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Act 4, Scene 3


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Original Play

Modern Translation

 

Enter JULIET and NURSE

JULIET and the NURSE enter.  

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JULIET
Ay, those attires are best. But, gentle Nurse,
I pray thee, leave me to myself tonight,
For I have need of many orisons
To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
Which, well thou know’st, is cross and full of sin.

JULIET
Yes, those clothes are the best. But, gentle Nurse, I beg you, please let me be by myself tonight. I need to say many prayers in order to convince the heavens to bless me despite my situation. You know very well that my life is difficult and full of sin.

 

Enter LADY CAPULET

LADY CAPULET enters.  

 

LADY CAPULET
What, are you busy, ho? Need you my help?

LADY CAPULET
Are you busy? Do you need my help?

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JULIET
No, madam. We have culled such necessaries
As are behooveful for our state tomorrow.
So please you, let me now be left alone,
And let the Nurse this night sit up with you.
For, I am sure, you have your hands full all
In this so sudden business.

JULIET
No, madam. We’ve selected the things that would be best for me to wear at the ceremony tomorrow. So, if it’s all right with you, please leave me alone now. Let the Nurse stay up tonight with you. I’m sure your hands are full getting ready for this sudden marriage celebration.




 

LADY CAPULET
               Good night.
Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need.

LADY CAPULET
Good night. Go to bed and get your rest, it’s no surprise that you should need it.

 

Exeunt LADY CAPULET and NURSE

LADY CAPULET and the NURSE exit.  

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JULIET
Farewell!—God knows when we shall meet again.
I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins
That almost freezes up the heat of life.
I’ll call them back again to comfort me.—
Nurse!—What should she do here?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
Come, vial. (holds out the vial)
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
No, no. This shall forbid it. Lie thou there.
(lays her knife down)
What if it be a poison, which the friar
Subtly hath ministered to have me dead,
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonored
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear it is. And yet, methinks, it should not,
For he hath still been tried a holy man.
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Come to redeem me? There’s a fearful point.
Shall I not, then, be stifled in the vault
To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place—
As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where for these many hundred years the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are packed;
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say,
At some hours in the night spirits resort—?
Alack, alack, is it not like that I,
So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth,
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad—?
Oh, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environèd with all these hideous fears,
And madly play with my forefather’s joints,
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud,
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
Oh, look! Methinks I see my cousin’s ghost
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body
Upon a rapier’s point. Stay, Tybalt, stay!
Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee.

JULIET
Goodbye! God alone knows when we will meet again. A small cold fear pierces my veins and almost freezes the heat of life out of me. I’ll call them back to comfort me. Nurse!—No, what would she do here? My terrible situation requires that I act alone. This is the vial. (holds out the vial) What if this mixture doesn’t work at all? Will I end up being married tomorrow morning? No, no. This knife will stop it. Lie down right there, knife. (she lays down her knife) What if the Friar secretly made this potion to kill me because he feared he would be disgraced if he marries me to Paris after already marrying me to Romeo? I fear it is poison. And yet, I think, it can’t be poison because he is a trusted holy man. What if, when I am put in the tomb, I wake up before Romeo comes to release me? That’s a terrifying thought. Won’t I be stifled in that tomb, where there’s no fresh air to breathe, and die of suffocation before my Romeo comes? Or if I live, isn’t it very likely that the death and darkness surrounding me and the terrifying nature of the place—packed as it is with centuries of my ancestors’ bones, and Tybalt’s own bloody body freshly entombed and rotting, and with the spirits of the dead wandering around—isn’t it likely that when I wake up and smell the terrible odors, and hear the awful shrieks of the dead that could drive people crazy, that I myself will go insane and begin to play with my ancestors’ bones and pull Tybalt’s mangled corpse from its death shroud? In raging insanity, will I take some bone of one of my ancestors and bash out my brains? Oh, look! I think I see my cousin Tybalt’s ghost looking for Romeo, who killed him. Wait, Tybalt, wait! Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s a drink. I drink to you.

 

She drinks and falls down on the bed, hidden by the bed curtains

JULIET drinks from the vial and falls down on her bed, hidden by her bed curtains.  

 

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