Romeo and Juliet


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Friar Laurence alone, with a basket
advance (v.) 1 raise, lift up, upraise


Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye

The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry,

I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
cage (n.) 1 basket, frame
osier (adj.) made of willow

With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
baleful (adj.) deadly, mortal, malignant

The earth that's nature's mother is her tomb.

What is her burying grave, that is her womb;

And from her womb children of divers kind
divers (adj.) different, various, several

We sucking on her natural bosom find,

Many for many virtues excellent,
virtue (n.) 4 power, capability, efficacy, property

None but for some, and yet all different.

O mickle is the powerful grace that lies
grace (n.) 2 virtue, good quality
mickle (adj.) great, much, large

In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities.
quality (n.) 5 characteristic, feature, property
true (adj.) 7 inherent, authentic, genuine

For naught so vile that on the earth doth live

But to the earth some special good doth give;

Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use,
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
fair (adj.) 10 legitimate, lawful, proper
strain (v.) 2 constrain, force, press

Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
birth (n.) 2 nature, kind, natural character

Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
turn (v.) 2 become, transform, change [into]

And vice sometimes by action dignified.

Within the infant rind of this weak flower

Poison hath residence, and medicine power.
medicine (n.) 1 healing, effective remedy

For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
stay (v.) 8 stop, prevent, end

Two such opposed kings encamp them still
encamp (v.) form into a camp, settle in a camp
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

In man as well as herbs – grace and rude will.
rude (adj.) 9 uncontrolled, unruly, of the flesh
will (n.) 2 lust, sexual desire, passion

And where the worser is predominant,

Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
canker (n./adj.) 1 grub that destroys plant buds and leaves, cankerworm, parasite

Enter Romeo
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


Good morrow, father.



What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?

Young son, it argues a distempered head
argue (v.) 1 indicate, betoken, be evidence of
distempered (adj.) 3 disordered, disturbed, diseased

So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye,
keep (v.) 4 keep up, maintain, carry on
watch (n.) 3 sleepless state, wakefulness

And where care lodges, sleep will never lie.

But where unbruised youth with unstuffed brain
unbruised (adj.) 2 undamaged by the world
unstuffed (adj.) unclogged by troubles

Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign.
couch (v.) 5 lay down, rest, repose

Therefore thy earliness doth me assure

Thou art uproused with some distemperature.
distemperature (n.) 1 ailment, disorder, malady
uprouse (v.) arouse, get up, leave one's bed

Or if not so, then here I hit it right –,

Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.


That last is true. The sweeter rest was mine.


God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?


With Rosaline, my ghostly father? No.
ghostly (adj.) spiritual, holy

I have forgot that name and that name's woe.


That's my good son! But where hast thou been then?


I'll tell thee ere thou ask it me again.

I have been feasting with mine enemy,

Where on a sudden one hath wounded me

That's by me wounded. Both our remedies

Within thy help and holy physic lies.
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count

I bear no hatred, blessed man, for, lo,

My intercession likewise steads my foe.
intercession (n.) 1 prayer, plea, entreaty
stead (v.) help, assist, benefit


Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift.
drift (n.) 1 plan, intention, aim
homely (adj.) 1 plain, simple, ordinary

Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.
shrift (n.) 2 absolution


Then plainly know my heart's dear love is set

On the fair daughter of rich Capulet.

As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine,

And all combined, save what thou must combine
combine (v.) 2 unite in harmony, be at one

By holy marriage. When, and where, and how

We met, we wooed and made exchange of vow,

I'll tell thee as we pass. But this I pray,

That thou consent to marry us today.


Holy Saint Francis! What a change is here!

Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear,

So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies

Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.

Jesu Maria! What a deal of brine
brine (n.) 1 salt water [i.e. tears]

Hath washed thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!

How much salt water thrown away in waste

To season love, that of it doth not taste!
season (v.) 8 preserve, keep

The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears.

Thy old groans yet ring in mine ancient ears.

Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit

Of an old tear that is not washed off yet.

If e'er thou wast thyself, and these woes thine,

Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline.

And art thou changed? Pronounce this sentence then:
sentence (n.) 1 maxim, wise saying, precept

Women may fall when there's no strength in men.


Thou chidst me oft for loving Rosaline.
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count


For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.


And badest me bury love.
bid (v.), past form bade 3 pray, entreat, beg, ask


                         Not in a grave

To lay one in, another out to have.


I pray thee chide me not. Her whom I love now
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

Doth grace for grace and love for love allow.
grace (n.) 1 honour, favour, recognition, respect

The other did not so.


                         O, she knew well

Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell.

But come, young waverer, come, go with me.

In one respect I'll thy assistant be.

For this alliance may so happy prove
alliance (n.) 2 marriage

To turn your households' rancour to pure love.


O, let us hence! I stand on sudden haste.
stand on (v.) 1 insist on, demand, call for


Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.


  Previous scene     Next scene