Read Shakespeare’s ‘It is the east’ soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet below with modern English translation and analysis, plus a video performance.

‘It Is The East’ Spoken by Romeo, Act 2, Scene 2

Romeo is looking up at Juliet’s window and the light comes on. He is saying that he is looking eastwards and seeing Juliet would be seeing the sun coming up in the east. He is referring to her beauty and all those things associated with the sun. This line is part of the longer “What light from yonder window breaks” soliloquy spoken by Romeo.

This full soliloquy reads:

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off!
It is my lady. Oh, it is my love.
Oh, that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that?
Her eye discourses. I will answer it.
I am too bold. ‘Tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp. Her eye in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand
That I might touch that cheek!

Watch ‘It Is The East’ Soliloquy Performed

See other Romeo & Juilet soliloquies >>

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8 replies
  1. Curtis
    Curtis says:

    I have a phrase that I have always claimed as mine. In reference to my wife I say, “You are the sun and I am but the moon reflecting your radiance.”

    The other day, someone said this was Shakespeare, Might be, Couldn’t find it. Let me know.

    • JD
      JD says:

      No, Shakespeare wrote that Juliet is the sun. When Romeo mentioned the moon he is referring to his old crush Rosalind and basically saying that Juliet is everything and better than the moon


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