Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

ROMEO

And we mean well in going to this mask,
But ’tis no wit to go.

ROMEO

We mean well by going to this masquerade ball, but it’s not smart of us to go.

MERCUTIO

   Why, may one ask?

MERCUTIO

Why, may I ask?

ROMEO

50I dreamt a dream tonight.

ROMEO

I had a dream last night.

MERCUTIO

     And so did I.

MERCUTIO

So did I.

ROMEO

Well, what was yours?

ROMEO

Well, what was your dream?

MERCUTIO

     That dreamers often lie.

MERCUTIO

My dream told me that dreamers often lie.

ROMEO

In bed asleep while they do dream things true.

ROMEO

They lie in bed while they dream about the truth.

MERCUTIO

Oh, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.

MERCUTIO

BENVOLIO

Queen Mab, what’s she

BENVOLIO

Who’s Queen Mab?

MERCUTIO

55She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomi
Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.
60Her wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
Her traces of the smallest spider’s web,
Her collars of the moonshine’s watery beams,
Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,
65Her wagoner a small gray-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid.

MERCUTIO

She’s the fairies' midwife. She’s no bigger than the stone on a city councilman’s ring. She rides around in a wagon drawn by tiny little atoms, and she rides over men’s noses as they lie sleeping. The spokes of her wagon are made of spiders' legs. The cover of her wagon is made of grasshoppers' wings. The harnesses are made of the smallest spiderwebs. The collars are made out of moonbeams. Her whip is a thread attached to a cricket’s bone. Her wagon driver is a tiny bug in a gray coat; he’s not half the size of a little round

worm

It was believed that worms sprung from the fingers of young girls who sat about doing nothing.

worm
that comes from the finger of a lazy young girl.