Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Summaries

The Story of Two Star-Crossed Lovers

Act 1 Summary: Enemy Brawl in Streets of Verona, Heartbroken Lover

A fight between the Capulet house and the Montague house breaks out in the streets of Verona. Lord Capulet and Montague try to join the fight, but are stopped by their wives. Prince Escalus stops the riot, threatening everyone with death if the fighting continues. Montague and Lady Montague are worried about Romeo, because he seems very sad. Benvolio talks to Romeo and soon discovers that Romeo's problem is that he loves a woman who doesn't return his love. Benvolio tries to get Romeo to solve his problem by looking for another woman, but Romeo seems determined to love and suffer.

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Act 2 Summary: The Importance of Knowing How to Read :)

Paris asks Capulet for Juliet's hand in marriage, but Capulet thinks she's too young. He tells Paris to woo Juliet at his feast, but to also look at other girls. Capulet sends Peter, his servant out to invite other guests to the feast, and in the streets Peter runs into Romeo and asks him to read something for him. It is a list of guests at Capulet's feast that night. Romeo discovers that Rosaline, his beloved, will be at the feast. Benvolio challenges Romeo to go to the Capulet feast and compare Rosaline with other beauties, but Romeo plans to go to rejoice in Rosaline’s beauty.

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Scene 3: Wise Words from a Mother and a Nurse

Lady Capulet wants to have a serious conversation with Juliet, but the Nurse interrupts with a long recollection about Juliet's nursing and what Juliet said about falling on her back as a child. Lady Capulet tells Juliet that Paris wants to marry her, and urges her to look him over and see that he is the husband for her. Juliet shares that marriage is an honor she does not dream of. Servants come to call everyone to the Capulet party.

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Act 1 Scene 4 Summary: Crashing the Party

Romeo and his two friends arrive at the Capulet party wearing masks to hide their identity. Mercutio attempts to get Romeo to dance, but he claims he is too heartbroken. Romeo doesn't think it is wise to attend the feast, because he had a dream. Mercutio mocks Romeo's dream by going on about "Queen Mab". Romeo is nervous about his fate, but he attends the feast with his friends.
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Act 1 Scene 5: Love at First Sight

At Capulet's party, Romeo and his friends enter as preparations are being made for dancing. Lord Capulet greets the masked strangers and invites them to dance. Romeo sees Juliet and says this is the first time he has seen true beauty. Tybalt recognizes Romeo's voice and sends for his sword, but Capulet orders Tybalt to do nothing as Romeo has made a good reputation for himself in Verona. Romeo holds Juliet's hand and begs for a kiss. He receives the kiss and they then kiss again. As everyone is leaving the party, they learn the name of one another, and they realize they have fallen in love with their worst enemy.
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