good e’en.

CAPULET
Oh, God.

 

NURSE
May not one speak?

NURSE
Can’t I speak?

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175
 

CAPULET
      Peace, you mumbling fool!
Utter your gravity o’er a gossip’s bowl,
For here we need it not.

CAPULET
Quiet, you mumbling fool! Save your wisdom for your gossiping buddies. We don’t need it.

 

LADY CAPULET
               You are too hot.

LADY CAPULET
You’re too angry.

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195
 

CAPULET
God’s bread! It makes me mad.
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her matched. And having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly trained,
Stuffed, as they say, with honorable parts,
Proportioned as one’s thought would wish a man—
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,
To answer “I’ll not wed,” “I cannot love,”
“I am too young,” “I pray you, pardon me.”—
But, an you will not wed, I’ll pardon you.
Graze where you will, you shall not house with me.
Look to ’t, think on ’t, I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near. Lay hand on heart, advise.
An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend.
An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good.
Trust to ’t, bethink you. I’ll not be forsworn.

CAPULET
By God! It makes me angry! Day and night, hour after hour, through tide and time, working or playing, alone or with company, I’ve worked to get her a fine match. Now, I’ve gotten her a noble gentleman, who’s good-looking, young, well-educated, and honorable, who’s the man of any girl’s dreams. And this wretched, crying fool, like a whining puppet, responds to this good fortune by answering, “I won’t marry. I can’t love. I’m too young. Forgive me.” Well, if you won’t get married, here’s how I’ll forgive you. Eat wherever you want, except in my house. Think about that. I’m not joking. Thursday is soon. Cover your heart with your hand and listen to my advice. Act like my daughter, and I’ll marry you to my friend. Don’t, and you can beg, starve, and die in the streets. By my soul, I’ll never again acknowledge or help you. Count on it. Think about it. I won’t break this oath.

 

Exit CAPULET

CAPULET exits.  

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200


 

JULIET
Is there no pity sitting in the clouds
That sees into the bottom of my grief?—
O sweet my mother, cast me not away!
Delay this marriage for a month, a week.
Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.

JULIET
Is there no god above that pities my grief? Oh, sweet mother, don’t throw me out! Delay this marriage for a month, or just a week. Or, else, make my wedding bed in the family crypt where Tybalt lies.




 

LADY CAPULET
Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word.
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.

LADY CAPULET
Don’t talk to me. I won’t say a word. Do as you please, because I’m done with you.

 

Exit LADY CAPULET

LADY CAPULET exits.  

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210



 

JULIET
O God!—O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?
My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven.
How shall that faith return again to earth,
Unless that husband send it me from heaven
By leaving earth? Comfort me. Counsel me.—
Alack, alack, that heaven should practice stratagems
Upon so soft a subject as myself.—
What sayst thou? Hast thou not a word of joy?
Some comfort, Nurse.

JULIET
Oh God!—Oh Nurse, how can we stop this? My husband is alive on earth, our vows are up in heaven. How can those vows come back down to earth, unless my husband dies and goes to heaven and sends them back down by doing so? Comfort me. Tell me what to do. Oh, oh, why does God play like this with someone as small as me? What do you say? Don’t you have even one happy word? Comfort me, Nurse.

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215
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225
 

NURSE
      Faith, here it is.
Romeo is banishèd, and all the world to nothing
That he dares ne’er come back to challenge you.
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the county.
Oh, he’s a lovely gentleman.
Romeo’s a dishclout to him. An eagle, madam,
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,
I think you are happy in this second match,
For it excels your first. Or if it did not,
Your first is dead, or ’twere as good he were,
As living here and you no use of him.

NURSE
Here’s what I think. Romeo’s banished. There’s no chance that he would ever come back to challenge you if you get married. And if he does come back, he can only do so by sneaking in. Since that’s the way things are, I think the best thing for you to do is to marry the count. He’s a lovely gentleman! Romeo’s a dishcloth compared to him. An eagle does not have eyes as green, quick, or beautiful as Paris does. Curse my heart, but I think you’re lucky to have this second husband, because he surpasses your first. And even if he didn’t, your first husband is dead, or as good as dead, since Romeo doesn’t live here and you don’t get to enjoy him.

 

JULIET
Speakest thou from thy heart?

JULIET
Do you speak from your heart?

 

NURSE
And from my soul too, else beshrew them both.

NURSE
From my heart and my soul too. If not, curse them both.

 

JULIET
Amen!

JULIET
Amen!

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230
 

NURSE
What?

NURSE
What?






 

JULIET
Well, thou hast comforted me marvelous much.
Go in, and tell my lady I am gone,
Having displeased my father, to Lawrence’s cell
To make confession and to be absolved.

JULIET
Well, you have comforted me greatly. Go inside and tell my mother that, because I made my father angry, I’ve gone to Friar Lawrence’s cell to confess and be absolved.

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235
 

NURSE
Marry, I will, and this is wisely done.

NURSE
Indeed, I will. This is the wisest course.

 

Exit NURSE

The NURSE exits.  

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240



 

JULIET
Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue
Which she hath praised him with above compare
So many thousand times? Go, counselor.
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.
I’ll to the friar to know his remedy.
If all else fail, myself have power to die.

JULIET
Damned old lady! Oh, most wicked fiend! Is it a worse sin for her to tell me to break my vows or to criticize my husband with the same tongue she used to praise him so many times before? Be gone, Nurse, with your advice. I’ll never again tell you the true feelings of my heart. I’ll go to the Friar to see if he has a solution. And if all else fails, at least I have the power to kill myself.

 

Exit

JULIET exits.  

 

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