Open Source Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Act IV, Scene 3

Juliet’s chamber.


[Enter JULIET and Nurse]

  • Juliet. Ay, those attires are best: but, gentle nurse,
    I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night, 2550
    For I have need of many orisons
    To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
    Which, well thou know'st, is cross, and full of sin.


  • Lady Capulet. What, are you busy, ho? need you my help? 2555
  • Juliet. No, madam; we have cull'd such necessaries
    As are behoveful for our state to-morrow:
    So please you, let me now be left alone,
    And let the nurse this night sit up with you;
    For, I am sure, you have your hands full all, 2560
    In this so sudden business.
  • Lady Capulet. Good night:
    Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need.

[Exeunt LADY CAPULET and Nurse]

  • Juliet. Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again. 2565
    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?
    My dismal scene I needs must act alone. 2570
    Come, vial.
    What if this mixture do not work at all?
    Shall I be married then to-morrow morning?
    No, no: this shall forbid it: lie thou there.
    [Laying down her dagger] 2575
    What if it be a poison, which the friar
    Subtly hath minister'd to have me dead,
    Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour'd,
    Because he married me before to Romeo?
    I fear it is: and yet, methinks, it should not, 2580
    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, 2585
    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,— 2590
    As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
    Where, for these many hundred years, the bones
    Of all my buried ancestors are packed:
    Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
    Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say, 2595
    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:— 2600
    O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
    Environed with all these hideous fears?
    And madly play with my forefather's joints?
    And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
    And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone, 2605
    As with a club, dash out my desperate 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, I come! this do I drink to thee. 2610

[She falls upon her bed, within the curtains]