Romeo and Juliet Modern English Passages

ROMEO:”If I profane with my unworthiest hand /This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: /My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand /To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”JULIET:”Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, /Which mannerly devotion shows in this; /For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, /And palm to palm in holy palmers’ kiss.”ROMEO:”Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?”JULIET:”Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.”ROMEO:”O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do! / They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.”JULIET:”Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.”ROMEO:”Then move not while my prayers’ effect I take.” ROMEO:”Your hand is like a holy place that my hand is unworthy to visit. If you’re offended by the touch of my hand, my two lips are standing here like blushing pilgrims, ready to make things better with a kiss.”JULIET:”Good pilgrim, you don’t give your hand enough credit. By holding my hand you show polite devotion. After all, pilgrims touch the hands of statues of saints. Holding one palm against another is like a kiss.”ROMEO:”Don’t saints and pilgrims have lips too?”JULIET:”Yes, pilgrim-they have lips that they’re supposed to pray with.”ROMEO:”Well then, saint, let lips do what hands do. I’m praying for you to kiss me. Please grant my prayer so my father doesn’t turn to despair.”JULIET:”Saints don’t move, even when they grant prayers.”ROMEO:”Then don’t move while I act out my prayer.”Romeo is trying to get Juliet to kiss him by calling himself a pilgrim and her a saint, which he would pray to, his prayer being a kiss.
FRIAR:”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 /Hath washed they sallow cheeks for Rosaline! /How much salt water thrown away in waste /To season love, that of it doth not taste! /The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears, /Thy old groans ring yet 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: /Women may fall when there’s no strength in men.” FRIAR LAURENCE:”Holy Saint Francis, this is a drastic change! Have you given up so quickly on Rosaline, whom you loved so much? Then young men love with their eyes, not with their hearts. Jesus and Mary, how many tears did you cry for Rosaline? How many salty teardrops did you waste salting a love you never tasted? The sun hasn’t yet melted away the fog you made with all your sighs. The groans you used to make are still ringing in my old ears. There’s still a stain on your cheek from on old tear that hasn’t been washed off yet. If you were ever yourself, and this sadness was yours, you and your sadness were all for Rosaline. And now you’ve changed? Then repeat this after me: you can’t expect women to be faithful when men are so unreliable.”Friar Laurence can’t believe that Romeo has moved on from Rosaline so quickly. He reminds Romeo that Rosaline broke his heart and tells him that he can’t expect women to be faithful when he is so unreliable.
JULIET:”O serpent heart, hid with a flow’ring face! /Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave! /Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical! /Dove-feathered raven! wolfish-ravening lamb! /Despiséd substance of divinest show! /Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st- /A damnéd saint, and honorable villain! /O nature, what hads’t thou to do in hell /When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend /In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh? /Was ever book containing such vile matter /So fairly bound? O, the deceit should dwell /In such a gorgeous palace!” JULIET:”Oh, he’s like a snake disguised as a flower. Did a dragon ever hide in such a beautiful cave? He’s a beautiful tyrant and fiendish angel! He’s a raven with the feathers of a dove. He’s a lamb who hunts like a wolf! I hate him, yet he seemed the most wonderful man. He’s turned out to be the exact opposite of what he seemed. He’s a saint who should be damned. He’s a villain who seemed honorable. Oh nature, what were you doing in hell? Why did you put the soul of a criminal in the perfect body of a man? Was there ever such an evil book with such a beautiful cover? Oh, I can’t believe the deepest evil lurked inside something so beautiful!”Juliet has just found out that Romeo killed Tybalt. She can’t believe that such a “perfect man” could do something so evil. She hates that her new husband, whom she loves so much, would kill her cousin, whom she also loved.
FRIAR:”What, rouse thee, man! They Juliet is alive, /For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead. /There are thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee, /But thou slewest Tybalt. There art thou happy too. /The law, that threatened death, becomes thy friend /And turns it to exile. There art thou happy. /A pack of blessings light upon they back; /Happiness courts thee in her best array; /But, like a mishavéd and sullen wench, /Thou pout’st upon they fortune and they love. /Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable. /Go get thee to thy love, as was decreed, /Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her. /But look thou stay not till the watch be set, /For then thou canst not pass to Mantua. /Where thou shalt live till we can find a time /To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends, /Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back /WIth twenty hundred thousand times more joy /Than thou went’st forth in lamentation. /Go before, nurse. Commend me to they lady, /And bid her hasten all the house to bed, /Which heavy sort makes them apt unto. /Romeo is coming.” FRIAR:”Get up, man! Your Juliet is alive. It was for her that you were almost killed earlier. Be happy that she’s alive. Tybalt wanted to kill you, but you killed Tybalt. Be happy that you’re alive. The law that threatened your life was softened into exile. Be happy about that. Your life is full of blessings. You have the best sorts of happiness to enjoy. But like a misbehaved, sullen girl, you’re whining about your bad luck and your love. Listen, listen, people who act like that die miserable. Go be with your love, as it was decided as your wedding. Climb up to her bedroom and comfort her. But get out of there before the night watchmen take their positions. Then you will escape to the city of Mantua, where you’ll live until we can make your marriage public and make peace between your families. We’ll ask the Prince to pardon you. Then we’ll welcome you back with twenty hundred thousand times more joy than you’ll have when you leave this town crying. Go ahead, Nurse. Give my regards to your lady, and tell her to hurry everybody in the house to bed. I’m sure they’re all so sad that they’ll be ready to sleep. Romeo is coming.”The Friar is telling Romeo to suck it up because he is actually quite lucky; he or Juliet could be dead, after all. He tells Romeo to go comfort Juliet, then leave for Mantua early in the morning. Then they can figure out a way to get the Prince to allow Romeo to come back then become public with the marriage, hopefully ending the feud between the families.

You Might Also Like