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Romeo and Juliet

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Enter ROMEO, MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, with five or six other MASKERS and TORCHBEARERS
ROMEO, MERCUTIO, and BENVOLIO enter dressed as maskers, along with five or six other

MASKERS

Maskers are masked partygoers who perform a dance they’ve invented at a party.

MASKERS
, carrying a drum and torches.


ROMEO
What, shall this speech be spoke for our excuse?
Or shall we on without apology?
ROMEO
What will we say is our excuse for being here? Or should we enter without apologizing?



5




10
BENVOLIO
The date is out of such prolixity.
We’ll have no Cupid hoodwinked with a scarf,
Bearing a Tartar’s painted bow of lath,
Scaring the ladies like a crowkeeper,
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke
After the prompter for our entrance.
But let them measure us by what they will.
We’ll measure them a measure and be gone.
BENVOLIO
It’s out of fashion to give lengthy explanations like that. We’re not going to introduce our dance by having someone dress up as Cupid, blindfolded and carrying a toy bow to frighten the ladies like a scarecrow. Nor are we going to recite a memorized speech to introduce ourselves. Let them judge us however they please. We’ll give them a dance and then hit the road.


ROMEO
Give me a torch. I am not for this ambling.
Being but heavy, I will bear the light.
ROMEO
Give me a torch. I don’t want to dance. I feel sad, so let me be the one who carries the light.

MERCUTIO
Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
MERCUTIO
No, noble Romeo, you’ve got to dance.


15
ROMEO
Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes
With nimble soles. I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
ROMEO
Not me, believe me. You’re wearing dancing shoes with nimble soles. My soul is made out of lead, and it’s so heavy it keeps me stuck on the ground so I can’t move.


MERCUTIO
You are a lover. Borrow Cupid’s wings
And soar with them above a common bound.
MERCUTIO
You’re a lover. Take Cupid’s wings and fly higher than the average man.


20

ROMEO
I am too sore enpiercèd with his shaft
To soar with his light feathers, and so bound,
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe.
Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.
ROMEO
His arrow has pierced me too deeply, so I can’t fly high with his cheerful feathers. Because this wound keeps me down, I can’t leap any higher than my dull sadness. I sink under the heavy weight of love.

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