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Romeo and Juliet
Act 2, scene 3

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The prologue of Romeo and Juliet calls the title characters “star-crossed lovers”—and the stars do seem to conspire against these young lovers….

Prologue

Act 1, scene 1

A street fight breaks out between the Montagues and the Capulets, which is broken up by the ruler of Verona,…

Act 1, scene 2

In conversation with Capulet, Count Paris declares his wish to marry Juliet. Capulet invites him to a party that night….

Act 1, scene 3

Lady Capulet informs Juliet of Paris’s marriage proposal and praises him extravagantly. Juliet says that she has not even dreamed…

Act 1, scene 4

Romeo and Benvolio approach the Capulets’ party with their friend Mercutio and others, wearing the disguises customarily donned by “maskers.”…

Act 1, scene 5

Capulet welcomes the disguised Romeo and his friends. Romeo, watching the dance, is caught by the beauty of Juliet. Overhearing…

Act 2, chorus

Again the Chorus’s speech is in the form of a sonnet.

Act 2, scene 1

Romeo finds himself so in love with Juliet that he cannot leave her. He scales a wall and enters Capulet’s…

Act 2, scene 2

From Capulet’s garden Romeo overhears Juliet express her love for him. When he answers her, they acknowledge their love and…

Act 2, scene 3

Determined to marry Juliet, Romeo hurries to Friar Lawrence. The Friar agrees to marry them, expressing the hope that the…

Act 2, scene 4

Mercutio and Benvolio meet the newly enthusiastic Romeo in the street. Romeo defeats Mercutio in a battle of wits. The…

Act 2, scene 5

Juliet waits impatiently for the Nurse to return. Her impatience grows when the Nurse, having returned, is slow to deliver…

Act 2, scene 6

Juliet meets Romeo at Friar Lawrence’s cell. After expressing their mutual love, they exit with the Friar to be married.

Act 3, scene 1

Mercutio and Benvolio encounter Tybalt on the street. As soon as Romeo arrives, Tybalt tries to provoke him to fight….

Act 3, scene 2

Juliet longs for Romeo to come to her. The Nurse arrives with the news that Romeo has killed Tybalt and…

Act 3, scene 3

Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that his punishment for killing Tybalt is banishment, not death. Romeo responds that death is preferable…

Act 3, scene 4

Paris again approaches Capulet about marrying Juliet. Capulet, saying that Juliet will do as she is told, promises Paris that…

Act 3, scene 5

Romeo and Juliet separate at the first light of day. Almost immediately her mother comes to announce that Juliet must…

Act 4, scene 1

Paris is talking with Friar Lawrence about the coming wedding when Juliet arrives. After Paris leaves, she threatens suicide if…

Act 4, scene 2

Capulet energetically directs preparations for the wedding. When Juliet returns from Friar Lawrence and pretends to have learned obedience, Capulet…

Act 4, scene 3

Juliet sends the Nurse away for the night. After facing her terror at the prospect of awaking in her family’s…

Act 4, scene 4

The Capulets and the Nurse stay up all night to get ready for the wedding. Capulet, hearing Paris approach with…

Act 4, scene 5

The Nurse finds Juliet in the deathlike trance caused by the Friar’s potion and announces Juliet’s death. Juliet’s parents and…

Act 5, scene 1

Romeo’s man, Balthasar, arrives in Mantua with news of Juliet’s death. Romeo sends him to hire horses for their immediate…

Act 5, scene 2

Friar John enters, bringing with him the letter that he was to have delivered to Romeo. He tells why he…

Act 5, scene 3

Paris visits Juliet’s tomb and, when Romeo arrives, challenges him. Romeo and Paris fight and Paris is killed. Romeo, in…

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Scene 3
Enter Friar Lawrence alone with a basket.

FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
 Check’ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
 And fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels
 From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.
5 Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
 The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,

85
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 2. SC. 3

 I must upfill this osier cage of ours
 With baleful weeds and precious-juicèd flowers.
 The Earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
10 What is her burying grave, that is her womb;
 And from her womb children of divers kind
 We sucking on her natural bosom find,
 Many for many virtues excellent,
 None but for some, and yet all different.
15 O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
 In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities.
 For naught so vile that on the Earth doth live
 But to the Earth some special good doth give;
 Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use,
20 Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
 Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
 And vice sometime by action dignified.

Enter Romeo.

 Within the infant rind of this weak flower
 Poison hath residence and medicine power:
25 For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each
 part;
 Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.
 Two such opposèd kings encamp them still
 In man as well as herbs—grace and rude will;
30 And where the worser is predominant,
 Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
ROMEO 
 Good morrow, father.
FRIAR LAWRENCE  Benedicite.
 What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?
35 Young son, it argues a distempered head
 So soon to bid “Good morrow” to thy bed.
 Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,
 And, where care lodges, sleep will never lie;
 But where unbruisèd youth with unstuffed brain

87
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 2. SC. 3

40 Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth
 reign.
 Therefore thy earliness doth me assure
 Thou art uproused with some distemp’rature,
 Or, if not so, then here I hit it right:
45 Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.
ROMEO 
 That last is true. The sweeter rest was mine.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?
ROMEO 
 With Rosaline, my ghostly father? No.
 I have forgot that name and that name’s woe.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
50 That’s my good son. But where hast thou been
 then?
ROMEO 
 I’ll tell thee ere thou ask it me again.
 I have been feasting with mine enemy,
 Where on a sudden one hath wounded me
55 That’s by me wounded. Both our remedies
 Within thy help and holy physic lies.
 I bear no hatred, blessèd man, for, lo,
 My intercession likewise steads my foe.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift.
60 Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.
ROMEO 
 Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set
 On the fair daughter of rich Capulet.
 As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine,
 And all combined, save what thou must combine
65 By holy marriage. When and where and how
 We met, we wooed, and made exchange of vow
 I’ll tell thee as we pass, but this I pray,
 That thou consent to marry us today.

89
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 2. SC. 3

FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
70 Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear,
 So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies
 Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
 Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
 Hath washed thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!
75 How much salt water thrown away in waste
 To season love, that of it doth not taste!
 The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,
 Thy old groans yet ringing in mine ancient ears.
 Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit
80 Of an old tear that is not washed off yet.
 If e’er thou wast thyself, and these woes thine,
 Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline.
 And art thou changed? Pronounce this sentence
 then:
85 Women may fall when there’s no strength in men.
ROMEO 
 Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.
ROMEO 
 And bad’st me bury love.
FRIAR LAWRENCE  Not in a grave
90 To lay one in, another out to have.
ROMEO 
 I pray thee, chide me not. Her I love now
 Doth grace for grace and love for love allow.
 The other did not so.
FRIAR LAWRENCE  O, she knew well
95 Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell.
 But come, young waverer, come, go with me.
 In one respect I’ll thy assistant be,
 For this alliance may so happy prove
 To turn your households’ rancor to pure love.

91
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 2. SC. 4

ROMEO 
100 O, let us hence. I stand on sudden haste.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.
They exit.