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The play is set in Verona, Italy and based on two prominent families who have been feuding enemies for years. The Capulets (Juliet’s family) vs The Montagues (Romeo’s family).
Romeo & Juliet are the star-crossed lovers who die as a result of their parents’ feuds.
01 The Prologue [Chorus]
Two households both alike in dignity,
[In fair Verona where we lay our scene]
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 misadventur’d pitious 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.
The Capulets & Montagues are fighting on the streets again. The Prince warns both households not to disturb the peace again.
02 Rebellious Subjects [Act 1, Scene 1]
Prince: Rebellious Subjects enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,
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 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 farther pleasure in this case:
To old Free-town, our common judgement place:
Once more on pain of death, all men depart.
Romeo thinks he’s in love with Rosalind. Benvolio urges him to join him in gate-crashing the Capulet’s Feast, where he can compare his fair Rosalind to Verona’s finest beauties. Romeo reluctantly agrees to attend.
03 The Feast of Capulet [Act 1, Scene 2]
Benvolio: At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s.
Sups the fair Rosalind whom thou so loves:
With all the admired beauties of Verona,
Go thither, and with unattainted eye,
Compare her face with some that I shall show,
And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
Romeo : When the devout religion of mine eye,
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires:
And these who often drown’d, could never die,
Transparent heretics be burnt for liars.
One fairer than my love, the all-seeing Sun,
Ne’er saw her match, since first the world begun.
Benvolio: Tut you saw her fair none else being by,
Herself pois’d with herself in either eye:
But in that crystal scales let there be weigh’d,
Your lady’s love against some other maid:
That I will show you shining at this feast,
And she shall scant show well that now seems best.
Romeo : I’ll go along no such sight to be shown,
But to rejoice in splendour of mine own.
Romeo & Juliet’s first encounter – at the Capulet’s feast. They flirt & are not aware of each other’s identity.
04 Gentle Sin [Act 1, Scene 5]
Romeo: If I profane with my unworthiest hand,
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,
My lips two blushing Pilgrims ready stand,
To smooth the rough touch with a gentle kiss.
Juliet : Good Pilgrim you do wrong your hand too much
Which mannerly devotion shows in this,
For saints have hands, that Pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy Palmers’ kiss.
Romeo: Have not Saints lips and holy Palmers too?
Juliet : Ay Pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
Romeo: O then dear Saint, let lips do what hands do,
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Juliet: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
Romeo: Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take,
Thus from my lips, by thine my sin is purg’d.
Juliet: Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Romeo: Sin from my lips, O trespass sweetly urg’d:
Give me my sin again.
Romeo re-enters the Capulet property, now knowing she’s a Capulet, and sees Juliet on the balcony.
05 Juliet is the Sun [Act 2, Scene 2]
Romeo: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the Sun.
Arise fair sun and kill the envious Moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid since she is envious,
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it, cast it off:
It is my Lady, O it is my love,
O that she knew she were,
She speaks, yet she says nothing, what of that?
Her eye discourses, I will answer it:
I am too bold, ‘tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business do intreat her eyes,
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head,
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp, her eye in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright,
That birds would sing, and think it were not night:
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek.
Juliet is talking aloud, having discovered that Romeo is a Montigue.
06 Take All Myself [Act 2, Scene 2]
Juliet : O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name.
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
Romeo: Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
Juliet : ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague,
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 my self.
Romeo & Juliet meet in secret in the Friar’s cell to be wed.
07 Two in One [Act 2, Scene 6]
Friar : So smile the heavens upon this holy act,
That after hours with sorrow chide us not.
Romeo: Amen, amen, but come what sorrow can,
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short minute gives me in her sight:
Do thou but close our hands with holy words,
Then love-devouring death do what he dare,
It is enough I may but call her mine.
Friar : These violent delights have violent ends,
And in their triumph die like fire and powder:
Which as they kiss consume. The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness,
And in their taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore, love moderately, long love doth so,
Too swift arrives, as tardy as too slow.
<Enter Juliet & embraceth Romeo>
Here comes the Lady. Oh so light a foot
Will ne’er wear out the everlasting flint,
A lover may bestride the gossamers,
That idles in the wanton summer air,
And yet not fall, so light is vanity.
Juliet : Good even to my ghostly confessor.
Friar : Romeo shall thank thee daughter for us both.
Juliet : As much to him, else in his thanks too much.
Romeo: Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heap’d like mine, and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich music’s tongue
Unfold the imagin’d happiness that both
Receive in either, by this dear encounter.
Juliet : Conceit more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
They are but beggars that can count their worth,
But thy true love is grown to such excess,
I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
Friar : Come, come with me, and we will make short work.
For by your leaves, you shall not stay alone,
Till holy Church incorporate two in one.
Tyblat starts a fight with Romeo, Mercutio & Benvolio. Romeo tries to halt the fighting but Tybalt manages to cut Mercutio.
08 A Plague on Both Houses [Act 3, Scene 1]
Romeo: Draw Benvolio, bear down their weapons:
Gentlemen, for shame forbear this outrage,
Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath
Forbid this bandying in Verona street,
Hold Tybalt, good Mercutio.
<Tybalt under Romeo’s arm thrusts Mercutio in and flies>
Mercutio: I am hurt.
A plague o’ both houses, I am sped:
Is he gone and hath nothing?
Benvolio: What art thou hurt?
Mercutio: Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch, marry’tis enough.
Where is my page? Go villain, fetch a surgeon.
Romeo: Courage man, the hurt cannot be much.
Mercutio: No ‘tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
churchdoor, but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve: ask for me tomorrow,
and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered
I warrant, for this world, a plague a’both your
houses, ‘zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man
to death: a braggart, a rogue a villain, that fights by
the book of arithmetic, why the devil came you between
us? I was hurt under your arm.
Romeo: I thought all for the best.
Mercutio: Help me into some house Benvolio,
Or I shall faint, a plague a’both your houses,
They have made worms’ meat of me,
I have it, and soundly, to your houses.
Mercutio is dead and Romeo vows to avenge his death. Tyblat returns to the scene and is slain by Romeo.
09 Fortune’s Fool [Act 3, Scene 1]
Romeo: This gentleman, the Prince’s near ally,
My very friend hath got this mortal hurt
In my behalf, my reputation stain’d
With Tybalt’s slander, Tybalt that an hour
Hath been my cousin: O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate,
And in my temper soften’d valour’s steel.
Benvolio: O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead,
That gallant spirit hath aspir’d the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.
Romeo : This day’s black fate, on moe days doth depend;
This but begins, the woe others must end.
Benvolio: Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.
Romeo: He gone in triumph, and Mercutio slain?
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire and fury, be my conduct now.
Now Tybalt take the villain back again,
That late thou gav’st me, for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.
Tybalt : Thou wretched boy that didst consort him here,
Shalt with him hence.
Romeo: This shall determine that.
<They fight. Tybalt falls.>
Benvolio: Romeo, away be gone:
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain,
Stand not amaz’d, the Prince will doom thee death,
If thou art taken, hence be gone away.
Romeo: O I am fortune’s fool.
Benvolio: Why dost thou stay?
Having wed Romeo in secret, Juliet is impatient for the night to come so that she can be with her husband, Romeo.
10 Mansion of a Love [Act 3, Scene 2]
Juliet: Come night, come Romeo, come thou day in night
Come gentle night, come loving black-brow’d night
Give me my Romeo, and when he shall die,
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
O I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess’d it, and though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy’d.
The Nurse informs Juliet that Romeo has slain Tyblat and that he is banished from Verona.
11 Back Foolish Tears [Act 3, Scene 2]
Juliet: Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
Ah poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name,
When I thy three-hours wife have mangled it?
But wherefore villain didst thou kill my cousin?
That villain cousin would have kill’d my husband:
Back foolish tears, back to your native spring,
Your tributary drops belong to woe,
Which you mistaking offer up to joy:
My husband lives that Tybalt would have slain,
And Tybalt’s dead that would have slain my husband:
All this is comfort, wherefore weep I then?
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt’s death
That murder’d me, I would forget it fain,
But Oh it presses to my memory,
Like damned guilty deeds to sinners’ minds,
Tybalt is dead and Romeo banished:
That banished, that one word banished,
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts: Tybalt’s death
Was woe enough if it had ended there:
Romeo is distraught as he has been exiled for killing Juliet’s Cousin, Tybalt.
12 Verona Walls [Act 3, Scene 3]
Romeo: There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself:
Hence banished, is banish’d from the world
And world’s exile is death. Then banished
Is death, mis-term’d, calling death banished,
Thou cut’st my head off with a golden axe,
And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.
‘Tis torture and not mercy, heaven is here
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.
Romeo is suicidal. The Friar points out that Romeo should be happy as he’s alive & tells him to go and comfort Juliet.
13 There Art Thou Happy [Act 3, Scene 3]
Friar Laurence: Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art:
Thy tears are womanish, thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast.
Unseemly woman in a seeming man,
And ill-beseeming beast in seeming both,
Thou hast amaz’d me. By my holy order,
I thought thy disposition better temper’d.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? Wilt thou slay thyself?
And slay thy lady, that in thy life lives,
By doing damned hate upon thyself?
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.
The law that threaten’d death becomes thy friend,
And turns it to exile, there art thou happy.
A pack of blessings light upon thy back,
Happiness courts thee in her best array,
But like a misbehav’d and sullen wench,
Thou puttest up thy fortune and thy love:
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
Go get thee to thy love as was decreed,
Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her:
This is Romeo & Juliet’s first night together since their marriage.
[Sadly, as it transpires, it is also their last night together].
In the morning Romeo has to flee to Mantua.
14 Let’s Talk [Act 3, Scene 5]
Juliet: Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc’d the fearful hollow of thine ear,
Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree,
Believe me love, it was the nightingale.
Romeo: It was the lark, the herald of the morn:
No nightingale: look love what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder East:
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops,
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
Juliet: Yond light is not daylight, I know it I:
It is some meteor that the Sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua.
Therefore stay yet, thou needs not to be gone.
Romeo: Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death,
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye,
‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow.
Nor that is not the lark whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads,
I have more care to stay, than will to go:
Come death and welcome, Juliet wills it so.
How is’t my soul? Let’s talk, it is not day.
Juliet’s parents have arranged for Juliet to marry Paris on Thursday. Much to their anger, Juliet refuses to marry Paris.
15 I Will Not Marry Paris [Act 3, Scene 5]
Capulet: Hang thee young baggage, disobedient wretch,
I tell thee what, get thee to church a’Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face.
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me.
My fingers itch, wife: we scarce thought us blest,
That God had lent us but this only child,
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her:
Out on her hilding.
Juliet would rather kill herself than marry Paris. The Friar offers a solution, in the form of a ‘potion’ that mimics death.
16 Like Death [Act 4, Scene 1]
Friar Laurence: Hold then, go home, be merry, give consent,
To marry Paris: Wednesday is tomorrow,
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone,
Let not the Nurse lie with thee in thy chamber:
Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
And this distilled liquor drink thou off,
When presently through all thy veins shall run,
A cold and drowsy humour: for no pulse
Shall keep his native progress but surcease,
No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest,
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
To many ashes, thy eyes’ windows fall:
Like death when he shuts up the day of life:
Each part depriv’d of supple government,
Shall stiff and stark, and cold appear like death,
And in this borrow’d likeness of shrunk death
Thou shalt continue two and forty hours,
And then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
Now when the Bridegroom in the morning comes,
To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead:
Then as the manner of our country is,
In thy best robes uncovered on the bier,
Be borne to burial in thy kindred’s grave:
Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault,
Where all the kindred of the Capulet’s lie;
In the mean time against thou shalt awake,
Shall Romeo by my letter know our drift,
And hither shall he come, and he and I
Will watch thy waking, and that very night
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua.
And this shall free thee from this present shame.
Doubts and fears set in as Juliet is about to drink the potion the Friar has given her.
17 What If [Act 4, Scene 3]
Juliet: 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?
My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
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.
What if it be a poison which the Friar
Subtly hath minister’d to have me dead,
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear it is, and yet methinks it should not,
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 a fearful point:
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault?
To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes.
Romeo, Romeo, Romeo, here’s drink, I drink to thee.
The Nurse finds Juliet ‘dead’.
18 O Woeful Day [Act 4, Scene 5]
Nurse: Mistress what mistress, Juliet, fast I warrant her she,
Why lamb, why Lady, fie you slug-a-bed,
Why love I say, Madam, sweet-heart, why Bride:
What not a word, you take your pennyworths now,
Sleep for a week, for the next night I warrant
The County Paris hath set up his rest,
That you shall rest but little, God forgive me;
Marry and amen: how sound is she asleep:
I needs must wake her: Madam, Madam, Madam,
Ay, let the County take you in your bed,
He’ll fright you up i’faith, will it not be?
What dress’d, and in your clothes, and down again?
I must needs wake you, Lady, Lady, Lady.
Alas, alas, help, help, my Lady’s dead.
O well-a-day that ever I was born,
Some aqua-vitae ho, my Lord, my Lady.
O woe, O woeful, woeful, woeful day,
Most lamentable day, most woeful day
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.
Romeo has not received the Friar’s letter telling him of the plan. And so takes the news of Juliet’s ‘death’ as the truth.
19 Ill News [Act 5, Scene 1]
Romeo: If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand,
My bosom’s Lord sits lightly in his throne:
And all this day an unaccustom’d spirit,
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
I dreamt my Lady came and found me dead,
(Strange dream that gives a dead man leave to think )
And breath’d such life with kisses in my lips,
That I reviv’d and was an Emperor.
Ah me, how sweet is love itself possess’d
When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy.
<Enter Romeo’s man Balthasar>
News from Verona, how now Balthasar,
Dost thou not bring me letters from the Friar?
How doth my Lady? Is my father well?
How doth my Lady Juliet? That I ask again,
For nothing can be ill, if she be well.
Man: Then she is well, and nothing can be ill,
Her body sleeps in Capels’ monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.
I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault,
And presently took post to tell it you:
O pardon me for bringing these ill news.
Romeo on finding Juliet ‘dead’, drinks poison & dies.
20 Here Will I Remain [V.3]
Romeo: ... Ah dear Juliet
Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that I still will stay with thee,
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again: here, here will I remain,
With worms that are thy chamber-maids: O here
Will I set up my everlasting rest:
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars,
From this world-wearied flesh: eyes look your last:
Arms take your last embrace: and lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death:
Come bitter conduct, come unsavoury guide,
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks, thy sea-sick weary bark:
Here’s to my love. O true apothecary:
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
Juliet rises from her ‘death sleep’. The Friar urges her to leave, but she does not.
Upon seeing Romeo dead, she stabs herself and dies.
21 Kiss Thy Lips [V.3]
Juliet : O comfortable Friar, where is my lord?
I do remember well where I should be:
And there I am, where is my Romeo?
Friar Laurence: I hear some noise Lady, come from that nest
Of death, contagion and unnatural sleep:
A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents, come, come away,
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead:
And Paris too: come, I’ll dispose of thee,
Among a Sisterhood of holy Nuns:
Stay not to question, for the watch is coming,
Come go good Juliet, I dare no longer stay.
Juliet: Go get thee hence, for I will not away.
What’s here? A cup clos’d in my true love’s hand?
Poison I see hath been his timeless end:
O churl, drunk all? And left no friendly drop
To help me after, I will kiss thy lips,
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,
To make me die with a restorative.
Thy lips are warm,
<Enter Boy & Watch>
Yea noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger.
This is thy sheath, there rust and let me die.
The Prince clarifies the woeful happenings, as a result of which,
the Capulets & Montagues made amends.
22 A Story of Woe [V.3]
Prince: This letter doth make good the Friar’s words,
Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
And here he writes, that he did buy a poison
Of a poor ‘pothecary, and therewithal,
Came to this vault, to die and lie with Juliet.
Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague?
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate!
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.
Capulet: O brother Montague, give me thy hand,
This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more can I demand.
Montague: But I can give thee more,
For I will raise her statue in pure gold,
That whiles Verona by that name in known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set,
As that of true and faithful Juliet.
Capulet : As rich shall Romeo’s by his Lady’s lie,
Poor sacrifices of our enmity.
Prince: A glooming peace this morning with it brings,
The Sun for sorrow will not show his head:
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.
All Words by: William Shakespeare
All Music by: Elmy & Boorman ©2005
All Music Arranged & Produced by: Elmy & Boorman
All Vocals by: Elmy & Boorman
Recorded at: Double Dutch Studios
Mastered by: Mark Dawson of GoldDust Studios
CD Cover: Les Amants [The Lovers] by Magritte
All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced reserved.
Unauthorised public performance and broadcasting prohibited.