Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
Till we can clear these ambiguities
And know their spring, their head, their true descent,
And then will I be general of your woes,
235And lead you even to death. Meantime forbear,
And let mischance be slave to patience.—
Bring forth the parties of suspicion.
Be quiet and hold back your remarks of outrage, until we can clear up these questions. We want to know how it started and what really happened. And then I’ll be the leader of pain, and maybe I’ll lead you as far as death. In the meantime, hold on, and be patient. Bring forth the men under suspicion.
I am the greatest, able to do least,
Yet most suspected, as the time and place
240Doth make against me, of this direful murder.
And here I stand, both to impeach and purge,
Myself condemnèd and myself excused.
I am the greatest, but I was able to do the least. I am under the most suspicion, because I was here at the time of this awful murder. And here I stand, you can question me and punish me. I have already condemned and excused myself.
Then say at once what thou dost know in this.
Tell us what you know about this affair.
I will be brief, for my short date of breath
245Is not so long as is a tedious tale.
Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet,
And she, there dead, that Romeo’s faithful wife.
I married them, and their stol'n marriage day
Was Tybalt’s doomsday, whose untimely death
250Banished the new-made bridegroom from the city—
For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pined.
You, to remove that siege of grief from her,
Betrothed and would have married her perforce
To County Paris. Then comes she to me,
255And with wild looks bid me devise some mean
To rid her from this second marriage,
Or in my cell there would she kill herself.
Then gave I her, so tutored by my art,
A sleeping potion, which so took effect
260As I intended, for it wrought on her
The form of death.
I will be brief because I’m not going to live long enough to tell a boring story. Romeo, who lies there dead, was the husband of that Juliet. And she, who lies there dead, was that Romeo’s faithful wife. I married them; their secret wedding day was the day Tybalt died. His untimely death caused the bridegroom to be banished from the city. Juliet was sad because Romeo was gone, not because of Tybalt’s death. To cure her sadness, you arranged a marriage for her with Count Paris. Then she came to me, and, looking wild, she asked me to devise a plan to get her out of this second marriage. She threatened to kill herself in my cell if I didn’t help her. So I gave her a sleeping potion that I had mixed with my special skills. It worked as planned. She seemed to everyone to be dead.

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