Main Text


Enter Romeo alone
Editor’s Note1

romeo Can I go forward when my heart is here?

pg 203Editor’s Note2Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out.

Editor’s NoteCritical ApparatusHe turns back, withdrawing. Enter Benvolio with Mercutio
Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus3

benvolio Romeo, my cousin Romeo, Romeo!

Editor’s Note4

mercutio He is wise and, on my life, hath stol'n him home

5to bed.

Editor’s Note6

benvolio He ran this way and leapt this orchard wall.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus7Call, good Mercutio.

pg 204

mercutioNay, I'll conjure too.

Editor’s Note8Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover!

Editor’s Note9Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh;

Critical Apparatus10Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus11Cry but 'Ay me', pronounce but 'love' and 'dove';

Editor’s Note12Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus13One nickname for her purblind son and heir,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus14Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so true

pg 205Editor’s Note Link 15When King Cophetua loved the beggar maid.—

Editor’s Note Link 16He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not:

Editor’s Note17The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.

Editor’s Note18I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,

19By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,

Editor’s Note20By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh,

Editor’s Note21And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,

Editor’s Note22That in thy likeness thou appear to us.

Editor’s Note23

benvolio An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.


mercutio This cannot anger him. 'Twould anger him

Editor’s Note25To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle

Editor’s Note26Of some strange nature, letting it there stand

Editor’s Note27Till she had laid it and conjured it down:

pg 206

Editor’s Note28That were some spite. My invocation

Editor’s Note29Is fair and honest, in his mistress' name;

Editor’s Note30I conjure only but to raise up him.

Editor’s Note31

benvolio Come, he hath hid himself among these trees

Editor’s Note32To be consorted with the humorous night.

Editor’s Note33Blind is his love, and best befits the dark.

Editor’s Note34

mercutio If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.

Editor’s Note35Now will he sit under a medlar tree

36And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit

37As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.

Editor’s Note38O Romeo, that she were, O that she were

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus39An open-arse, or thou a popp'rin' pear.

Editor’s Note40Romeo, good night. I'll to my truckle-bed;

pg 207

41This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep.

Editor’s Note42Come, shall we go?

benvolio Go then, for 'tis in vain

43To seek him here that means not to be found.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Exeunt Benvolio and Mercutio Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Romeo comes forward, Juliet entering above
Editor’s Note44

romeo He jests at scars that never felt a wound—

45But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Editor’s Note46It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

47Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Editor’s Note48Who is already sick and pale with grief

pg 208

Editor’s Note49That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

50Be not her maid, since she is envious;

Editor’s Note Link 51Her vestal livery is but sick and green,

Editor’s Note52And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.

Editor’s Note53It is my lady, O it is my love,

54O that she knew she were!

Editor’s Note55She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that?

Editor’s Note56Her eye discourses; I will answer it.

57I am too bold; 'tis not to me she speaks.

58Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus59Having some business, do entreat her eyes

Editor’s Note60To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

Editor’s Note61What if her eyes were there, they in her head?

62The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus63As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven

Editor’s Note64Would through the airy region stream so bright

65That birds would sing and think it were not night.

pg 209

Editor’s Note66See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.

67O that I were a glove upon that hand,

Critical Apparatus68That I might touch that cheek!

juliet Ay me.

romeo (aside) She speaks.

Editor’s Note69O speak again, bright angel, for thou art

70As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,

Editor’s Note71As is a wingèd messenger of heaven

Editor’s Note72Unto the white upturnèd wond'ring eyes

73Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus74When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds

75And sails upon the bosom of the air.


juliet O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

77Deny thy father and refuse thy name;

78Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

79And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

Critical Apparatus80

romeo (aside) Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?


juliet 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Editor’s Note82Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

pg 210

83What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus84Nor arm nor face, nor any other part

85Belonging to a man. O be some other name!

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus86What's in a name? That which we call a rose

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus87By any other word would smell as sweet;

Critical Apparatus88So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,

Editor’s Note89Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Link 90Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

91And for thy name, which is no part of thee,

Editor’s Note Link 92Take all myself.

romeo I take thee at thy word.

93Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized:

94Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

Editor’s Note95

juliet What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night,

Editor’s Note96So stumblest on my counsel?

romeo By a name

97I know not how to tell thee who I am.

Editor’s Note98My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,

pg 211

99Because it is an enemy to thee.

100Had I it written, I would tear the word.

Editor’s Note101

juliet My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words

102Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

103Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?

Editor’s Note104

romeo Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.

Editor’s Note105

juliet How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?

106The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,

107And the place death, considering who thou art,

Critical Apparatus108If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

Editor’s Note109

romeo With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls,

110For stony limits cannot hold love out,

111And what love can do, that dares love attempt:

Editor’s Note112Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.

Editor’s Note113

juliet If they do see thee, they will murder thee.

Editor’s Note114

romeo Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye

115Than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet,

Editor’s Note116And I am proof against their enmity.


juliet I would not for the world they saw thee here.

Editor’s Note118

romeo I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes,

Editor’s Note119And but thou love me, let them find me here.

pg 212

Editor’s Note120My life were better ended by their hate

Editor’s Note121Than death proroguèd, wanting of thy love.


juliet By whose direction found'st thou out this place?


romeo By love, that first did prompt me to inquire:

124He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes.

Editor’s Note125I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus126As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,

Editor’s Note127I should adventure for such merchandise.


juliet Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face,

Editor’s Note129Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek

130For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.

Editor’s Note131Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny

Editor’s Note132What I have spoke; but farewell, compliment.

133Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say 'Ay',

Editor’s Note134And I will take thy word; yet if thou swear'st,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus135Thou mayst prove false. At lovers' perjuries

Editor’s Note136They say Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,

137If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully;

pg 213

138Or if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,

139I'll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,

Editor’s Note140So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.

Editor’s Note141In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus142And therefore thou mayst think my behaviour light;

143But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus144Than those that have the coying to be strange.

145I should have been more strange, I must confess,

Editor’s Note146But that thou overheard'st, ere I was ware,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus147My true-love passion. Therefore pardon me,

Editor’s Note148And not impute this yielding to light love,

Editor’s Note149Which the dark night hath so discoverèd.

Editor’s Note150

romeo Lady, by yonder blessèd moon I vow,

151That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops—

Editor’s Note Link 152

juliet O swear not by the moon, th'inconstant moon,

pg 214

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus153That monthly changes in her circled orb,

154Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.


romeo What shall I swear by?

juliet Do not swear at all;

Editor’s Note156Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,

157Which is the god of my idolatry,

158And I'll believe thee.

romeo If my heart's dear love—


juliet Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,

Editor’s Note160I have no joy of this contract tonight:

Editor’s Note161It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,

Editor’s Note162Too like the lightning which doth cease to be

163Ere one can say 'It lightens'. Sweet, good night.

Editor’s Note Link 164This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,

Link 165May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.

Editor’s Note166Good night, good night. As sweet repose and rest

167Come to thy heart as that within my breast.

pg 215 Editor’s Note168

romeo O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

Link 169

juliet What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?


romeo Th'exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.


juliet I gave thee mine before thou didst request it;

172And yet I would it were to give again.


romeo Wouldst thou withdraw it? For what purpose, love?

Editor’s Note174

juliet But to be frank and give it thee again,

175And yet I wish but for the thing I have:

Editor’s Note Link 176My bounty is as boundless as the sea,

177My love as deep; the more I give to thee,

178The more I have, for both are infinite.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus The Nurse calls within

179I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu.—

Editor’s Note180Anon, good Nurse!—Sweet Montague, be true.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus181Stay but a little; I will come again.


romeo O blessèd, blessèd night! I am afeard,

183Being in night, all this is but a dream,

Editor’s Note184Too flattering sweet to be substantial.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Enter Juliet again
pg 216 185

juliet Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.

Editor’s Note186If that thy bent of love be honourable,

187Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,

Editor’s Note188By one that I'll procure to come to thee,

Critical Apparatus189Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite,

190And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay,

Critical Apparatus191And follow thee, my lord, throughout the world,

Editor’s Note192

nurse(within) Madam!


juliet I come, anon!—But if thou meanest not well,

Critical Apparatus194I do beseech thee—-


⌈nurse⌉ (within) Madam!

Editor’s Note196

juliet By and by, I come!—

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus197To cease thy strife and leave me to my grief.

198Tomorrow will I send.

Editor’s Note199

romeo So thrive my soul—

Critical Apparatus200

juliet A thousand times good night. Exit


romeo A thousand times the worse to want thy light.

202Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,

pg 217Critical Apparatus203But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

Enter Juliet again
Editor’s Note204

juliet Hist, Romeo, hist! O for a falc'ner's voice

205To lure this tassel-gentle back again.

Editor’s Note206Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud,

Editor’s Note207Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus208And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus209With repetition of my 'Romeo'.


romeo It is my soul that calls upon my name.

Editor’s Note211How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,

Link 212Like softest music to attending ears.

romeo My nyas?

pg 218

juliet What o' clock tomorrow

214Shall I send to thee?

romeo By the hour of nine.

Editor’s Note215

juliet I will not fail; 'tis twenty year till then.

216I have forgot why I did call thee back.


romeo Let me stand here till thou remember it.

Editor’s Note218

juliet I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,

219Rememb'ring how I love thy company.


romeo And I'll still stay to have thee still forget,

Editor’s Note221Forgetting any other home but this.


juliet 'Tis almost morning, I would have thee gone;

Editor’s Note223And yet no farther than a wanton's bird,

Critical Apparatus224That lets it hop a little from his hand,

Editor’s Note225Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus226And with a silken thread plucks it back again,

Editor’s Note227So loving-jealous of his liberty.


romeo I would I were thy bird.

juliet Sweet, so would I,

Editor’s Note229Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.

pg 219Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus230Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus231That I shall say 'good night' till it be morrow. Exit

Editor’s Note232

⌈romeo⌉ Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus233Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus234Hence will I to my ghostly Friar's close cell,

Editor’s Note235His help to crave and my dear hap to tell.


Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1–2 Can … out Dent compares 'The lover is not where he lives but where he loves' (L565), and 'As dull as earth' (E27.1).
Editor’s Note
2 dull earth The implications of this phrase broaden the world of the play momentarily, referring to a larger design and system. By addressing his body as earth, Romeo describes its composition in terms familiar from the Bible (Genesis 2: 7,1 Corinthians 15: 45–50) and from the doctrine of elements: 'Of these four |The earth and water for their mass and weight are sunken lower' (Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.264–5). The epithet dull suits these concepts both here and in the similar first line of Sonnet 44: 'the dull substance of my flesh'. According to Booth, dull in this context means 'sluggish, inert, heavy, slow of motion'. In addition, Romeo puns on 'melancholy'; and his image of himself as dull earth will be further complicated by the next metaphor.
centre This image represents several ideas, like its counterpart in Sonnet 146. 1, 'Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth': (a) the defining point of a circle, (b) 'the centre of attraction, the being which should be served', i.e. Juliet (W. G. Ingram and Theodore Redpath, eds., Shakespeare's Sonnets (1964); see also J. D. Rea, 'A Note on Romeo and Juliet, ll, 1, 1–2', MP 18(1921) , 163–4), (c) the location of the soul (see Booth). At the same time it brings cosmic associations lo earth, regarded as the centre of the Ptolemaic universe. Romeo's metaphor becomes an emblem at once of strength and weakness, power and sluggishness; his body is both a microcosm and a handful of dust. Moreover, since the centre of earth was conceived as one site of hell, the centre which Romeo seeks can lead him potentially not only to self-definition but also to self-destruction .
Critical Apparatus He … withdrawing | jowett (⌈He turns back and withdraws.⌉); not in q
Editor’s Note
2.1 This scene makes the invented exchange between Benvolio and Mercutio a prelude to the wooing episode adapted from Brooke 467–564. In the Bodleian First Folio, the lovers' dialogue here is reputedly 'best thumbed of all' (Granville-Barker, p. 51 n. 5).p>
Editor’s Note
2.1 He … withdrawing Benvolio's first words show that Romeo has disappeared from the view of his friends, but no early text indicates how or where. Capell's direction, 'leaps the wall', understands Benvolio literally at l. 6. Though Capell ignores other evidence (l. 31) and takes no account of Elizabethan stage practice, his decision influenced almost all editors until Hosley. Gibbons and Evans represent the latest scholarly consensus; they imagine the simplest and most fluid staging, Romeo concealing himself behind a stage-post until l. 43, when he reappears. In productions over the past two centuries three solutions occur: some version of the uncluttered arrangement; introduction of a wall; and omission of Romeo's opening speech or he first forty three lines. As Romeo's opening lines in 2.1 set this scene, all the action takes place near the Capulet house.
Critical Apparatus
3 Romeo, Romeo!| q2; Romeo. q1
Editor’s Note
3 Romeo, Romeo! Q1 and some editors print only one Romeo at the end; the editors produce a pentameter with 'He is wise'. It is not clear, however, that Q2 prints verse at this point; its lines hover between prose and verse. This edition interprets the opening of the dialogue as rhythmic prose and follows the Q2 lineation.
Editor’s Note
4 stol'n him withdrawn himself secretly (OED v.18)
Editor’s Note
6 orchard wall Brooke's line 830, 'he leapt the wall', does not reveal whether this orchard wall encloses fruit trees only or other plants as well (OED, orchard, 1a).
Critical Apparatus
7–8 ⌈mercutioNay … Romeo!| q1 (reading Call, nay for Q2 Nay), q4; Nay … Mer〈cutio〉. Romeo, q2
Editor’s Note
7 [mercutio| Q2 prints the speech-prefix at 1.8, but gives 'Nay, I'll conjure too' on a separate line of type. Since Mercutio (not Benvolio) does the conjuring, Q1 and Q4 seem to correct a mechanical error by assigning half of 1. 7 to him.
conjure i.e. not just call, but call him to appear by the invocation of names, as one would call a devil or spirit to appear (OED v. 5a). For proper conjurations the names invoked are sacred; in Mercutio's parody the names will represent aspects of Romeo's loverlike posturing before the ball in 1.4.
Editor’s Note
8 Humours whims or affectations. Dent compares with 'Love Is a madness (lunacy)' (L505. 2).
Editor’s Note
9 Appear … sigh The imperative is a paradox.
Critical Apparatus
10 one| q2 (on), q1
Critical Apparatus
11 pronounce‸| q1 (Pronounce); prouaunt, q2
dove| q1; day q2
Editor’s Note
11 'Ay me' The lover's sigh just conjured by Mercutio (l. 9), Romeo's words as he entered the play (1.1.157), and Juliet's when she first appears in this scene (l.68).
pronounce … 'dove' Q1's prose version helps to correct Q2's evident misreadings of two words in manuscript: 'prouaunt' or pronounc (a minim error and mistaking of t for c), and 'day' ('daie') for done or dou. Unemended, the Q2 line makes little sense: 'provant' = provision (OED gives only one illustration for the verb, Nashe's Lenten Stuff (1599)); and 'day' spoils the rhyme for which Mercutio has called.
Editor’s Note
12 my gossip Venus Mercutio reduces the goddess of love to a familiar acquaintance who enjoys idle talk.
Critical Apparatus
13 heir| q1; her q2
Editor’s Note
13 One nickname The lover's custom of nicknaming Cupid is illustrated with wit by Blron in L.L.L. 3.1.175–81.
purblind totally blind (OED a. 1), obtuse
Critical Apparatus
14 Abraham Cupid | q2 (Abraham:Cupid); Adam Cupid steevens 1778 (conj;. Upton)
true| q2; trim q1
Editor’s Note
14 Young Abraham Cupid Mercutio suggests a nickname for Cupid, 'young patriarch', an oxymoron which corresponds to Biron's 'Signor Junior' and sums up Cupid's position among the gods as boy-elder (see L.L.L. 3.1.175 and 5.2.11). The phrase has been much disputed and variously emended. Steevens (conj. Upton) thought Abraham a misreading of'Adam', i.e. the legendary archer Adam Bell (cf. Much Ado 1.1.240–2); Jowett adopts 'Adam' on the assumption that Q1 corrupted Q2. (Williams and the following note raise questions about these conclusions.) Other glosses seem to miss the main point: they maintain that Abraham = a spelling of 'abram ', which misreads 'abron', a spelling of 'auburn'; or that Abraham = 'Abrahamman', a ragged beggar who might be blind, almost naked, crippled, wily, or mad (the insanity real or pretended).
Editor’s Note
14 true Q1 has 'trim' (= accurately), quoting the ballad of King Cophetua: 'The blinded boy that shoots so trim'. Following Q1, recent editors impute a minim misreading to Q2; and they emphasize Shakespeare's familiarity with this ballad, mentioned at L.L.L. 1.2.104–5, 4.1.64–6, Richard II 5.3.78, and 2 Henry IV 5.3.103. Yet l. 14 is so anomalous that it seems reasonable to preserve the Q2 reading. The first half (to Cupid) is identical with Q1 in spelling, punctuation, and typeface; the second half and the next line differ. If the compositor checked Q1 to clarify an illegible phrase, he read only three words of the line. This may be so, but equally Q2 may represent the playwright's slightly different recollection: Shakespeare refers to the ballad several other times, but does not quote it (and see next note for differing versions of the ballad).
Editor’s Note
15 King Cophetua … beggar maid The earliest extant copy of this ballad, 'A Song of a Beggar and a King', appeared in Richard Johnson's Crown Garland of Golden Roses (1612). According to Hibbard's edition of L.L.L., 'the original ballad must have been far more robust than Johnson's decorous version' (1.2.104–5 n.; see also R. David's note to L.L.L. 4.1.66–82 in his Arden edition (1951)). More robustness and less decorum would make the allusion even more appropriate for Mercutio.
Editor’s Note
16 He … moveth not Mercutio combines rhetoric with wordplay to comic effect: the device of symploce (repetition of words at the beginnings and ends of a series of clauses) frames two bawdy puns (stirreth and moveth; cf. 1.1.5–6, and n.).
Editor’s Note
17 The ape is dead Ape (which meant any kind of monkey) is used as a term of affection even as it signifies 'fool'; The ape is dead evidently refers to a trick of performing monkeys who played dead until signalled to revive (see W. Strunk, Jr., 'The Elizabethan Showman's Ape', MLN 32 (1917), 215–21).
I … conjure him From ll. 16–30 this dialogue gives Mercutio's conjuring a new slant. Although he again calls Romeo to appear, he now entreats him through Rosaline, for whom Romeo had a strong regard; and his emphasis on raising Romeo from immobility and apparent death makes this invocation wittily indecent. Dent connects ll. 17–22 with the expression 'To show oneself in one's own likeness' (L293. 1).
Editor’s Note
18–21 I conjure … lie Mercutio continues to mock the loverlike Romeo with this version of a literary blazon, a catalogue of the beloved's anatomical charms. From bright eyes to straight leg Mercutio recites a standard list; with the last two items he shifts to ribaldry.
Editor’s Note
20–1 By … lie The first of several couplets in the conversation between Mercutio and Benvolio; alliteration also becomes noticeable.
Editor’s Note
21 demesnes domains (OED 6, first illustration of the figurative usage)
Editor’s Note
22 in thy likeness i. e. in your own shape
Editor’s Note
23 An if if (Abbott 105)
Editor’s Note
25 raise … circle Mercutio's conjuring jargon is replete with double entendres: raise = (a) summon, (b) arouse; spirit = (a) incorporeal being, (b) penis (see Partridge, and Booth's note on Sonnet 129.1); circle = (a) magic circle (OED sb. 3), (b) female genitals (Partridge).
Editor’s Note
26 strange i.e. belonging to someone other than Romeo
stand A continuation of the puns on 'raise a spirit' (see Partridge and cf. 1.1.8 n., 27).
Editor’s Note
27 laid … down This line repeats a bawdy pun as the mistress subdues the 'spirit' in both of its capacities (see lay it in Partridge, and cf. 1.4.26 and 25–6 n.).
Editor’s Note
28 spite provocation (OED sb. 4b)
invocation (five syllables)
Editor’s Note
28–9 My … name One line in Q2.
Editor’s Note
29 honest (a) respectable, (b) chaste
Editor’s Note
30 I conjure … him The expressions conjure and raise up him extend the jokes that began with 'I must conjure him' (l. 17) and 'raise a spirit' (l.25). (See Abbott 130 and 240 for the redundant but and transposed pronoun him.)
Editor’s Note
31 he … trees Benvolio adds foliage to the setting he described at l. 6, his words stressed with alliteration and rhyme.
Editor’s Note
32 be consorted (a) keep company, (b) harmonize
humorous (a) damp, (b) full of humours or moods (OED a. 1, 3; a. 1, first illustration). Mercutio connected humours with a lover's state of mind and feeling in l. 8, and Montague linked his son's melancholy with both humours and darkness at 1.1.135–7(see l.137n.).
Editor’s Note
33 Blind … dark Proverbial (Dent L506). This line continues to echo the romantic commonplaces exchanged by the Montague men in 1.1 and 1.2, an ironic effect in light of Romeo's transformation in 1.4.
Editor’s Note
34 If … mark Mercutio inverts Romeo's statement about blind Cupid finding 'pathways to his will' (1.1.168), and repeats Benvolio's bawdy quibbling on hit and mark (see 1.1.203 n., 204 n.).
Editor’s Note
35–7 medlar tree … medlars The bawdiness has become intense and graphic, medlar furnishing two more obvious puns: it sounds like 'meddler', one who 'meddles' or has sexual intercourse (OED v. 5); and it names a fruit 'resembling a small, brown-skinned apple, with a large cup-shaped "eye" ' (2; see Partridge).
Editor’s Note
38 O … O These exclamations may add to the bawdy quibbles, since O can be understood (like 'circle', 'eye', and 'ring') as an image of female genitals (Partridge).
Critical Apparatus
39 open-arse, or| hosley; open, or q2; open Et caetera, q1; open-arse and wilson-duthie
Editor’s Note
39 open-arse medlar fruit (repeating the pun from ll. 35–7 even more graphically). Q2 prints 'open, or', the compositor's impression of the form 'openers' (which OED cites, e.g., in Chaucer's Reeve's Prologue 17). Among editors who follow Q2 here, almost all read 'open-arse and', assuming that 'and' appeared in the original text but was deleted as superfluous. More probably the compositor understood dittography and dropped an or. (S. G. Culliford suggests a different misreading, of a contracted form of Et caetera (as in Q1), in '"Romeo and Juliet", 2.1.38', N&Q, NS 2 (1955), 475.)
popp'rin' pear i.e. poppering pear, named after the Flemish town of Poperinghe. According to Partridge, the popp'rin'pear supplies Mercutio with additional quibbles on both copulation and the male body: it sounds like 'pop 'r in', and it looks like male genitals.
Editor’s Note
40–1 truckle-bed … field-bed Mercutio contrasts an indoor truckle-bed (a low bed on castors stored beneath a higher bed when not in use) with an outdoor field-bed (portable, for use in the field, or a bed on the ground itself; OED 2 cites as its first example, but Brooke introduces the word). Since a truckle-bed was used by servants and children, Mercutio says jokingly that right now he would prefer the humblest domestic comfort to remaining in the orchard. The line about the field-bed seems to echo the nurse's words to the lovers in Brooke: 'Lo here a field, (she showed a field-bed ready dight) | Where you may, if you list, in arms, revenge yourself to fight' (897–8). With Mercutio's references to love-making and with Romeo in earshot, the image of a field-bed may represent the motif of love as war (see Mahood, p. 63 n. 1, and l.44.
Editor’s Note
42–3 Come … found Q2 prints as a blank verse line between a dimeter and a trimeter. This edition makes the adjustment, traditional since Pope, which results in two blank verse lines.
Critical Apparatus
43.1 Exeunt … Mercutio | q4, f (Exeunt.); Exit. q2
Editor’s Note
43.1 Exeunt … Mercutio This edition does not make the traditional scene-break, since Q2 gives no evidence that Romeo has exited (see l. 2.1 n.), and there is no change of place. When Romeo steps forward his first line, rhyming with Benvolio's last, suggests that he has been near enough to overhear his friends.
Critical Apparatus
43.2 Romeo … above | This edition (following Spencer); not in q
Editor’s Note
43.2 Romeo … above The Renaissance staging conventions of the wooing episode which follows—the woman above at her window, the man below and outside—are discussed by L. Thomson, 'Window Scenes in Renaissance Plays: A Survey and Some Conclusions', MARDE 5 (1991),225–43. As the woman appears on the upper level, usually with a candle burning in the space representing her window, she gives literal sense to the metaphoric speeches associating her with light and heaven. (On the symbolism of Juliet's walled garden, see Colie, Shakespeare's 'Living Art', p. 145.) In the absence of instructions from the quartos, these staging conventions support the early placement of Juliet's entrance, although editors give the stage direction at various points between ll. 43 and 53.
Editor’s Note
44 He jests … wound As Gibbons points out, this line has ironic repercussions in 3.1. More immediately it begins an episode, the second meeting of Romeo and Juliet, which R. Stamm analyses in terms of its stillness, silence, and musical patterning of voices (Shakespeare's Theatrical Notation: The Early Tragedies (Bern, 1989), pp. 90–103). J. Colaco explains the use of literary and folk traditions ('The Window Scenes in Romeo and Juliet and Polk Songs of the Night Visit', SP 83 (1986), 138–57).
Editor’s Note
46 the east … the sun The cosmic imagery which has appeared sporadically (e.g. 1.1.114–15, 130–2; 1.2.95–6; 2.1.1–2) now becomes prominent.
Editor’s Note
48 sick and pale Alluding to the pallor of moonlight (cf. 'sick and green' in l. 51).
Editor’s Note
49 thou, her maid Romeo personifies the moon as Diana, goddess of chastity, and addresses Juliet as a votary. (Far more fair combines alliteration with a jingle.)
Editor’s Note
51 Her vestal … green Elaborating this conceit, Romeo imagines Juliet in a pale habit signifying devotion to Diana and to chastity. (Evans suggests a quibble on livery as 'provision', 'allowance'.) The expression sick and green refers in particular to green sickness (or chlorosis), an anaemic disease believed to affect young women at puberty and to turn the complexion pallid. Later Capulet will call Juliet 'you green-sickness carrion' (3.5.155).
Editor’s Note
52 fools … it Punning on fools as (a) credulous followers of Diana, (b) jesters in parti-coloured garb (i.e. green and pale or white).
Editor’s Note
53–4 It … were Q2 prints as one line, leading Greg to notice duplication (Editorial Problem, p. 61), and Wilson-Duthie to conjecture that It is my lady was a 'first shot'. O that she knew she were echoes Mercutio's bawdy 'O that she were' (l. 38) in a different key.
Editor’s Note
55 speaks … nothing Romeo may mean that he cannot hear what Juliet says, or that she expresses herself without words. In his question and the next five lines he extends the paradox.
Editor’s Note
56 Her eye discourses The image of the eye, a traditional source of love, has already appeared in Romeo's dialogue with Benvolio about Rosaline (e.g. 1.1.209; 1.2.49–50, 91–4). Now Juliet's presence gives the trope a new dimension of reality.
Critical Apparatus
59 do|q1; to q2
Editor’s Note
59 some business i.e. an errand
Editor’s Note
60 twinkle (a) close and open quickly, blink, (b) shine with quick, intermittent flashes of light
spheres An image from the old or Ptolemaic astronomy, which visualized spheres as clear, hollow, concentric globes revolving around the earth and carrying with them the various heavenly bodies.
Editor’s Note
61–3 What … lamp This conceit, full of hyperbole, transforms Juliet's face into an extraordinary play of light.
Critical Apparatus
63 eye| q2; eyes q1
Editor’s Note
63 As daylight … lamp Proverbial (Dent S988).
eye Many editors adopt Q1 'eyes' for consistency with l. 61; but Romeo's effusive speech hardly requires such refinement, and McKerrow is surely right to conclude that 'the recognition of the sun as the "eye" of heaven overweighed the impropriety of a monocular Juliet'.
Editor’s Note
64–5 Would … night A couplet rhyming on the antithesis bright/night and introducing the topos of birds from Petrarchan verse. (Lines 69–70 will repeat the antithesis through internal rhyme.)
Editor’s Note
66 See … hand This line, calling for a gesture, must have been inspired by Brooke: 'In window on her leaning arm, her weary head doth rest '(518).
Critical Apparatus
68 (aside)| wilson-duthie; not in q
Editor’s Note
69–75 O … air Romeo explicates the metaphor of Juliet as bright angel, using messenger in l. 71 as a synonym for angel (angel derives from the Greek word for messenger).
Editor’s Note
71–5 As … air Shaheen suggests the influence of Acts 1:9–11 on this simile: 'while they beheld, he was taken up: for a cloud took him up out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven, as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, … why stand ye gazing into heaven … [?|
Editor’s Note
72 white upturnèd Hyphenated by most editors since Theobald, somewhat limiting Romeo's image. With a hyphen the upturning refers specifically to the white (and to the expression 'to turn up the whites of one's eyes'); without a hyphen it makes the same reference and the phrase also describes in a second way the appearance of the wond 'ring eyes.
Critical Apparatus
74 pufling|q2; passing q1 (pacing)
Editor’s Note
74 puffing This Q2 reading seems to describe the motion of the clouds, floating as puffs or perhaps swaggering across the sky; it probably does not mean 'swelling' (as some annotators gloss it), a definition first illustrated in 1661 (OED ppl. a. 3). Despite its appropriateness, many editors consider puffing a corruption of Q1 'pacing', a spelling of 'passing' (see pass, v. Forms); they assume misreading of ff for ſſ and u for a (see Wilson-Duthie, Gibbons). OED also adopts Q1. 'pacing' (bestride, v. 1b).
Critical Apparatus
80 (aside)| rowe; not in q
Editor’s Note
82 Thou … Montague i.e. your identity is a constant, whatever your family name
Critical Apparatus
84–5 nor any … name! | malone; ô be some other name‸ | Belonging to a man. q2; nor any other part. q1
Editor’s Note
84–5 Nor … name! This well-known crux has become a touchstone for the editor/bibliographer's understanding of the control-text (see Introduction, 'Quarto 1 and Quarto 2: Provenance'). Since copy is unknowable at this point and the verses make sense in an odd way, Hosley's view is sympathetic: 'it is not entirely clear that Q2 is corrupt'. But Q2 is certainly awkward (see Collation). Most modern editors incorporate a phrase from Q1, nor any other part. The majority adopt Malone's arrangement, accepted here because it clarifies the text with minimum interference, and because it can be explained sensibly in bibliographical terms (see Duthie, 'The Text of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet', SB 4 (1951–2), 214–15). In all its forms the passage incorporates a blazon.
Critical Apparatus
86 What's‸ in a name? | q1; Whats‸ in a name‸ q2; What? in a names‸ f
Editor’s Note
86 What's … name? The F version, 'What? in a names', must be a bungled attempt to correct the unpunctuated Q2 'Whats in a name'(Jowett).
Editor’s Note
86–7 rose … sweet The sweetness of the rose was proverbial (Dent R178), the flower a standard symbol of feminine beauty. Juliet complicates the image.
Critical Apparatus
87 word| q2; name q1
Editor’s Note
87 word Early editors substituted Q1 'name', making it the familiar reading. Yet Q2 shows no sign of error here, and word in this context means 'a name, title, appellation' (see OED sb. 12b (a), and cf. ll. 98–100).
Critical Apparatus
88 were| q1, q3; wene q2
Editor’s Note
89 dear (a) cherished, (b) costly. (Cf. the wordplay in Romeo's first description of Juliet at 1.4.160, and see n.) owes possesses (OED v. 1a)
Editor’s Note
92 I take … word Playing on word as (a) promise, (b) utterance, (c) name (see l. 87 n. and l. 93).
Editor’s Note
95 bescreened hidden (OED v., first illustration)
Editor’s Note
96 counsel private thoughts (OED sb. 5b)
Editor’s Note
98 dear saint Romeo echoes a phrase from his first dialogue with Juliet (1.4.216).
Editor’s Note
101–2 My ears … uttering Evans cites classical precedents (Horace, Ovid, and Propertius) for Juliet's figure of 'Ears drinking words'.
Editor’s Note
104 dislike displease (OED v. 1; Abbott 297)
Editor’s Note
105 wherefore (accented on second syllable)
Critical Apparatus
108 kinsmen|q1; kisman q2 (a tilde error)
Editor’s Note
109 love's light wings A conventional image of Cupid (cf. 1.4.15–16, 18).
o'erperch fly over (OED v., only illustration). This metaphoric line probably derives from Brooke: 'So light he wox, he leapt the wall' (830), echoed by Benvolio at l. 6.
Editor’s Note
112 stop obstacle (OED sb. 2 7a)
Editor’s Note
113 do see See Abbott 306 for this use of the auxiliary do.
Editor’s Note
114–15 Alack … swords Evans points out Romeo's unintentional foreshadowing in these lines, as well as conventional hyperbole.
Editor’s Note
116 proof OED a. 1a, first instance of proof meaning 'impervious'.
Editor’s Note
118 night's cloak Brooke may have inspired this image (and perhaps 3.2.15): 'on earth the night her mantle black hath spread'(457; cf. Painter, 88).
Editor’s Note
119 but unless (Abbott 120)
Editor’s Note
120– My life … thy love Romeo combines the antitheses central to his narrative (life/death, hate/love).
Editor’s Note
121 proroguèd deferred (OED v. 2a)
wanting of lacking. See Abbott 178 for the construction (participle followed by of). OED pres. pple. 3b cites as its first example of the phrase, now obsolete. Although Q2 has no punctuation, most editors print a comma between proroguèd and wanting. However the line is punctuated, the referent for wanting is ambiguous.
Editor’s Note
125–7 I … merchandise These lines recast the Petrarchan conceit of the unguided ship, a topos of lost identity and confusion which Romeo has already used (1.4.110–II).
Critical Apparatus
126 washed|q1; washeth q2
Editor’s Note
126 vast (a) immense, (b) desolate (Evans; see OED, waste, a. etymology)
Editor’s Note
127 I … merchandise The Petrarchan topos gains a new twist: the non-pilot turns into a merchant-adventurer, his distant mistress a precious commodity.
Editor’s Note
129 a maiden blush Proverbial (Dent B479.1).
Editor’s Note
131 form In its context form seems slightly indefinite, like Juliet's earlier phrase 'by th'book'(see 1.4.223 and n.). Certainly it means 'decorum'; but it may also connote 'literary style'.
Editor’s Note
132 compliment formality (OED, complement, sb. 8b)
Editor’s Note
134 I … word Juliet echoes Romeo's quick acceptance of the vow she spoke in monologue (see l. 92 and n.).
Critical Apparatus
135 false … perjuries‸ |q1 (⁓: … ⁓‸) ; ⁓‸ … ⁓ q2
Editor’s Note
135–6 At lovers' … laughs This proverbial idea (Dent J82) had classical origins: Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.633 and Tibullus 3.6.49–50. J. Bate distinguishes the laugh of complicity in the Ars Amatoria from the laugh of superiority in Romeo: the Ovidian phrase is reanimated in an antithetical context where it assumes new meaning (Shakespeare and Ovid (Oxford, 1993), pp. 178–80).
Editor’s Note
136 gentle The epithet applies to Romeo's birth, manners, and disposition.
Editor’s Note
140 So provided that (Abbott 133)
Editor’s Note
141 fond infatuated
Critical Apparatus
142 behaviour| q2; hauiour q1
Editor’s Note
142 behaviour Most editors print Q1 'hauiour', regularizing the metre. As McKerrow points out, however, 'it is difficult to see why Q2-F1 should read "behauior", as "haviour" or "havour" was well recognised [as] an independent word' (see OED, haviour, Forms). It is also possible that the original of this Q2 line was not perfectly regular metrically.
Critical Apparatus
144 the coying| This edition; coying q2; more cunning q1; more coying q4; more coyning f2; the coyning williams
Editor’s Note
144 the coying Editors have emended to 'more cunning', 'more coying', and 'the coining' (see Williams, Gibbons, and Evans for detailed explanations). It is possible to argue convincingly for both coying and 'cunning' (a simple tilde error), and for the compositor's omission of an article (although the original line may have been metrically irregular). This edition opts for the Q2 reading and addition of the; editors who adopt 'more' from Q1 assume a larger oversight by the printer. While OED v. 6 defines the verbal substantive as 'fondling, coaxing, blandishing', definitions of the verb indicate clearly that coying also signifies 'coyness', 'affectation of reserve or shyness'. They allow for wordplay with strange, which means 'reserved' (a. 11b).
Editor’s Note
146 ware aware (OED a. 1). There may be a quibble on 'prudent' (5a).
Critical Apparatus
147 true-love| q2; true loues q1, f (Loues)
Editor’s Note
147 true-love i.e. faithful love's (see OED 5). Most early editors substitute 'true love's' from Q1 or F, but the attributive expression true-love also appears in two Shakespeare plays roughly contemporary with Romeo (Richard II 5.1.10, Two Gentlemen 2.7.46).
Editor’s Note
148 And not See Abbott 305 on the omission of 'do' before not.
Editor’s Note
148–9 light love … dark night Juliet repeats light (= immodest) from l. 142, now with a quibble (= not dark) as part of antithesis.
Editor’s Note
149 Which i.e. 'this yielding'
Editor’s Note
150–1 Lady … tops— Romeo begins a conventional lover's vow, responding to Juliet's play on 'light' with a different version of the moon imagery from his monologue (ll. 47–52). Romeus in Brooke simply 'swore an oath' to seal his pledge of faith (516).
Editor’s Note
152–9 O swear not … do not swear Evans cites H. M. Richmond's suggestion that swear not, Do not swear at all, and do not swear echo Matthew 5: 34–6 (Shakespeare's Sexual Comedy (Indianapolis and New York, 1971), p. 115);Shaheen gives the same reference ('Swear not at all ') as well as the homily 'Against Swearing and Perjury', part 1. If those resonances are heard, they bring to mind the next biblical passage which enjoins plain speaking among other moral imperatives (Matthew 5: 37); and they deepen, for a moment, not only this romantic exchange but the antisocial acts that account for its secrecy.
Editor’s Note
152–3 the moon … changes Juliet interrupts with still another concept of the moon, which had become a type of inconstancy because of its recurring changes (Dent M1111). As she spells out the idea, her lines are emphatic with figures of repetition.
Critical Apparatus
153 circled| q1 (circld); circle q2
Editor’s Note
153 circled orb i.e. sphere (see l. 60 n.).Q2's compositor probably misread final d as e.
Editor’s Note
156 gracious This word, associated with divinity, also means (a) courteous, (b) pleasing, (c) attractive (OED a. 2b). Shaheen compares ll. 156–7 with Hebrews 6: 13.
Editor’s Note
160 contract Accented on second syllable. In context this word refers to the lovers' vows, but its primary associations with legal agreements and marriage formalities give it an ironic edge.
Editor’s Note
161 sudden lacking in forethought or warning, charged with immediacy and spontaneousness (OED a. 2a, 3a, 7)
Editor’s Note
162–3 like the lightning … 'It lightens' These rhetorical lines define a flash of lightning through polyptoton, complicating Brooke's analogous metaphor of passion as 'sudden kindled fire' (209–10). According to Dent, they may recast 'As swift as lightning ' (L279).
Editor’s Note
164–5 bud … flower Juliet's qualified but optimistic use of this trope for love contrasts with Montague's application of it earlier to Romeo (see 1.1.146–8 and nn.); it also echoes her mother's description of Paris(1.3.79).
Editor’s Note
166–7 repose and rest … that Synonymy (heightened by alliteration) probably explains the singular pronoun that, although some editors assume ellipsis (that = to that heart).
Editor’s Note
168 O … unsatisfied? Brooke describes Romeo's situation dispassionately: 'favour found he none | Thai night, at lady Juliet's hand, save pleasant words alone' (563–4). Painter's narrator makes the same observation in prose (90).
Editor’s Note
174 frank (a) bounteous (cf. l. 176), (b) outspoken
Editor’s Note
176–8 My bounty … infinite Juliet's expression shares its sea image and hyperbole with Romeo's (ll. 125–61), yet her figures of speech are different (beginning with the play on homophones).Dent hears proverbial allusions (S169.1,S169.3).
Critical Apparatus
178. 1 The Nurse calls within|| rowe (following | 'Cals within.' one line later); not in q
Editor’s Note
178.1 Nursewithin The lines demand sound effects; some form of this direction, which Rowe derived from f, has been adopted in most editions and prompt books.
Editor’s Note
180 Anon right away, coming
Critical Apparatus
181 Exit| rowe; not in q
Editor’s Note
181 Exit The history of this direction is comparable to that of 178.1 (seen.).
Editor’s Note
184 flattering i.e. flatteringly (OED ppl. a. 6; its only illustration of flattering as a quasiadverb)
substantial Four syllables. OED'a first instance (d. 15) of substantial meaning 'true, solid, real'.
Critical Apparatus
184.1 Enter Juliet again| This edition; not in q
Editor’s Note
184.1 Enteragain This invented direction takes its model from q2 (l. 203.1) rather than f2 'Enter' or Rowe's 'Re-enter Juliet above'.
Editor’s Note
186–98 Ifsend Juliet makes this case in the sources (e.g. Brooke 535–44; Painter, 89).
Editor’s Note
186 If that That may be a redundancy for the sake of metre (see Abbott 287). bent (a) inclination, (b) object (OED sb. 2 7). Both definitions complement 'Thy purpose marriage'.
Editor’s Note
188 procure arrange or persuade
Critical Apparatus
189 rite|q2 (right)
Critical Apparatus
191 lord|q2(L.),q1,f
Critical Apparatus
191–2 world … Madam! |capell.(folllwing f: world. | Within: Madam);world. Madam. q2
Editor’s Note
192, 195Nurse⌉ (within) Capell's speech prefix and direction have been adopted in most editions and prompt books. In q2 'Madam.' appears without a speech prefix in the right-hand margin; in f 'Within: Madam. 'Is also justified right.
Critical Apparatus
194–6 thee … come! | Capell. (following f: theee Within: Madam.) | (By and by I come)); thee(by and by I come) Madam. q2
Editor’s Note
196 By and by right away (OED advb. phr. 3)
Critical Apparatus
197 strife | q2; sute q4
Editor’s Note
197 strife Recent editors gloss 'striving' or 'endeavour', definitions appearing in Onions and OED 4, which gives 1601 as the first instance of this rare usage. At the same time strife may carry its more familiar meaning, 'act of antagonism', after Juliet's conditional 'if thou meanest not well'. In this sense strife may apply not only to her person, but also to her family and the feud. Wilson-Duthie and others substitute q4 'sute', which corresponds with Brooke's 'To cease your suit' (544). But it is difficult to see how q2 strife could be a misprint (unless it was influenced by grief, as McKerrow suggests), and q4 may have changed the line independently.
Editor’s Note
199 soulTheobald punctuated with a comma and dash, as if Romeo were interrupted in the middle of another vow. The actor might give this reading or deliver the line with q2's full stop, as a pledge. The verse can be heard not only as the end of l. 198 but as the beginning of l. 200.
Critical Apparatus
200 Exit | f; not in q
Critical Apparatus
203–1 Enter Juliet again| This edition; not in q
Editor’s Note
204–5 Hist … again Hist calls for attention and silence at the same time (see Onions; OED int. I, first illustration from the seventeenth century). With falconer and hawk Juliet not only praises Romeo but imagines controlling him. A tassel-gentle or male peregrine falcon was considered a noble bird of prey: 'There is a falcongentle, and a tercel-gentle, and these be for a prince' (The Book of St Albans (1486), D iii b).To train the falcon, a falconer used his voice as well as a lure or bait (see George Turberville, The Booke of Faulconrie(1575),p. 147).
Editor’s Note
206 Bondage is hoarse Depersonalizing her immediate situation, Juliet says that one who is subject to a bond (as she is to the Capulet family) must speak in a voice that is low in pitch and harsh.
Editor’s Note
207–9 Else … ';Romeo' i.e. Juliet would compete with the mythological figure of Echo, a nymph personifying resonant sound; her voice would rend the air of Echo's dwelling-place (OED, tear, v.1 3c, first illustration). In Ovid, Echo's unrequited love for the youth Narcissus led her to pine until she was nothing but a voice: 'ever since she lives alone in dens and hollow caves' (Metamorphoses 3.491)
Critical Apparatus
208 mine| q1; not in q2; Fame daniel,
Editor’s Note
208 tongue voice (cf. 1. 211 and q1)
mine q2 lacks a final word, and most editors follow q1.
Critical Apparatus
209 'Romeo'.| q2 (Romeo.); Romeos name, | Romeo? q1; Romeo's name, steevens (following q1)
Editor’s Note
209 With … 'Romeo' . Although this q2 line is metrically regular, editors since Steevens, assuming that it lacks a final word (like the previous line), adopt q1 's 'Romeo's name'. Williams was the first to propose that both lines may have been illegible at the bottom edge of a manuscript leaf. Among editors who follow q1, a few include its extra vocative 'Romeo' (which Williams considers an actor's interpolation); Jowett suggests that Romeo's response in the next line validates the q1 reading.
Editor’s Note
211–12 How silver-sweetears These lines are onomatopoeic and proverbial (Dent S458.1, M1319.1); they will be echoed at 4.4.149–62.
Critical Apparatus
213 My nyas| wilson-duthie(My niëss); My Neece q2; Madame q1; My Deere q4
Editor’s Note
213 nyas young hawk. Dover Wilson explicates this word in Wilson-Duthie, resolving a textual crux (q2's spelling 'Neece' misinterprets 'niesse') and showing how the term fits its context: the young hawk about to leave its nest, not yet able to fly, is an image appropriate both lo Juliet at her bedroom window and as Romeo's response to 'tassel-gentle'. Wilson also points out that Greene had applied nyas to an inexperienced girl; and he compares Romeo's expression here with Capulet's at 1.2.8.
Editor’s Note
215 year years (see 1.3.2 n.)
Editor’s Note
218 still Juliet means 'yet' or 'forever', while the context suggests 'motionless' and perhaps 'silently' and 'secretly' as well (OED adv. 1a, b). When Romeo picks up half of the antithesis about memory in l. 220, the play on still continues.
Editor’s Note
221 Forgettingthis Dent compares 'The lover is not where he lives but where he loves' (L565), cited also for 1.1. 193–4.
Editor’s Note
223 wanton's In this gentle analogy, wanton's probably refers to a playful or spoiled child (OED sb. 1, 2a). As Williams and others have argued, wanton's here could easily mean 'boy's', and there is no reason to follow editors who changed q2 his to'her'in l. 224.
Critical Apparatus
224 his | her q1
Editor’s Note
225 gyves fetters
Critical Apparatus
226 silken |q2; silke q1
Editor’s Note
226 silken Although Pope and some later editors print q1 'silke' to regularize the metre, the line scans with q2 silken (cf. l. 142 and n.).
Editor’s Note
227 his its. Abbott 228 explains the relation of these genitives.
Editor’s Note
229 killcherishing Juliet's paradox, unintentionally ironic, echoes the proverb 'To kill with kindness' (Dent K51). Adding nuance, the word cherishing is defined by its proximity to the image of the lovingly protected bird; it probably means not only 'pampering' but 'guarding carefully' (OED v. 1,5).
Critical Apparatus
230–3 Parting … ⌈romeo Sleep … Would | q1; Parting … Iu<liet>. Sleep … Ro<meo>. Would q2; Ro<meo>. Parting … Iu<liet>. Sleepe … Rom<eo>. Would; q3; Parting …juliet. Sleep … Would hosley (assigning the lines following Would … rest to Romeo)
Editor’s Note
230 Good nightsorrow q2 produces two lines (with a break between good night and Parting), the first of several printing anomalies as the scene ends (see Hosley and C. Leech on l. 230 in SQ 4 (1953), 27–8, and 5 (1954), 94–5, 90–8). Hosley, following Q3, assigns Juliet the farewell and Romeo the proverb with its oxymoron (Dent P82.1); but most editors, following q1, give a full pentameter line to Juliet. As Williams points out, a divided line in q2 does not always require two speakers (cf. 3.3.68 and 83), and both parts of this verse suit the characterization of Juliet: 'the speaker who wishes to say goodnight till it be morrow is surely the speaker who has already said it many times in this scene'.
Critical Apparatus
231 Exit | pope; not in q
Editor’s Note
231 morrow morning
Editor’s Note
232–3 Sleeprest q2 erroneously repeats the speech-prefix 'lu.' at l. 232 and reintroduces 'Ro.' at l. 233. q1 and most editors give both lines to Romeo, a good solution for reasons summarized by Wilson-Duthie: 'each lover has a farewell couplet in parting, while [the two lines] clearly belong to the same speaker'.
Critical Apparatus
233 rest.|q1; rest | The grey eyde morne smiles on the frowning night, | Checkring the Easterne Clouds with streaks of light, | And darknesse Heckled like a drunkard reeles, | From forth daies pathway, made by Tytans wheeles. q2
Editor’s Note
233–4 rest. | Hence Between these lines in q2 Romeo speaks two couplets which Friar Laurence will repeat virtually unchanged at the beginning of 2.2 (see Collation). (Scholars identify the two passages as Version A and Version B; q3 and f1 reprint the duplication.) Clearly Shakespeare had second thoughts, but editors have not agreed what they were: some follow f2 and Rowe, assigning the couplets to Romeo; others follow q1 and Pope, assigning them to Friar Laurence; a few scholars ascribe A to the Friar or B to Romeo. Lacking evidence, arguments lend to rely on insecure hypotheses about text or literary style (see Jowell's summary, 232 n.). This edition makes its choice on the basis of q1, which attributes the lines to Friar Laurence.
Critical Apparatus
234 Friar's close| q2; fathers q1; sire's close wilson-duthie: (con), Delius)
Editor’s Note
234 ghostly spiritual, devout (OED a. 2; see also 1c, 'used esp. with reference to what is rendered by a priest to a penitent or one near death').Q2's ghostly Friers introduces Friar Laurence from Romeo's point of view as the holy figure who administers to his spiritual needs. Nevertheless, many editors since Capell have emended the phrase, finding it redundant. Of these, most since Wilson-Duthie substitute 'ghostly sire's': they assume a misreading of ∫for ∫and intrusion of an r, and find support for their emendation in Brooke (559 as well as 595). close (a) confined, narrow, (b) secret, secluded (cf. Brooke's 'secret cell', 1264)
Editor’s Note
235 hap (a) good fortune (OED sb. 1 3), (b) chance, luck. (Cf. The wordplay on dear in 1.4.160.)
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