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Romeo and Juliet - Act 4, scene 3
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workRomeo and Juliet - Act 4, scene 3
Act 4, scene 3
Juliet sends the Nurse away for the night. After facing her terror at the prospect of awaking in her family’s burial vault, Juliet drinks the potion that Friar Lawrence has given her.Enter Juliet and Nurse.
2490 Ay, those attires are best. But, gentle nurse,
2491 I pray thee leave me to myself tonight,
2492 For I have need of many orisons
2493 To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
2494 5 Which, well thou knowest, is cross and full of sin.
Enter ⌜Lady Capulet.⌝
2495 What, are you busy, ho? Need you my help?
2496 No, madam, we have culled such necessaries
2497 As are behooveful for our state tomorrow.
2498 So please you, let me now be left alone,
2499 10 And let the Nurse this night sit up with you,
2500 For I am sure you have your hands full all
2501 In this so sudden business.
LADY CAPULET 2502 Good night.
2503 Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need.
⌜Lady Capulet and the Nurse⌝ exit.
2504 15 Farewell.—God knows when we shall meet again.
2505 I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins
2506 That almost freezes up the heat of life.
2507 I’ll call them back again to comfort me.—
2508 Nurse!—What should she do here?
2509 20 My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
2510 Come, vial.⌜She takes out the vial.⌝
2511 What if this mixture do not work at all?
2512 Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
⌜She takes out her knife
and puts it down beside her.⌝
2513 No, no, this shall forbid it. Lie thou there.
2514 25 What if it be a poison which the Friar
p. 1932515 Subtly hath ministered to have me dead,
2516 Lest in this marriage he should be dishonored
2517 Because he married me before to Romeo?
2518 I fear it is. And yet methinks it should not,
2519 30 For he hath still been tried a holy man.
2520 How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
2521 I wake before the time that Romeo
2522 Come to redeem me? There’s a fearful point.
2523 Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,
2524 35 To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
2525 And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
2526 Or, if I live, is it not very like
2527 The horrible conceit of death and night,
2528 Together with the terror of the place—
2529 40 As in a vault, an ancient receptacle
2530 Where for this many hundred years the bones
2531 Of all my buried ancestors are packed;
2532 Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
2533 Lies fest’ring in his shroud; where, as they say,
2534 45 At some hours in the night spirits resort—
2535 Alack, alack, is it not like that I,
2536 So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
2537 And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth,
2538 That living mortals, hearing them, run mad—
2539 50 O, if I ⌜wake,⌝ shall I not be distraught,
2540 Environèd with all these hideous fears,
2541 And madly play with my forefathers’ joints,
2542 And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud,
2543 And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,
2544 55 As with a club, dash out my desp’rate brains?
2545 O look, methinks I see my cousin’s ghost
2546 Seeking out Romeo that did spit his body
2547 Upon a rapier’s point! Stay, Tybalt, stay!
2548 Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to
2549 60 thee.⌜She drinks and falls upon her bed
within the curtains.⌝