Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 2

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My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
20Come, vial. (holds out the vial)
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
No, no. This shall forbid it. Lie thou there.
(lays her knife down)
25What if it be a poison, which the friar
Subtly hath ministered to have me dead,
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonored
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear it is. And yet, methinks, it should not,
30For he hath still been tried a holy man.
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Come to redeem me? There’s a fearful point.
Shall I not, then, be stifled in the vault
35To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place—
40As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where for these many hundred years the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are packed;
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say,
45At some hours in the night spirits resort—?
Alack, alack, is it not like that I,
So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth,
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad—?
Alright, here’s the vial. What if this mixture doesn’t work at all? Will I be married tomorrow morning? No, no, this knife will stop it. Lie down right there.
(she lays down the knife) What if the Friar mixed the potion to kill me? Is he worried that he will be disgraced if I marry Paris after he married me to Romeo? I’m afraid that it’s poison. And yet, it shouldn’t be poison because he is a trustworthy holy man. What if, when I am put in the tomb, I wake up before Romeo comes to save me? That’s a frightening idea. Won’t I suffocate in the tomb? There’s no healthy air to breathe in there. Will I die of suffocation before Romeo comes? Or if I live, I’ll be surrounded by death and darkness. It will be terrible. There will be bones hundreds of years old in that tomb, my ancestors' bones. Tybalt’s body will be in there, freshly entombed, and his corpse will be rotting. They say that during the night the spirits are in tombs. Oh no, oh no. I’ll wake up and smell awful odors. I’ll hear screams that would drive people crazy.