Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter ROMEO alone
ROMEO enters alone.
Can I go forward when my heart is here?
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out.
Can I go away while my heart stays here? I have to go back to where my heart is.
Moves away Enter BENVOLIO with MERCUTIO
ROMEO moves away. BENVOLIO and MERCUTIO enter.
Romeo, my cousin Romeo! Romeo!
(calling) Romeo, my cousin, Romeo, Romeo!
     He is wise,
And, on my life, hath stol'n him home to bed.
He’s a smart boy. I bet he slipped away and went home to bed.
5He ran this way and leapt this orchard wall.
Call, good Mercutio.
He ran this way and jumped over this orchard wall. Call to him, Mercutio.
     Nay, I’ll conjure too!
Romeo! Humours, madman, passion, lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh!
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied.
10Cry but “Ay me!” Pronounce but “love” and “dove.”
Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
One nickname for her purblind son and heir,
Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so true
When King Cophetua loved the beggar maid.—
15He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not.
The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.—
I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes,
By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh,
20And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
That in thy likeness thou appear to us.
I’ll conjure him as if I were summoning a spirit. Romeo! Madman! Passion! Lover! Show yourself in the form of a sigh. Speak one rhyme, and I’ll be satisfied. Just cry out, “Ah me!” Just say “love” and “dove.” Say just one lovely word to my good friend


Venus is the Roman goddess of love.

. Just say the nickname of her blind son Cupid, the one who shot arrows so well in the old story.—Romeo doesn’t hear me. He doesn’t stir. He doesn’t move. The silly ape is dead, but I must make him appear.—I summon you by Rosaline’s bright eyes, by her high forehead and her red lips, by her fine feet, by her straight legs, by her trembling thighs, and by the regions right next to her thighs. In the name of all of these things, I command you to appear before us in your true form.