He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
But, soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious:
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it, cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses: I will answer it.
I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
Wait, quiet! What is it I can see in the window? It must be towards the east because I can see Juliet there and she is the sun.
Why do you think Shakespeare uses images of the sun and moon in Romeo’s speech?
In this line there are only 6 syllables rather than 10 and it is not written in iambic pentameter. Why do you think Shakespeare does this on this line and not others?
How many times does Romeo, and then Juliet, use the word ‘O’? How do you imagine they sound? What effect does this have on the way they speak?
O, speak again, bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
As is a wingèd messenger of heaven
Unto the white upturnèd wond’ring eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds,
And sails upon the bosom of the air.
Showing the whites of your eyes by looking upwards
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
Oh, Romeo, Romeo! Why are you Romeo? Give up your heritage and stop being a Montague; or, if you won’t do that, make me a promise of your love and I will stop being a Capulet.
’Tis but thy name that is my enemy,
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet,
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
Oh, be called something else! What’s so important about a name? Even if we called a rose a different name it would still smell beautiful.
What man art thou that thus bescreened in night
So stumblest on my counsel?
Hidden by the darkness of the night
By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee.
Had I it written, I would tear the word.
This is the first of the shared lines between Romeo and Juliet. Why do you think Shakespeare includes shared lines between these characters? Here, it is Romeo that finishes the line. Why do you think that might be?
My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of that tongue’s uttering, yet I know the sound:
Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?
I have barely heard you speak a hundred words, yet I know your voice: aren’t you Romeo, and a Montague?
Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.
How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
Notice who speaks the most in this conversation and who asks the most questions. Who do you think has most control in this meeting?
With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls,
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do that dares love attempt:
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.
If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet,
And I am proof against their enmity.
I would not for the world they saw thee here.
I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes,
And but thou love me, let them find me here.
By whose direction found’st thou out this place?
By love, that first did prompt me to inquire:
He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes.
I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far
As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,
I should adventure for such merchandise.
Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face,
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight
Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny
What I have spoke: but farewell compliment!
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay’,
And I will take thy word. Yet if thou swear’st,
Thou mayst prove false: at lovers’ perjuries
The say Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully
This is the first time Juliet suggests that what Romeo says and what he might do are different, asking him to swear his love. Why do you think she does this? What concerns her?
Romeo responds to this by swearing on the moon, which Juliet claims is inconstant and always changing. Why do you think his promise means so much to her?
(Text edited for rehearsals by Erica Whyman)