Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 3

page Act 3 Scene 3 Page 6

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FRIAR LAWRENCE

   Hold thy desperate hand.
Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art.
110Thy tears are womanish. Thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast.
Unseemly woman in a seeming man,
And ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
Thou hast amazed me. By my holy order,
115I thought thy disposition better tempered.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? Wilt thou slay thyself,
And slay thy lady that in thy life lives
By doing damnèd hate upon thyself?
Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?
120Since birth and heaven and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once, which thou at once wouldst lose?
Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit,
Which, like a usurer, abound’st in all
And usest none in that true use indeed
125Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit.
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valor of a man;
Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
Killing that love which thou hast vowed to cherish;
130Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
Like powder in a skill-less soldier’s flask,
Is set afire by thine own ignorance;
And thou dismembered with thine own defence.
135What, rouse thee, man! Thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead—
There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew’st Tybalt—there art thou happy.
The law that threatened death becomes thy friend
140And turns it to exile—there art thou happy.
A pack of blessings light upon thy back,
Happiness courts thee in her best array,

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Hold on, and don’t act out of desperation. Are you a man? You look like a man, but your tears make you look like a woman. Your wild actions resemble the irrational fury of a beast. You’re a shameful woman who looks like a man or else an ugly creature who’s half-man, half-beast. You have amazed me. I swear by my holy order, I thought you were smarter and more rational than this. Have you killed Tybalt? Will you kill yourself? And would you also kill your wife, who shares your life, by committing the sin of killing yourself? Why do you complain about your birth, the heavens, and the earth? Life is the union of soul in body through the miracle of birth, but you would throw all that away. You bring shame to your body, your love, and your mind. You have so much natural talent, but like someone who hoards money, you use none of your talent for the right purpose—not your body, not your love, not your mind. Your body is just a wax figure, without the honor of a man. The love that you promised was a hollow lie. You’re killing the love that you vowed to cherish. Your mind, which aids both your body and your love, has mishandled both of them. You’re like a stupid soldier whose gunpowder explodes because he’s careless. The things you were supposed to use to defend yourself end up killing you. Get up, man! Your Juliet is alive. It was for her that you were almost killed earlier. Be happy that she’s alive. Tybalt wanted to kill you, but you killed Tybalt. Be happy that you’re alive. The law that threatened your life was softened into exile. Be happy about that. Your life is full of blessings. You have the best sorts of happiness to enjoy.