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ESCALUS, prince of Verona.

PARIS, a young nobleman, kinsman to the prince.



heads of two houses at variance with each other.

An old man, cousin to Capulet.

ROMEO, Son to Montague.

MERCUTIO, kinsman to the prince, and friend to Romeo.

BENVOLIO, nephew to Montague, and friend to Romeo.

TYBALT, nephew to Lady Capulet.




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Citizens of Verona; several Men and Women, relations to both houses; Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants.


SCENE: Verona; Mantua.


(Daniel, Time Analysis, p. 191 f.)

Six consecutive days, beginning on the morning of the first and ending early on the morning of the sixth.

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Dramatis Persona. These were first given by Rowe.


THE first edition of Romeo and Juliet was a Quarto Early published in 1597, with the title:


AN EXCELLENT | conceited Tragedie | or | Romeo and Juliet, | As it hath been often (with great applause) plaid publiquely, by the right Honourable the L. of Hunsdon | his Seruants. | LONDON, | Printed by John Danter. 1597.

Two years later a second Quarto appeared, with the title :

THE MOST EX-|cellent and lamentable | Tragedie, of Romeo and Juliet. | Newly corrected, augmented, and amended: | As it hath been sundry times publiquely acted, by the right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine | his Seruants. | LONDON | Printed by Thomas Creede, for Cuthbert Burby, and are to be sold at his shop neare the Exchange. | 1599. |

A third Quarto was published in 1609, 'as it hath been sundry times publiquely acted by the Kings Maiesties Seruants at the Globe'; a fourth, undated (but probably later than 1623), with the name 'W. Shakespeare' for the first time mentioned on the titlepage, in some copies. A fifth appeared in 1637.

The First Folio was printed from the Third Quarto, with a number of minute changes 'some accidental, some deliberate, but all generally for the worse, excepting the changes in punctuation and in the


stage directions' which are usually for the better (Camb. edd.).

The principal textual problem of the play concerns the relation of the first two Quartos. All critics agree that the First Quarto is a pirated text, made up from notes taken in the theatre, eked out by occasional access to the MS. The great majority of its countless divergences from the other Qq can be accounted for, as the school of Mommsen would account for all, by omission, mutilation, or botching.2 Some of the most superb passages are so far preserved that we can be certain they existed entire in the play as performed in 1597. In a certain proportion of cases the First Quarto even preserves readings palpably more genuine than those of the Second, and every editor has admitted more or fewer of them into his text.3 But a considerable residue tends to confirm the assertion of the title-page of the Second Quarto, that its text was 'newly corrected, augmented, and amended.' The Cambridge editors, while expressing their general accord with Mommsen's view, yet demur in the one

1 A good instance (out of scores) is iii. 1. 202, where the genuine Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill,' becomes: Mercy to all but murderers, pardoning none that kill.'

2 Tycho Mommsen: Shakespeare's Romeo und Julia (1859), an exemplary critical edition of the two texts printed face to face. Mommsen's too peremptory rejection of the revision theory has tended to make this attitude orthodox in Germany in the analogous case of Hamlet, where that theory has still firmer ground. His uncompromising advocacy of the Second Quarto has been supported (not without extrava

gance) by R. Gericke, J. B. xiv. 207. A parallel edition of the two texts has also been issued by Mr. P. A. Daniel (New Sh. Society, 1874).

3 Thus several entire verses (e.g. i. 4. 7, 8) are only found in Q. Examples of clearly genuine readings confined to Q1 are ii. 1. 13, Cupid, he that shot so trim' ('true' Qq Ff); iii. 1. 129, fire-eyed fury' ('fire end' Q2, 'fire and' Ff.); iii. 5. 182, 'nobly train'd' (Q2 ‘liand,' Q Ff 'allied'), etc. Q1 gives Mercutio's Queen Mab speech in verse: all the other Qq in prose.

instance of ii. 6. 16-37,—the meeting of Romeo and Juliet at the Friar's cell,-though they 'know of no other passage of equal length where the same can be affirmed with certainty.' The divergence here is indeed startling. Here are a few lines from the

dialogue of the lovers in Q1:

Jul. Romeo.

Rom. My Juliet welcome. As do waking eyes
Closed in Night's mists attend the frolick Day,
So Romeo hath expected Juliet,

And thou art come.

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Come to my Sun: shine forth and make me fair.
Rom. All beauteous fairness dwelleth in thine eyes.

Jul. Romeo, from thine all brightness doth arise.

Fri. Come, wantons, come, the stealing hours do pass, Defer embracements till some fitter time.

Part for a while, you shall not be alone

Till holy Church have joined ye both in one.

Rom. Lead, holy Father, all delay seems long.

Jul. Make haste, make haste, this lingering doth us wrong. Compare this with the later dialogue :

Jul. Good even to my ghostly confessor.

Fri. L. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for us both.
Jul. As much to him, else is his thanks too much.

Rom. Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy

Be heap'd like mine and that thy skill be more

To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath

This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue
Unfold the imagined happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter.

Jul. Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament :

They are but beggars that can count their worth;

But my true love is grown to such excess

I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.

Fri. L. Come, come with me, and we will make short work; For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone

Till holy church incorporate two in one.

The two dialogues do not differ merely in expres

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siveness and effect; they embody different conceptions of the lovers' character, and even of the psychology of love. In the first they fling to and fro light lyric phrases of love-longing; in the second they thrill with a passion too deep for utterance.

A few passages in the final text have perhaps survived from a 'Romeo and Juliet' conceived throughout in the slighter and more conventional manner of the first passage: e.g. Juliet's antithetical see-saw in iii. 2. 75:—

Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!

Dove-feather'd raven ! wolvish-ravening lamb !

and Romeo's extravagance in iii. 3. But it is futile to attempt to distinguish these by a comparison of the two Quartos.1

On the other hand, it is impossible to attribute to Shakespeare the rude travesty offered by the First Quarto of the lamentations over Juliet (iv. 5.). Even in the Qq and Ff the naïve iterativeness of simple mourners is carried to the verge of the grotesque; in Q, the writer rings the changes on a few stock phrases of the tragic stage, themselves ignorantly mutilated. 'Cruel, unjust, impartial destinies' is the burden of Capulet's cry.

The theory of an earlier form of the play receives no support from the German version acted by the English players, under the title 'Von Romeo undth

1 How futile is apparent from the expedients to which Brandes finds himself reduced in his bold revival of the 'first sketch' theory (Shakespeare, E. T. p. 91). Another passage in this antithetic style (i. 1. 184 f.) is omitted in Q1 while that just quoted (iii. 2. 75, 76) is retained. Brandes is


equal to the emergency.
little did it jar upon Shake-
speare,' he explains, 'that Romeo
in the original text should thus
apostrophise love [i. 1. 184 f.],
that in the course of revision he
must needs place in Juliet's
mouth these quite analogous
ejaculations [iii. 2. 75].'

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