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Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 5

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That “banishèd,” that one word “banishèd”
115Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt’s death
Was woe enough, if it had ended there.
Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship
And needly will be ranked with other griefs,
Why followed not, when she said “Tybalt’s dead,”
120“Thy father” or “thy mother,” nay, or both,
Which modern lamentations might have moved?
But with a rearward following Tybalt’s death,
“Romeo is banishèd.” To speak that word,
Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,
125All slain, all dead. “Romeo is banishèd.”
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,
In that word’s death. No words can that woe sound.
Where is my father and my mother, Nurse?
That banishment is worse than the murder of ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt’s death would be bad enough if that was all. Maybe pain likes to have company and can’t come without bringing more pain. It would have been better if, after she said, “Tybalt’s dead,” she told me my mother or my father, or both, were gone. That would have made me make the normal cries of sadness. But to say that Tybalt’s dead and then say, “Romeo has been banished.” To say that is like saying that my father, my mother, Tybalt, Romeo, and Juliet have all been killed, they’re all dead. “Romeo has been banished.” That news brings infinite death. No words can express the pain. Where are my father and my mother, Nurse?


Weeping and wailing over Tybalt’s corse.
130Will you go to them? I will bring you thither.


They are crying and moaning over Tybalt’s corpse. Are you going to join them? I’ll bring you there.


Wash they his wounds with tears? Mine shall be spent
When theirs are dry, for Romeo’s banishment.
Take up those cords.—Poor ropes, you are beguiled,
Both you and I, for Romeo is exiled.
135He made you for a highway to my bed,
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowèd.
Come, cords.—Come, Nurse. I’ll to my wedding bed.
And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!


Are they washing out his wounds with their tears? I’ll cry my tears for Romeo’s banishment when their tears are dry. Pick up this rope ladder. This poor rope ladder, it’s useless now, just like me, because Romeo has been exiled. He made this rope ladder to be a highway to my bed, but I am a virgin, and I will die a virgin and a widow. Let’s go, rope ladder. Nurse, I’m going to lie in my wedding bed. And death, not Romeo, can take my virginity!


Hie to your chamber. I’ll find Romeo
140To comfort you. I wot well where he is.
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night.
I’ll to him. He is hid at Lawrence' cell.


Go to your bedroom. I’ll find Romeo to comfort you. I know where he is. Listen, your Romeo will be here tonight. I’ll go to him. He’s hiding out in Friar Lawrence’s cell.