Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

ROMEO

Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.

ROMEO

BENVOLIO

For what, I pray thee?

BENVOLIO

For what, Romeo?

ROMEO

For your broken shin.

ROMEO

For when you cut your shin.

BENVOLIO

Why Romeo, art thou mad?

BENVOLIO

What? Romeo, are you crazy?

ROMEO

55Not mad, but bound more than a madman is,
Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
Whipped and tormented and—Good e'en, good fellow.

ROMEO

I’m not crazy, but I’m tied up tighter than a mental patient in a straitjacket. I’m locked up in a prison and deprived of food. I’m whipped and tortured—(to PETER) Good evening, good fellow.

PETER

God 'i' good e'en. I pray, sir, can you read?

PETER

May God give you a good evening. Excuse me, sir, do you know how to read?

ROMEO

Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.

ROMEO

I can read my own fortune in my misery.

PETER

60Perhaps you have learned it without book. But I pray, can you read anything you see?

PETER

Perhaps you’ve learned from life and not from books. But please tell me, can you read anything you see?

ROMEO

Ay, if I know the letters and the language.

ROMEO

Yes, if I know the language and the letters.

PETER

Ye say honestly. Rest you merry.

PETER

ROMEO

Stay, fellow. I can read. (he reads the letter)
65“Seigneur Martino and his wife and daughters;
County Anselme and his beauteous sisters;
The lady widow of Vitruvio;
Seigneur Placentio and his lovely nieces;
Mercutio and his brother Valentine;
70Mine uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters;
My fair niece Rosaline and Livia;

ROMEO

Stay, fellow. I can read. (he reads the letter)
“Signor Martino and his wife and daughters,
Count Anselme and his beautiful sisters,
Vitruvio’s widow,
Signor Placentio and his lovely nieces,
Mercutio and his brother Valentine,
My uncle Capulet and his wife and daughters,
My fair niece Rosaline and Livia,