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Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Sc. 122.5

Enter Friar Laurence and Romeo

friar laurence So smile the heavens upon this holy act

2That after-hours with sorrow chide us not!


romeo Amen, amen; but, come what sorrow can,

Editor’s Note4It cannot countervail the exchange of joy

Link 5That one short minute gives me in her sight.

Editor’s Note6Do thou but close our hands with holy words,

7Then love-devouring death do what he dare—

8It is enough I may but call her mine.

Editor’s Note9

friar laurence These violent delights have violent ends,

Editor’s Note10And in their triumph die like fire and powder,

Editor’s Note11Which as they kiss consume. The sweetest honey

12Is loathsome in his own deliciousness,

Editor’s Note13And in the taste confounds the appetite.

Editor’s Note14Therefore love moderately. Long love doth so.

Editor’s Note15Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

Editor’s NoteEnter Juliet

Editor’s Note16Here comes the lady. O, so light a foot

Editor’s Note17Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint!

Editor’s Note18A lover may bestride the gossamers

Editor’s Note19That idles in the wanton summer air,

Editor’s Note20And yet not fall, so light is vanity.

Editor’s Note21

juliet Good even to my ghostly confessor.

Editor’s Note22

friar laurence Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.

Editor’s Note23

juliet As much to him, else is his thanks too much.

Editor’s Note24

romeo Ah Juliet, if the measure of thy joy

Editor’s Note25Be heaped like mine, and that thy skill be more

Editor’s Note26To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath

27This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue

pg 1038Editor’s Note28Unfold the imagined happiness that both

Editor’s Note29Receive in either by this dear encounter.

Editor’s Note30

juliet Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,

Editor’s Note31Brags of his substance, not of ornament.

32They are but beggars that can count their worth,

33But my true love is grown to such excess

34I cannot sum up some of half my wealth.


friar laurence Come, come with me, and we will make short work.

36For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone

37Till holy Church incorporate two in one.


Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
12.4 exchange of joy joy received in exchange
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12.6 close join
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12.9 These … ends (from the proverb 'nothing that is violent is permanent')
Editor’s Note
12.10 triumph moment of rapturous delight; splendour; victory
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12.10 powder gunpowder
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12.11–13 The … appetite (from the proverb 'too much honey cloys the stomach')
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12.13 confounds destroys
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12.14 Therefore … so (from the proverb 'love me little, love me long')
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12.15 Too … slow 'Be neither too hasty nor too slow' was probably proverbial; compare 'more haste, less speed' and 'marry in haste, repent at leisure'.
Editor’s Note
12.15.1 Enter Juliet Perhaps quickly (fulfilling the Friar's 'Too swift arrives'), and embracing Romeo. Some productions have Romeo leave to return with Juliet.
Editor’s Note
12.16 light slight in weight, buoyant; wanton; swift; delicate; carefree
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12.17 wear … flint Suggesting the hardness and sharpness of life; flint is proverbially hard. Wear out is 'last out from wearing upon'.
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12.18 gossamers spiders' threads
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12.19 wanton playful
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12.20 vanity illusory, worldly pleasure (recalling Ecclesiastes 1:2 ff.)
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12.21 ghostly spiritual
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12.22 thank … both (with a kiss)
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12.22 Romeo … both possibly a cue for Romeo to kiss Juliet as a greeting; or ironic if Romeo and Juliet have already begun to kiss
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12.23 As much an equal amount (returned in a kiss)
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12.24 measure quantity; measuring-vessel
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12.25 more greater (than mine)
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12.26 blazon describe fitly; proclaim, boast of (as in a trumpet flourish; anticipating music)
Editor’s Note
12.28 imagined formed in mind (as opposed to 'expressed')
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12.29 either each other
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12.29 dear precious
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12.30 Conceit imagination
Editor’s Note
12.31 Brags of (literally 'proclaims with a trumpet')
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12.31 his substance its riches
Editor’s Note
12.31 not of ornament i.e. but does not show off its skills of expression
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