It was cool in the chapel. Romeo watched heat waves rising above the wild flowers which grew unhindered across the hillside.

‘May Heaven bless this holy ceremony so that we won’t regret it later!’ Friar Lawrence was saying.

‘Yes, yes,’ said Romeo. He didn’t take his eyes off the door. ‘But whatever sorrow may come it couldn’t cancel the joy I get from seeing her for even a moment. You just join our hands with holy words and after that it doesn’t matter what happens: it’s enough that she’ll be my wife.’

Friar Lawrence tutted. ‘Such extreme emotions often end in disaster – they explode like gunpowder. Be careful, my boy. Even honey can become sickly precisely because it’s so sweet, and eventually you can’t face it. So don’t go overboard on this loving of yours. It will last longer if you take it easy. If you go too fast you’ll fall.’

But Romeo wasn’t listening. He had been watching the brow of the hill and when Juliet’s head appeared he sprang up and rushed to the door while the Friar was still talking.

She came, running so lightly that it was as though she wasn’t touching the ground.

By the time she got to within ten yards of the chapel she was in her lover’s arms. They clung to each other and he kissed her again and again. Friar Lawrence prized them apart gently.

‘Dear Juliet,’ said Romeo. ‘If you are as happy as I am and can express it better, then tell me how much happiness you imagine we have when we add it all up.’

‘As usual, you say ridiculous things,’ she said. ‘You speak extravagantly. And don’t talk about imagined love. Our love is real. And people who can count their wealth are poor: my true love has grown so huge that I couldn’t measure half of it.’

‘Come on, come on,’ said Friar Lawrence. ‘Enough of this nonsense. Let’s get on with it. Follow me.’

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Read more scenes from Romeo & Juliet:

Romeo & Juliet in Modern English | Romeo & Juliet original text
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Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 1, Scene 1 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 1, Scene 1
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 1, Scene 2 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 1, Scene 2
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 1, Scene 3 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 1, Scene 3
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 1, Scene 4 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 1, Scene 4
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Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 2, Scene 1 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 2, Scene 1
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 2, Scene 2 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 2, Scene 2
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 2, Scene 3 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 2, Scene 3
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 2, Scene 4 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 2, Scene 4
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 2, Scene 5 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 2, Scene 5
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 2, Scene 6 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 2, Scene 6
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Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 3, Scene 1 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 3, Scene 1
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 3, Scene 2 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 3, Scene 2
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 3, Scene 3 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 3, Scene 3
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 3, Scene 4 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 3, Scene 4
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 3, Scene 5 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 3, Scene 5
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Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 4, Scene 1 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 4, Scene 1
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 4, Scene 2 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 4, Scene 2
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 4, Scene 3 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 4, Scene 3
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Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 4, Scene 5 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 4, Scene 5
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Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 5, Scene 1 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 5, Scene 1
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 5, Scene 2 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 5, Scene 2
Modern Romeo & Juliet Act 5, Scene 3 | Romeo & Juliet text Act 5, Scene 3

 

Read all of Shakespeare’s plays translated to modern English >>