Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 5

page Act 4 Scene 5 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

And all the better is it for the maid.
70Your part in her you could not keep from death,
But heaven keeps his part in eternal life.
The most you sought was her promotion,
For ’twas your heaven she should be advanced.
And weep ye now, seeing she is advanced
75Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?
Oh, in this love, you love your child so ill
That you run mad, seeing that she is well.
She’s not well married that lives married long,
But she’s best married that dies married young.
80Dry up your tears and stick your rosemary
On this fair corse, and, as the custom is,
And in her best array, bear her to church.
For though some nature bids us all lament,
Yet nature’s tears are reason’s merriment.
She is in a better place. You could not prevent her from dying someday, but heaven will give her eternal life. The most you hope for was for her to marry wealthy and rise up the social ladder—that was your idea of heaven. And now you cry, even though she has risen up above the clouds, as high as heaven itself? Oh, in this love, you love your child so badly, that you go mad, even though she is in heaven. It is best to marry well and die young, better than to be married for a long time. Dry up your tears, and put your rosemary on this beautiful corpse. And, in accordance with custom, carry her to the church in her best clothes. It’s natural for us to shed tears for her, but the truth is, we should be happy for her.


85All things that we ordained festival
Turn from their office to black funeral.
Our instruments to melancholy bells,
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast.
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,
90Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
And all things change them to the contrary.


All the things that we prepared for the wedding party will now be used for the funeral. Our happy music will now be sad. Our wedding banquet will become a sad burial feast. Our celebratory hymns will change to sad funeral marches. Our bridal flowers will cover a buried corpse. And everything will be used for the opposite purpose from what we intended.


Sir, go you in, and, madam, go with him;
And go, Sir Paris. Every one prepare
To follow this fair corse unto her grave.
95The heavens do lour upon you for some ill.
Move them no more by crossing their high will.


Sir, you go in. And, madam, go with him. And you go too, Sir Paris. Everyone prepare to take this beautiful corpse to her grave. The heavens hang threateningly over you for some past sin. Don’t disturb the heavens any more by trying to go against heaven’s will.


Faith, we may put up our pipes and be gone.


Well, we can put away our pipes and go home.