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The Wooing of Benvolio: Dramatis Personae, Prologue, ACT I
Lord Montague- Head of House
Lady Montague- Wife to Montague
Romeo- Son of Montague
Benvolio- Kinsman of Romeo
Balthasar- Attendant to Romeo
Prince Escalus-Prince of Verona
Mercutio-Kinsman to Prince
Petrarch-Kinsman to Capulet, friend to Tybalt
Lord Capulet- Head of House
Lady Capulet- Wife to Capulet
Old Capulet- Cousin to Capulet
Juliet-Daughter to Capulet
Samson-Servant to Capulet
Gregory-Servant to Capulet
Tybalt-Cousin to Juliet
Lady Caryn-Old friend to Benvolio, Venetian Scholar
Lady Isabella-Acquaintance to Lady Caryn
Various servants, club and torch bearers, citizens, maskers, men, etc…
Shadows roam the darkened halls
As the moonlight seeps
Upon owls who lay in roses call
To departed lovers who dream and weep
From the deepest heart
Of dear Benvolio
Old passions dost reveal
Their full might
As a visitor to fair Verona
Once again sets stars alight
After years and seas apart
As dear friends do unite
Alas with the strife
Of Juliet and her Romeo
Our story lies beyond the light
Now we bring to you tonight
The wooing of Benvolio
A hall in Montague’s house.
ROMEO, LORD MONTAGUE, and LADY MONTAGUE on center stage.
SERVANT: My Lord (bows) a letter from Venice.
LORD MONTAGUE: Oh, ho! Venice you say?
Dear wife, have we any kinsmen there?
LADY MONTAGUE: I can think of none.
ROMEO: (takes letter) It is from Lady Caryn!
MONT: What say she? Fare she well?
ROMEO: Quite! She is traveling from the south!
She wishes to return to Verona for the summer.
MONT: ‘Tis been many a year since I laid my eyes
Upon that child.
LADY MONT: No longer a child, husband,
But now near twenty! Born she was not
A month after Benvolio.
They were quite fond of each other.
Romeo, has she a husband?
ROMEO: She speaks not of marriage.
LADY MONT: Go, Romeo!
Bring word to Benvolio.
(Exit ROMEO, Exeunt)
A balcony. Benvolio on stage.
BENVOLIO: O’ Romeo, naïve lover of clouds!
To hear you rant about fair Rosaline (pause).
Who am I to speak? Romeo may stretch to clouds,
Yet within my placid peace I leap for stars!
The torture of love anew is but the brush of a fairy’s wing
Where abandoned hearts beat solemnly
Burdened with heavy scars. (Looks to sky)
O’ heavenly stars!
Dost thou see what cruel fates thy hast brought me?
(Pause) No, ‘tis not wise to groom a dead horse
No matter the price of the steed.
Still, I still possess the power to dream! (Knocking from within)
BENVOLIO: (surprised) There, a fateful knock.
Perhaps, I have been discovered.
Has my façade been shattered?
Have my words been heard by some unsuspected ear?
Quick with the mask and the looking glass! (Examines appearance)
Enter. (Enter Romeo)
ROMEO: Benvolio! Benvolio!
BENVOLIO: Romeo, what craze
Possesses thy haste?
ROMEO: Ah, ‘tis good Lady Caryn!
BENVOLIO: (turns away) No, please
Do not send me to the stars!
She left Verona years ago!
ROMEO: I speak only truth!
ROMEO: Aye, Cousin, look!
A letter has arrived!
She shall arrive within the fortnight! (Exit)
BENVOLIO: (takes letter) It cannot be.
Yet here the ink and parchment
Stain my eyes. She is returning.
Romeo is true!
Alas, the wounds are torn anew
A broken heart once again ripped open
By the vicious claws of remembrance.
Will the torment ever cease?
Perhaps, ‘tis but a dream.
Soon my eyes shall open and I
Will find myself in my blankets
Never to hear a name so beautiful as Caryn.
A sound so wonderfully pleasing
Yet so painful to hear.
Never the less,
I am awake and will make ready. (Exeunt)
Gates of Verona, Enter LADY CARYN followed by LADY ISABELLA
LADY CARYN: Ah, ‘tis wonderful to be home again
My eyes have not seen such as lovely sight as the streets of Verona!
LADY ISABELLA: ‘tis quaint.
CARYN: O’ Bella, why do you tease me so?
ISABELLA: The opportunity rarely presents itself.
I merely wish to take advantage of the moment.
CARYN: (laughs) Isabella, had you felt
The pain I once endured you would show sympathy to my poor soul.
ISABELLA: Your poor soul?
‘Tis your own doing that left you unhappy;
Had you not left for your studies your
Heart would remain flesh and not the stone it has become!
Ah, and how many swans are to leave
The pond with their nest.
Very few, I can assure you.
CARYN: Bella, I believe you have
Nested with too many a cob.
BELLA: (jokingly) Alas, far too many.
How ever am I to recall their names?
What about the strapping man last week?
Alberto? Or perhaps ‘twas Alessandro?
CARYN: O’ my dear friend
Thou art a temptress
Equipped with a siren’s call of thy own.
As it was, I was young and my heart was soft.
He and I were but children
Unprepared for the lives ahead of us
Our destinies never to fully intertwine.
BELLA: Methinks thy hath not forgotten,
For Cupid did ensure the precision of his target.
CARYN: (angrily) Not another word.
I did not bring you along, Isabella,
To interfere in my past. (Trumpets sound)
Ah look, here comes our welcome!
(Enter PRINCE ESCALUS, LORD MONTAGUE, LADY MONTAGUE, LORD CAPULET, and LADY CAPULET)
PRINCE ESCALUS: Welcome home, Lady Caryn.
CARYN: My Lord, (bows)
It warms my heart to be within
The walls of Verona once again.
Allow me to introduce Lady Isabella of Milan.
BELLA: (bows) My Lord,
I am honored.
PRINCE: The feeling is mutual.
The homecoming of a Veronan
As well as the greeting of new friends
Is always a special occasion.
LORD MONTAGUE: Lady Caryn, hath been many years
Since you sat at my table, please,
Dine with us this evening.
Cook will prepare a feast!
LADY MONTAGUE: Dear, we have also readied a room
In our household. Lady Isabella shall be given one as well.
CARYN: Thank you, my Lady,
Your hospitality is greatly appreciated.
LORD MONTAGUE: Come now,
We’ve much to discuss.
Verona streets, BENVOLIO on stage.
Enter ROMEO, and MERCUTIO
ROMEO: Cousin! Slow your frantic feet!
You have missed the arrival of Lady Caryn!
BENVOLIO: I could not face her,
Fear set into my very being! I fled!
MERCUTIO: Fear? Of Lady Caryn!
Why, I’ve never heard such a ridiculous statement!
Lady Caryn, Hah!
That woman ‘tis as docile as a doe.
Yet, she strikes fear into the heart
of even brave Benvolio!
ROMEO: Mercutio, ‘tis not pleasant what you say.
MERCUTIO: Oh, nay ‘tis not.
Yet, I feel the same fear!
Oh yes ‘tis the dark curls upon a
lofty head filled with quick wit and
blue eyes which sparkle like the heavens!
‘tis the radiant smile of rose red lips
And olive skin!
‘Tis the hourglass in her sides!
‘Tis this which will kill poor, brave Benvolio.
ROMEO: Mercutio, calm your brash teasing!
A life of lovelessness is no reason to bring this upon Benvolio.
MERCUTIO: You speak with an ill tongue.
The same goes for you and Lady Rosaline!
BENVOLIO: Cease this mindless banter!
I can take no more!
ROMEO: Benvolio, she cannot be avoided.
She is staying with us,
Dining with us this very evening!
BENVOLIO: Do the fates tease me so?
MERCUTIO: Alas, ‘tis here we will see our lad fall.
ROMEO: Mercutio, watch thy tongue,
Or shall I remove it myself?
MERCUTIO: Romeo, spar not with thy words
But with thy rapier! (draws sword)
BENVOLIO: Calm your rage and
sheath your weapons!
MERCUTIO: Aye. (sheaths sword)
BENVOLIO: Let stay it, for fiery Tybalt fast approaches.
(Enter TYBALT and PETRARCH)
BENVOLIO: Good morrow, gentlemen!
PETRARCH: And to you.
MERCUTIO: What businesses have thee
With the house of Montague?
PETRARCH: To extend a personal invitation to the festivities
hosted by Lord Capulet!
TYBALT: To Lady Caryn.
It has reached my Lady’s ears that she is without a husband
and wishes me to pose as a suitor. (BENVOLIO stiffens)
For, she will ne’er stay young and has no chinks.
MERCUTIO: Shame, for she will find none among the House of Capulet!
BENVOLIO: Be cautious, my friend.
‘Tis no place to brawl.
TYBALT: We shall see.
PETRARCH: Tybalt, Benvolio is correct.
Let us carry out our task with no further tribulations.
Gentlemen, we bid you farewell. (Exit TYBALT and PETRARCH)
ROMEO: O’ Good Benvolio!
Tybalt wishes merely to rib thee!
Pay no heed to his mendacity!
MERCUTIO: Should I but wrap my hands
round Tybalt’s thick neck
I would silence them!
BENVOLIO: Such notion is appreciated,
yet not necessary. I will just as soon hang
as let Caryn marry such a fiend as Tybalt!
Now, my fellows, we have a dinner to attend.