Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

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,
70And soundly too. Your houses!

MERCUTIO

Take me inside some house, Benvolio, or I’ll pass out. May a plague strike both your families! They’ve turned me into food for worms. I’m done for. Curse your families!
Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO
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
75Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper softened valor’s steel!

ROMEO

This gentleman Mercutio, a close relative of the Prince and my dear friend, was killed while defending me from Tybalt’s slander—Tybalt, who had been my cousin for a whole hour! Oh, sweet Juliet, your beauty has made me weak like a woman, and you have softened my bravery, which before was as hard as steel.
Enter BENVOLIO
BENVOLIO enters.

BENVOLIO

O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead!
That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
80Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.

BENVOLIO

Oh Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead! His brave spirit has floated up to heaven, but it was too early for him to leave life on earth.

ROMEO

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

ROMEO

The future will be affected by today’s terrible events. Today is the start of a terror that will end in the days ahead.
Enter TYBALT
TYBALT enters.

BENVOLIO

Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

BENVOLIO

Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.

ROMEO

Alive in triumph—and Mercutio slain!
85Away 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,
90Staying for thine to keep him company.
Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.

ROMEO

He’s alive and victorious, and Mercutio’s dead? Enough with mercy and consideration. It’s time for rage to guide my actions. Now, Tybalt, you can call me “villain” the way you did before. Mercutio’s soul is floating right above our heads. He’s waiting for you to keep him company on the way up to heaven. Either you, or I, or both of us have to go with him.