"No fear Shakespeare":
Below on the right side is a "translation" into modern English of the first scene of Act V of Romeo and Juliet. In this scene, Romeo has been thrown out of his home city. He killed another boy in a street fight, and if he returns, the government will punish him with death. But he just married beautiful Juliet. They cannot be together. He learns here from the servant, Balthasar, that Juliet has died.
The Original Text on the left is from the online Sparknotes site: Sparknotes R & J. Compare these two. This is the section of the play which is in your brown Exploring Literature textbook, pages 442 - 461. You are responsible for knowing this section for test and final exam.
Act 5, Scene 1
If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand.
My bosom’s lord sits lightly in his throne,
And all this day an unaccustomed spirit
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
I dreamt my lady came and found me dead—
Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think—
And breathed such life with kisses in my lips
That I revived and was an emperor.
Ah me! How sweet is love itself possessed
When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!
If I can trust my dreams, then some joyful news is coming soon. Love rules my heart, and all day long a strange feeling has been making me cheerful. I had a dream that my lady came and found me dead. It’s a strange dream that lets a dead man think! She came and brought me back to life by kissing my lips. I rose from the dead and was an emperor. Oh my! How sweet it would be to actually have the woman I love, when merely thinking about love makes me so happy.
Enter ROMEO’s man BALTHASAR
ROMEO’s servant BALTHASAR enters.
News from Verona!—How now, Balthasar?
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?
How doth my lady? Is my father well?
How fares my Juliet? That I ask again,
For nothing can be ill if she be well.
Do you have news from Verona!—What is it, Balthasar? Do you bring me a letter from the friar? How is my wife? Is my father well? How is my Juliet? I ask that again because nothing can be wrong if she is well.
Then she is well, and nothing can be ill.
Her body sleeps in Capels' monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.
I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault
And presently took post to tell it you.
O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,
Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
Then she is well, and nothing is wrong. Her body sleeps in the Capulet tomb, and her immortal soul lives with the angels in heaven. I saw her buried in her family’s tomb, and then I came here to tell you the news. Oh, pardon me for bringing this bad news, but you told me it was my job, sir.