A Ring from my Romeo – a Play

** Characters **

LORD CAPULET

LADY CAPULET

JULIET, their daughter

TYBALT

CAITLIN, Juliet’s servant

LAWRENCE, a Psychiatric doctor

LORD MONTAGUE

LADY MONTAGUE

ROMEO, their son

BENJAMIN, Montague’s bodyguard

BARTOLOMEO, Romeo’s servant

YOUNG WOMEN

MUSICIANS

BRIGHT GREATMAN, writer and the NARRATOR

 

PROLOGUE

(Enter the NARRATOR holding a piece of paper which upon it, is written a poem. He faces the audience, clears his throat and reads the poem aloud.)

 

NARRATOR: This is story you’ve heard so often,

A story of love and tragedy,

And conflict and hatred in a way so ugly;

But now amended to boost our comedy.

And still shows how love conquers all.

 

ACT 1                                      Scene 1

[A  garden. Enter JULIET dressed in red beautiful gown.]

JULIET: Oh love, where can I find you?

[Enter ROMEO unseen, as he is hiding behind blue flowers, a perfect camouflage of his blue coat.]

I have been waiting so long to have you.

ROMEO: [Aside] Who is she waiting for?

JULIET: [Sighs] I’m just a rose planted in the garden of Capulet. My father wouldn’t let me discover love, because he thinks it dangerous. Every day I am caged like a bird; my Father wouldn’t let me have my freedom, to fly.

ROMEO: [To himself] Oh she is the daughter of my father’s enemy.

JULIET: Oh I can’t breathe right now. It’s like love is coming out of my throat.

[She begins to sob] I feel like dying. Oh love, love, love come and set me free from this cage that my father put me into.

 

[Enter three YOUNG WOMEN, staring at her]

 

YOUNG WOMEN: Is this not the daughter of Lord Capulet?

2nd YOUNG WOMAN: Yes but why is she so dark? She was once fair.

JULIET: Don’t stare at me, just because the sun has darkened my skin.

My father was angry with me. He made me work in the farm.

And so I neglected my complexion.

YOUNG WOMEN: We are just admiring your black beauty. Black is beautiful.

JULIET: Thanks. But can a man still fall in love with my new complexion?

YOUNG WOMEN: Yes. If your character is fair and your heart is ready.

JULIET: Wait! Where can I find love?

YOUNG WOMEN: Love will find you. [Exeunt]

ROMEO: [Aside] Does she know I have fallen in love with her?

JULIET: [Sighs in frustration] Love will find me, love will find me. My father will soon be looking for me. He would think I am naughty and mean.

[ROMEO jumps out of his hiding place.]

ROMEO: YO! My black lady. You are so lovely, my dear lady. Love demands to know if you are ready.

JULIET: [Startled] Who are you stranger?

ROMEO: Stranger? Did you just call me stranger?

JULIET: You look familiar and strange to me.

ROMEO: Oh Juliet, daughter of lord Capulet!

JULIET: [Gasp] Oh you know me well. You must be a Montague!

ROMEO: I am Romeo, a Montague.

JULIET: [Aside] A Montague! I hate Montagues.

ROMEO: I can’t pretend not to hear that. Though your lips talk hatred; I can hear the beats of love from your heart.

JULIET: You can hear my heart beat too?

ROMEO: I can detect the faintest sound. But your heart beats loud and clear. [He grabs her hands] Your hands are soft like a feathery chest of a dove. And your eyes are lovely, so lovely…. [He kisses her gently on her cheek]

And now how does it feel? Do you still hate the Montague?

JULIET: [Blushes] Oh love is finally here.

ROMEO: Are you ready now?

JULIET: Well what can I say? You have been watching me all long. You’ve heard me pour out my heart to the wind. I don’t want to play hard-to-get like some other maidens, but say yes to love.

ROMEO: [Goes on one knee] I love you, dear Juliet, with all of my heart.

JULIET: [ EXCITEDLY] Can this be love at first sight?

ROMEO: Well, sort of. Why do you ask?

JULIET: Because no man has ever professed love to me. How do you know how to get a lady?

ROMEO: Well, love knows the heart of those who are ready.

JULIET: Then promise me you will never leave me for another maiden.

ROMEO: With my life, I promise. Come with me. I want to show you something.( They both leaving, Juliet giggling)

 

ACT 1                                       Scene 2

 

[Enter Lady CAPULET calling.]

 

LADY CAPULET: Juliet! Juliet! Caitlin!

 

(Enter CAITLIN running)

 

CAITLIN: My lady. Be at peace. She will soon return…

LADY CAPULET: (Getting red in the face) Where did she go to?

CAITLIN: (Aside) That little wench. I warned her not to go out today.

LADY CAPULET: I asked you. Where is Juliet!

CAITLIN: I-I know not, my lady.

LADY CAPULET: Go and find her before nightfall and don’t return without her. Now go.

 

ACT 1                                      Scene 3

                      

[Entre JULIET and meets CAITLIN]

CAITLIN: Oh Juliet, thank God. Thank God you are back safe and sound. I searched the whole town for you. Where have you been?

JULIET: (Takes her aside) Does my father know I was away?

CAITLIN: Yes. He is angry.

JULIET: And my mother?

CAITLIN: She threatened hell and brimstone if you don’t come back alive.

JULIET: How could you tell them … You are supposed to cover me.

CAILIN:Juliet I did not tell them.

LORD CAPULET: ( Offstage) Juliet! Juliet!

JULIET: ( In panic) O my Father is coming. What do I tell him?

CAITLIN: Truth. Tell him the truth.

JULIET: But you know who my father is—

LORD CAPULET: Juliet!

( Enter LORD CAPULET and LADY CAPULET)

JULIET: Good Evening _

LORD CAPULET: Save your greetings.

 

( Exit CAITLIN)

 

LADY CAPULET: Where have you been, Juliet?

JULIET: I just walked around the city.

LORD CAPULET: Oh yes. Always walking around the city. Is this whole compound not big enough for you to do your walking?

JULIET : Father, I am tired of being caged like a bird. I need a little freedom. Please.

LORD CAPULET: Sometimes being caged is safe, because freedom may endanger your life, may cost your life.

JULIET: Then let me pay the price and have my freedom.

LADY CAPULET: Juliet, you are our only child. I and your Father love you so much.  What if something bad happened to you out there. Who are we to blame? Who will be held responsible? We have a lot of enemies. We are only protecting you from harm.

JULIET : I don’t want to be protected. I am no longer a child!

LORD CAPULET: Juliet, as long as I am still your father, you must obey my order. Henceforth you must not step out alone. Tybalt shall be your guard.

JULIET: Father I don’t need a guard…

LORD CAPULET: Then you stop going outside the city. I don’t trust the Montagues.

JULIET: (Crying) Father, please..

LORD CAPULET: I have spoken.

( Exit)

 

LADY CAPULET: My dear,you got me worried. I thought those Montagues have laid their ugly hands on you.

( ENTER CAITLIN)

JULIET: They’re not our enemies, mother. They are people like us, good people.

LADY CAPULET: You’re still a child. You won’t understand…

JULIET: Spare me that, mother.

CAITLIN: Oh, Juliet , listen to your mother, for her womb sake.

JULIET:I am not insane, Caitlin. I know what i am saying.

LADY CAPULET: Nobody says you are insane, my daughter. But for safety, listen to me..

(Juliet bursts into tears)

CAITLIN: Why are you crying Juliet?

LADY CAPULET: (To Caitlin) Is her dinner ready?

CAITLIN: Yes ma,am.

LADY CAPULET: And the hot shower?

CAITLIN: All ready ma,am.

LADY CAPULET: Come and freshen up my dear daughter. We will talk more later. Then I will talk to your father. ( They go.)

 

FADEOUT

 

ACT 2                                      SCENE 1

 

Enter two young Drummers with a slow but strong rhythm, accompanied by a sweet sound of an acoustic guitar played by a village boy. JULIET enters dancing. The YOUNG WOMEN enter and watch her from a distance, whispering to one another and smiling. The music fades as the musicians exit. The women come closer.

 

1st WOMAN:  Black beauty, what makes you so happy today?

2nd WOMAN: You danced like a woman in love.

JULIET: Yes. I am intoxicated with wine of love.

3rd WOMAN: Wine of love? I have not heard anything like it. Tell us more.

JULIET: I have finally found love.

YOUNG WOMEN: We are happy for you. Who is this special man?

JULIET: Oh, here he comes.

( Enter Romeo grinning)

YOUNG WOMEN: EEEEH. We admire your handsome man more than wine.

JULIET: ( Charges at them) Don’t even think of it. Dare not take my man away from me. If you dare, I will kill all of you.

1st WOMAN: It is natural for a woman to protect her man from other women. As for me, I am engaged. ( flaunts her engagement ring). Except for these two who are still single and desperate.

2nd WOMAN: Mind your tongue, you whore.

( Romeo and JULIET Exeunt quietly)

3rD WOMAN:Do you think you are more beautiful than us?

1st WOMAN: Looking at her. Ugly thing. Flat nose.

( Fight ensues)

 

FADEOUT

 

ACT 2.                                      SCENE 2

 

Enter LORD MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE in their family color of blue and white.

 

LORD MONTAGUE: (Calling) BARTOLOMEO! BARTOLOMEO!

BARTOLOMEO: (Entering) Yes my lord.

LORD MONTAGUE: Where is Romeo, my son?

BARTOLOMEO: He’s gone out.

LADY MONTAGUE: To where?

BARTOLOMEO: I don’t know,my lady.

LORD MONTAGUE: (Angry) What do you mean you don’t know?

BARTOLOMEO: He didn’t tell me where he was going.

LORD MONTAGUE: I put him in your care. You idiot! What if he is danger now.

LADY MONTAGUE: God forbid. Nothing bad shall happen to my son.

LORD MONTAGUE: These Capulets are envious of us. So what do you think they will do if they lay their hands on him?

LADY MONTAGUE: Go and look for my son. And don’t come back without him.

BARTOLOMEO: I can’t go alone. It is already dark.

LADY MONTAGUE: You cannot go alone, yet you let my son out there in the dark.

BARTOLOMEO: It is not my fault, my lady.

LADY MONTAGUE:whose fault is it? Mine? By the way, what are you afraid of?

BARTOLOMEO: Those Capulets guards are animals. The other time I went out alone at night unarmed,They attacked seven of them. I barely escaped for my life. If I go out alone, they might attack again and kill me.

LORD MONTAGUE: (Calling) Benvolio!

 

( Enter BENVOLIO armed with gun)

 

BENVOLIO: Yes my lord.

LORD CAPULET: Take ten armed men with you and go with Bartolomeo. Look for my son and bring him back. If those Capulet’s dogs attack you, slaughter them.

BENVOLIO: Very well my lord.

( Exit sharply)

 

LADY MONTAGUE: ( to Bartolomeo) Pray that my son is safe and sound. Otherwise I will roast you alive.

LORD MONTAGUE: ( TO Bartolomeo) What are you standing here for? Go with Benvolio. ( Exit Bartolomeo)

 

ACT.  2.                                      SCENE 3

 

Enter JULIET and sees CAITLIN cleaning. She takes her to a corner.

 

JULIET: Guess what? I have finally found love.

CAITLIN: Oh, my sweet mistress, really?

JULIET: He is so cute. So lovely. So romantic.

CAITLIN: Aww! Finally you found a man who loves you. But who is he? Where is he from? And what does he do?

( JULIET looks around carefully)

JULIET:( In a whisper) His name is Romeo, son of Lord Montague.

CAITLIN:(gasps) Juliet, this is trouble; don’t put me into trouble again.

JULIET: Nobody is getting into trouble. I won’t put you in trouble.

CAITLIN: Your parents, do they know?

JULIET: Am I crazy? Of course,not. They won’t even reason with me.

CAITLIN: That’s is why I am afraid, Juliet. Your father is going to punish me for it if he finds out.

JULIET: Be cool. I will tell my mother first. She will reason with me. She will understand.

CAITLIN : What? You think so?

JULIET: She is a woman like me. She understands what it means to be in love.

CAITLIN: Not in this matter, Juliet. Falling in love with the son of your father’s enemy, who is also your enemy, is out of it.

JULIET: Romeo is not my enemy. The Montagues are good people.

CAITLIN: Do you think your mother will buy this new idea?

JULIET: Not now. Later. In a week or two weeks time.

CAITLIN: Please don’t tell her that I am aware. I don’t want to lose my job.

JULIET: Your won’t lose your job, I promise. I can handle it.

(She leaves)

 

ACT 2                                      SCENE 4

 

ROMEO is seated under a cool shade of a tree, writing on a piece of paper. JULIET enters unnoticed and taps him from behind, as he stands up defensively.

 

ROMEO: Oh Juliet,you startled me.

JULIET: (Laughs) What are you doing here alone?

ROMEO: Meditating…composing a poem…for you.

( Laughs)

Oh you thought I was going to mention another girl? You are jealous, I can see.

JULIET: I am not jealous.

ROMEO: You are. How did you find me?

JULIET: I followed your scent and my heart.

ROMEO: Hmm……seriously? You are quite talented.

JULIET: The poem…let me see it. It is for me,right?

ROMEO: (smiles) Yes. But wait a minute…

JULIET: I can’t wait.

(She snatches the poem from him and reads audibly)

“You are the most beautiful girl in the world,

Your beauty is measured beyond words.

If you doubt me, look into the mirror,

And you will see your beauty isn’t a minor.

You are the reason why I breathe

You are my road and my bridge.”

(She gasps emotionally)

Oh Romeo! You are so poetic

Oh you are so romantic.

ROMEO: You like it?

JULIET: I love it.

(She hugs him) Can i keep it?

ROMEO: Publish it, if you want.

( They kiss.)

 

FADEOUT

 

ACT 3.                                      SCENE 1

 

LORD CAPULET’S chamber. He is reading a paper and sipping a red wine. Enter TYBALT, a fierce-looking young man with an eye-patch and a long sword strapped around his waist.

 

TYBALT: Greetings my lord.

LORD CAPULET: What did you find?

TYBALT:Juliet is behaving strange. She has been sneaking out more often than before. Especially at night.

LORD CAPULET: Did you find out the reason?

TYBALT: No, my lord, not yet.

LORD CAPULET: Does she know you are following her?

TYBALT: I doubt it. I keep myself hidden.

LORD CAPULET: That girl wants to put me in trouble. Keep monitoring her. Find out her reason for sneaking out at night.

TYBALT: Yes my lord.

(Exit)

 

( Enter LADY CAPULET)

 

LADY CAPULET: I want to talk to you.

LORD CAPULET: About what?

LADY CAPULET: About our daughter…

LORD CAPULET: What about her?

LADY CAPULET: Juliet is not in her room.

LORD CAPULET: What? Where is Caitlin?

LADY CAPULET: Out side, waiting.

LORD CAPULET: Let her come in and spill out everything she knows about this matter.

LADY CAPULET: She knows nothing.

LORD CAPULET: That damned pretender. She knows something.

(Calling)

Caitlin! Caitlin! Caitlin!

 

FADEOUT.

 

ACT 3.                                      SCENE 2

 

Out in the open field at night. ROMEO and JULIET are playing under the bright moonlight. JULIET runs around while ROMEO chases her playfully. Soon she catches her and both fall down panting and laughing.

 

ROMEO: Oh you are a good runner. You have good legs for running.

JULIET: And you are a good chaser. You chase me like a cock chases his lover hen.

ROMEO: I will chase you again if you dare run from me.

JULIET: (Laughs) You know I love running.

ROMEO: I love chasing.. That’s my talent. You help me discover it.

JULIET: Really?

ROMEO: Yes.

JULIET: If you call running talent, what would you call chasing?

ROMEO: Talent hunt. I am the talent hunter. Chasing is half a talent. Running is a full talent. (Laughter )

JULIET: You are so funny.

(She kisses him)

Your lips tastes like honey.

ROMEO: That’s the taste of my love for you. It gets sweeter everyday, every minute.

JULIET: Then I would love to have a taste of it again and again.

ROMEO: Go ahead and take the gain without pain.

( As Juliet is about to kiss him again, TYBALT jumps out and attacks ROMEO with a sword)

JULIET: (Crying) Tybalt, please stop! Don’t kill him!

TYBALT: He is our enemy. Father sent me to protect you.

JULIET: But I am safe. Please stop. (She blocks him)

TYBALT: Get out of my way. Let me finish him off. Now!

JULIET: (Crying) Then kill me first. ( To Romeo) Run. Run!.

( ROMEO runs away)

TYBALT: You let him escape. He kidnapped you.

JULIET: He did not kidnap me.

TYBALT: Father must hear this. Let’s go back. ( He carries her off)

 

Fadeout

 

ACT 3.                                      SCENE 3

 

LORD MONTAGUE’S angry voice is heard offstage.

 

LORD MONTAGUE: (Offstage) Where is that devil that wants my son dead! Where is that beast that calls himself Capulet?

( He storms in with BENVOLIO and three armed warriors)

I bring war to your doorstep.

( Lord CAPULET, Tybalt, and three armed guards,come out to meet them)

 

LORD CAPULET: A barking dog seldom bite.

LORD MONTAGUE: (Angry) You call me a barking dog? You sent your one-eye guard to eliminate my son, my only son! Ah!

LORD CAPULET: You and your foolish son should be put in order, should be put in chain.

LORD MONTAGUE: Hold your whorish daughter who chases after my son. Your daughter is evil.

LORD CAPULET: Watch your mouth! Your son thinks he is a Smart hunter, but I will show him that I am a the master trapper. I will trap him down and make him pay for defiling my daughter. He disvirgined my own daughter.

LORD MONTAGUE: If anything happens to my son, your entire household shall go down.

LORD CAPULET: Ha, ha, ha! Empty threats. Barking dog!

LORD MONTAGUE:(Fuming) You call me a barking dog again? ( To BENVOLIO) Kill that animal.

( AS BENVOLIO advances, Tybalt rushes out and attacks him. Other join in the fighting. Lady Capulet rushes out)

LADY CAPULET: Stop fighting! Stop fighting!

(Fighting stops)

Lord Montague, please go back to your people. We don’t want trouble.

LORD MONTAGUE: Your husband provoked me.

LADY CAPULET: I apologize. ( to CAPULET) We’ll need to talk. (She goes inside, lord Capulet and his men follow her)

LORD MONTAGUE: This fight is not over yet. ( To Benvolio and other men) Let’s go back.

 

FADEOUT

 

ACT 4.                                      SCENE 1

 

LORD CAPULET is enjoying a meal of fried rice and chicken.

 

ACT 4                                      SCENE 2

(A beautiful garden. Enter ROMEO and JULIET holding hands.)

ROMEO : ( Excitedly) Oh, today is valentine! This is sweet.

Oh, if love is ocean wide, I will swim it deep.

JULIET: ( Sad) You talk a lot about swimming. Love is not an ocean!

To make myself open, I hate swimming.

ROMEO: Oh, love, you talk trash. Oh no! I meant cash; if love is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

JULIET: ( Aside) If only he understands my feelings, I would live a happy life. If only he gives me a ring, I would be his lovely bride.

ROMEO: Oh, I have not been thinking. And that keeps me stinking.

( He goes on one knee) I give you this ring

And a toast of new wine;

Love is what I bring

Please be my wife. ( He puts the ring on her finger)

JULIET: (Excitedly) Oh, darling. I have kept for you the old delight and the new.

( She embraces him) Come with me and I will show you that what is in the pot is not stew.

 

( FADEOUT.)

 

ACT 4                                      SCENE 3

 

Enter Lord Capulet and lord Montague chatting and laughing.

 

LORD CAPULET: Oh love is a wonderful thing. I remember when I was a youth. When I first met my wife. She was as beautiful as my daughter. I fell in love with her and married her the following day.

 

LORD MONTAGUE: Love is as strong as death. My son remind me of my youthful days. When I met my wife. The kissing, the hugging. Oh you know what I mean.

LORD CAPULET: (Laughing) Ofcourse, yes. My wife still calls me her lover boy.

LORD MONTAGUE: Mine calls me Honey. ( They burst into laughter)

LORD CAPULET: Now that your son has proposed to my daughter, how do we classify the upcoming wedding?

LORD MONTAGUE: First class. But it is going to be above all class of wedding.

LORD MONTAGUE: (Nodding) Yes. Our children deserve the best.

LORD CAPULET: How my friend, let us forget our ugly past and embrace our great future as in-laws.

( They shake hands)

LORD MONTAGUE: My family and your family are now one. Let no quarrel cause our fall. For love has conquered all.

( They embrace)

 

FADEOUT.

 

THE END.

During a serious war between two great families love finally had its way as Romeo profess love to Juliet. This was a dangerous move at first, but when Romeo proposed to Juliet with a diamond ring, the enmity between the two families dissolved like sugar in water or like snow in the heat of the sun.

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