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a citizen of Verona


The city of Verona is seething with hatred.

____________________________________________________________ Citizen. They are the sun to each other (and the racing moon) sweet Romeo and tender Juliet.

In the gardens in the shadows . . . deepening we hear them: “love” . . . “angel heart” “felicity” . . . they call.

Their sighs . . . explosions. Their caresses. . . excavations (tides).

O to build for them . . . (“lovely�) . . . a fortress, a protection . . .deep (impregnable) we would risk the loss . . . (the extinction) . . . of very lives.

For to say it (To scream it!) our sweet Verona our sweet lovely town of Verona once pleasant (once desirable) has become . . . now a battlefield a trench.

Montagues kill Capulets. Capulets . . . Montagues.

(Romeo’s family! . . . Juliet’s family!)

The pavements stink The courtyards swelter.

Cousins fall (sons, uncles).

Hatred is our legacy. Incivility our prize.

Sorrow consumes us.

Indecency! Death!


And so (so)

can you blame us . . . good friends (can you fault us sweet comrades) for attempting . . . now (yes) so desperately (so brazenly . . . even) to save our lovers, to preserve . . . like treasure their golden lives?

___________ O. . . attend to us good people! Attend to us now! For here . . . (Here!) (rigid, reclining) . . . on this morbid perch we have placed so carefully (so ceremoniously . . .even) yes our beloved Juliet

our special “daughter” our champion . . . dear.

And a potion . . . we have given her, a powder, a solution . . . so entrancing (so deceptive) that death itself . . . she now imitates. That death itself . . . she now mimes.

But soon (Soon!) I tell you (and we have arranged this so carefully) . . . her dear Romeo yes her dear Romeo himself . . . will appear. And to this crypt . . . he’ll steal (to this marble beadstead). And her hair . . . he’ll touch (and her shuttered eyelids)

and whisper to her (Whisper!) “Juliet! “Awake now darling. “Awake now lover. “Let us flee this city. “Let us escape this Verona.”

And she’ll rise then. . . will Juliet, gracefully . . .she will rise (glowingly) (rising . . .like the sun doth rise) calling to her Romeo (reaching for him).

“We must go to Mantua” . . .she will whisper. “We must hurry to Mantua.”

And they’ll run then . . . they will Fly! Like eagles

like doves . . .they will fly to lovely Mantua to lovely white-stoned Mantua . . . they will fly. (Magnificent!) City of refuge. City of love. ______________ But wait! Wait now! (Hush!) I hear our Romeo. I see him! (I see our lover) Yes. I spy our Romeo. I see him stopping (pausing) calling to his Juliet (bending to her) touching her fingers her hair.

But see! See! Yes. (God!) He is turning . . .now (He is grimacing!) Shaken . . .he is (ashen). thinking her dead . . . (departed) . . . does Romeo. (thinking her buried)

And look (Look!) he is crying. (he is weeping is Romeo) Our poor Romeo is weeping. And a glass he’s lifting (a tiny jar).

And he’s sipping from this jar. (He’s drinking from it!)

Is it poison that he’s drinking? (Is it deadly poison?) Yes! Is it venom? (Moth’s-wing?) (Nightshade?) Yes!

And he staggers now . . .does Romeo. Yes. He stumbles . . . does Romeo. He falls. (collapses) And look! (Look!) O! Juliet,

Juliet is awakening! (Juliet!) She is sitting! She is rising! And she sees her Romeo. Yes, (she sees him there) bent collapsed. “Romeo!” “Romeo!” . . . she is calling. (“Romeo!”)

But god (“God!”) she too is shaken. (“Juliet!) She too is undone.

And a dagger she’s unleashing now! Yes.

A weapon! (a shining blade) And she is lowering it now. (she is plunging it) She is digging it into herself! (“Juliet!”) She is dead . . . our daughter! (She is “buried”!) _______________________ O Goodness . . . what have we hatched (unleashed with our planning)? Verona . . . (Verona!) . . . is unworkable now. Chaotic! (Distressful!)

Nothing is auspicious . . . in our city. Nothing is congenial.

There is no consistency here.

There is no resolve.



Two Lovers from Verona (“Romeo and Juliet”)