Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

GREGORY

How? Turn thy back and run?

GREGORY

How will you back me up—by turning your back and running away?

SAMPSON

Fear me not.

SAMPSON

Don’t worry about me.

GREGORY

No, marry. I fear thee.

GREGORY

No, really. I am worried about you!

SAMPSON

Let us take the law of our sides. Let them begin.

SAMPSON

Let’s not break the law by starting a fight. Let them start something.

GREGORY

35I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.

GREGORY

I’ll frown at them as they pass by, and they can react however they want.

SAMPSON

Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them, which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it. (bites his thumb)

SAMPSON

You mean however they dare. I’ll bite my thumb at them. That’s an insult, and if they let me get away with it they’ll be dishonored. (SAMPSON

bites his thumb

Biting the thumb is a gesture of disrespect.

bites his thumb
)

ABRAM

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

ABRAM

Hey, are you biting your thumb at us?

SAMPSON

I do bite my thumb, sir.

SAMPSON

I’m biting my thumb.

ABRAM

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

ABRAM

Are you biting your thumb at us?

SAMPSON

40 (aside to GREGORY)
Is the law of our side if I say “ay”?

SAMPSON

(aside to GREGORY) Is the law on our side if I say yes?

GREGORY

(aside to SAMPSON)
No.

GREGORY

(aside to SAMPSON) No.

SAMPSON

No, sir. I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir.

SAMPSON

(to ABRAM) No, sir, I’m not biting my thumb at you, but I am biting my thumb.

GREGORY

45Do you quarrel, sir?

GREGORY

Are you trying to start a fight?

ABRAM

Quarrel, sir? No, sir.

ABRAM

Start a fight? No, sir.