The Rambling Verses
by Kevin Whibley

All text and images
Copyright Kevin Whibley 2015

Romeo And Juliet

Now with a Shakespeare tragedy,
We assume things will go wrong.
And with Romeo and Juliet
Finding out, does not take long.

In the prologue it's announced to us,
That our lovers meet their ends.
But what’s nice, their feuding families
Decide, to become friends.

First up are Capulet servants,
Berating the staff of Montague.
So Benvolio tries to stop the ruck,
Like any good Montague would do.

Then in comes Tybalt Capulet,
Who is cocky, young and bored.
Who demands to duel Benvolio,
Who with reluctance draws his sword.

Prince Escalus just happens along
(A coincidental plot device).
As he says "You men, you beasts" must stop!
Or execution is the price!

Now Benvolio’s day’s not going well,
But it’s about to get much worse.
Because along comes his pal Romeo,
Who thinks his life is one long curse.

Like most men of his tender age,
His love is not reciprocated.
He loves the gorgeous Rosaline,
But in him she's not elated.

We then come to Paris
(The man, and not the city).
Who has spied, young Juliet,
And thinks she is quite pretty.

So her Dad has planned a party,
So that Paris may try to woo,
And invited all his mates along
To a Capulet Family do.

Now if you were to send a servant out,
Inviting guests, his only deed,
You would probably ensure you sent along
A servant who could read.

So Romeo gets to see the list,
He sees Rosaline's invited,
So he decides he'll just gate crash the do,
In the hope she'll be delighted.

Now the good news is the Ball is masked,
So three Montague's slip through the door,
But Romeo's still moaning on,
Won't join the dancing on the floor.

Now Romeo is a fickle bloke
When it comes to Rosaline,
As he spies young Juliet instead,
And decides “She'll do just fine.”

So one minute, he is forlorn,
His love is all in vain.
Then his new love declaration
Risks him and two mates being slain.

He is lucky that Lord Capulet
Say's to Tybalt, “Let him go!”
As he didn't want his party wrecked,
That would be, quite a poor show.

So as we join the second act,
Romeo's new love's reciprocated.
It's a shame their father's hate each other,
And their true Romance is fated.

Juliet, on her bedroom balcony.
Romeo, below the window being stalky.
But having eves dropped on how she feels for him,
They have a little talky.

In short, they agree to marry
(Full details in a letter he will write).
Then they take a few more lines of verse
To simply say goodnight.

Next day he visits Friar Laurence
(Whose by chance potion maker).
And he tells him of his change of love,
And for his wife he'd like to take her.

Now the Friar takes convincing,
But he doesn't take that long.
For two broken families joined in love,
What ever could go wrong?

So Romeo sends the message to
His love, via her nurse.
Who takes a scene, to pass on what,
Could be said in just one verse.

So after quite an anxious wait,
Our bride Juliet appears,
And the two are married secretly,
So it lacks the usual cheers.

In the meantime Romeo's best men,
Instead of being by his side,
Are in a ruck with Tybalt
(Who wants to regain his pride).

Romeo is now roaming the street,
Comes across this group of three,
But can't say to Tybalt, “I won't fight”
“As you’re a cousin now to me.”

So Mercutio wades in to the fight,
And is killed by Tybalt's blade.
So Romeo kills Tybalt.
(Now that's a bad mistake he made.)

The Prince will have him killed for this
He'll leave a widowed bride
But the Prince (who once again comes past)
Says “He's banished, and should hide.”

Juliet hears how her cousin’s slain,
By the new man in her life.
She is cross and unforgiving.
But then mellows "I'm his wife."

“But Romeo is banished!”
She considers suicide,
So the nurse agrees to find him,
And bring him to her side.

Now when Romeo hears he's banished,
You would think he would be glad.
You would think that's a step up from death
But he still is very sad.

So Romeo makes a last visit,
To Juliet in her room,
Whilst her Father plans her marriage,
To Paris very soon.

Now when Juliet hears she is to wed.
For the second time next day,
She kind of throws a hissy fit,
And decides to run away.

So she goes to see the Friar who,
Hatches a cunning plan,
To make her look like she is dead.
(Remember He's the potion man.)

So Juliet takes the potion
And the nurse then finds her dead,
(Although we all know she's sleeping
Very deeply on the bed.)

Now here the postal service fails,
Romeo hears she died today.
And not that she will soon wake up,
And they both can run away.

Now before we get to the final bit
Paris challenges Romeo to a duel.
But he picks on a man, full of grief, full of rage,
So he’s slain where he stands, silly fool!

So Romeo finds Juliet in her tomb,
Before her life does reignite.
And drinks of the poison that he has brought,
(This, in hindsight, wasn’t right.)

Juliet wakes, and sees him there,
And she takes some poison sips,
But the bottle is quite empty,
So she takes some more from his lips.

But still she isn't dying,
But she wants to end her life,
So in one final, last ditched attempt.
She does it with a knife!

So that's the essence of the tale.
How life can change in a trice.
But the Families vowed to end their war,
Which makes, the ending, rather nice.

Story Behind The Verse
My quest to make Shakespear a bit more accessible.
My latest version is both shorter and I think flows a bit better. Romeo and Juliet Abridged.

Read more Ramblings


All text and images
Copyright Kevin Whibley 2015