Enter CHORUS CHORUS Two households, both alike in dignity (In fair Verona, where we lay our scene), From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 5 From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-marked love 10 And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove, Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage— The which, if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. Exit The CHORUS enters. CHORUS In the beautiful city of Verona, where our story takes place, a long-standing hatred between two families erupts into new violence, and citizens stain their hands with the blood of their fellow citizens. Two unlucky children of these enemy families become lovers and commit suicide. Their unfortunate deaths put an end to their parents' feud. For the next two hours, we will watch the story of their doomed love and their parents' anger, which nothing but the children’s deaths could stop. If you listen to us patiently, we’ll make up for everything we’ve left out in this prologue onstage. The CHORUS exits.
Act 1, Scene 1
Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY of the house of Capulet, with swords and bucklers SAMPSON Gregory, on my word, we’ll not carry coals. GREGORY No, for then we should be colliers. SAMPSON I mean, an we be in choler, we’ll draw. GREGORY Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of collar. SAMPSON 5 I strike quickly, being moved. GREGORY But thou art not quickly moved to strike. SAMPSON A dog of the house of Montague moves me. GREGORY To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand. Therefore if thou art moved thou runn’st away. SAMPSON 10 A dog of that house shall move me to stand. I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s. SAMPSON and GREGORY, servants of the Capulet family, enter carrying swords and small shields. SAMPSON Gregory, I swear, we can’t let them humiliate us. We won’t take their garbage. GREGORY (teasing SAMPSON) No, because then we’d be garbagemen. SAMPSON What I mean is, if they make us angry we’ll pull out our swords. GREGORY Maybe you should focus on pulling yourself out of trouble, Sampson. SAMPSON I hit hard when I’m angry. GREGORY But it’s hard to make you angry. SAMPSON One of those dogs from the Montague house can make me angry. GREGORY Angry enough to run away. You won’t stand and fight. SAMPSON A dog from that house will make me angry enough to take a stand. If I pass one of them on the street, I’ll take the side closer to the wall and let him walk in the gutter.
No Fear Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet (by SparkNotes)
Act 1, Scene 1, Page 2
GREGORY That shows thee a weak slave, for the weakest goes to the wall. SAMPSON 'Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall. Therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall. GREGORY The quarrel is between our masters and us their men. SAMPSON 'Tis all one. I will show myself a tyrant. When I have fought with the men, I will be civil with the maids. I will cut off their heads. GREGORY The heads of the maids? SAMPSON Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads. Take it in what sense thou wilt. GREGORY 25 They must take it in sense that feel it. SAMPSON Me they shall feel while I am able to stand, and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh. GREGORY 'Tis well thou art not fish. If thou hadst, thou hadst been poor-john. Enter ABRAM and another SERVINGMAN Draw thy tool! Here comes of the house of Montagues. SAMPSON 30 My naked weapon is out. Quarrel! I will back thee. GREGORY That means you’re the weak one, because weaklings get pushed up...