Romeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare
(Word doc 279kb)
Shakespeare's complete original script based on the Second Quarto of 1599, with corrections and alternate text shown from the First Quarto of 1597, Third Quarto of 1609, Fourth Quarto of 1622, First Folio of 1623, and later editions. Spelling and punctuation are modernized (American) with some indications of pronunciation. Stage directions are clarified. Side notes included for vocabulary, figurative language, and allusions. This script may be downloaded and used for free for education and performance. Editor: David Hundsness.
Adapted Script (ready to read)
(Word doc 142kb)
Adapted Script (unabridged)
(Word doc 308kb)
This is an adapted version of the play using Shakespeare's original language. It is shortened to under two hours, cutting scenes that are typically slow to modern audiences. Dated references are minimized so the story may be set anytime and anywhere. A Wedding Ceremony and Juliet's Funeral are created from cut-and-pasted lines, and some scenes are altered for dramatic impact (all from the original script, of course). The unabridged version shows all cut lines in gray text, so you can easily restore lines and make your own edits. The first version is easier to read. Adapted by David Hundsness. This adaptation may be used for free in part or whole for performance, even for profit; I ask only that you contact me at to let me know who is using it, and give credit to David Hundsness and www.hundsness.com where appropriate.
Review by Austin Live Theatre
"This is no Reader's Digest edition. The adapter did a scrupulous, ethical job of fileting the original text, preserving the story line and the essentials of the characters. Almost all of the most memorable lines of verse were retained. Purists would certainly object to his reducing the text by 30 to 40 percent, adroitly stitching together scenes while adhering to original texts and crafting both a brief marriage scene in Friar Laurence's chambers and a funeral for Juliet. But none of this diminishes a whit the power of Shakespeare's language or plot. The adaptation is directly in the centuries-old tradition of moving the bard to the audience."
(Word doc 874kb)
Side-by-side comparison of the First Quarto of 1597, Second Quarto of 1599, and First Folio of 1623 with original spelling and punctuation. Sources:
Web Version for Schools
Free e-book with line-by-line translation to modern English. Designed for schools, complete with quizzes, vocabulary, comprehension & discussion questions, and background context. Runs on JunoEd.com, so quizzes are integrated with your gradebook.