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Romeo and Juliet
Act 2, scene 5

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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 5
Enter Juliet.

JULIET 
 The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse.
 In half an hour she promised to return.
 Perchance she cannot meet him. That’s not so.
 O, she is lame! Love’s heralds should be thoughts,
5 Which ten times faster glides than the sun’s beams,

105
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 2. SC. 5

 Driving back shadows over louring hills.
 Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw Love,
 And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
 Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
10 Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve
 Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
 Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
 She would be as swift in motion as a ball;
 My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
15 And his to me.
 But old folks, many feign as they were dead,
 Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.

Enter Nurse and Peter.

 O God, she comes!—O, honey nurse, what news?
 Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.
NURSE 20Peter, stay at the gate.Peter exits.
JULIET 
 Now, good sweet nurse—O Lord, why lookest thou
 sad?
 Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily.
 If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news
25 By playing it to me with so sour a face.
NURSE 
 I am aweary. Give me leave awhile.
 Fie, how my bones ache! What a jaunt have I!
JULIET 
 I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news.
 Nay, come, I pray thee, speak. Good, good nurse,
30 speak.
NURSE 
 Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay awhile?
 Do you not see that I am out of breath?
JULIET 
 How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath
 To say to me that thou art out of breath?
35 The excuse that thou dost make in this delay

107
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 2. SC. 5

 Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
 Is thy news good or bad? Answer to that.
 Say either, and I’ll stay the circumstance.
 Let me be satisfied; is ’t good or bad?
NURSE 40Well, you have made a simple choice. You know
 not how to choose a man. Romeo? No, not he.
 Though his face be better than any man’s, yet his leg
 excels all men’s, and for a hand and a foot and a
 body, though they be not to be talked on, yet they
45 are past compare. He is not the flower of courtesy,
 but I’ll warrant him as gentle as a lamb. Go thy
 ways, wench. Serve God. What, have you dined at
 home?
JULIET 
 No, no. But all this did I know before.
50 What says he of our marriage? What of that?
NURSE 
 Lord, how my head aches! What a head have I!
 It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces.
 My back o’ t’ other side! Ah, my back, my back!
 Beshrew your heart for sending me about
55 To catch my death with jaunting up and down.
JULIET 
 I’ faith, I am sorry that thou art not well.
 Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says my
 love?
NURSE Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a
60 courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I
 warrant, a virtuous—Where is your mother?
JULIET 
 Where is my mother? Why, she is within.
 Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest:
 “Your love says, like an honest gentleman,
65 Where is your mother?”
NURSE  O God’s lady dear,
 Are you so hot? Marry, come up, I trow.

109
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 2. SC. 6

 Is this the poultice for my aching bones?
 Henceforward do your messages yourself.
JULIET 
70 Here’s such a coil. Come, what says Romeo?
NURSE 
 Have you got leave to go to shrift today?
JULIET I have.
NURSE 
 Then hie you hence to Friar Lawrence’ cell.
 There stays a husband to make you a wife.
75 Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks;
 They’ll be in scarlet straight at any news.
 Hie you to church. I must another way,
 To fetch a ladder by the which your love
 Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
80 I am the drudge and toil in your delight,
 But you shall bear the burden soon at night.
 Go. I’ll to dinner. Hie you to the cell.
JULIET 
 Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse, farewell.
They exit.