Romeo and Juliet


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Romeo


If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,

My dreams presage some joyful news at hand.
presage (v.) 2 predict, forecast

My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne,
bosom (n.) 1 heart, inner person

And all this day an unaccustomed spirit
unaccustomed (adj.) unusual, strange, unfamiliar

Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.

I dreamt my lady came and found me dead –

Strange dream that gives a dead man leave to think! –

And breathed such life with kisses in my lips

That I revived and was an emperor.

Ah me! how sweet is love itself possessed,
possess (v.) 2 fill, imbue

When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!
shadow (n.) 4 illusion, unreal image, delusion

Enter Balthasar, Romeo's man, booted

News from Verona! How now, Balthasar?

Dost thou not bring me letters from the Friar?

How doth my lady? Is my father well?

How fares my Juliet? That I ask again,
fare (v.) 1 get on, manage, do, cope See Topics: Frequency count

For nothing can be ill if she be well.


Then she is well, and nothing can be ill.

Her body sleeps in Capel's monument,

And her immortal part with angels lives.

I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault

And presently took post to tell it you.
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count
post (n.) 2 post-horse
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,

Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count


Is it e'en so? Then I defy you, stars!

Thou knowest my lodging. Get me ink and paper,

And hire posthorses. I will hence tonight.
post-horse (n.) 1 fast horse


I do beseech you, sir, have patience.

Your looks are pale and wild and do import
import (v.) 4 portend, signify, predict

Some misadventure.
misadventure (n.) misfortune, mishap, tragic accident


                         Tush, thou art deceived.

Leave me and do the thing I bid thee do.

Hast thou no letters to me from the Friar?


No, my good lord.


                         No matter. Get thee gone

And hire those horses. I'll be with thee straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exit Balthasar

Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight.

Let's see for means. O mischief, thou art swift
mischief (n.) 2 wicked action, evil deed, harmful scheme
see for (v.) look out for

To enter in the thoughts of desperate men.

I do remember an apothecary,
apothecary, pothecary (n.) one who prepares and sells medicinal drugs

And hereabouts 'a dwells, which late I noted
late (adv.) recently, a little while ago / before
note (v.) 1 observe, pay attention [to], take special note [of]

In tattered weeds, with overwhelming brows,
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow
overwhelming (adj.) overhanging, bulging, protruding
weed (n.) 1 (plural) garments, dress, clothes

Culling of simples. Meagre were his looks.
cull (v.) select, pick out, choose
simple (n.) 1 ingredient, element, constituent

Sharp misery had worn him to the bones.

And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,

An alligator stuffed, and other skins

Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves

A beggarly account of empty boxes,
account, accompt (n.) 4 number, collection, assortment
beggarly (adj.) 1 destitute, impoverished, poverty-stricken

Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
bladder (n.) 1 vessel derived from animals used for storing liquid

Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses
cake (n.) compressed pack, flattened bundle
packthread, pack-thread (n.) twine used for tying up bundles, string

Were thinly scattered, to make up a show.
show (n.) 1 appearance, exhibition, display

Noting this penury, to myself I said,

‘ An if a man did need a poison now

Whose sale is present death in Mantua,

Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.’
caitiff (adj.) wretched, miserable, worthless

O, this same thought did but forerun my need,
forerun (v.) forecast, foreshadow, be the precursor of
need (n.) time of necessity, needy situation, emergency

And this same needy man must sell it me.

As I remember, this should be the house.

Being holiday, the beggar's shop is shut.

What, ho! Apothecary!

Enter Apothecary


                         Who calls so loud?


Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor.

Hold, there is forty ducats. Let me have

A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear
dram (n.) 1 tiny amount, small quantity
gear (n.) 3 stuff, substance
soon-speeding (adj.) quick-acting, rapidly working

As will disperse itself through all the veins,

That the life-weary taker may fall dead

And that the trunk may be discharged of breath

As violently as hasty powder fired
powder (n.) gunpowder

Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.


Such mortal drugs I have. But Mantua's law
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal

Is death to any he that utters them.
he (n.) man, person
utter (v.) 2 offer for sale, dispense, make available


Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness
bare (adj.) 4 gaunt, lean, needy

And fearest to die? Famine is in thy cheeks.

Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes.
starve (v.) 4 show hunger, reflect starvation

Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back.

The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law.

The world affords no law to make thee rich.

Then be not poor, but break it and take this.


My poverty but not my will consents.


I pay thy poverty and not thy will.


Put this in any liquid thing you will

And drink it off, and if you had the strength

Of twenty men it would dispatch you straight.
dispatch, despatch (v.) 3 kill, put to death, make away with, finish off
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


There is thy gold – worse poison to men's souls,

Doing more murder in this loathsome world,

Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.

I sell thee poison. Thou hast sold me none.

Farewell. Buy food and get thyself in flesh.

Come, cordial and not poison, go with me
cordial (n.) restorative, stimulant, tonic

To Juliet's grave. For there must I use thee.


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