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Romeo and Juliet
Act 4, 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 Juliet and Nurse.

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,
5 Which, well thou knowest, is cross and full of sin.

Enter Lady Capulet.

LADY CAPULET 
 What, are you busy, ho? Need you my help?
JULIET 
 No, madam, we have culled such necessaries
 As are behooveful for our state tomorrow.
 So please you, let me now be left alone,
10 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.
LADY CAPULET  Good night.
 Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need.
Lady Capulet and the Nurse exit.
JULIET 
15 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?
20 My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
 Come, vial.She takes out the vial.
 What if this mixture do not work at all?
 Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
She takes out her knife
and puts it down beside her.

 No, no, this shall forbid it. Lie thou there.
25 What if it be a poison which the Friar

193
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 4. SC. 3

 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,
30 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,
35 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—
40 As in a vault, an ancient receptacle
 Where for this many hundred years the bones
 Of all my buried ancestors are packed;
 Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
 Lies fest’ring in his shroud; where, as they say,
45 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—
50 O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
 Environèd with all these hideous fears,
 And madly play with my forefathers’ joints,
 And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud,
 And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,
55 As with a club, dash out my desp’rate brains?
 O 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
60 thee.She drinks and falls upon her bed
within the curtains.