Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 3

Scene III. Friar Lawrence's cell.

[Enter Friar Lawrence.]

FRIAR.
Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man.
Affliction is enanmour'd of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.

[Enter Romeo.]

ROMEO.
Father, what news? what is the prince's doom
What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand,
That I yet know not?

FRIAR.
Too familiar
Is my dear son with such sour company:
I bring thee tidings of the prince's doom.

ROMEO.
What less than doomsday is the prince's doom?

FRIAR.
A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips, —
Not body's death, but body's banishment.

ROMEO.
Ha, banishment? be merciful, say death;
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death; do not say banishment.

FRIAR.
Hence from Verona art thou banished:
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

ROMEO.
There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence-banished is banish'd from the world,
And world's exile is death, — then banished
Is death mis-term'd: calling death banishment,
Thou cutt'st my head off with a golden axe,
And smil'st upon the stroke that murders me.

FRIAR.
O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness!
Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince,
Taking thy part, hath brush'd aside the law,
And turn'd that black word death to banishment:
This is dear mercy, and thou see'st it not.

ROMEO.
'Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,
Where Juliet lives; and every cat, and dog,
And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
Live here in heaven, and may look on her;
But Romeo may not. — More validity,
More honourable state, more courtship lives
In carrion flies than Romeo: they may seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand,
And steal immortal blessing from her lips;
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;
But Romeo may not; he is banished, —
This may flies do, when I from this must fly.
And sayest thou yet that exile is not death!
Hadst thou no poison mix'd, no sharp-ground knife,
No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean,
But banished to kill me; banished?
O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
Howlings attend it: how hast thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
A sin-absolver, and my friend profess'd,
To mangle me with that word banishment?

FRIAR.
Thou fond mad man, hear me speak a little, —

ROMEO.
O, thou wilt speak again of banishment.

FRIAR.
I'll give thee armour to keep off that word;
Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy,
To comfort thee, though thou art banished.

Continued on next page...

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