In Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare's tragic plays, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall in love, despite the fact that their families are bitter enemies. Undeterred by this obstacle, the two begin a passionate romance that is interrupted by their feuding relatives. The lovers' final attempt to be together results in the death of them both, leaving their families, and the reader, to contemplate the power of love and question the meaning of violence.
The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (first published 1597) is a play by William Shakespeare concerning the fate of two young star-crossed lovers. Perhaps the most famous of his plays, it is one of his earliest theatrical triumphs and is considered the archetypal love story of the Renaissance.
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows,
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Sampson : Fear me not. Gregory : No, marry; I fear thee!
Abraham : Do you bite your thumb at us, sir? Sampson (to Gregory) : Is the law of our side if I say ay? Gregory : No. Sampson : No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you sir; but I bite my thumb, sir. Gregory : Do you quarrel, sir? Abraham : Quarrel, sir? No, sir. Sampson : If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you. Abraham : No better. Sampson : Well, sir. Gregory : (to Sampson) Say 'better'; here comes one of my master's kinsmen. Sampson : Yes, better, sir. Abraham : You lie. Sampson : Draw, if you be men! Gregory, remember thy swashing blow. (They fight)
(Tybalt enters) Tybalt : What, art thou drawn among these hartless hinds?Turn thee, Benvolio; look upon thy death.
Benvolio : I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,Or manage it to part these men with me.
Tybalt : What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward!
Will they not hear?— What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins!
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved Prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets,
And made Verona's ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate.
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time, all the rest depart away.
You, Capulet, shall go along with me—
And Montague, come you this afternoon—
To know our further pleasure in this case,
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.
Benvolio : In love? Romeo : Out- Benvolio : Of love? Romeo : Out of her favour, where I am in love.
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Mercutio: If love be rough with you, be rough with love;Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
Romeo : Well, what was yours? Mercutio : That dreamers often lie.
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep.
Mercutio : True, I talk of dreams,Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.
Benvolio : This wind you talk of blows us from ourselves;Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
Till she had laid it and conjured it down;
That were some spite: my invocation
Is fair and honest, and in his mistress' name
I conjure only to raise up him.
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose,By any other name would smell as sweet ;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title:— Romeo, doff thy name;
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
Romeo: The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine. Juliet: I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:And yet I would it were to give again.
Romeo: Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love? Juliet: But to be frank, and give it thee again.And yet I wish but for the thing I have;
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
Nor aught so good but, strain'd from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on the abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine;
And all combin'd, save what thou must combine
By holy marriage: when, and where, and how
We met, we woo'd, and made exchange of vow,
I'll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray,
That thou consent to marry us to-day.
So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
Mercutio : Thou art like one of those fellows that when heenters the confines of a tavern claps me his sword
upon the table and says 'God send me no need of
thee!' and by the operation of the second cup draws
it on the drawer, when indeed there is no need.
Benvolio : Am I like such a fellow? Mercutio : Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood asany in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as
soon moody to be moved.
Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?
Tybalt : What wouldst thou have with me? Mercutio : Good king of cats, nothing but one of your ninelives; that I mean to make bold withal, and as you
shall use me hereafter, drybeat the rest of the
eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pitcher
by the ears? make haste, lest mine be about your
ears ere it be out.
Is he gone, and hath nothing?
church-door; but 'tis enough,'twill serve: ask forme to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I
am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o'
both your houses!
Mercutio : Help me into some house, Benvolio,Or I shall faint.— A plague o' both your houses!
They have made worm's meat of me.
I have it, and soundly too:— A plague o' both your houses!
Stand not amaz'd:— the Prince will doom thee death,
If thou are taken:— hence! — be gone! — away!
Romeo : O, I am fortune's fool! Benvolio : Why dost thou stay?
Prince : Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio;Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?
Montague : Not Romeo, Prince, he was Mercutio's friend;His fault concludes but what the law should end,
The life of Tybalt.
Prince : And for that offenceImmediately we do exile him hence:
I have an interest in your hate's proceeding,
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding;
But I'll amerce you with so strong a fine
That you shall all repent the loss of mine:
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;
Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses:
Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste, Else, when he's found, that hour is his last. Bear hence this body and attend our will:
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of Heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
All foresworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.
Believe me love, it was the nightingale.
If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help,
Do thou but call my resolution wise,
And with this knife I'll help it presently.
God join'd my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands;
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal'd,
Shall be the label to another deed,
Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
Turn to another, this shall slay them both:
Therefore, out of thy long-experienc'd time,
Give me some present counsel; or behold,
'Twixt my extremes and me, this bloody knife
Shall play the umpire; arbitrating that
Which the commission of thy years and art
Could to no issue of true honour bring.
Be not so long to speak; I long to die,
If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy.
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble—
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.
That ever, ever I did yet behold!
O day, O day, O day! O hateful day!
Never was seen so black a day as this.
O woeful day! O woeful day!
Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in the dark to be his paramour?
This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die.
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!
And I, for winking at your discords too,
Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punish'd.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.