If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
If I’ve offended you by touching your hand (which is like a holy place) with mine. My lips are ready to right that wrong with a kiss.
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this,
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
A person who takes a pilgrimage, or journey, to a sacred place, for religious reasons.
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
In this first meeting both Romeo and Juliet use religious imagery to describe each other and their actions. How many examples of this can you find? How are we meant to feel about the two characters and their meeting?
O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do:
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged.
The last fourteen lines are a sonnet, shared by Romeo and Juliet. Sonnets are traditionally poems of love. Why do you think Shakespeare shares these lines between the two characters rather than one of them delivering the whole sonnet?
Got rid of and made clean again.
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Sin from my lips? O, trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.
Romeo and Juliet share their first kiss in this meeting. Looking at the language they use to describe this moment, how do you think they both feel?
You kiss by th’book.
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.
What is her mother?
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous.
I nursed her daughter, that you talked withal.
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.
Her Mother is Lady Capulet, whose house you're in. She’s a good lady, very wise and respectable. I was her daughter’s nurse, the girl you were talking to; I’m telling you, the man that gets her will get a huge amount of money.
Is she a Capulet?
O, dear account! My life is my foe’s debt.
Away, begone, the sport is at the best.
Ay, so I fear, the more is my unrest.
Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone,
The guests indicate they have to leave.
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.
Is it e’en so? Why then I thank you all.
I thank you, honest gentlemen, good night.
Come on, then let’s to bed
It waxes late: I’ll to my rest.
Exeunt all but JULIET and NURSE.
Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?
The son and heir of old Tiberio
What’s he that now is going out of door?
Go ask his name.— If he be marrièd,
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathèd enemy.
The only man I am in love with comes from the only family I hate! I saw him before I knew and now it’s too late!
Abnormal or likely to bring you bad luck.
(Text edited for rehearsals by Erica Whyman)