Romeo and Juliet (Bantam Classic)by William Shakespeare
The magnificent, timeless drama is the world's most famous tale of "star-crossed lovers." The young, unshakable love of Juliet and Romeo defies the feud that divides their familiesthe Capulets and Montaguesas their desperate need to be together, their secret meetings, and finally their concealed marriage drive them toward tragedy. A masterwork that has long captured the hearts of audiences, this romantic tragedy has become part of the literary heritage of all peoples in all nations.
Each Edition Includes:
- Comprehensive explanatory notes
- Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship
- Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English
- Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories
- An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography
Read an Excerpt
Verona. A Public Place. Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers
sampson. Gregory, o’ my word, we ’ll not carry coals.
gregory. No, for then we should be colliers.
sampson. I mean, an we be in choler, we ’ll draw.
gregory. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar.
sampson. I strike quickly, being moved.
gregory. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
sampson. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
gregory. To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand; therefore, if thou art moved, thou runnest away.
sampson. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.
gregory. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.
sampson. ’Tis true; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.
gregory. The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
sampson. ’Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids; I will cut off their heads.
gregory. The heads of the maids?
sampson. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maiden-heads; take it in what sense thou wilt.
gregory. They must take it in sense that feel it.
sampson. Me they shall feel while I am able to stand; and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
gregory. ’Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.
Enter Abraham and Balthasar
sampson. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.
gregory. How! turn thy back and run?
sampson. Fear me not.
gregory. No, marry; I fear thee!
sampson. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
gregory. I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.
sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
sampson. I do bite my thumb, sir.
abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
sampson. (Aside to Gregory) Is the law of our side if I say ay?
gregory. (Aside to Sampson) No.
sampson. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.
gregory. Do you quarrel, sir?
abraham. Quarrel, sir! no, sir.
sampson. If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.
abraham. No better.
sampson. Well, sir.
gregory. (Aside to Sampson) Say “better”; here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.
sampson. Yes, better, sir.
abraham. You lie.
sampson. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow. They fight
benvolio. Part, fools! Put up your swords; you know not what you do.Beats down their swords
tybalt. What! art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
benvolio. I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me.
tybalt. What! drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!They fight
Enter several persons of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs and partisans
citizens. Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down! Down with the Capulets! down with Montagues!
Enter Capulet in his gown, and Lady Capulet
capulet. What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!
lady capulet. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?
capulet. My sword, I say! Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Enter Montague and Lady Montague
montague. Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not; let me go.
lady montague. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
Enter Prince with his Train
prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,— Will they not hear? What ho! you men, you beasts, That quench the fire of your pernicious rage With purple fountains issuing from your veins, On pain of torture, from those bloody hands Throw your mis-temper’d weapons to the ground, And hear the sentence of your moved prince. Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets, And made Verona’s ancient citizens Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, To wield old partisans, in hands as old, Canker’d with peace, to part your canker’d hate. If ever you disturb our streets again Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. For this time, all the rest depart away: You, Capulet, shall go along with me; And, Montague, come you this afternoon To know our further pleasure in this case, To old Free-town, our common judgment-place. Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. Exeunt all but Montague, Lady Montague, and Benvolio
montague. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
benvolio. Here were the servants of your adversary And yours close fighting ere I did approach: I drew to part them; in the instant came The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar’d, Which, as he breath’d defiance to my ears, He swung about his head, and cut the winds, Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss’d him in scorn. While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, Came more and more, and fought on part and part, Till the prince came, who parted either part.
lady montague. O! where is Romeo? saw you him to-day? Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
benvolio. Madam, an hour before the worshipp’d sun Peer’d forth the golden window of the east, A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad; Where, underneath the grove of sycamore That westward rooteth from the city’s side, So early walking did I see your son: Towards him I made; but he was ware of me, And stole into the covert of the wood: I, measuring his affections by my own, That most are busied when they ’re most alone, Pursu’d my humour not pursuing his, And gladly shunn’d who gladly fled from me.
montague. Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs: But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the furthest east begin to draw The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed, Away from light steals home my heavy son, And private in his chamber pens himself, Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, And makes himself an artificial night. Black and portentous must this humour prove Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
benvolio. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
montague. I neither know it nor can learn of him.
benvolio. Have you importun’d him by any means?
montague. Both by myself and many other friends: But he, his own affections’ counsellor, Is to himself, I will not say how true, But to himself so secret and so close, So far from sounding and discovery, As is the bud bit with an envious worm, Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air, Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow, We would as willingly give cure as know.
benvolio. See where he comes: so please you, step aside; I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.
montague. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay, To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let’s away.Exeunt Montague and Lady
benvolio. Good-morrow, cousin.
romeo.Is the day so young?
benvolio. But new struck nine.
romeo.Ay me! sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast?
benvolio. It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?
romeo. Not having that, which having, makes them short. benvolio. In love? romeo. Out—
benvolio. Of love?
romeo. Out of her favour, where I am in love.
benvolio. Alas! that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof.
romeo. Alas! that love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will. Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing! of nothing first create. O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh?
benvolio.No, coz, I rather weep.
romeo. Good heart, at what?
benvolio. At thy good heart’s oppression.
romeo. Why, such is love’s transgression. Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast, Which thou wilt propagate to have it press’d With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. Love is a smoke rais’d with the fume of sighs; Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes; Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears: What is it else? a madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. Farewell, my coz.Going
benvolio.Soft, I will go along; An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
romeo. Tut! I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.
benvolio. Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.
romeo. What! shall I groan and tell thee?
benvolio.Groan! why, no; But sadly tell me who.
romeo. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will; Ah! word ill urg’d to one that is so ill. In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
benvolio. I aim’d so near when I suppos’d you lov’d.
romeo. A right good mark-man! And she’s fair I love.
benvolio. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
Meet the Author
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King’s New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers.” Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later under James I, called the King’s Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Romeo and Juliet is a tale of doomed love. I think the movie Gnomeo and Juliet, while being good, is offensive to Shakespeare's masterpiece. I enjoy it very much. And I'm almost 11 and a half! But I understood Shakespeare's beautiful language well. Want to know my secret? A series called "Shakspeare Made Easy." On one page is Shakespeare's beautiful language, and on the other is the translation. This series is not available on the nook, but you can always find it at your local library. I recommend this book for everyone with a vast vocabulary. To put long words in short, Romeo and Juliet is a tragically beautiful story.
This was a very good book and I enjoyed this book through out. I feel that there is alot to learn from this book. Shakespeare's connotation and diction really help the reader to understand and evaluate the interests of William Shakespeare himself. The reader can really see the chemistry between Romeo and Juliet because Shakespeare is so descriptive in his writings. Juliet's fate was determined ultimatly through fate. It was fate that brought Romeo and Juliet together, and it was fate that made their families enemies. Other characters in his play that comtributed to Juliet's demise would be Juliet's Nurse, Friar Lawrence, Capulet, and pretty much every other chacacter in his play. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was a very good book and I would highly recomend it! :)?
A great classic Shakespeare tale of love and tragedy, but this book takes each part, and translates it into modern, easy-to-read English. What struck me while reading is how little people have changed in 500 years, obsessed with sex appeal, status, and envy of their neighbors.
I love this book and i am only in 5th grade! Read it its the best!
I wanted a book not a play but it is very good
This book was truly outstanding I loved it.I wanted to cry it was such an amazing book full of drama and such suspition. I understood it more than my 15 year old sibiling. I also loved the language that Shakespeare used it was so unique and vigorous. If I could I would read it every day for the rest of my life. It was very honorable to read this book.
This book was really good. At first I found it hard to care about Romeo and Juliet but the words and descriptions caught my eyes. Then I could not stop reading. I really like Shakespear's style of writing.
When I started reading it, it caught my attention and I did not want to put it down. It has been one of the most best plays I have read and a really interesting one. When you read it, you won't want to put it down either.
I read this book in my English class and loved it! It is really a great book, and the 'mush' is overrated! If you're a fan of Shakespeare (like I am) than you should really pick up a copy!
This book was really good. even though it was written such a long time ago, it sort of deals with the troubles that teens go through today when their parent(s) do not approve with the person they are daitng. Teens can reaaly relate to this book.
This story is boring as all get out. I had to read it twice and it was no better the second time!
That souds instering
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy love story, that ends with both lovers killing themselves. I give this book 4 stars because Romeo and Juliet killed themselves for no reason after because they thought their lover was dead. Also, the wording in this book was confusing to most readers. I didn't like how both families were brought together because their both children were dead.
Book Review- Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a short play on two lovers that were separated due to their families feuding with one another. This doesn’t stop them from falling in love and eventually leads to both their deaths. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a must read book because the characters are well developed, it has many relatable characters, and also has a lot of scene’s that has to do with Romeo’s love for Juliet. The main characters of the play is Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio, Tybalt, Benvolio, Friar Lawrence, and Count Paris. These characters are well developed throughout the play because they all help or are part of the conflict in the play to Romeo and Juliet. Most of the characters were sort of relatable for example Romeo. Romeo is a young man who falls in love with Juliet and would do whatever necessary to be with her. A main highlight of the play is all the scenes with Romeo and Juliet because they were all interesting and very relatable as well. It had sort of an on and off relationship like they weren’t sure if it was the wrong or right thing to do behind their families. In conclusion, I believe The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a must read because it is a very good piece and a classic one as well and I would recommend it to anyone that has an interest for like love stories as well as tragedies. The piece in general is enjoyable and everyone should read it.
Old speak old words new twist
Is this book hard to read?
This is sad, there are free vesions of this online, that they can just copy. Skip to page 25ish for story
Parry and then runs out of the area.
She glanced at the sword.
Stabs the slayer in the back with his badly cracked sword
Worst book ever! If this was a paper book u would burn it
If this was a printed book, I would throw it in the fireplace.