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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Act III, Scene 3

Friar Laurence’s cell.



  • Friar Laurence. Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man: 1870
    Affliction is enamour'd of thy parts,
    And thou art wedded to calamity.

[Enter ROMEO]

  • Romeo. Father, what news? what is the prince's doom?
    What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand, 1875
    That I yet know not?
  • Friar Laurence. Too familiar
    Is my dear son with such sour company:
    I bring thee tidings of the prince's doom.
  • Romeo. What less than dooms-day is the prince's doom? 1880
  • Friar Laurence. A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips,
    Not body's death, but body's banishment.
  • Romeo. Ha, banishment! be merciful, say 'death;'
    For exile hath more terror in his look,
    Much more than death: do not say 'banishment.' 1885
  • Friar Laurence. Hence from Verona art thou banished:
    Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.
  • Romeo. There is no world without Verona walls,
    But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
    Hence-banished is banish'd from the world, 1890
    And world's exile is death: then banished,
    Is death mis-term'd: calling death banishment,
    Thou cutt'st my head off with a golden axe,
    And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.
  • Friar Laurence. O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness! 1895
    Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,
    Taking thy part, hath rush'd aside the law,
    And turn'd that black word death to banishment:
    This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.
  • Romeo. 'Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here, 1900
    Where Juliet lives; and every cat and dog
    And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
    Live here in heaven and may look on her;
    But Romeo may not: more validity,
    More honourable state, more courtship lives 1905
    In carrion-flies than Romeo: they my seize
    On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand
    And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
    Who even in pure and vestal modesty,
    Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin; 1910
    But Romeo may not; he is banished:
    Flies may do this, but I from this must fly:
    They are free men, but I am banished.
    And say'st thou yet that exile is not death?
    Hadst thou no poison mix'd, no sharp-ground knife, 1915
    No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean,
    But 'banished' to kill me?—'banished'?
    O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
    Howlings attend it: how hast thou the heart,
    Being a divine, a ghostly confessor, 1920
    A sin-absolver, and my friend profess'd,
    To mangle me with that word 'banished'?
  • Romeo. O, thou wilt speak again of banishment.
  • Friar Laurence. I'll give thee armour to keep off that word: 1925
    Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy,
    To comfort thee, though thou art banished.
  • Romeo. Yet 'banished'? Hang up philosophy!
    Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
    Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom, 1930
    It helps not, it prevails not: talk no more.
  • Romeo. How should they, when that wise men have no eyes?
  • Romeo. Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel: 1935
    Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
    An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
    Doting like me and like me banished,
    Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair,
    And fall upon the ground, as I do now, 1940
    Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

[Knocking within]

  • Romeo. Not I; unless the breath of heartsick groans,
    Mist-like, infold me from the search of eyes. 1945


  • Friar Laurence. Hark, how they knock! Who's there? Romeo, arise;
    Thou wilt be taken. Stay awhile! Stand up;
    Run to my study. By and by! God's will, 1950
    What simpleness is this! I come, I come!
    Who knocks so hard? whence come you? what's your will?
  • Nurse. [Within] Let me come in, and you shall know
    my errand; 1955
    I come from Lady Juliet.

[Enter Nurse]

  • Nurse. O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar,
    Where is my lady's lord, where's Romeo? 1960
  • Nurse. O, he is even in my mistress' case,
    Just in her case! O woful sympathy!
    Piteous predicament! Even so lies she,
    Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering. 1965
    Stand up, stand up; stand, and you be a man:
    For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand;
    Why should you fall into so deep an O?
  • Nurse. Ah sir! ah sir! Well, death's the end of all. 1970
  • Romeo. Spakest thou of Juliet? how is it with her?
    Doth she not think me an old murderer,
    Now I have stain'd the childhood of our joy
    With blood removed but little from her own?
    Where is she? and how doth she? and what says 1975
    My conceal'd lady to our cancell'd love?
  • Nurse. O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps;
    And now falls on her bed; and then starts up,
    And Tybalt calls; and then on Romeo cries,
    And then down falls again. 1980
  • Romeo. As if that name,
    Shot from the deadly level of a gun,
    Did murder her; as that name's cursed hand
    Murder'd her kinsman. O, tell me, friar, tell me,
    In what vile part of this anatomy 1985
    Doth my name lodge? tell me, that I may sack
    The hateful mansion.

[Drawing his sword]

  • Friar Laurence. Hold thy desperate hand:
    Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art: 1990
    Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
    The unreasonable fury of a beast:
    Unseemly woman in a seeming man!
    Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
    Thou hast amazed me: by my holy order, 1995
    I thought thy disposition better temper'd.
    Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself?
    And stay thy lady too that lives in thee,
    By doing damned hate upon thyself?
    Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth? 2000
    Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet
    In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose.
    Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit;
    Which, like a usurer, abound'st in all,
    And usest none in that true use indeed 2005
    Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit:
    Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
    Digressing from the valour of a man;
    Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
    Killing that love which thou hast vow'd to cherish; 2010
    Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
    Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
    Like powder in a skitless soldier's flask,
    Is set afire by thine own ignorance,
    And thou dismember'd with thine own defence. 2015
    What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
    For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
    There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
    But thou slew'st Tybalt; there are thou happy too:
    The law that threaten'd death becomes thy friend 2020
    And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
    A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back;
    Happiness courts thee in her best array;
    But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
    Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love: 2025
    Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
    Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed,
    Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her:
    But look thou stay not till the watch be set,
    For then thou canst not pass to Mantua; 2030
    Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time
    To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,
    Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back
    With twenty hundred thousand times more joy
    Than thou went'st forth in lamentation. 2035
    Go before, nurse: commend me to thy lady;
    And bid her hasten all the house to bed,
    Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto:
    Romeo is coming.
  • Nurse. O Lord, I could have stay'd here all the night 2040
    To hear good counsel: O, what learning is!
    My lord, I'll tell my lady you will come.
  • Romeo. Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.
  • Nurse. Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir:
    Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late. 2045


  • Romeo. How well my comfort is revived by this!
  • Friar Laurence. Go hence; good night; and here stands all your state:
    Either be gone before the watch be set,
    Or by the break of day disguised from hence: 2050
    Sojourn in Mantua; I'll find out your man,
    And he shall signify from time to time
    Every good hap to you that chances here:
    Give me thy hand; 'tis late: farewell; good night.
  • Romeo. But that a joy past joy calls out on me, 2055
    It were a grief, so brief to part with thee: Farewell.