Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 1

    Enter ROMEO alone.

1. here: Capulet's house. Romeo has just left the party where he met Juliet. 2. dull earth: i.e., his body. center: i.e., Juliet. In Romeo's metaphor, Juliet is his center of gravity, around which he must revolve.
  1   Can I go forward when my heart is here?
  2   Turn back, dull earth, and find thy center out.

           Enter BENVOLIO with MERCUTIO.

  3   Romeo! my cousin Romeo! Romeo!

           [Romeo leaps the wall into Capulet's

3                                               He is wise;
  4   And, on my life, hath stol'n him home to bed.

  5   He ran this way, and leap'd this orchard wall.
  6   Call, good Mercutio.

6. conjure: call up a spirit [Romeo's].
  6                                Nay, I'll conjure too.
  7   Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!
  8   Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh!
  9   Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
 10   Cry but "Ay me!" pronounce but "love" and "dove";
11. gossip Venus: crony.  Mercutio makes it sound as if Venus is a talkative old woman. 12. purblind: dim-sighted.
13-14. Young Abraham Cupid . . . King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid!:
 11   Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
 12   One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,
 13   Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so trim,
 14   When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid!
 15   He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not;
16. ape: "Ape," like "monkey" today, could be used as a mocking term of endearment.
 16   The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.
 17   I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,
 18   By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
 19   By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh
20. demesnes: estates.
 20   And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
 21   That in thy likeness thou appear to us!

22. And if: if.
 22   And if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him.

 23   This cannot anger him: 'twould anger him
24. To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle:

27. That were some spite: i.e., if I had done that, he would have good reason to be angry at me.
 24   To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle
 25   Of some strange nature, letting it there stand
 26   Till she had laid it and conjured it down.
 27   That were some spite: my invocation
 28   Is fair and honest, and in his mistress' name
 29   I conjure only but to raise up him.

 30   Come, he hath hid himself among these trees,
31. consorted with the humorous: associated with the moody [night].
 31   To be consorted with the humorous night:
 32   Blind is his love and best befits the dark.

 33   If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
 34   Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
 35   And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
 36   As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
 37   O, Romeo, that she were, O, that she were
38. open et caetera:
pop'rin pear: Flemish pear of phallic shape. 39. truckle-bed: low bed, made to fit under a larger one. Mercutio is saying that he'd rather sleep anywhere warm, than continue to stay outside in the cold.
 38   An open et caetera, thou a pop'rin pear!
 39   Romeo, good night: I'll to my truckle-bed;
 40   This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep:
 41   Come, shall we go?

 41                            Go, then; for 'tis in vain
 42   To seek him here that means not to be found.

           Exit [with Mercutio].