But Soft What Light

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Act II, Scene ii

ROMEO: But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady; O, it is my love!
O that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold; 'tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheeks would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!

Brief synopsis up to this point.

Romeo Montague has been very sad of late because he is suffering from unrequited love for a pretty girl named Rosalind who won't give him the time of day. The Montagues and their sworn enemies; The Capulets have recently been fighting in the streets. Romeo and his cousin Benvolio find out that there is going to be a masquerade at the Capulet home. The object of Romeo's affection; Rosalind will be there. Romeo and Benvolio decide to go, and a large group of Montagues and their supporters, hidden by masks arrive at the party. Romeo quickly forgets about Rosalind when he sees the beautiful Juliet Capulet. It is love at first sight. Juliet's parents are, however, arranging a marriage between her and a young man named Paris.

Romeo and his pals are forced to flee the party. Romeo gets separated from his drunken friends and he ends up in a garden. Overlooking the garden is Juliet's bedroom window where the famous balcony scene starts.



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