Dear readers: Hey guys, thanks for expressing interest in my most recent project. People ask me why I chose to rewrite Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet from Paris' point of view. I chose to go inside of Paris' head because he's such a fascinating character. He's a wealthy man, slightly self-centered, and a blood relation to the prince. He's easy to dislike. However, he's also in love with Juliet who leaves him for fickle Romeo. We hardly get to hear his reaction to this, except in the final scene when he comes to lay flowers on Juliet's tomb. There he is slain by Romeo. With his final breaths, he asked Romeo to lay him in the tomb next to Juliet. Romeo does not comply. I strongly believe that Paris is the most underrated character in the entire play. I would have loved to hear more from him than a few short scenes. Unfortunately, Shakespeare held different opinions. So I'm taking it upon myself to write it because I think it's extremely interesting. The title "This Precious Book of Love" comes from Act I scene iii, when Lady Capulet is first describing Paris to Juliet. "This precious book of love, this unbound lover, to beautify him only lacks a cover." In other words, this means that Paris is single, and he needs a bride to make him complete. Throughout the play, Paris remains single, and therefore incomplete till the time of his death.
"Love, unrequited, robs me of my rest:
Love, hopeless love, my ardent soul encumbers:
Love, nightmare-like, lies heavy on my chest;
And weaves itself into my midnight slumbers!"
- William S. Gilbert
A perfect wave in my hair was out of place. I combed through it like a madman, trying to fix it. I wish I didn't care; but I couldn't afford laziness, being in the position I was.
"Ay! Paris!" came a voice, one I could only know as my by best friend Adagio. With a sigh, I moved to the balcony; I leaned out as far as I could and looked down at Adagio kicking the shrubbery.
"Ay, man. Wherefore dost thou terrorize my hedge?" I smirked.
"Hedge? Tis merely an unkempt bush." Adagio retorted, his answering grin no smugger than my own.
"I am assuming you did not come merely to assault my foliage?"
"Aye, tis true. What I came to as is: hast thou been invited to the Capulet's party morrow?" The light tone in Adagio's voice was suspicious.
"Of course. And thou?"
"Nay," there was no note of sorrow in Adagio's voice. This wasn't unexpected. I knew what he was after. "Could thou get thy kinsmen through the golden gates of Capulet morrow night?" His eyes were squinting as his face was tilted upward to me; I was still leaning my long body over the railing. I laughed.
"Aye, sir, I shall try." I said, but then my tone wasn't so buoyant. "Morrow e'en, I meet my betrothed."
"Ah, what a lucky girl, that Juliet." Adagio beamed. I grinned again. Before I go on, I think I must explain exactly what my position is. I am one of the celebrities of Verona, and a blood relation to the prince. I am to marry the daughter of wealthy Capulet, and I will finally meet my fiancée at a costume gala being held by her parents tomorrow night. I wonder what she'll be like. They say she's beautiful. I assume I was chosen for my handsomeness. We would make a lovely couple. But maybe there is more?
"Ay! Paris!" Adagio repeated, the smirk back. "Daydreaming again?"
"Aye." I admitted, sheepish. I swung my strong leg over the railing and began to descend down the walls of my family's mansion, clinging to vines.
"What shall the fair Juliet do with you? What shall I do with you?"
"Nothing. Leave me alone." I glared at him to the best of my ability. Adagio's lips turned to a smile that would make any girl swoon as I reached the lawn.
"Silly Paris." He patted me on the head. "Just you wait, morrow's e'en shall be the best of our lives."