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Romeo and Juliet Scenes

Scene 3

Juliet’s chamber.

(Juliet; Nurse; Lady Capulet)

Lady Capulet and the Nurse bid Juliet good night. She prepares to take the potion, but is frightened. Uncertain that it will work, she lays down a dagger by her side so that she can kill herself in the morning if need be. The potion worries her: she is fearful of waking up in the grave, even doubts Laurence’s intentions, is afraid the potion might be poison, and terrified of Tybalt’s ghost. Nevertheless, she drinks it. (59 lines)

Enter Juliet and Nurse.


Ay, those attires are best, but, gentle nurse,

I pray thee leave me to myself tonight,

For I have need of many orisons

To move the heavens to smile upon my state,

Which, well thou knowest, is cross and full of sin.

Enter Mother, Lady Capulet.


What, are you busy, ho? Need you my help?


No, madam, we have cull’d such necessaries

As are behoofeful for our state tomorrow.

So please you, let me now be left alone,

And let the nurse this night sit up with you,

For I am sure you have your hands full all,

In this so sudden business.


Good night.

Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need.

Exeunt Lady Capulet and Nurse.


Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,

That almost freezes up the heat of life.

I’ll call them back again to comfort me.

Nurse!—What should she do here?

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.

Come, vial.

What if this mixture do not work at all?

Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?

No, no, this shall forbid it. Lie thou there.

Laying down her dagger.

What if it be a poison which the friar

Subtly hath minist’red to have me dead,

Lest in this marriage he should be dishonor’d

Because he married me before to Romeo?

I fear it is, and yet methinks it should not,

For he hath still been tried a holy man.

How if, when I am laid into the tomb,

I wake before the time that Romeo

Come to redeem me? There’s a fearful point!

Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,

To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?

Or if I live, is it not very like

The horrible conceit of death and night,

Together with the terror of the place—

As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,

Where for this many hundred years the bones

Of all my buried ancestors are pack’d,

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,

Lies fest’ring in his shroud, where, as they say,

At some hours in the night spirits resort—

Alack, alack, is it not like that I,

So early waking—what with loathsome smells,

And shrikes like mandrakes’ torn out of the earth,

That living mortals, hearing them, run mad—

O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,

Environed with all these hideous fears,

And madly play with my forefathers’ joints,

And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud,

And in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,

As with a club, dash out my desp’rate brains?

O, look! Methinks I see my cousin’s ghost

Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body

Upon a rapier’s point. Stay, Tybalt, stay!

Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink—I drink to thee.

She falls upon her bed, within the curtains.


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