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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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MERCUTIO, his page, and BENVOLIO enter with other men.

BENVOLIO

I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire. The day is hot; the Capulets, abroad; And if we meet we shall not ’scape a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

BENVOLIO

I’m begging you, good Mercutio, let’s go home. It’s hot, and the Capulets are all over the place. If we should meet up with them, we’ll end up fighting them. Hot days like today get people all worked up and angry.

MERCUTIO

Thou art like one of those fellows that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword uponthe 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.

MERCUTIO

You’re the kind of guy who walks into a bar, slaps his sword down on the table and says, “I hope I don’t have to use you.” By the time he’s having his second drink, he draws his sword on the bartender for no reason.

BENVOLIO

Am I like such a fellow?

BENVOLIO

You think I’m like that?

MERCUTIO

Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood as any in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved.

MERCUTIO

Come now. You can be as hot-blooded as any man in Italy. You get angry at the smallest thing, and when you’re in the mood to get angry you always find something to get angry about.

BENVOLIO

And what to?

BENVOLIO

So what?

MERCUTIO

Nay, an there were two such, we should have none shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou, why, thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more or a hair less in his beard than thou hast. Thou wilt quarrel witha man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes. What eye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel? Thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg for quarreling. Thouhast quarreled with a man for coughing in the street because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep inthe sun. Didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing his new doublet before Easter? With another, fortying his new shoes with old ribbon? And yet thou wilt tutor me from quarreling!

MERCUTIO

So, if there were two men such as you, it wouldn’t take long for there to be none, because each of you would kill the other. Why, you would fight with a man if he had one more or one less hair in his beard than you have in yours. You’ll fight a man who’s cracking nuts simply because your own eyes are the color of hazelnuts. Only someone like you would look for that kind of fight. Your head is as full of fights as an egg is full of food, but your head has gotten scrambled like an egg from all your fighting. You once fought with a man who coughed in the street because he woke up your dog that was sleeping in the sun. And can you deny that you had a falling out with a tailor because he was wearing a new jacket before Easter? And with another for tying his new shoes with old laces? And yet you’re trying to tell me how to avoid fighting?

BENVOLIO

An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.

BENVOLIO

If I were as quick to get into fights as you are, my life insurance rates would be immense.

MERCUTIO

The fee simple? O simple!

MERCUTIO

Your life insurance? You’re a fool!

TYBALT, PETRUCHIO, and some other CAPULETS enter.

BENVOLIO

By my head, here comes the Capulets.

BENVOLIO

By God, Here come the Capulets.

MERCUTIO

By my heel, I care not.

MERCUTIO

By my foot, I couldn’t care less.

TYBALT

Follow me close, for I will speak to them. Gentlemen, good e’en. A word with one of you.

TYBALT

[To his men] Follow me closely. I’ll speak to them. 

[To BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO] Good afternoon, gentlemen. I’d like to have a word with one of you.

MERCUTIO

And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something. Make it a word and a blow.

MERCUTIO

You want a single word with one of us? Combine it with something else. Make it a word and a punch.

TYBALT

You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you will give me occasion.

TYBALT

You’ll find me happy to do that, sir, if you give me a reason.

MERCUTIO

Could you not take some occasion without giving?

MERCUTIO

You can’t find a reason without my giving you one?

TYBALT

Mercutio, thou consort’st with Romeo.

TYBALT

Mercutio, you hang out with Romeo.

MERCUTIO

Consort? What, dost thou make us minstrels? An thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords.Here’s my fiddlestick. Here’s that shall make you dance. Zounds, “consort”!

MERCUTIO

“Hang out?” What, are we musicians in a band? If we look like musicians to you, you can expect to hear nothing but noise. [Touching his sword] This is my fiddlestick. It will make you dance. My God—“hang out!”

BENVOLIO

We talk here in the public haunt of men. Either withdraw unto some private place, And reason coldly of your grievances, Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us.

BENVOLIO

We’re talking here in public. Either let’s go somewhere private and calmly discuss your complaints, or else just go our separates ways. Here, everybody can see us.

MERCUTIO

Men’s eyes were made to look and let them gaze. I will not budge for no man’s pleasure, I.

MERCUTIO

Men’s eyes were made to see. Let them watch. I won’t move for anyone.

TYBALT

Well, peace be with you, sir. Here comes my man.

TYBALT

Well, may peace be with you. Here comes the man I’m after.

ROMEO enters.

MERCUTIO

But I’ll be hanged, sir, if he wear your livery.Marry, go before to field, he’ll be your follower.Your worship in that sense may call him “man.”

MERCUTIO

Sir, I’ll be hanged if he’s your man, in your servant's uniform. Walk out into a field and he’ll chase you. That’s the only sense in which you can call him your “man.”

TYBALT

Romeo, the love I bear thee can affordNo better term than this: thou art a villain.

TYBALT

Romeo, I have just one thing to say to you: you’re a villain.

ROMEO

Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage To such a greeting. Villain am I none. Therefore, farewell. I see thou know’st me not.

ROMEO

Tybalt, I love you for a reason that allows me to ignore the rage I would normally feel in response to such a greeting. I’m not a villain. Therefore, goodbye. I can see that you don’t know me at all.

TYBALT

Boy, this shall not excuse the injuriesThat thou hast done me. Therefore turn and draw.

TYBALT

Boy, these words don’t excuse the injuries you’ve done to me. Turn and draw your sword.

ROMEO

I do protest I never injured thee, But love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love. And so, good Capulet—which name I tender As dearly as my own—be satisfied.

ROMEO

I’ve never done you harm. In fact, I love you more than you’ll be able to understand until you know the reason behind my love. And so, good Capulet—which is a name I love as dearly as my own—be satisfied.

MERCUTIO

O calm dishonourable, vile submission!Alla stoccata carries it away. [Draws his sword] Tybalt, you ratcatcher, will you walk?

MERCUTIO

Such a calm submission is both dishonorable and vile! The thrust of a sword will sweep it away. [Draws his sword] Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you duel with me?

TYBALT

What wouldst thou have with me?

TYBALT

What do you want from me?

MERCUTIO

Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives,that I mean to make bold withal, and, as you shall use me hereafter, dry-beat the rest of the eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out.

MERCUTIO

Good King of Cats, I want nothing more than one of your nine lives. I’ll boldly take that one, and, depending on how you behave after that, I just may also beat the rest of the eight out of you too. Will you draw your sword from its sheath? Hurry, or mine will be at your ears before you have yours out.

TYBALT

I am for you. [He draws his sword]

TYBALT

I’ll duel with you. [He draws his sword]

ROMEO

Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.

ROMEO

Noble Mercutio, put your sword away.

MERCUTIO

Come, sir, your passado.

MERCUTIO

[To TYBALT] Get on with it, sir. Attack.

ROMEO

[Draws his sword] Draw, Benvolio. Beat down their weapons. Gentlemen, for shame! Forbear this outrage. Tybalt, Mercutio! The Prince expressly hath Forbidden bandying in Verona streets. Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!

ROMEO

[Drawing his sword] Draw your sword, Benvolio, and help me beat down their weapons. Gentlemen, this is shameful. Tybalt! Mercutio! The Prince has explicitly forbidden fighting in the streets of Verona. Stop! Tybalt! Good Mercutio!

MERCUTIO and TYBALT fight.

ROMEO tries to break up the fight. TYBALT stabs Mercutio under ROMEO’s outstretched arm.

PETRUCHIO

Away, Tybalt.

PETRUCHIO

Let’s get out of here, Tybalt.

MERCUTIO

I am hurt.A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.Is he gone and hath nothing?

MERCUTIO

I’m hurt. May a plague strike both your families. I’m done. Did he get away without injury?

TYBALT, PETRUCHIO, and the other CAPULETS exit.

BENVOLIO

What, art thou hurt?

BENVOLIO

What, are you hurt?

MERCUTIO

Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch. Marry, ’tis enough. Where is my page?—Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.

MERCUTIO

Yes, yes. A scratch, just a scratch. Yet it’s enough. Where is my page? Go, villain. Get a doctor.

ROMEO

Courage, man. The hurt cannot be much.

ROMEO

Have courage, man. The injury can’t be so bad.

MERCUTIO’S PAGE exits.

MERCUTIO

No, ’tis not so deep as a well nor so wide as a church-door, 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 o’ 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.

MERCUTIO

It’s not as deep as a well or as wide as a church door, but it’s enough. Ask for me tomorrow, and you’ll find me a grave man. My time in this world is done, I believe. May a plague strike both your families. God! That dog, that rat, that mouse, that cat has scratched me to death! That braggart, that scoundrel, that villain who fights as if he learned it all from some manual! 

[To ROMEO] Why the devil did you step between us? He wounded me by reaching under your arm.

ROMEO

I thought all for the best.

ROMEO

I was trying to do what was right.

MERCUTIO

Help me into some house, Benvolio, Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me. I have it, And soundly too. Your houses!

MERCUTIO

Carry me inside some house, Benvolio, or else I will faint. May a plague strike both your families! They’ve made me into food for worms. I’m finished. Curse your families!

MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO exit.

ROMEO

This gentleman, the Prince’s near ally, My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt In my behalf. My reputation stained With Tybalt’s slander. —Tybalt, that an hour Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet, Thy beauty hath made me effeminate And in my temper softened valor’s steel!

ROMEO

This gentleman, a kinsman of the Prince and my friend, was killed while fighting on my behalf, to defend me against Tybalt’s insults. Tybalt, who has been my own kinsman for an hour! Oh, sweet Juliet, your beauty has made me effeminate and softened the steel of my valor.

BENVOLIO enters.

BENVOLIO

O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead!That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.

BENVOLIO

Oh Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead! His noble spirit has gone to heaven, but it was too early for him to leave this life.

ROMEO

This day’s black fate on more days doth depend.This but begins the woe others must end.

ROMEO

Today’s dark fate will determine the future. These events only begin the sorrow that is to come.

TYBALT enters.

BENVOLIO

Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

BENVOLIO

The furious Tybalt has returned.

ROMEO

Alive in triumph—and Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity, And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now. Now, Tybalt, take the “villain” back again That late thou gavest 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.

ROMEO

Alive and triumphant, while Mercutio is dead? Begone, respect and compassion. Rage and fury will be my guide. Now, Tybalt, take back the “villain” that you called me earlier. Mercutio’s soul is waiting just a bit above our heads for you to join him. Either you, I, or both of us must go with him.

TYBALT

Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him hereShalt with him hence.

TYBALT

Wretched boy, you hung out with him here on earth, and now you’re going to go with him to heaven.

ROMEO

This shall determine that.

ROMEO

Our fight will decide who goes to heaven.

They fight. TYBALT falls and dies.

BENVOLIO

Romeo, away, be gone! The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain. Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee death If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away!

BENVOLIO

Romeo, get away from here. The citizens are coming, and Tybalt is dead. Don’t just stand there staring. If you’re caught, the Prince will execute you. Get out of here!

ROMEO

Oh, I am fortune’s fool!

ROMEO

Oh, fate has played me for a fool!

BENVOLIO

Why dost thou stay?

BENVOLIO

Why are you still here?

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH

Which way ran he that killed Mercutio? Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he?

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH

Where did the man who killed Mercutio run? Tybalt, that murderer, which way did he go?

ROMEO exits.

The CITIZENS OF THE WATCH enter.

BENVOLIO

There lies that Tybalt.

BENVOLIO

Tybalt is lying right there.

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH

[To TYBALT] Up, sir, go with me.I charge thee in the Prince’s name, obey.

CITIZEN OF THE WATCH

[To TYBALT] Get up, sir, and come with me. By the name of the Prince, I command you to obey.

PRINCE

Where are the vile beginners of this fray?

PRINCE

Where are the evil instigators of this fight?

The PRINCE enters with MONTAGUE, CAPULET, LADY MONTAGUE, LADY CAPULET, and OTHERS.

BENVOLIO

O noble prince, I can discover all The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl. There lies the man, slain by young Romeo, That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio.

BENVOLIO

Oh, noble prince, I can explain everything about the unfortunate events that led to this deadly fight. There lies Tybalt, the man who killed your relative, brave Mercutio. Tybalt was then killed by young Romeo.

LADY CAPULET

Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother’s child! O Prince! O cousin! Husband! Oh, the blood is spilled Of my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true, For blood of ours shed blood of Montague. O cousin, cousin!

LADY CAPULET

Tybalt, my nephew! My brother’s son! Oh Prince, oh nephew, oh husband! Oh, my dear kinsman is dead! Prince, you are a man of honor, and therefore must respond to this murder by killing a Montague. Oh nephew, nephew!

PRINCE

Benvolio, who began this bloody fray?

PRINCE

Benvolio, who began this deadly fight?

BENVOLIO

Tybalt here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay. Romeo, that spoke him fair, bade him bethink How nice the quarrel was and urged withal Your high displeasure. All this uttered With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bowed, Could not take truce with the unruly spleen Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts With piercing steel at bold Mercutio’s breast, Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point, And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats Cold death aside and with the other sends It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity, Retorts it. Romeo, he cries aloud, “Hold, friends! Friends, part!” and, swifter than his tongue, His agile arm beats down their fatal points, And ’twixt them rushes—underneath whose arm An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled. But by and by comes back to Romeo, Who had but newly entertained revenge, And to ’t they go like lightning, for ere I Could draw to part them was stout Tybalt slain. And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly. This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.

BENVOLIO

Tybalt did, who then was killed by Romeo. Romeo spoke politely to Tybalt and begged him to see how ridiculous the disagreement was and to remember how displeased you would be if there was a fight. All this he said gently, calmly, kneeling down with humility. But he could not make peace. Tybalt’s anger was irrational, and he was deaf to any talk of peace. Soon Tybalt attacked Mercutio, who just as angry, fought back. They thrusted their swords and attacked each other. Romeo cried out, “Stop, my friends. Step apart.” Then he jumped in between them, and forced down their swords. Tybalt, though, thrust his sword under Romeo’s arm, and hit brave Mercutio’s heart. Then Tybalt ran. But, soon after, Tybalt returned to fight Romeo, who by now wanted revenge for Mercutio’s death. They began to fight as quick as lightning. Before I could separate them, Tybalt was killed. As Tybalt fell, Romeo turned and ran. This is the truth, I swear on my life.

LADY CAPULET

He is a kinsman to the Montague. Affection makes him false. He speaks not true. Some twenty of them fought in this black strife, And all those twenty could but kill one life. I beg for justice, which thou, Prince, must give. Romeo slew Tybalt. Romeo must not live.

LADY CAPULET

Benvolio is a Montague. His loyalty compels him to lie. He’s lying. There must have been twenty Montagues fighting, and together all twenty of them could only kill one man. I beg for justice that only you, Prince, can give. Romeo killed Tybalt. Romeo must die.

PRINCE

Romeo slew him; he slew Mercutio.Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?

PRINCE

Romeo killed Tybalt. Tybalt killed Mercutio. Who should pay the price for Mercutio’s life?

MONTAGUE

Not Romeo, Prince, he was Mercutio’s friend.His fault concludes but what the law should end,The life of Tybalt.

MONTAGUE

Not Romeo, Prince. He was Mercutio’s friend. His “crime” was justice, because it took the life of Tybalt.

PRINCE

And for that offense Immediately 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 is found, that hour is his last. Bear hence this body, and attend our will. Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.

PRINCE

And for that offense I immediately exile him from this place. I have a part in your rivalry; my blood relative, Mercutio, lies bleeding because of your rude fights. But I will punish you so harshly that you will regret causing me this loss. I will be deaf to your pleas and your excuses. Neither tears nor prayers can buy you forgiveness for what you've done wrong. So don't use any. Let Romeo get out of here quickly. Otherwise, when he is found, he will be swiftly killed. Take this body away, and obey my commands. Showing mercy and pardoning murderers only causes more killings.

They all exit.

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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.