Read Shakespeare’s ‘O, She Doth Teach The Torches To Burn Bright’ soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet below with modern English translation and analysis, plus a video performance.
‘O, She Doth Teach The Torches To Burn Bright’, Spoken by Romeo, Act 1 Scene 5
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.
‘O, She Doth Teach The Torches To Burn Bright’ Soliloquy Translation
Romeo stared. She was so beautiful that she made the torches around the hall appear to grow dim. She was a dazzling jewel illuminating the dark night sky. She stood out from the other girls like a snowy dove in a field of crows. She … Oh. he could never find the words to describe her. She couldn’t be real: such beauty wasn’t possible. ‘I don’t believe what I’m seeing.’ he said aloud and pushed his mask right up to the top of his head to see better.