Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

BENVOLIO

   No, coz, I rather weep.

BENVOLIO

No, cousin, I’m crying.

ROMEO

Good heart, at what?

ROMEO

Good man, why are you crying?

BENVOLIO

175At thy good heart’s oppression.

BENVOLIO

I’m crying because of how sad you are.

ROMEO

Why, such is love’s transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it pressed
With more of thine. This love that thou hast shown
180Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
185A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.

ROMEO

Yes, this is what love does. My sadness sits heavy in my chest, and you want to add your own sadness to mine so there’s even more. I have too much sadness already, and now you’re going to make me sadder by feeling sorry for you. Here’s what love is: a smoke made out of lovers' sighs. When the smoke clears, love is a fire burning in your lover’s eyes. If you frustrate love, you get an ocean made out of lovers' tears. What else is love? It’s a wise form of madness. It’s a sweet lozenge that you choke on. Goodbye, cousin.

BENVOLIO

   Soft! I will go along.
And if you leave me so, you do me wrong.

BENVOLIO

Wait. I’ll come with you. If you leave me like this, you’re doing me wrong.

ROMEO

Tut, I have lost myself. I am not here.
This is not Romeo. He’s some other where.

ROMEO

I’m not myself. I’m not here. This isn’t Romeo—he’s somewhere else.

BENVOLIO

190Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.

BENVOLIO

Tell me seriously, who is the one you love?

ROMEO

What, shall I groan and tell thee?

ROMEO

Seriously? You mean I should groan and tell you?

BENVOLIO

Groan! Why, no. But sadly, tell me who.

BENVOLIO

Groan? No. But tell me seriously who it is.