Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter NURSE with cords
The NURSE enters with the rope ladder in her pouch.
     Oh, here comes my Nurse,
And she brings news, and every tongue that speaks
But Romeo’s name speaks heavenly eloquence.—
Now, Nurse, what news? What hast thou there? The cords
35That Romeo bid thee fetch?
Oh, here comes my Nurse, and she brings news. Every voice that mentions Romeo’s name sounds beautiful. Now, Nurse, what’s the news? Is that the rope ladder Romeo told you to pick up?

NURSE

Ay, ay, the cords.

NURSE

Yes, yes, this is the rope ladder.

JULIET

Ay me, what news? Why dost thou wring thy hands?

JULIET

Oh my, what’s the news? Why do you look so upset?

NURSE

Ah, welladay! He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!
We are undone, lady, we are undone!
40Alack the day! He’s gone, he’s killed, he’s dead!

NURSE

Oh, it’s a sad day! He’s dead. He’s dead. He’s dead! We’re ruined, lady, we’re ruined! What an awful day! He’s gone. He’s been killed. He’s dead!

JULIET

Can heaven be so envious?

JULIET

Can God be so jealous and hateful?

NURSE

     Romeo can,
Though heaven cannot. O Romeo, Romeo!
Who ever would have thought it? Romeo!

NURSE

Romeo is hateful, even though God isn’t. Oh, Romeo, Romeo, who ever would have thought it would be Romeo?

JULIET

What devil art thou that dost torment me thus?
45This torture should be roared in dismal hell.
Hath Romeo slain himself? Say thou but “ay,”
And that bare vowel I shall poison more
Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice.
I am not I if there be such an I,
50Or those eyes shut that makes thee answer “ay.”
If he be slain, say “ay,” or if not, “no.”
Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe.

JULIET

What kind of devil are you to torture me like this? This is as bad as the tortures of hell. Has Romeo killed himself? Just say “Yes” and I will turn more poisonous than the snake with the evil eye. I will no longer be myself if you tell me Romeo killed himself. If he’s been killed, say “Yes.” If not, say “No.” These short words will determine my joy or my pain.

NURSE

I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes—
God save the mark!—here on his manly breast.
55A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse.
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood,
All in gore blood. I swoonèd at the sight.

NURSE

I saw the wound. I saw it with my own eyes. God bless that wound, here on his manly chest. A pitiful corpse, a bloody, pitiful corpse.
Pale as ashes and drenched in blood. All the dried blood was so gory. I fainted when I saw it.