Romeo and Juliet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 5

Original Text

Modern Text

JULIET

O, swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon,
110That monthly changes in her circle orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

JULIET

Don’t swear by the moon. The moon is always changing. Every month its position in the sky shifts. I don’t want you to turn out to be that inconsistent too.

ROMEO

What shall I swear by?

ROMEO

What should I swear by?

JULIET

     Do not swear at all.
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,
115And I’ll believe thee.

JULIET

Don’t swear at all. But if you have to swear, swear by your wonderful self, which is the god I worship like an idol, and then I’ll believe you.

ROMEO

     If my heart’s dear love—

ROMEO

If my heart’s dear love—

JULIET

Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract tonight.
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
120Ere one can say “It lightens.” Sweet, good night.
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! As sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast.

JULIET

Well, don’t swear. Although you bring me joy, I can’t take joy in this exchange of promises tonight. It’s too crazy. We haven’t done enough thinking. It’s too sudden. It’s too much like lightning, which flashes and then disappears before you can say, “it’s lightning.” My sweet, good night. Our love, which right now is like a flower bud in the summer air, may turn out to be a beautiful flower by the next time we meet. I hope you enjoy the same sweet peace and rest I feel in my heart.

ROMEO

125O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

ROMEO

Oh, are you going to leave me so unsatisfied?

JULIET

What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?

JULIET

What satisfaction could you possibly have tonight?

ROMEO

Th' exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.

ROMEO

I would be satisfied if we made each other true promises of love.

JULIET

I gave thee mine before thou didst request it,
And yet I would it were to give again.

JULIET

I pledged my love to you before you asked me to. Yet I wish I could take that promise back, so I had it to give again.

ROMEO

130Wouldst thou withdraw it? For what purpose, love?

ROMEO

You would take it back? Why would you do that, my love?