Romeo and Juliet scene summaries

ACT 1, SCENE 1 Servants of the Capulet family encounter members of the Montague household in a street. They fight; Benvolio tries to stop them, but Tybalt insists on duelling with him. Some citizens attempt to break up the brawl, as Capulet and Montague join in. The Prince arrives and chastises both families. He declares that any further fighting will be punished with death. The Prince and the Capulets depart, and the Montagues discuss with their nephew Benvolio the mysterious sadness of their son Romeo. Benvolio learns that Romeo is in love with a woman who is sworn to chastity and ignores him. Benvolio recommends that his cousin consider other women, but Romeo declares that his love’s beauty eclipses all others.
ACT I, SCENE 2 Paris seeks Capulet’s permission to marry his daughter Juliet. Capulet agrees that Juliet is too young, but he says that, if Paris can win Juliet’s affections at the banquet, he will give his consent. He gives a Servant a list of guests with instructions to deliver invitations, and he and Paris depart. Romeo and Benvolio pass by, and the Servant seeks their assistance. Romeo reads the list of guests, which includes the name of Rosaline. He and Benvolio decide to attend the banquet in disguise.
ACT I, SCENE 3 The Nurse remembers Juliet’s childhood. Lady Capulet tells Juliet about her father’s plans for her marriage, and Juliet coolly agrees to consider Paris.
ACT I, SCENE 4 Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio arrive at the banquet. Romeo says he will not dance and is teased by Mercutio. The group proceeds to the party
ACT I, SCENE 5 While the guests dance, Romeo first notices Juliet and is enthralled by her beauty. Tybalt recognises him and rages against his presence. Capulet orders him to be peaceful and he leaves in disgust. Romeo addresses Juliet, and their love immediately blossoms as they kiss. Juliet is called to her mother and Romeo learns who she is from the Nurse. He is dismayed to learn that her family is his family’s rival, and she, when learning his identity from the Nurse, is similarly distressed
ACT II, SCENE 1 Romeo separates himself from his friends as he leaves the party. Presuming he has gone in search of Rosaline, they depart.
ACT II, SCENE 2 Juliet appears at a high window and Romeo, in the garden below, admires her beauty. Believing herself to be alone, she soliloquizes about her love for Romeo, regretting that he is a Montague. He reveals himself, and they speak of their love and exchange vows. Juliet is called away by the Nurse, but she returns to say that she will send a messenger to Romeo the next day.
ACT II, SCENE 3 Friar Laurence, picking herbs, muses on their capacity to kill or cure. Romeo arrives and tells him of his new love and asks his help in marrying her. The Friar agrees, hoping that their alliance will end their families’ feuding.
ACT II, SCENE 4 Benvolio and Mercutio discuss Tybalt, who has challenged Romeo to a duel. Tybalt is well known for his skill with the sword. Meeting their friend, they banter with him about his love. The Nurse appears; Romeo’s friends depart. Romeo gives the Nurse a message for Juliet: she is to go to Friar Laurence that afternoon, and they shall be married. He arranges for the Nurse to receive a rope-ladder for Juliet to lower for him that night
ACT II, SCENE 5 The Nurse returns to an impatient Juliet. She teases her by withholding the message briefly; when she delivers it, Juliet departs at once
ACT II, SCENE 6 Juliet comes to Romeo in Friar Laurence’s cell, and they greet each other joyfully. The Friar prepares to marry them.
ACT III, SCENE 1 Benvolio and Mercutio encounter Tybalt, and Mercutio begins to pick a fight. Romeo appears and is immediately insulted by Tybalt, who wishes to challenge him to a duel. Romeo gives mysterious reasons why he and Tybalt should be friends, but Mercutio draws his sword on Tybalt. Romeo attempts to separate them, but Mercutio is mortally wounded by Tybalt. Mercutio is carried away by Benvolio, who returns to report his death. Tybalt returns, and Romeo fights and kills him. Romeo flees. The Prince appears and interrogates Benvolio. He banishes Romeo from Verona.
ACT III, SCENE 2 Juliet longs for night, when Romeo is to come. The Nurse brings her word of Tybalt’s death and Romeo’s banishment. Doubly grieved, Juliet speaks of suicide, and The Nurse volunteers to bring Romeo to her.
ACT III, SCENE 3 Romeo, hiding with Friar Laurence, raves that death would be more merciful than life without Juliet. The Nurse arrives with word of Juliet’s distress; he too speaks of suicide. The Friar chastises him for his weakness and proposes that, after a night with Juliet, Romeo should flee to Mantua, where he can live until his marriage becomes known. Romeo recovers his spirits and leaves to go to Juliet
ACT III, SCENE 4 Capulet ordains that Juliet shall be married to Paris in three days
ACT III, SCENE 5 Romeo and Juliet reluctantly bid farewell. The Nurse warns that Lady Capulet is coming, and Romeo departs for Mantua. Her mother tells Juliet of the proposed marriage, and Juliet refuses, objecting to the hastiness of the plan. Her father enters and flies into a rage on hearing of her refusal. Her parents leave angrily, and the Nurse advises that Juliet ignore her marriage to Romeo, which no one else knows about, and marry Paris. Juliet decodes to seek help from Friar Laurence
ACT IV, SCENE 1 Paris speaks with Friar Laurence about his coming wedding. Juliet arrives and treats Paris coldly. Once alone with the Friar, she desperately craves assistance. Her talk of suicide suggests a plan to him: he will provide her with a potion that will make her seem to be dead. She will be placed in the family crypt, where Romeo will meet her so that they can flee together
ACT IV, SCENE 2 As the Capulet household is busy with her wedding arrangements, Juliet appears and apologises to her father, promising to obey him and marry Paris. Capulet moves the wedding up a day to the next morning.
ACT IV, SCENE 3 Juliet, alone in her bedroom, is afraid that the Friar’s potion may actually kill her. She is also scared of awakening in the vault, perhaps to encounter the spirits of the dead and Tybalt’s fresh corpse. But she steels herself and drinks the potion
ACT IV, SCENE 5 The Nurse, unable to rouse Juliet, raises the alarm that she is dead. Her parents and Paris-who arrives with Friar Laurence and the Musicians intended for the wedding festivities- grieve for her. Friar Laurence counsels acceptance of God’s will and ordains her solemn interment in the family vault
ACT V, SCENE 1 Balthasar arrives at Romeo’s refuge in Mantua with the news that Juliet has died. Romeo immediately plans to return to Verona and join his beloved in death; he buys a fast-acting potion from an Apothecary
ACT V, SCENE 2 Friar John reports to Friar Laurence that he has been unable to deliver Laurence’s letter to Romeo. Laurence sends John to fetch a crow bar, planning to open the vault and take Juliet into hiding in his own cell until Romeo can be summoned
ACT V, SCENE 3 Paris visits Juliet’s tomb at night. His servant whistles a warning that someone is coming, and Paris hides. Romeo appears with Balthasar, whom he sends away with a letter to Montague. Balthasar leaves but hides nearby to observe. Romeo breaks into the tomb, and Paris steps forth to challenge him. They fight and Romeo kills Paris. He speaks to Juliet, whom he believes to be dead, saying that he will remain with her forever. He drinks the poison and dies. Friar Laurence arrives and views the carnage just as Juliet awakens. He tells Juliet what has happened. She kisses her dead lover and stabs herself with his dagger, as the Watchmen appear. They arrest Balthasar and the Friar as the Prince arrives, followed by Juliet’s parents and Romeo’s father. The Friar explains Juliet’s false death and Romeo’s confusion. The Prince points out that the feud between the two families has led to this moment, and Montague and Capulet swear to end their hostility and vow to erect golden statues of the two lovers.

You Might Also Like