This page contains the original text of Act 3, Scene 3 of Romeo & Juliet. Shakespeare’s original Romeo & Juliet text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Act & Scene per page. All acts & scenes are listed on the Romeo & Juliet original text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page.


ACT 3, SCENE 3. Friar Laurence’s cell.

Enter FRIAR LAURENCE
FRIAR LAURENCE
Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man:
Affliction is enamour’d of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.

Enter ROMEO

ROMEO
Father, what news? what is the prince’s doom?
What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand,
That I yet know not?

FRIAR LAURENCE
Too familiar
Is my dear son with such sour company:
I bring thee tidings of the prince’s doom.

ROMEO
What less than dooms-day is the prince’s doom?

FRIAR LAURENCE
A gentler judgment vanish’d from his lips,
Not body’s death, but body’s banishment.

ROMEO
Ha, banishment! be merciful, say ‘death;’
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death: do not say ‘banishment.’

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hence from Verona art thou banished:
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

ROMEO
There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence-banished is banish’d from the world,
And world’s exile is death: then banished,
Is death mis-term’d: calling death banishment,
Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe,
And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.

FRIAR LAURENCE
O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!
Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,
Taking thy part, hath rush’d aside the law,
And turn’d that black word death to banishment:
This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.

ROMEO
‘Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,
Where Juliet lives; and every cat and dog
And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
Live here in heaven and may look on her;
But Romeo may not: more validity,
More honourable state, more courtship lives
In carrion-flies than Romeo: they my seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;
But Romeo may not; he is banished:
Flies may do this, but I from this must fly:
They are free men, but I am banished.
And say’st thou yet that exile is not death?
Hadst thou no poison mix’d, no sharp-ground knife,
No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean,
But ‘banished’ to kill me?–’banished’?
O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
Howlings attend it: how hast thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
A sin-absolver, and my friend profess’d,
To mangle me with that word ‘banished’?

FRIAR LAURENCE
Thou fond mad man, hear me but speak a word.

ROMEO
O, thou wilt speak again of banishment.

FRIAR LAURENCE
I’ll give thee armour to keep off that word:
Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy,
To comfort thee, though thou art banished.

ROMEO
Yet ‘banished’? Hang up philosophy!
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
Displant a town, reverse a prince’s doom,
It helps not, it prevails not: talk no more.

FRIAR LAURENCE
O, then I see that madmen have no ears.

ROMEO
How should they, when that wise men have no eyes?

FRIAR LAURENCE
Let me dispute with thee of thy estate.

ROMEO
Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel:
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
Doting like me and like me banished,
Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair,
And fall upon the ground, as I do now,
Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

Knocking within

FRIAR LAURENCE
Arise; one knocks; good Romeo, hide thyself.

ROMEO
Not I; unless the breath of heartsick groans,
Mist-like, infold me from the search of eyes.

Knocking

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hark, how they knock! Who’s there? Romeo, arise;
Thou wilt be taken. Stay awhile! Stand up;

Knocking

Run to my study. By and by! God’s will,
What simpleness is this! I come, I come!

Knocking

Who knocks so hard? whence come you? what’s your will?

Nurse
[Within] Let me come in, and you shall know
my errand;
I come from Lady Juliet.

FRIAR LAURENCE
Welcome, then.

Enter Nurse

Nurse
O holy friar, O, tell me, holy friar,
Where is my lady’s lord, where’s Romeo?

FRIAR LAURENCE
There on the ground, with his own tears made drunk.

Nurse
O, he is even in my mistress’ case,
Just in her case! O woful sympathy!
Piteous predicament! Even so lies she,
Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering.
Stand up, stand up; stand, and you be a man:
For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand;
Why should you fall into so deep an O?

ROMEO
Nurse!

Nurse
Ah sir! ah sir! Well, death’s the end of all.

ROMEO
Spakest thou of Juliet? how is it with her?
Doth she not think me an old murderer,
Now I have stain’d the childhood of our joy
With blood removed but little from her own?
Where is she? and how doth she? and what says
My conceal’d lady to our cancell’d love?

Nurse
O, she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps;
And now falls on her bed; and then starts up,
And Tybalt calls; and then on Romeo cries,
And then down falls again.

ROMEO
As if that name,
Shot from the deadly level of a gun,
Did murder her; as that name’s cursed hand
Murder’d her kinsman. O, tell me, friar, tell me,
In what vile part of this anatomy
Doth my name lodge? tell me, that I may sack
The hateful mansion.

Drawing his sword

FRIAR LAURENCE
Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art:
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast:
Unseemly woman in a seeming man!
Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
Thou hast amazed me: by my holy order,
I thought thy disposition better temper’d.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself?
And stay thy lady too that lives in thee,
By doing damned hate upon thyself?
Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?
Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose.
Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit;
Which, like a usurer, abound’st in all,
And usest none in that true use indeed
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit:
Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valour of a man;
Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury,
Killing that love which thou hast vow’d to cherish;
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love,
Misshapen in the conduct of them both,
Like powder in a skitless soldier’s flask,
Is set afire by thine own ignorance,
And thou dismember’d with thine own defence.
What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew’st Tybalt; there are thou happy too:
The law that threaten’d death becomes thy friend
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy 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 thy lady;
And bid her hasten all the house to bed,
Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto:
Romeo is coming.

Nurse
O Lord, I could have stay’d here all the night
To hear good counsel: O, what learning is!
My lord, I’ll tell my lady you will come.

ROMEO
Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to chide.

Nurse
Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir:
Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late.

Exit

ROMEO
How well my comfort is revived by this!

FRIAR LAURENCE
Go hence; good night; and here stands all your state:
Either be gone before the watch be set,
Or by the break of day disguised from hence:
Sojourn in Mantua; I’ll find out your man,
And he shall signify from time to time
Every good hap to you that chances here:
Give me thy hand; ’tis late: farewell; good night.

ROMEO
But that a joy past joy calls out on me,
It were a grief, so brief to part with thee: Farewell.

Exeunt

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