A monologue from Act II, Scene ii

by: William Shakespeare

NOTE: Romeo and Juliet was originally published in quarto in 1597. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

JULIET: Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face;
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.
Fain would I dwell on form -- fain, fain deny
What I have spoken; but farewell compliment [1]!
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say 'Ay';
And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear'st,
Thou may prove false. At lovers' perjuries,
They say Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully.
Or if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,
I'll frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
And therefore thou mayst think my havior [2] light;
But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou overheard'st ere I was ware [3],
My true-love passion. Therefore, pardon me,
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discoverèd.

1 etiquette

2 behavior

3 aware

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