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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Translation Act 3, Scene 3

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FRIAR LAWRENCE enters.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Romeo, come forth. Come forth, thou fearful man.Affliction is enamoured of thy parts,And thou art wedded to calamity.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Romeo, come here. Come here, you frightened man. Trouble follows you, and you’re married to catastrophe.

ROMEO enters.

ROMEO

Father, what news? What is the Prince’s doom? What sorrow craves acquaintance at my handThat I yet know not?

ROMEO

Father, what’s the news? Did the Prince state how I am to be punished? What unknown suffering is coming for me?

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Too familiarIs my dear son with such sour company.I bring thee tidings of the Prince’s doom.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

My dear son, you’re too familiar with suffering. I do have news for you about the Prince’s punishment for you.

ROMEO

What less than doomsday is the Prince’s doom?

ROMEO

Is it anything less than my death?

FRIAR LAWRENCE

A gentler judgment vanished from his lips:Not body’s death, but body’s banishment.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

His judgment was gentler than that. You won’t be executed, but will be banished from Verona.

ROMEO

Ha, banishment! Be merciful, say “death,”For exile hath more terror in his look,Much more than death. Do not say “banishment.”

ROMEO

Banishment! Be merciful: say “death.” Exile is much worse to me than death. Don’t say “banishment.”

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Hence from Verona art thou banishèd.Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

You are banished from Verona. Be patient, the world is big and anything can happen.

ROMEO

There is no world without Verona walls But purgatory, torture, hell itself. Hence “banishèd” is banished from the world, And world’s exile is death. Then “banishèd,” Is death mistermed. Calling death “banishment,” Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden ax And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.

ROMEO

The world outside Verona’s walls is like purgatory, torture, hell itself. Being banished from Verona is the same as being banished from the world, and being banished from the world is the same as death. Banishment is just a different name for death. So telling me that I’m banished is like cutting off my head with a golden ax and smiling while murdering me.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness! Thy fault our law calls death, but the kind Prince, Taking thy part, hath rushed aside the law, And turned that black word “death” to “banishment.” This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Oh, deadly sin! Oh, you rude, unthankful child! Your crime is punishable by death, but the Prince in his kindness defended you, and bypassed the law by replacing death with banishment. This is mercy, but you can’t see it.

ROMEO

‘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. More validity, More honorable state, more courtship lives In carrion flies than Romeo. They may 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. But Romeo may not. He is banishèd. Flies may do this, but I from this must fly. They are free men, but I am banishèd. And sayst thou yet that exile is not death? Hadst thou no poison mixed, no sharp-ground knife, No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean, But “banishèd” to kill me?—“Banishèd”! O Friar, the damnèd use that word in hell. Howling attends it. How hast thou the heart, Being a divine, a ghostly confessor, A sin-absolver, and my friend professed, To mangle me with that word “banishèd”?

ROMEO

It’s torture, not mercy. Heaven is in Verona because this is where Juliet lives. Every cat and dog and little mouse, every unworthy creature, that lives in Verona lives in heaven because it can see her. But I won’t be able to. Carrion-eating flies will have more vitality, a more blessed existence, and more romance than I will. They can touch Juliet’s white hand and can steal kisses from her sweet lips, which—though she is a pure virgin—blush when they touch each other because they think it’s a sin. But Romeo can’t touch her hand or kiss her. Flies can kiss her, but I must fly from the city. Flies are free, but I’ve been banished. Do you still argue that exile isn’t death? You didn’t have some poison, a sharpened knife, or some other weapon that you could have used to kill me quickly, nothing so disgraceful, other than banishment? Oh Friar, damned souls use the word “banishment” to describe hell. They howl the word. How, as a priest, confessor, and my friend, can you have the heart to say to me the word “banished?”

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Thou fond mad man, hear me a little speak.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

You silly madman, listen to me for a second.

ROMEO

Oh, thou wilt speak again of banishment.

ROMEO

Now you’re just going to talk again about banishment.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

I’ll give thee armor to keep off that word— Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy—To comfort thee though thou art banishèd.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

I’ll protect you from that word by using the cure for adversity—philosophy—which will comfort you even though you’ve been banished.

ROMEO

Yet “banishèd”? Hang up philosophy! Unless philosophy can make a Juliet, Displant a town, reverse a prince’s doom, It helps not, it prevails not. Talk no more.

ROMEO

In the face of banishment, let philosophy be hanged! Unless philosophy can create a Juliet, move an entire town to a new place, or reverse a prince’s punishment, it can’t help me. Stop talking.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Oh, then I see that madmen have no ears.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Ah, I’ve discovered that madmen are deaf.

ROMEO

How should they, when that wise men have no eyes?

ROMEO

Why should madmen hear, when wise men can’t see?

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Let me discuss your situation with you.

ROMEO

Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel. Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love, An hour but married, Tybalt murderèd, Doting like me, and like me banishèd, Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair And fall upon the ground, as I do now, Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

ROMEO

You can’t talk about something you don’t feel. If you were as young as I am, in love with Juliet, married to her for just an hour, and had murdered Tybalt...If you loved her as I do and were banished as I am, then you could talk about it. Though instead you might tear out your hair and fall to the ground the way I do right now [He falls on the ground] in order to measure out your grave.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Arise. One knocks. Good Romeo, hide thyself.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Get up. Someone’s knocking. Hide, good Romeo.

Knocking sounds from offstage.

ROMEO

Not I, unless the breath of heartsick groans,Mistlike, infold me from the search of eyes.

ROMEO

The only way I’ll hide is if my heartsick groans produce a mist that covers me from people’s searching eyes.

Knocking

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Hark, how they knock!—Who’s there?—Romeo, arise. Thou wilt be taken.—Stay awhile.—Stand up.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

They knock again!—Who’s there?—Romeo, stand up. They’ll catch you.— Hold on a moment.—Romeo, stand up.

Knocking

Run to my study.—By and by!—God’s will,What simpleness is this!—I come, I come.

Hide in my study.—Just a minute—For the love of God, don’t be so stupid! I’m coming. I’m coming.

Knocking

Who knocks so hard? Whence come you? What’s your will?

Who is it that is knocking so hard? Where do you come from? What do you want?

NURSE

[From within] Let me come in, and you shall know my errand. I come from Lady Juliet.

NURSE

[From offstage] Let me in, and I’ll tell you why I’m here. I come from Lady Juliet.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

[Opens the door] Welcome then.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

[Opening the door] Welcome, then.

NURSE

O holy Friar, O, tell me, holy Friar,Where is my lady’s lord? Where’s Romeo?

NURSE

Oh, holy Friar. Oh, tell me, holy Friar, where is my lady’s husband? Where’s Romeo?

The NURSE enters.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

There, on the ground, drunk on his own tears.

NURSE

Oh, he is even in my mistress’ case, Just in her case. O woeful sympathy, Piteous predicament! Even so lies she, Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering. Stand up, stand up. Stand, an you be a man. For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand. Why should you fall into so deep an O?

NURSE

He’s acting like Juliet, exactly like her. Oh awful sympathy! What a dreadful predicament! She’s lying on the ground just like him, blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering. Stand up. Stand up. Stand up if you’re a man. For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand. Why do you moan so terribly?

ROMEO

Nurse!

ROMEO

Nurse!

NURSE

Ah sir, ah sir. Death’s the end of all.

NURSE

Well, sir, well. Death comes for everybody.

ROMEO

Spakest thou of Juliet? How is it with her? Doth she not think me an old murderer, Now I have stained the childhood of our joy With blood removed but little from her own? Where is she? And how doth she? And what says My concealed lady to our canceled love?

ROMEO

What of Juliet? How is she? Does she think that I’m a cold-blooded murderer because I corrupted our newfound love by killing her relative? Where is she? How is she? What does my wife say about our love?

NURSE

Oh, 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.

NURSE

Oh, she says nothing, sir. Instead she weeps and weeps. She falls on her bed, then starts to get up, then calls out Tybalt’s name and then your name, and then she falls back down on the bed.

ROMEO

As if that name, Shot from the deadly level of a gun, Did murder her, as that name’s cursed hand Murdered her kinsman. O, tell me, Friar, tell me, In what vile part of this anatomy Doth my name lodge? Tell me, that I may sack The hateful mansion. [He draws his dagger]

ROMEO

She calls out my name as if it were a bullet that had been shot from a gun and murdered her, just as I murdered her cousin. Tell me, Friar, in what vile part of my body does my name rest? Tell me, so I can cut it out of myself. [He draws his dagger]

FRIAR LAWRENCE

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 amazed me. By my holy order, I thought thy disposition better tempered. Hast thou slain Tybalt? Wilt thou slay thyself, And slay thy lady that in thy life lives By doing damnèd hate upon thyself? Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth? 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 Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit. Thy noble shape is but a form of wax, Digressing from the valor of a man; Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury, Killing that love which thou hast vowed to cherish; Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love, Misshapen in the conduct of them both, Like powder in a skill-less soldier’s flask, Is set afire by thine own ignorance; And thou dismembered with thine own defence. 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 art thou happy. The law that threatened 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 misbehaved and sullen wench, Thou pout’st upon 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. But look thou stay not till the watch be set, For then thou canst not pass to Mantua, 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.— 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.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Stop! Don’t do anything out of desperation. Are you a man? You look like a man. But your tears are womanly. Your wildness is like the irrational fury of a beast. You’re like an inappropriate woman hiding within a man, or, even worse, a shameful beast hiding within a half-man, half-woman! You amaze me. By my holy order, I swear I thought you were stronger and more stable than this. Have you killed Tybalt? Will you kill yourself, and in performing such a sin also kill your wife, who shares your life? Why are you ranting about your birth, the heavens, and the earth? You are made of the joining of all three, and now want nothing to do with them? You bring shame to your body, your love, and your mind. You are blessed with all three, but like a moneylender you do not use your body, love, or mind for their true purpose. Without honor or nobility, your body is just a wax figure. The love that you swore is just a hollow lie, since you now threaten to kill the love that you vowed to cherish. Your mind, that key to both your body and your love, has failed to handle both of them. You’re like an unskilled soldier who accidentally explodes his own gunpowder because he does not know how to use it: you end up killing yourself with the very thing meant to protect you. Now get a hold of yourself, man! Your Juliet is alive (for whose sake you were just threatening to kill yourself). That is something to be happy about. Tybalt tried to kill you, but you killed Tybalt. That is something to be happy about. The law that promised death for you was mercifully changed into exile—another thing to be happy about. You have been blessed multiple times, and are surrounded by brightest happiness. But like a misbehaved and sullen girl, you’re pouting about your bad luck and thwarted love. Now listen to me: those who act the way you are acting now die miserable. Go, be with your love, as we planned. Climb up to her bedroom and comfort her. But make sure to leave before the watchmen take their positions, because they will stop you before you can escape to Mantua. You’ll live in Mantua until we can announce your marriage publicly, make peace between your families, and beg the Prince to pardon you. Then we’ll welcome you back with twenty thousand times more joy than you’ll feel when leaving. Nurse, go to Juliet before Romeo follows. Give my regards to your lady, and tell her to hurry everybody in her house to bed. It's likely that their sorrow will make them want to go to sleep, anyway. Romeo is coming.

NURSE

O Lord, I could have stayed here all the night To hear good counsel. Oh, what learning is!My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.

NURSE

Oh Lord, I could stay here all night listening to good advice like yours. Education is amazing! 

[To  ROMEO] My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.

ROMEO

Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.

ROMEO

Do that, and tell my beloved to be ready to scold me.

NURSE

Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir. [Gives ROMEO JULIET’s ring] Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late.

NURSE

Here, sir, take this ring she asked me to give you. [She gives ROMEO JULIET’s ring] Hurry, it’s getting late.

Exit NURSE

ROMEO

How well my comfort is revived by this!

ROMEO

This ring lifts my spirits!

FRIAR LAWRENCE

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. 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.

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Now go. Good night. And remember that everything depends on you being out of Verona before the night watch takes its position, or that you disguise yourself and leave after daybreak. Stay a while in Mantua. I’ll find your servant, and every once in a while I’ll send you news through him about every good thing that occurs for you here. Give me your hand. It’s late. Farewell. Good night.

ROMEO

But that a joy past joy calls out on me, It were a grief so brief to part with thee. Farewell.

ROMEO

Even if I didn't have the greatest joy I'll ever experience calling out to me, it would still be sad to leave you in such a hurry. Goodbye.

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.