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Romeo and Juliet
Act 4, scene 1

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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 1
Enter Friar Lawrence and County Paris.

FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.
PARIS 
 My father Capulet will have it so,
 And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 You say you do not know the lady’s mind?
5 Uneven is the course. I like it not.
PARIS 
 Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt’s death,
 And therefore have I little talk of love,
 For Venus smiles not in a house of tears.
 Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous
10 That she do give her sorrow so much sway,
 And in his wisdom hastes our marriage
 To stop the inundation of her tears,
 Which, too much minded by herself alone,
 May be put from her by society.
15 Now do you know the reason of this haste.
FRIAR LAWRENCE, aside 
 I would I knew not why it should be slowed.—
 Look, sir, here comes the lady toward my cell.

Enter Juliet.

177

179
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 4. SC. 1

PARIS 
 Happily met, my lady and my wife.
JULIET 
 That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.
PARIS 
20 That “may be” must be, love, on Thursday next.
JULIET 
 What must be shall be.
FRIAR LAWRENCE  That’s a certain text.
PARIS 
 Come you to make confession to this father?
JULIET 
 To answer that, I should confess to you.
PARIS 
25 Do not deny to him that you love me.
JULIET 
 I will confess to you that I love him.
PARIS 
 So will you, I am sure, that you love me.
JULIET 
 If I do so, it will be of more price
 Being spoke behind your back than to your face.
PARIS 
30 Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.
JULIET 
 The tears have got small victory by that,
 For it was bad enough before their spite.
PARIS 
 Thou wrong’st it more than tears with that report.
JULIET 
 That is no slander, sir, which is a truth,
35 And what I spake, I spake it to my face.
PARIS 
 Thy face is mine, and thou hast slandered it.
JULIET 
 It may be so, for it is not mine own.—

181
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Are you at leisure, holy father, now,
 Or shall I come to you at evening Mass?
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
40 My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now.—
 My lord, we must entreat the time alone.
PARIS 
 God shield I should disturb devotion!—
 Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse you.
 Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss.He exits.
JULIET 
45 O, shut the door, and when thou hast done so,
 Come weep with me, past hope, past care, past help.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 O Juliet, I already know thy grief.
 It strains me past the compass of my wits.
 I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
50 On Thursday next be married to this County.
JULIET 
 Tell me not, friar, that thou hearest of this,
 Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it.
 If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help,
 Do thou but call my resolution wise,
55 And with this knife I’ll help it presently.
She shows him her knife.
 God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands;
 And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo’s sealed,
 Shall be the label to another deed,
 Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
60 Turn to another, this shall slay them both.
 Therefore out of thy long-experienced time
 Give me some present counsel, or, behold,
 ’Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
 Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that
65 Which the commission of thy years and art
 Could to no issue of true honor bring.
 Be not so long to speak. I long to die
 If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.

183
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 4. SC. 1

FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 Hold, daughter, I do spy a kind of hope,
70 Which craves as desperate an execution
 As that is desperate which we would prevent.
 If, rather than to marry County Paris,
 Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself,
 Then is it likely thou wilt undertake
75 A thing like death to chide away this shame,
 That cop’st with death himself to ’scape from it;
 And if thou darest, I’ll give thee remedy.
JULIET 
 O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,
 From off the battlements of any tower,
80 Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk
 Where serpents are. Chain me with roaring bears,
 Or hide me nightly in a charnel house,
 O’ercovered quite with dead men’s rattling bones,
 With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls.
85 Or bid me go into a new-made grave
 And hide me with a dead man in his shroud
 (Things that to hear them told have made me
 tremble),
 And I will do it without fear or doubt,
90 To live an unstained wife to my sweet love.
FRIAR LAWRENCE 
 Hold, then. Go home; be merry; give consent
 To marry Paris. Wednesday is tomorrow.
 Tomorrow night look that thou lie alone;
 Let not the Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber.
Holding out a vial.
95 Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
 And this distilling liquor drink thou off;
 When presently through all thy veins shall run
 A cold and drowsy humor; for no pulse
 Shall keep his native progress, but surcease.
100 No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest.

185
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 4. SC. 1

 The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
 To paly ashes, thy eyes’ windows fall
 Like death when he shuts up the day of life.
 Each part, deprived of supple government,
105 Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death,
 And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death
 Thou shalt continue two and forty hours
 And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
 Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes
110 To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead.
 Then, as the manner of our country is,
 In thy best robes uncovered on the bier
 Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault
 Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie.
115 In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,
 Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,
 And hither shall he come, and he and I
 Will watch thy waking, and that very night
 Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
120 And this shall free thee from this present shame,
 If no inconstant toy nor womanish fear
 Abate thy valor in the acting it.
JULIET 
 Give me, give me! O, tell not me of fear!
FRIAR LAWRENCE, giving Juliet the vial 
 Hold, get you gone. Be strong and prosperous
125 In this resolve. I’ll send a friar with speed
 To Mantua with my letters to thy lord.
JULIET 
 Love give me strength, and strength shall help
 afford.
 Farewell, dear father.
They exit in different directions.