If you've just happened on this blog, please note that it's presently being put together. I'm busy researching and writing at the moment and will add scenes as I complete them. This blog is not being advertised at present because I want to finish at least three plays before I do so. You can understand that I need to work on setting up the blog first before it's released into the public domain. 'THE TEMPEST' and 'ROMEO AND JULIET' are now finished. I'm writing the next play.
Thanks for your patience.

Romeo and Juliet

                                                                      image source


Escalus - Prince of Verona
Mercutio - relative of the Prince and friend of Romeo
Paris - young count, relative of the Prince and Mercutio and Juliet's suitor
Montague - head of the Veronese family at war with the Capulets.
Lady Montague
Romeo - son of the Montagues
Benvolio - nephew of Montague and friend of Romeo and Mercutio
Abram - servant of Montague
Balthasar - servant of Montague attending Romeo

Capulet - head of the Veronese family at war with the Montagues
Lady Capulet
Juliet - daughter of Capulet
Tybalt - nephew of Lady Capulet
Cousin Capulet - an elderly Capulet family member
Juliet's nurse
Peter - Capulet's servant attending the nurse
Sampson, Gregory, Clown, serving men - Capulet's household servants

Frair Laurence 
Frair John
An apothecary 
Fiddler and Musicians
Members of the watch
Citizens of Verona
Maskers, torch bearers, pages and servants

The Prologue

Enter Chorus
This story is set in the beautiful city of Verona.
Two wealthy and aristocratic households continuously fight over 
An ancient grudge held between them for generations. This grudge is so deep, it causes citizens to fight and kill their fellow citizens while taking sides. 
From these two sworn enemies, arise an unlucky pair of children who fall in love with each other and eventually take their own lives. 
Their death cause their parents to stop fighting. 
For the next two hours we will show you the unfortunate journey of this cursed love and how, only their children's death could stop their parents from warring against each other. 
Be patient and listen. Whatever we haven't told you here, will all be revealed shortly.


Act 1
Act 11
Act 111
Act IV
Act V

Romeo and Juliet - other useful links

Romeo and Juliet - Wikipedia

The original Romeo and Juliet text (and study)

BBC - 60 second Romeo and Juliet (by students)

Romeo and Juliet - Students' Study Guide

Romeo and Juliet - Teachers' Guide

Romeo and Juliet 1968 video

Romeo and Juliet - Act 1

Enter Sampson and Gregory (Capulet's servants) carrying some swords and shields.

Sampson. Gregory, I swear, we shouldn't be carrying all their rubbish and stuff, you know.

Gregory. You're right. Because then we'd be rubbish men.

Sampson. I mean, if they start treating us like trash, we'll fight back, right?

Gregory. Yes. Then you'll have to fight to get yourself out of a good hanging.
Sampson. I'm fast and nasty when I get angry, you know.

Gregory. Yeah. But it takes a lot of pushing to get you angry.

Sampson. Even so. I'll tell you what really gets me going - those dogs from Montague house.

Gregory. Get going by running away, you mean. Bravery is to stand and fight, man. When you get going, you run away.

Sampson. Any jerk from that house will get me angry enough to stand and fight. I don't care for any of them. I'd let anyone of them walk in the gutter, man or woman.

Gregory. That means you're the weak one. Weak people take the best for themselves.

Sampson. I suppose you're right. Okay then, I'll let the men walk in the gutters, but not the women. Women are weak already, so I'll push them against the wall instead.

Gregory. The quarrel is between our masters. We're just men who work for them.

Sampson. No matter. We're all the same. Listen to this. Once I've beaten up the men, I'll be nice to their women - I'll take off their heads!

Gregory. What? The women's heads?

Sampson. Yeah. Their heads or their maidenheads. Whatever. Take it any way you feel like.

Gregory.  The women whose maiden heads you take will have to 'feel' it. Not me.

Sampson. They'll feel it, alright. Everyone knows I'm a nice piece of flesh.

Gregory. Then it's a good thing you're not fish. Cos if you were, you'd be dried fish. Here come some Montague guys. Draw your tool.

Enter Abram and another Montague servant

Sampson. I've got my naked weapon out. Go on and fight. I've got your back.
Gregory. How? by turning your back and running?

Sampson. Course not! Don't worry about me.

Gregory. No. I worry about you. That's exactly the point.

Sampson. Okay. Okay. Let's not break the law. Let them start first.
Gregory. I'll make a face at them as I pass by. Let them react to that and we'll go from there.

Sampson. Or how about if I insult them by biting my thumb at them. They won't be able to bear that disgrace, eh?
(Sampson bites his thumb at the men)

Abram. Did you just bite your thumb at us?

Sampson. Well, I'm here biting.

Abram. You biting at us?

Sampson. (aside to Gregory) Would the law be on our side if I say yes?

Gregory. No.

Samspon. (To Abram) No. Not biting at you. I'm just here chilling - biting my thumb.

Gregory. (To Abram) What? You trying to start a fight?

Abram? Fight? Who me? No way, man.

Sampson. Well if you do, I'm all up for it. The man I work for is as good as the man you work for.

Abram. My employer is better.

Sampson. Well...

Enter Benvolio

Gregory. (Aside to Sampson) Say our guy is better. Here comes my boss's nephew.

Sampson (To Abram). No. Ours is better.

Abram. Liar!

Sampson. Draw your sword if you call yourself a man. Gregory, remember your strike.

They fight

Benvolio. Stop it, you idiots! Put your swords away. What on earth are you doing!

Enter Tybalt, Lady Capulet's nephew

Tybalt. Guys, you've pulled your swords to fight with these worthless people? Turn around Benvolio. Look at the man who's going to kill you.

Benvolio. I'm only trying to keep the peace. Put your sword away or at least use it to help me part this fight.

Tybalt. What? You draw your sword and then talk about peace? I hate the word peace just like I hate hell and all the Montagues and you. Shut up and have a go if you think you're hard enough. Coward!

They fight

Enter 3 or 4 other people with clubs and spears

People. Use your clubs and spears to fight them. Beat them all down. Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!

Enter old Capulet, wearing a gown, together with his wife

Capulet. What's all this commotion. Quick! Give me my long sword.
Lady Capulet. You should ask for a crutch, not a sword.

Enter old Montague and his wife

Capulet. No. I want my sword. Look, Old Montague is here and he's got his sword.

Montague. Capulet, you moron. (His wife holds him back) Let me go. Don't hold me back.

Lady Montague. No way. I won't let you fight.

Enter Prince Escalus  with others

Prince. What's wrong with you people! You enemies of peace. Why won't you listen to me? You draw your sword against your own neighbours. You there! You're like animals; quenching your anger with fountains of blood. I'm so angry with you, I'll send you to be tortured if you don't drop those weapons of yours right now.

You, Capulet and Montague have caused three brawls from teasing each other. Three times you've disturbed the peace of our streets. You've made even the elderly people of Verona have to take off their dress-clothes to jump in and part your fights. If you ever disturb our streets again, you'll pay for it with your lives. All you others, go away now. There's nothing to see here. You, Capulet, you're coming with me. Montague, you're coming by this afternoon to hear my judgement on the matter. Again. All you others, go away before I put you to death. 
                                      Exit all except Montague, his wife and Benvolio

Montague. Who started up this old fight. Tell me nephew, were you here when it started?

Benvolio. By the time I arrived, yours and Capulet's servants were already at it. I jumped in to part the fight, but at the same time, that tearaway, Tybalt came up with his sword already drawn.  He started to taunt me and wave his stupid sword about the place. I got upset so I teased him back. While this was going on more and more people came in and joined the fight on either side. It was then that the prince came and parted the whole thing.

Lady Montague. I wonder where Romeo is. Have you seen him today? I'm so glad he wasn't involved in all this.

Benvolio. Madam, I woke up very early this morning, way before the sun had risen. I went for a walk because I've got lots on my mind. I went round by the sycamore grove over on the west side of the city. When I got there I saw your son but before I could go over to speak to him, he saw me and hid in the woods. You know, I thought he was feeling exactly like I was, so I left him alone. I know that when you're feeling this way, the last thing you want is company. I was happy enough to leave him on his own. 

Montague. He's been seen over there a lot these days. Many times he's crying and walking around with a grey, sad face in the gloom. As soon as the sun comes up, he comes back home and locks himself up in his room. He shuts his curtains to keep the daylight out so he could be in his room with only a lamp light. We'd better get help for him soon, from someone good.

Benvolio. Uncle, do you know what's wrong with him?

Montague. No. And I've asked him, but he won't say.

Benvolio. Have you pressed him to find out? 

Montague. Oh yes. I've asked him and so have lots of our friends. But he keeps his secret close to himself. He won't tell anyone anything. He's like a bud which is being eaten from inside out by a vicious worm. He can't show his beauty to anyone or open up to the outside world. If only we could know what's bothering him, we would do anything to make it better.

Enter Romeo

Benvolio. Look, here he comes. Please go and I'll pester him to find out what's wrong.

Montague. Good luck with that.  (To his wife) Come, dear, let's go.

Benvolio. Good morning, cousin.

Romeo. Is it still morning?

Benvolio. It's only just nine o'clock.

Romeo. Hmmm. How time stands still when you're sad. Was that my father who just left in a hurry?

Benvolio. Yes. So, what's this sadness that makes time stand still?

Romeo. I don't have the thing that makes time fly.

Benvolio. In love?

Romeo. More like 'out.'

Benvolio. Of love?

Romeo. It's just that she doesn't love me back.

Benvolio. I see. That's love, all right. It's supposed to be kind but it can hurt like hell. 

Romeo. Yes. That's love. It's supposed to be blind, yet it can clearly see where it wants you to go and what it wants to do. Where shall we eat? Oh, dear! Was there a fight here? (seeing the blood) No, wait. Don't tell me. I've heard it all before. This fight has got to do with hatred, but more so with love. O brawling love, O loving hate. Oh anything out of nothing. O heavy lightness, serious vanity. Orderly chaos, feather of lead, bright haziness, cold fire, sick health. Waking sleep, Nothing is what it should be. This love I feel, no love is like this. Are you laughing at me?

Benvolio. Either that, or I would cry.

Romeo. Whatever for?

Benvolio. Because of your sadness.

Romeo. Why is love like this. My own sorrow lies heavy in my chest. Don't make me feel sorry for you now, or I'll feel even worse. You care about my worries, so that makes me even sadder now. Love is a smoke made with fumes of sighs. When all is clear, it's a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes. When it's angry, it's a sea nourished by lovers' tears. What is love, but a hidden madness, a choking bitterness and a preserving sweet. Bye, cousin.

Benvolio. Don't worry. I'll come with you. We can't leave each other on their own in this state, now you've made me sad as well.

Romeo. I've already left myself. I'm not here. This is not Romeo. He's off somewhere else.

Benvolio. Stop that now. But seriously, cousin, tell me who she is.

Romeo. What? Should I groan and tell you?

Benvolio. Groan? No. Seriously tell me who she is.

Romeo. You wouldn't tell a sick man to seriously make his will, would you? It's just not something you do. Well, seriously, cousin, I love a woman.

Benvolio. Well I guessed as much.

Romeo. Well, you would be right. I tell you, she's so beautiful.

Benvolio. Beautiful girls are the first ones to be taken.

Romeo. Well, you're wrong there. This one refuses to have anyone. She's smart and strong-willed and chaste. She won't be bothered by love and all that weak stuff. She won't listen to anything you say about love, she won't let you look at her lovingly and she won't even receive gifts of gold. She's rich in beauty, but poor in reality because when she dies, all that beauty will die with her.

Benvolio. So she's taken a chastity vow?

Romeo. Yes. She's wasting all that beauty being chaste. Starving herself of a loving marriage is only preventing future generations from inheriting all that beauty. She's too pretty and too wise to get that satisfaction out of making me sad. She's vowed not to fall in love and that vow means that while I'm still alive, I'm dead. 

Benvolio. If I had a say in it, I would advise you to forget her.

Romeo. How?

Benvolio. Well, there's other fish in the see. Allow yourself to look at other girls. 

Romeo. Seeing beautiful girls will only remind me of her exquisite beauty. It's like when beautiful girls wear black masks over their faces. It only makes you wonder what's under it. A blind man never forgets how precious his eyesight was. When I see other pretty girls, it only serves as an arrow to point me in her direction. Bye. You can't really help me forget her.

Benvolio. Oh, please let me help you. I will, or I'll die trying.


S C E N E 1 1

Enter: Capulet, Count Paris and Peter, a servant

Capulet. (Carrying on a conversation) But Montague took the same oath I did. He's got the same responsibility as me. I mean, we're old men, right. It shouldn't be hard for us to keep the peace. 

Paris. I know you're both respected men. It's a shame you've been enemies for so long. However, the important thing here is, what's your answer to my question. 

Capulet. Like I said, at 14, my daughter is still very young. Let's wait at least 2 more years before we start talking about marrying her off.

Paris. Younger girls than her have married and have made very good mothers.

Capulet. Yes, but then they have to grow up way too soon. I mean, it's up to her, really. I give my permission for you to talk to her, but in the end the decision has to be hers. If you manage to make her love you I'll agree to give you her hand in marriage. Tell you what, tonight I'm having my annual party. I've got lots of close friends coming. I'd be happy to add you to my invited guest list. You'll be mingling with the stars at my house tonight. You'll be exposed to some of the very best-looking young women around. My daughter being just one of them. I know you young men love that sort of thing, so I want you to take a good look around at all the ladies who'll be here. You might find that my daughter is not one of the best ones for you after all. What do you say?
(To the servant Peter, giving him a piece of paper) Come here young man. Go around Verona. Find the people on this list and tell them they're welcome at my house tonight.

                                                                              Exit Capulet and Paris

Peter. Yeah, right! 'Find the people whose names are written here.' Shoemakers and tailors may be able to work with each other's tools. A fisherman may be able to paint, and an artist might be able to fish. But come on! Me being able to find the people on this list? Ha! I can't even read. There's no way I'll be able to find them without a bit of help. Oh yes! Here comes some people, right in the nick of time.

Enter Benvolio and Romeo

Benvolio. (To Romeo) Tell you what, you can put out a fire by starting another one on top of it. A brand new pain will make the old one hurt less. If you're dizzy, you can turn the opposite way to cure your dizziness. A new grief will cure your old one. Fall for another girl and you'll soon be rid of your love-sickness.

Romeo. I heard the plantain leaf is a good cure for stuff like that.

Benvolio. Stuff like what?

Romeo. For when you cut your shin.

Benvolio. Have you gone mad?

Romeo. No. But I'm tied up in a straight jacket. Locked away in prison and kept without any food. I'm well and truly whipped. (To Peter) 'Evening.

Peter. Good evening. Sorry to bother you, but can you read?

Romeo. Yes. I can read misery in my future.

Peter. Maybe you've learned to read without books. But tell me, can you read things you see on paper?

Romeo. Well, that depends...

Peter. Okay. Thanks for an honest answer. Have a nice day.

Romeo. Only kidding with you. Of course, I can read. (He reads the paper). Sir Martino and his wife and daughters. Count Anselme and his beautiful sisters. Vitruvio's widow. Sir Placentio and his lovely nieces. Mercutio and his brother Valentine. My uncle Capulet and his wife and daughters. My beautiful niece Rosaline and Livia. Sir Valentio and his cousin Tybalt. Lucio and the lively Helena. That's a nice group of people. Where are they all invited to?

Peter. Up

Romeo. Where? To supper?

Peter. To our house.

Romeo. Whose house?

Peter. My master's.

Romeo. I should've asked you before who he is.

Peter. The great and rich Capulet. And as long as you don't belong to the house of Montague, please come and have some wine. Have a good day.

Benvolio. This Rosaline you love so much will be there, along with all the other beautiful, admired women of Verona. You should go and compare her to all those other girls. You may find that she's not that beautiful after all.

Romeo. My eyes have often been drowned with tears, but they have never died. But believe me when I say, if they ever lie to me like that, making me falsely believe that the girl I love is the most beautiful in the world, I hope my tears turn into flames and burn them up completely. Even the sun has never seen such a beauty since the world has begun.

Benvolio. Come on, Romeo! the first time you saw her no one else was around. It was there and then you decided she was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Be objective here. Go to the supper and see these other women and you'll see that she's really not the best. 

Romeo. I'll go. Not because I believe I'll see someone more beautiful, but because I just want to see her.

They exit

S C E N E 111

Enter Lady Capulet and nurse

Lady Capulet. Nurse, where is my daughter? Could you get her for me?

Nurse. I swear to you, my Lady. I swear by the fact I've been celibate for 12 years. I did tell here to come. Where are you, Juliet? What are you doing?

Juliet. What do you want?

Nurse. Your mother wants you.

Juliet. Here I am, mum. What do you want?

Lady C. Listen to me. Nurse, leave us for a while. I have to speak to my daughter in private. Nurse, come back. I just remembered you know how young my daughter is. You can listen to this. 

Nurse. I know her age down to the very last hour.

Lady C. She's not fourteen yet. 

Nurse. I'd bet 14 of my own teeth on that! However, I only have 4. You're right she's not 14 yet. How long is it until August 1st?

Lady C. A little over 2 weeks.

Nurse. She'll be 14 on the last day of July. She and Susan, God rest her Christian soul, were born on the same day. Well, Susan died and is with God. She was too good for me. But like I said, on the last day of July, she'll be 14. Oh, yes. I remember that very well. It's been 11 years since the earthquake, the day she was weaned. 
I'll never forget it. I'd out wormwood on my breast that day and sat in the sun under the dovehouse wall. Master and you were in Mantua on holiday. I say, I've got such a good memory! But as I was saying, when she tasted that bitter wormwood on my nipple, she wasn't very pleased with my breast at all. 

When the earthquake started, that dovehouse started to shake. Boy! was I out of there in a hurry. That was all 11 years ago. By then she could stand up all on her own. She could run and toddle about. I remember because she had this cut on her forehead just the day before. My husband - God rests his soul, he was such a funny man - picked her up. He said, 'Did you fall on your face? You'll fall on your back when you come of age, won't you, Jule?' And I swear, this little girl stopped crying and said, yes. How about that? What was a joke has come true. I bet if I live to see a thousand years, I'll never forget it. 'Won't you, Jule?' he said. And pretty child, just stopped crying and said, yes.

Lady C. Enough, please be quiet.

Nurse. Yes, madam. But I can't help laughing. To think she would stop crying and say yes. I swear, she had a bump on her forehead as big as a rooster's testicles. It was an awful knock, and she cried bitterly. But as soon as my husband said, 'Yes, and you will lie on your back when you come of age. Won't you, Jule?' she brightened up and said, yes.

Juliet. Oh, stop it now, nurse. 

Nurse. Okay, okay. I'm done now. May God bless you. You weren't the prettiest baby that I'd ever nursed, but my wish will come true to see you married one day.

Lady C. Well, 'marriage' is exactly what we have to talk about. How do you feel about getting married, Juliet?

Juliet. Well, it's an honour that I do not dream of. 

Nurse. An honour! If I was your only nurse, I'd say you sucked wisdom out of my breast.

Lady C. Well, you should start thinking of marriage now. Younger girls than you here in Verona, honourable ladies, have already had children. If I'm right, I had you when I was about your age. I'll be frank about this, Paris wants you to marry him.

Nurse. What a man he is. He's the most perfect man in the world for you. He couldn't be more perfect if he was sculpted from wax.

Lady C. He's like the finest flower Verona has in summer time.

Nurse. No, he is the flower. 

Lady C. What do you say then? Can you love this gentleman? You'll see him tonight at our feast. Study his face and you'll see how handsome he is. Look at every bit of his features and see how they all come together perfectly to make him very handsome. If you've still not made up your mind, just look into his eyes. All he's missing now is a wife to make him complete. Just as it won't be right for the fish not to live in the sea, it's not right for a beautiful girl like you to hide from a handsome man like him. He's perfect and admired in many people's eyes and if you're with him, you'll be perfect and admired too. You will share in all that he owns, and you'll lose nothing of your own by having him.

Nurse. Lose? No, she'll gain. Women gain by having a man.

Lady C. Give me an answer. Could you love Paris?

Juliet. I'll look at him and give it a try. But I won't let myself fall for him unless you say I have to.

Enter Peter

Peter. Madam the guests are all here. Supper is served and they want you out there. People are also asking for Juliet. The nurse is being sworn at in the pantry and everything is getting completely out of hand. I've to go and serve the guests now. Please, please come out.

Lady C. Okay, we'll come. Juliet, the count is waiting for you.

Nurse. You go girl. Look for a man who'll give you happy nights at the end of happy days. 


S C E N E 1 V

Enter Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio with 5 or 6 others. They're dressed as masked party dancers and carrying torches.

Romeo. What excuse will we give for being there? Or should we just go in without saying anything?

Benvolio. Those days of long speeches are gone. We won't have a blindfolded  Cupid to scare off the ladies like some scarecrow. We don't need to memorise some pathetic little speech to introduce our act. We'll get in there, do our gig and leave. Let them judge it any way they want to. 

Romeo. Give me a torch. I'm not in the mood to dance. I'll just carry the light for you.

Mercutio. No, Romeo. Come on, you've got to dance.

Romeo. Nah, not me. You're wearing dancing shoes with proper flexible soles. Look at mine. They're made out of solid lead. They're so heavy I can't move around properly.

Mercutio. You're a lover, man. Pretend you're wearing Cupid's wings and fly high.

Romeo. Cupid? His arrow has pierced me so deep I can't fly, even with his feathers. I can't keep my head above dull sadness because I always feel so wounded. I'm sinking under the heavy burden of love.

Mercutio. You're blaming love for your misery. It's not fair to blame such a tender thing as love.

Romeo. Is love really tender? It's far too rough, rude, boisterous, and it pricks like a thorn.

Mercutio. If love is rough with you, you should be rough with it, man. If you prick love back when it pricks you, you'll soon beat it down. I need a mask for my face, and another mask for my mask. I don't care who sees my deformities. This mask with its bushy eyebrows will represent all my emotions tonight.

Benvolio. Come on! Let's knock and go in. As soon as we get in, let's all just start dancing. 

Romeo. I'll carry the torch. I'll let you happy guys dance and enjoy yourselves. There's a saying that you can't lose if you don't play to start with. It'll be fun, but not for me, I'm afraid. 

Mercutio. Come on! You're being a spoil sport. As serious as a police officer. Excuse me, but if you're going to be like that, we're going to have to get you to fall out of love soon. let's go. We're wasting daylight here.

Romeo.  No, we're not. It's night time.

Mercutio. What I meant was, we're wasting the light of our torches. It's just like wasting sunshine by day. You know what I meant. Stop being so literal.

Romeo. I know we all mean well for doing this, but it's not a very good idea.

Mercutio. Why not?

Romeo. I had a dream last night.

Mercutio. Well, so did I.

Romeo. What was your dream?

Mercutio. That dreamers often lie.

Romeo. That dreamers lie in bed and dream about things that will actually happen.

Mercutio. Aha! I see you've been with Queen Mab.

Benvolio. Who's Queen Mab?

Mercutio. She's the fairies' midwife. She's as big as the stone on a ring. She rides around, drawn in a wagon by a group of little atoms. She rides over men's noses as they sleep.  The spokes of her wagon are made of spider's legs. Her wagon's cover is made with wings of grasshoppers. The harness are tiny spiders' webs. The collars are made from moonbeams. Her whip's handle is a cricket's bone. Her wagon driver is a small grey-coated gnat, who isn't half the size of a round little worm sprung from the finger of a lazy young girl. Her chariot is an empty hazelnut shell. It was made by a carpenter's squirrel.

They've always made wagons for fairies, you know. Queen Mab gallops during the night, through lover's brains, causing them to dream of love. She rides over courtiers' knees and makes them dream of curtsying straight. Over lawyers' fingers and they dream of their fees. Over ladies' lips and they dream of kisses. Queen Mab puts blisters on their lips because their breath smells sweet. This drives her mad. Sometimes she gallops over a courtier's nose and he dreams of striking a good deal. And sometimes she tickles the parson's nose and he dreams of a huge donation. Sometimes she drives over a soldier's neck and he dreams of overpowering his enemies and of liqueur. Drums then beat in his ears and he wakes up with a start, gets scared, says his prayers and goes back to sleep. It's the same Mab who plaits the horses' manes at night. Queen Mab is the same hag who teaches virgins how to have sex and bear children. She...

Romeo. Will you stop now! You're talking rubbish.

Mercutio. True. I'm talking about dreams. They are the stuff of idle brains. They're nothing but empty fantasy which is nothing more than thin air. They're less predictable than the wind which blows from the cold north, then changes its mind and blows from the south.

Benvolio. That same wind is now blowing us away from our plans. Supper is over and we're going to be late. 

Romeo. I'm worried we'll get there early. I still feel this plan is a very bad idea and won't end in a good way. I think it could start the end of my miserable life. But whatever happens, I'll take it. Let's go, boys!

Benvolio. Beat the drum!

They march about the stage and exit.

S C E N E  V

Peter and other servants come forward with napkins 

Peter. Where's Potpan? Why isn't he helping us clear the table? He should be scraping the plates.

First servant. When only a couple of men have all the good manners, and even they are dirty, it's not a good thing.

Peter. Take the stools, the cupboards and the plates away. Please save me a piece of marzipan, will you. If you care anything about me, ask the porter to allow Susan Grindstone and Nell to come in. Here's Antony the Potpan!

Second servant. At your service!

Peter. They're all looking and calling and searching for you in the chamber room. 

First serviceman. We can't be in two places at the same time. Hang on for a bit. Let the last one to arrive take everything that's left.

                                                                  Exit Peter and servants

Enter Capulet with his cousin, Tybalt. Lady Capulet, Juliet and other members of their household. They meet Romeo, Benvolio, Mercutio and the other masked dancers.

Capulet. Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies who don't have corns on their feet will dance with you. Don't refuse to dance now, ladies. If you do, we'll know that you have corns. Does that sound right? Welcome, gentlemen! There used to be a time when I could easily charm a lady, even with my eyes blindfolded. That time is gone, gone, gone. You're welcome, gentlemen. Come on musicians! play! (music plays and people dance). Make room in the hall. Dance, girls! More light, servants! Fold the tables up and get them out of the way. Put out the fire. It's getting too hot in here. Ah, my Capulet cousin, all this looks really good, but you have to sit down. We're too old for this business. How long has it been since you and I wore masks and danced like this at a party?

Capulet's cousin. Thirty years.

Capulet. You're kidding! It can't be that many. We wore masks at Lucentio's wedding. That can't have been more than 25 years ago. 

Capulet's cousin. No, it's a lot more than that. Lucentio's son is now 30 year's old.

Capulet. Really! His son was a minor only two years ago?

Romeo. (To a servant) Who's that girl dancing with that knight over there?

Servant. I don't know, sir.

Romeo. She knows just how to show the torches to burn brightly. She's like a bright star on a dark night. Her beauty is far too precious for this world to bear. She stands out like a snowy dove flying around with a group of crows. I'll stay here and watch her, and when this dance is over, I'll touch her hand with mine. Did my heart ever love anyone before this minute? I've never seen true beauty until this night.

Tybalt. I can tell by his voice that he's a Montague. (To his page) Bring my sword, boy. How dare that peasant come here with his face covered to mock our celebration. For the sake of my family's honour, I don't consider it a sin to kill him.

Capulet. What's wrong, nephew. Why are you so upset?

Tybalt. Uncle, this man's a Montague, our enemy. He's making a fool of us, coming around here to make a mockery of our celebration.

Capulet. Is it Romeo?

Tybalt. Yes, it's that criminal, Romeo.

Capulet. Cool down, nephew. Just leave him be. He carries himself like a gentleman. To tell you the truth, people in Verona have always said how decent and well-behaved that young man is. I wouldn't for all the money in the world, cause him any trouble here in my house. Just be calm. Leave him alone. if you have any respect for my wishes, just be cool and keep the peace. Anger and trouble have no place at a party.

Tybalt. Oh yes it does, when your enemy is at your party. I won't have him here.

Capulet. You will have him here, because I said so. What's wrong with you, man? Are you the boss here or am I? How dare you say, You won't have him! I swear, if you start up a riot here among my guest, you'll answer for it. 

Tybalt. But uncle, he's disrespecting us.

Capulet. Go away! You've lost your mind. This kind of behaviour will put you in big trouble. You really want to contradict me, do you? 

Music stops playing (perhaps because Capulet has raised his voice).

(To guests) Great stuff, everyone. Keep having fun (To Tybalt) You're an idiot. Get out of my sight. Keep quiet or else. (To servants) More light, more light! (To Tybalt) You should be ashamed of yourself. I'll keep you quiet. 

Music plays again and the guests dance 

Tybalt. I'm so angry now, I'm shaking. I think I better leave right now, but Romeo will pay for all the fun he's having later.

                                                                                     Exit Tybalt

Romeo. (Taking Juliet's hand) My hand is not worthy to touch yours. If you don't want my hands to touch you my lips are standing by to make it all better with a kiss. 

Juliet. You don't do enough justice to your hands. To hold someone's hand is to show devotion. Don't people who make pilgrimage to to see statues of saints, touch them also? Holding one palm against the other (like this) is like kissing.

Romeo. Saints and pilgrims have lips too.
Juliet. Yes, but pilgrims use their lips to pray with.

Romeo. Well then, my saint, let our lips do what our hands are doing. I'm praying for you to kiss me. Please don't disappoint. 

Juliet. Saints don't move, even to grant a prayer.

Romeo. Then, don't move. I'll answer my own prayer.

He kisses her

Now you've absolved me from my sin.

Juliet. So my lips now have the sin they took from yours?

Romeo. You've got the sin from my lips. Oh, you criminal. Give me back my sin.

They kiss again

Juliet. You're a great kisser.

Nurse. Madam, your mother wants to talk to you. Now.

Juliet moves aside

Romeo. Who's her mother?

Nurse. Really, young man! Her mother is the lady of the house. She's good, wise and virtuous. I nursed her daughter, the one you were just talking to. I'll tell you this, the man who marries  her will have hit the jackpot.

Romeo. (To himself) She's a Capulet? What have I gotten myself into this time? My life is in the hands of my enemies.

Benvolio. (To Romeo) Let's go now. It's always best to leave when everything is going well. 

Romeo. Yes, but I'm afraid I'm in more trouble.

Capulet. No gentleman. Don't go now. We haven't had dessert yet.  (They say something to him quietly) Is that true? Well alright then, thanks for coming. You're good men. Good night. Bring some torches over here! Come on, it's time to wrap things up. Come cousin, I'm getting tired. I'm going to have some rest.

                                                         All but Juliet and Nurse begin to exit

Juliet. Nurse, do you know who that guy is?

Nurse. He's old Tiberio's son and heir.

Juliet. Who's the one going out the door now?

Nurse. I think that's young Petruchio.

Juliet. Who's that one following him. The one who didn't dance?

Nurse. Don't know.

Juliet. Go ask him his name. If he's married I'd rather die than marry someone else.

Nurse. His name is Romeo. He's a Montague and the only son of your worst enemy.

Juliet (Aside) The only man I love is the son of the only man I hate! I found out who he was too late. Now love has been mean to me for making me fall in love with my worst enemy.

Nurse. What's that?

Juliet. It's a poem I learned from someone I danced with.

Someone calls 'Juliet!'

Nurse. Let's go. Come, let's go. The guests have all gone.
End of Act 1

About This Blog

A translation of Shakespeare's plays designed for noughties' teenagers and youngsters.
The material on this blog is specifically designed for teenagers and younger kids. The aim is to help them read and translate Shakespeare scenes into their own, modern take on the English language. This is a perfect tool to help them write their Shakespeare synopsis on a particular play or character quickly and easily.
This modern ‘translation’ will also help with any type of school work pertaining to the plays of the mighty Shakespeare, and his dramatic and comedic scenes we all love.

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