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Romeo and Juliet

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ACT III SCENE V Capulet's orchard. 
[Enter ROMEO and JULIET above, at the window]
JULIETWilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.
ROMEOIt was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.10
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
JULIETYon light is not day-light, I know it, I:
It is some meteor that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua:
Therefore stay yet; thou need'st not to be gone.
ROMEOLet me be ta'en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye,
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;20
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:
I have more care to stay than will to go:
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is't, my soul? let's talk; it is not day.
JULIETIt is, it is: hie hence, be gone, away!
It is the lark that sings so out of tune,
Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.
Some say the lark makes sweet division;
This doth not so, for she divideth us:30
Some say the lark and loathed toad change eyes,
O, now I would they had changed voices too!
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence with hunt's-up to the day,
O, now be gone; more light and light it grows.
ROMEOMore light and light; more dark and dark our woes!
[Enter Nurse, to the chamber]
NurseYour lady mother is coming to your chamber:
The day is broke; be wary, look about.40
JULIETThen, window, let day in, and let life out.
ROMEOFarewell, farewell! one kiss, and I'll descend.
[He goeth down]
JULIETArt thou gone so? love, lord, ay, husband, friend!
I must hear from thee every day in the hour,
For in a minute there are many days:
O, by this count I shall be much in years
Ere I again behold my Romeo!
I will omit no opportunity
That may convey my greetings, love, to thee.50
JULIETO think'st thou we shall ever meet again?
ROMEOI doubt it not; and all these woes shall serve
For sweet discourses in our time to come.
JULIETO God, I have an ill-divining soul!
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below,
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb:
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale.
ROMEOAnd trust me, love, in my eye so do you:
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!
JULIETO fortune, fortune! all men call thee fickle:60
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him.
That is renown'd for faith? Be fickle, fortune;
For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long,
But send him back.
LADY CAPULET[Within] Ho, daughter! are you up?
JULIETWho is't that calls? is it my lady mother?
Is she not down so late, or up so early?
What unaccustom'd cause procures her hither?
LADY CAPULETWhy, how now, Juliet!
JULIETMadam, I am not well.
LADY CAPULETEvermore weeping for your cousin's death?
What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears?70
An if thou couldst, thou couldst not make him live;
Therefore, have done: some grief shows much of love;
But much of grief shows still some want of wit.
JULIETYet let me weep for such a feeling loss.
LADY CAPULETSo shall you feel the loss, but not the friend
Which you weep for.
JULIETFeeling so the loss,
Cannot choose but ever weep the friend.
LADY CAPULETWell, girl, thou weep'st not so much for his death,
As that the villain lives which slaughter'd him.
JULIETWhat villain madam?
LADY CAPULETThat same villain, Romeo.80
JULIET[Aside] Villain and he be many miles asunder.--
God Pardon him! I do, with all my heart;
And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart.
LADY CAPULETThat is, because the traitor murderer lives.
JULIETAy, madam, from the reach of these my hands:
Would none but I might venge my cousin's death!
LADY CAPULETWe will have vengeance for it, fear thou not:
Then weep no more. I'll send to one in Mantua,
Where that same banish'd runagate doth live,
Shall give him such an unaccustom'd dram,90
That he shall soon keep Tybalt company:
And then, I hope, thou wilt be satisfied.
JULIETIndeed, I never shall be satisfied
With Romeo, till I behold him--dead--
Is my poor heart for a kinsman vex'd.
Madam, if you could find out but a man
To bear a poison, I would temper it;
That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof,
Soon sleep in quiet. O, how my heart abhors
To hear him named, and cannot come to him.100
To wreak the love I bore my cousin
Upon his body that slaughter'd him!
LADY CAPULETFind thou the means, and I'll find such a man.
But now I'll tell thee joyful tidings, girl.
JULIETAnd joy comes well in such a needy time:
What are they, I beseech your ladyship?
LADY CAPULETWell, well, thou hast a careful father, child;
One who, to put thee from thy heaviness,
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy,
That thou expect'st not nor I look'd not for.110
JULIETMadam, in happy time, what day is that?
LADY CAPULETMarry, my child, early next Thursday morn,
The gallant, young and noble gentleman,
The County Paris, at Saint Peter's Church,
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.
JULIETNow, by Saint Peter's Church and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride.
I wonder at this haste; that I must wed
Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo.
I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam,120

I will not marry yet; and, when I do, I swear,
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,
Rather than Paris. These are news indeed!
LADY CAPULETHere comes your father; tell him so yourself,
And see how he will take it at your hands.
[Enter CAPULET and Nurse]
CAPULETWhen the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew;
But for the sunset of my brother's son
It rains downright.
How now! a conduit, girl? what, still in tears?
Evermore showering? In one little body130
Thou counterfeit'st a bark, a sea, a wind;
For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,
Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is,
Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy sighs;
Who, raging with thy tears, and they with them,
Without a sudden calm, will overset
Thy tempest-tossed body. How now, wife!
Have you deliver'd to her our decree?
LADY CAPULETAy, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks.
I would the fool were married to her grave!140
CAPULETSoft! take me with you, take me with you, wife.
How! will she none? doth she not give us thanks?
Is she not proud? doth she not count her blest,
Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought
So worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom?
JULIETNot proud, you have; but thankful, that you have:
Proud can I never be of what I hate;
But thankful even for hate, that is meant love.
CAPULETHow now, how now, chop-logic! What is this?
'Proud,' and 'I thank you,' and 'I thank you not;'150
And yet 'not proud,' mistress minion, you,
Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds,
But fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next,
To go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!
You tallow-face!
LADY CAPULETFie, fie! what, are you mad?
JULIETGood father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.
CAPULETHang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!160
I tell thee what: get thee to church o' Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me;
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child;
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her:
Out on her, hilding!
NurseGod in heaven bless her!
You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.
CAPULETAnd why, my lady wisdom? hold your tongue,170
Good prudence; smatter with your gossips, go.
NurseI speak no treason.
CAPULETO, God ye god-den.
NurseMay not one speak?
CAPULETPeace, you mumbling fool!
Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl;
For here we need it not.
LADY CAPULETYou are too hot.
CAPULETGod's bread! it makes me mad:
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her match'd: and having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,180
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train'd,
Stuff'd, as they say, with honourable parts,
Proportion'd as one's thought would wish a man;
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender,
To answer 'I'll not wed; I cannot love,
I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.'
But, as you will not wed, I'll pardon you:
Graze where you will you shall not house with me:
Look to't, think on't, I do not use to jest.190
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in
the streets,
For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to't, bethink you; I'll not be forsworn.
JULIETIs there no pity sitting in the clouds,
That sees into the bottom of my grief?
O, sweet my mother, cast me not away!
Delay this marriage for a month, a week;200
Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.
LADY CAPULETTalk not to me, for I'll not speak a word:
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.
JULIETO God!--O nurse, how shall this be prevented?
My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven;
How shall that faith return again to earth,
Unless that husband send it me from heaven
By leaving earth? comfort me, counsel me.
Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stratagems210
Upon so soft a subject as myself!
What say'st thou? hast thou not a word of joy?
Some comfort, nurse.
NurseFaith, here it is.
Romeo is banish'd; and all the world to nothing,
That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you;
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the county.
O, he's a lovely gentleman!
Romeo's a dishclout to him: an eagle, madam,220
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,
I think you are happy in this second match,
For it excels your first: or if it did not,
Your first is dead; or 'twere as good he were,
As living here and you no use of him.
JULIETSpeakest thou from thy heart?
NurseAnd from my soul too;
Or else beshrew them both.
JULIETWell, thou hast comforted me marvellous much.
Go in: and tell my lady I am gone,230
Having displeased my father, to Laurence' cell,
To make confession, and to be absolved.
NurseMarry, I will; and this is wisely done.
JULIETAncient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue
Which she hath praised him with above compare
So many thousand times? Go, counsellor;
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.
I'll to the friar, to know his remedy:240
If all else fail, myself have power to die.

Next: Romeo and Juliet, Act 4, Scene 1


Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 5

From Romeo and Juliet. Ed. K. Deighton. London: Macmillan.
*Line numbers have been adjusted.

1. Wilt thou be gone, are you determined to go?

3. That pierced ... ear, that sounded in your ear and made you afraid, i.e. of staying here too late to make your escape to Mantua.

4. pomegranate-tree. Though flourishing in England, this tree was originally brought from warmer climates, and was particularly abundant in Palestine. The Romans introduced it into Italy, whence it spread to other European countries. The date of its first cultivation in England is uncertain, though Chaucer mentions the tree in his Romaunt of the Rose, 1356, "Of pome-garnettys a fulle gret delle." In England its fruit, though handsome, is not worth eating. Knight is informed by a friend that "throughout his journeys in the East he never heard such a choir of nightingales as in a row of pomegranate trees that skirt the road from Smyrna to Boudjia." From Lat. pomum an apple, and granatum, filled with seeds. Shakespeare, like most poets, speaks of the female bird as singing; though, as he no doubt well knew, it is the male bird alone that sings, — he, like others, being influenced by the myth that Philomela, daughter of King Pandion, was metamorphosed into a nightingale.

6. herald, cp. V. A. 531, "The owl, night's herald, shrieks '"Tis very late.'"

7. envious, spiteful, malignant.

8. Do lace ... east, crosses with bands of light the clouds that part at its advent; cp. Haml. ii. 2. 313, "this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire."

9. Night's candles, the stars; cp. Macb. ii. 1. 4, 5, "There's husbandry in heaven; their candles are all out."

10. tiptoe, eager for his journey, alert. So we speak of being 'on the tiptoe of expectation.'

11. I must ... die, if I am to live, I must be gone; for, if I stay, my life will be forfeit.

13. exhales, draws up from the earth; cp. i. H. IV. v. 1. 19, "And he no more an exhaled meteor"; ii. 4. 352, "My lord do you see these meteors? do you behold these exhalations?", the belief being that they were vapours which the sun had drawn up from the earth and condensed.

14. torch-bearer. Todd compares Sidney's Arcadia, "The moon, then full, not thinking scorn to be a torch-bearer to such beauty, guided her steps."

18. so, provided that.

20. Cynthia's brow. Collier's MS. Corrector gives bow for brow, which is a very tempting conjecture, Cynthia, or Diana (i.e. the moon) being generally represented with her bow. Clarke supposes the allusion to be to the crescent moon upon her brow with which she is classically represented.

21. Nor ... not, for the emphatic double negative, see Abb. § 406: beat, strike with their vibrations.

23. care, desire: will, determination.

25. my soul! addressed to Juliet.

28. Straining ... sharps, in the straining of her voice to the highest pitch, producing jarring discords and notes of piercing shrillness; discords and sharps, both technical terms in music, the former "a combination of notes which produces a certain restless craving in the mind for some furtlier combination upon which it can rest with satisfaction"; the latter "a term which expresses the raising of a note by a less quantity than a whole tone. F sharp is half a tone higher than F natural: a singer 'sang sharp,' that is, sang slightly higher than the accompaniment; 'the pitch was sharpened,' that is, was slightly raised" (Dict. of Music, edited by Sir George Grove).

29. division, "is what we now call variation; where instead of one note, two, three, or more notes are sung to one syllable or to one chord" (Staunton).

31, 2. Some say ... too! because the croaking toad would not be "the herald of the morn" to frighten Romeo away. "The toad," says Warburton, "having very fine eyes, and the lark very ugly ones, was the occasion of a common saying among the people that the toad and lark had changed eyes."

33. Since arm ... affray, since that voice frightens us from our loving embraces.

34. hunt's-up. "Any song intended to arouse in the morning, — even a love-song, — was formerly called a hunt,'s-up; and the name was, of course, derived from a tune or song employed by early hunters" ... (Staunton).

36. More light ... woes, the brighter the day shines forth, the darker fall the shadows of our woes.

40. be wary, look about, take heed and be on your guard, sc. that Romeo should not be discovered; cp. Lear, iv. 7. 93, '"Tis time to look about; the powers of the kingdom approach apace."

44, 5. I must ... days, you must let me hear from you every day in the hour. I say 'every day in the hour,' for a minute of your absence will to me be as tedious as many days of ordinary reckoning.

46. by this count ... years, by this reckoning I shall be far advanced in years, well on in life.

52. I doubt it not. To Daniel "it seems probable that the I here stands for the affirmative Ay," in which case a comma will be necessary after the word. The first quarto reads "No doubt, no doubt," a reading which confirms the conjecture, — to me a nearly certain one.

54. O God! ... soul. Cp. Romeo's forebodings above, i. 4. 106-11.

55. now thou art below, now that he has descended to the ground.

59. Dry sorrow ... blood. Sighs were supposed to drain the blood from the heart; cp. M. N. D. iii. 2. 97, "sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear"; ii. H. VI. iii. 2. 63, "Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs."

61. what dost ... him, what business have you to associate yourself with him? you and he are no fit companions.

66. Is she not ... early, am I to suppose that she has stayed downstairs so late (i.e. has not been in bed), or that she has risen so early?

67. procures, brings about her coming; cp. above, ii. 2. 145, "By one that I'll procure to come to thee."

68. Why, how now, Juliet? said in reproach at not finding her dressed.

72. have done, cease lamenting.

73. But much ... wit. Ulrici notices that it is thoroughly in keeping with Lady Capulet's heartless character and artificial nature that she should consider deep feeling an indication of want of wit, i.e. good sense.

74. such a feeling loss, such a heartfelt loss; op. Lear, iv. 6. 226, "Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows. Am pregnant to good pity."

75, 6. So shall you ... for, in that way you will only experience the bitterness of the loss without bringing back to life him who is lost.

76, 7. Feeling ... friend, since I feel the loss so bitterly, I cannot help for ever mourning the friend to whose loss that bitter grief is due.

78, 9. Well, girl, ... him, well, girl, whatever you may say of your grief for Tybalt, I believe the real cause of your sorrow is that Romeo has not yet been punished with death.

81. Villain ... asunder. Many editors have adopted Hanmer's stage direction, Aside. This seems to me a mistake. Juliet's words are purposely made ambiguous, as in the following speeches, by the use of be; as she intends the words to be taken by her mother, they express a wish, as she means them, they are a statement.

83. like he, more grammatically him.

84. traitor, traitorous; so R. II. i. 1. 102, "a traitor coward."

88. Then weep no more, then, if, as I supposed, this is the cause of your grief, you may dry your tears.

89. runagate, scoundrel, vagabond; literally an 'apostate,' from Lat. renegare, to deny again, to abjure one's religion, from which we have renegade. Skeat shows that the form is due to a confusion with run and gate, a way, the M. E. renegat being popularly supposed to stand for renne a gate, i.e. to run on the way. The word is familiar to us from the Prayer Book version of the Psalms, lxviii. 6, "letteth the runagates continue in scarceness," where the Bible version has "the rebellious."

90. such ... dram, a draught very different from his usual potations. A dram, here = a poisonous draught, is the same word as dram, a small weight, Gk....a handful, such draughts being given in small quantities; in v. 1. 60, below, the word is probably used in the more literal sense.

93-5. Indeed ... vex'd. "The several interpretations of which this ambiguous speech is capable are I suppose: 1. I shall never be satisfied with Romeo. 2. I shall never be satisfied with Romeo till I behold him. 3. I shall never be satisfied with Romeo till I behold him dead. 4. Till I behold him, dead is my poor heart. 5. Dead is my poor heart, so for a kinsman vext" (Daniel).

96. but, a transposition, the word really belonging to find out.

97. temper, mix, compound; so Haml. v. 2. 339, "It is a poison tempered by himself."

99. sleep in quiet, again ambiguously, the potion she would really like to administer being her own presence, companionship.

100. and cannot ... him, seeing that I (implied in my heart) (1) cannot find my way to join him, (2) cannot get at him to poison him.

101. To wreak ... cousin, to show, by the vengeance I would take, how great my love was for my cousin; of course the "vengeance" she would really take would be to throw herself into her husband's arms; wreak, from A.S. to revenge, punish, originally to urge, impel. Some word has evidently fallen out from the line, which is supplied in the later folios by "Tybalt." Malone, who points out that the last word of a line, especially when a proper name, is not likely to have been lost, conjectures "murder'd cousin"; others suggest "tender love," or "ever bore," or "bore unto."

105. needy time, time that has such good need of something to cheer it; in Per. i. 4. 95, needy is used either for 'needful,' or for that which supplies the wants, "our ships ... Are stored with corn to make your needy bread"; elsewhere it is used of persons, = indigent, or of things, = scantily supplied, as below, v. 1. 42, "needy shop."

107. careful, sc. of her interests and happiness.

109. Hath sorted ... joy, has picked out a day for the sudden accomplishment of your happiness; in sorted there is no doubt an allusion to choosing a propitious day by consulting an oracle, the word in all its senses being ultimately referable to the Lat. sors, sortis, a lot, decision by lot, an oracular response (often written on a little tablet or lot); so in iii. H. VI. v. 6. 85, without the adverb, "But I will sort a pitchy day for thee."

111. in happy time. A literal translation of the F. a la bonne heure, an expression used in acquiescence, astonishment, or indignation, here with doubtful satisfaction; so very frequently "in good time."

114. County, see note on i. 2. 68.

118, 9. that I must ... woo, according to which I am destined to be married before he who is to be my husband has even come to seek my love; should, is to be, as he thinks.

123. These ... indeed! this is a pretty piece of news you had to give! you may well call your communication 'news.'

12-3. how he will ... hands, what he will think of such an answer from your lips; though it is used indefinitely; see Abb. § 226.

126. the air. The earlier quartos and the folios give earth, but though it may be scientifically true that dew rises from the earth, and in that sense the earth may be said to drizzle dew, the words It rains downright show that air must be the right reading here.

127. sunset. In Campbell's beautiful lines in Lochiel, the word is used not for death itself but for the approach of death; "'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore And coming events cast their shadows before."

129. a conduit, girl? what, are your tears still flowing like a conduit never dry!

130-7. In one ... body. Cp. the king's fanciful similes, R. II. v. 5. 50-60.

136. Without ... calm, unless quickly followed by a calm.

138. decree, decision; cp. above, iii. 3. 146.

139. but she ... thanks, but she is good enough to thank you and to say that she will have none of our decision, nothing to do with the plan of wedding her to Paris.

140. were married ... grave. Cp. above, i. 5. 132, 3.

141. take me with you, let me be sure I understand you; cp. i. H. IV. ii. 4. 508, "I would your grace would take me with you," i.e. be explicit in your language.

143. proud, sc. of the noble alliance we have secured for her.

144, 5. we have ... bridegroom, we have arranged that so worthy a gentleman should be, etc.

146. Not proud ... have, I cannot say that I am proud you should have done this; though I am thankful, knowing that you did it out of love for me.

148. is meant love, is meant as love, is done with a loving purpose.

149. How ... chop-logic, have you become a splitter of straws, do you venture to bandy arguments with me in this quibbling way?

151. mistress minion, my pert young madam; minion, F. mignon, a favourite, darling, from the adjective mignon, dainty, neat, pleasing, kind. Skeat says that the sinister sense which the word so commonly has is probably borrowed from the Italian mignone, a minion, a favourite.

152. Thank ... prouds. don't talk this nonsense of your being thankful and proud; cp. R. II. ii. 3. 87, "Grace me no grace and uncle me no uncles," said in answer to Bolingbroke's words, "My gracious uncle."

153. But fettle ... next, but make ready those dainty limbs, of which you are so vain, in anticipation of Thursday next, i.e. of having to go to church for your marriage; to fettle, though of uncertain origin; is to set about doing a thing, generally with the idea of something difficult or unpleasant; for 'gainst, cp. above, iii. 4. 32.

155. on a hurdle. As convicted criminals were dragged to punishment.

156. Out, ... carrion, shame on you, you languid, whining, creature with a face as pale as a corpse; the green sickness, a disease of a hysterical nature, accompanied by a pale, livid, complexion, to which females were subject [Please click here for a detailed look at green sickness]: baggage, worthless minx; used of a good-for-nothing woman, from the idea of an encumbrance and thence useless encumbrance, rubbish; in a similarly contemptuous sense, that of encumbrance, the corpse of Hotspur is called luggage in i. H. IV. v. 4. 160.

157. are you mad? said as Capulet is about to strike Juliet.

159. but, properly belonging to a word.

160. Hang thee, reflexive; though thee here, and in the next line, is used with scornful emphasis.

164. itch, long to strike you.

164-7. we scarce ... her. Cp. M. A. iv. 1. 129-31, "Grieved I, I had but one? Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame? O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?": lent, the first quarto gives sent, which many editors adopt, but which seems to me a very inferior reading: in but and only there is a redundancy.

168. hilding, see note on ii. 4. 44.

169. to rate her so, in scolding her so bitterly; to rate, the infinitive used indefinitively; see Abb. § 356.

170. my lady wisdom! you, my fine lady, who set up for being so wise.

171. prudence. "Just as 'prudence' is here personified as a female, it was in The Temp. ii. 1. 286, personified as a male" (Delius): smatter with, vent your smatterings of wisdom, utter your bits and scraps of wisdom; gossips, see note on ii. 1.11.

172. God ye god-den, see note on 1.2.57. In order to mend the metre Theobald reads "Peace, peace," etc.; Fleay "speak t'ye."

174. Utter ... bowl, go and utter your platitudes among your cronies as you sit sipping your bowl of wine; cp. M. N. D. ii. 1. 47, "And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl."

175. hot, passionate.

176. God's bread! by the bread of the holy sacrament!

176-8. God's bread ... company. Many conjectures have been proposed here, the most satisfactory of which seems to be that of Fleay, whom Daniel follows; "Lady Cap. You are too hot. Cap. God's bread! it makes me mad; Day-time, night-tide, waking or sleeping hour. At home, abroad, alone, in company, Working or playing, still my care hath been To have her match'd." The reasoning on which this conjecture is based is extremely ingenious, but too long to be quoted here.

179. To have her match'd, to get her a worthy husband.

182. Stuff'd, full of; Capulet speaks of the word as if when used in this sense it was somewhat ridiculous, as they say, just as we might say 'crammed'; though the term is used in all seriousness in W. T. ii. 1. 185, "whom you know Of stuff'd sufficiency"; M. A. i. 1. 56, "stuffed with all honourable virtues."

183. Proportion'd ... man, every part as completely in proportion with the rest as one could possibly wish if he were conceiving a perfect man.

184. puling, whimpering; literally to chirp like a bird; from F. piauler, 'to peep, or cheep, as a young bird; also to pule or howle, as a young whelp'; Cotgrave. Cp. Ital. pigolare, to chirp, moan, complain. These are imitative words "... (Skeat, Ety. Dict.).

185. mammet, puppet, doll: in her fortune's tender, "in the moment when good fortune presents itself to her" (Clarke).

188. I'll pardon you, said ironically, his pardon being only such as he expresses in the following line.

189. Graze ... me, you can go and get your food in the fields, for there will be no home for you in my house.

190. do not use. We no longer employ the verb in this sense in the present tense.

191. lay ... advise, consider the matter thoroughly and be wise; to 'lay the hand on the heart' is a gesture used in protesting the reality of the feeling expressed; advise, consider; so reflexively, T. N. iv. 2. 102, "Advise you what you say."

196. Trust to 't, be sure I mean what I say.

199. Sweet my mother, on the transposition of my, see Abb. § 13.

203. I'll not speak a word, sc in your behalf.

204. for I ... thee, for I have nothing more to do with you, I wash my hands of you and your concerns.

206-9. My husband ... earth, all that I love, my husband, is on earth; all that I trust in, my belief in God, is in heaven; how shall trust come back to earth and be felt by me in regard to earthly matters unless he in whom all my love is placed send it to me, a thing he cannot do without leaving earth, while, if he did so, I should no longer have any interest in earthly matters; if my husband lives, I have no hope of earthly happiness (for we can never be together), if he dies, my case is equally hopeless. Such I take to be the meaning of the passage, which seems to be obscure, but on which none of the commentators has any comment.

210. practise stratagems, contrive plots; practise (vb.) and practice (sb.) being frequently used by Shakespeare in a bad sense.

214. and all ... nothing, it is beyond all odds.

215. challenge, claim.

218. you married, that you should marry.

220. a dishclout, a dirty rag; not that dishclouts are necessarily dirty, though in the Nurse's mind that would be their more usual condition.

221. green. Though rare in England and not greatly admired, green eyes, as the commentators show, have been enthusiastically praised by foreign writers, especially Spanish writers.

222. Beshrew, see note on ii. 5. 51.

225, 6. or 'twere ... him, or, if he is not dead, he might just as well be so as be alive here when you can derive no pleasure from his companionship; here seems rather questionable, and Hanmer reads hence.

227. Speakest ... heart? a phrase varied in Lear, i. 1. 106, by "But goes thy heart with this?"

228. Amen! Juliet emphatically endorses the Nurse's malediction on herself.

229. Well. Afraid that she has roused the Nurse's suspicions by her emphatic "Amen!", Juliet tries to put her off by assuming a good-humoured tone: marvellous, used adverbially.

230. my lady, using the term which would be proper in the Nurse's mouth: I am gone, the difference between 'am gone' and 'have gone' is that the former expresses the present state, the latter the activity necessary to cause the present state; see Abb. § 295.

234. Ancient damnation! the old devil!

237. above compare, as being above all comparison.

238. counsellor, you from whom I have so often asked and received advice (as in 1. 209 she says "counsel me"), but here with scorn.

240. his remedy, what remedy he may suggest.

241. myself. Strictly speaking the 'my' in myself is not a pronominal adjective but the inflected case of the pronoun 'I,' and myself is equivalent to 'for the same me'; see Abb. § 20.


How to cite the explanatory notes:

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Ed. K. Deighton. London: Macmillan, 1916. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.


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