21st February 2018

Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Summary

Act 1, Scene 1

Location: A street in Verona

Characters: Capulet boys, Montague boys, Benvolio, Tybalt, Capulet, Lady Capulet, Prince, Montague, Romeo

Time: Sunday Morning

Events: The prince intercedes on a street brawl between Benvolio and Tybalt and their men. He will put to death anyone who brawls again on the streets. Montague sends Benvolio to find out why Romeo is so sad. Romeo loves a woman who does not love him back. Benvolio advises him to seek other women.

‘Tut, I have lost myself, I am not here, this is not Romeo, he’s some other where’ – Romeo


Act 1, Scene 2 

Location: A street in Verona

Characters: Capulet, Paris, Servant, Benvolio, Romeo

Time: Sunday Morning

Events: Paris wants to marry Juliet but Capulet thinks Juliet is too young and wants her to make a choice. Capulet invites Paris to meet Juliet at a family ball. The servant who is meant to deliver the invitations can’t read so he gets Romeo and Benvolio to read the invitation list for him. Romeo decides to go to the ball to see Rosaline.

‘My child is yet a stranger in the world, she hath not seen the change of fourteen years’ – Capulet


Act 1, Scene 3

Location: Capulet’s house

Characters: Lady Capulet, Nurse, Juliet, Servingman

Time: Sunday Afternoon

Events: Nurse and Lady Capulet talk about Juliet marrying Paris and Nurse then goes on saying that she was the one who brought up Juliet and breastfed and weaned her. Lady Capulet and Nurse tries to talk Juliet into marrying Paris and tell her that at the party tonight, she should observe him, sit next to him and talk to him, fall in love with him. Paris is waiting to meet her.

‘This precious book of love, this unbound lover, to beautify him, only lacks a cover’ – Lady Capulet


Act 1, Scene 4

Location: Outside Capulet’s house

Characters: Romeo, Benvolio, Mercutio, five or six other Maskers, Torch-bearers

Time: Sunday Evening

Events: Romeo is talking to Benvolio and Mercutio about this bad dream he had, and believes that by having this dream, he is going to have bad luck. He doesn’t think he should go to the party but Mercutio thinks that this bad luck dream is a bunch of crap so Benvolio and Mercutio persuade Romeo to go to the ball with them.

‘True, I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain’ – Romeo


Act 1, Scene 5

Location: Capulet’s house

Characters: First Servingman, Second Servingman, Third Servingman, Forth Servingman, Capulet, Cousin Capulet, Romeo, Servingman, Tybalt, Juliet, Nurse, Chorus

Time: Sunday night

Events: At the start of the scene, The Serving men (first, second, third and forth) create the scene by acting bustled. Then everyone is at the Ball and Romeo asks a Servingman who Juliet was because he saw her and immediately fell in love with her. Tybalt recognizes Romeo and wants to start a fight but Capulet restrains him because he doesn’t want chaos at his ball. Romeo asks Juliet if he can kiss her and they kiss. Nurse comes in and interrupts them. Romeo finds out she is a Capulet and Juliet finds out that he is a Montague, she says if he is married, she will die unmarried.

‘Go ask his name.-If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed’ – Juliet

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