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Romeo and Juliet

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 3 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 



Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 3



Friar Lawrence's cell

Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 3

Enter FRIAR LAWRENCE, with a basket

Enter FRIAR LAWRENCE, with a basket

FRIAR LAWRENCE

The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,

Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,

And fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels

fleckled=flecked/speckled

From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.

Titan=the sun god, whose chariot is the sun

Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,

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

I must upfill this osier cage of ours

osier cage of ours=willow basket belonging to the Franciscans

With baleful weeds and precious-juicèd flowers.

baleful=poisonous

precious-juiced=healing

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

We, sucking on her natural bosom, find,

Many for many virtues excellent,

None but for some and yet all different.

Oh, mickle is the powerful grace that lies

mickle=great

In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities.

For naught so vile that on the earth doth live

But to the earth some special good doth give.

to the earth=to the good of mankind

Nor aught so good but, [when] strained from that fair use,

Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.

true birth=its nature

Virtue itself turns [into] vice, being misapplied,

And vice sometimes by action [is] dignified.

(This is the medieval view that all creation is ultimately made for the good of mankind.)

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,

Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,

And fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels

From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.

Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,

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

I must upfill this osier cage of ours

With baleful weeds and precious-juicèd flowers.

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

We sucking on her natural bosom find,

Many for many virtues excellent,

None but for some and yet all different.

Oh, mickle is the powerful grace that lies

In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities.

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,

Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.

Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,

And vice sometime by action dignified.

 

Enter ROMEO

Enter ROMEO

Within the infant rind of this small flower

Poison hath residence and medicine power.

For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;

Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.

stays all senses with the heart=stops all senses together with the heart

Two such opposèd kings encamp them still,

still=always

In man as well as herbs—grace and rude will.

grace and rude will=divine virtue and unruly volition

And where the worser is predominant,

Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

 

Within the infant rind of this small flower

Poison hath residence and medicine power.

For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;

Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.

Two such opposèd kings encamp them still,

In man as well as herbs—grace and rude will.

And where the worser is predominant,

Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

 

ROMEO

Good morrow, Father.

 

ROMEO

Good morrow, Father.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

   Benedicite.

(Accents are on the first, third, and fifth syllables – BEN-e-DIS-i-TE.)

benedicite=good [wishes] I speak to you

What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?

Young son, it argues a distempered head

So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed.

Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,

his watch=its watch

And where care lodges, sleep will never lie.

But where unbruisèd youth with unstuffed brain

Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign.

couch his limbs=put his limbs to bed

Therefore thy earliness doth me assure

Thou art uproused by some distemperature.

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

Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

   Benedicite.

What early tongue so sweet saluteth me?

Young son, it argues a distempered head

So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed.

Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,

And where care lodges, sleep will never lie.

But where unbruisèd youth with unstuffed brain

Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign.

Therefore thy earliness doth me assure

Thou art uproused by some distemperature.

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

Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.

 

ROMEO

That last is true. The sweeter rest was mine.

 

ROMEO

That last is true. The sweeter rest was mine.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?

 

ROMEO

With Rosaline, my ghostly Father? No.

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

 

ROMEO

With Rosaline, my ghostly Father? No.

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

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

That’s my good son. But where hast thou been, then?

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

That’s my good son. But where hast thou been, then?

 

ROMEO

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,

on a sudden=all of a sudden

That’s by me wounded. Both our remedies

both our remedies=the cure for both of us

Within thy help and holy physic lies.

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

My intercession likewise steads my foe.

steads=helps

 

ROMEO

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.

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

My intercession likewise steads my foe.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift.

Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.

riddling=riddle-making

shrift=release from punishment for sin

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift.

Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.

 

ROMEO

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

all combined=all already combined

save=except for

By holy marriage. When and where and how

by=by performing

We met, we wooed and made exchange of vow,

I’ll tell thee as we pass, but this I pray:

pass=go along

That thou consent to marry us today.

 

ROMEO

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

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.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!

Is Rosaline, whom 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 thy 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 my ancient ears.

yet=still

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,

if e’er thou wast thyself=if ever you were sincere

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.

may fall=may be excused for falling

strength=constancy

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!

Is Rosaline, whom 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 thy 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 my 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.

 

ROMEO

Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.

 

ROMEO

Thou chid’st me oft for loving Rosaline.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

For doting, not for loving, pupil mine.

 

ROMEO

And badest me bury love.

badest=bade (past tense of bid)

 

ROMEO

And badest me bury love.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

     Not in a grave,

To lay one in, another out to have.

(I didn’t order you to put one (Rosaline) in a grave in order to have another (Juliet) out of a grave.)

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

     Not in a grave,

To lay one in, another out to have.

 

ROMEO

I pray thee, chide not. Her I love now

Doth grace for grace and love for love allow.

The other did not so.

 

ROMEO

I pray thee, chide not. Her I love now

Doth grace for grace and love for love allow.

The other did not so.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

   Oh, 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

To turn your households' rancor to pure love.

to turn=as to turn

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

   Oh, 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

To turn your households' rancor to pure love.

 

ROMEO

Oh, let us hence. I stand on sudden haste.

stand=insist

 

ROMEO

Oh, let us hence. I stand on sudden haste.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.

 

FRIAR LAWRENCE

Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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