Romeo and Juilet Act 1 Summaries

By Jack Dibble

A quick confrontation and an unhappy lad

The play opens on the servants of Juliet's house desiring to pick a fight with the servants from Romeo's house. Benvolio tries to stop the fighting, but "fiery" Tybalt only intensifies the brawl. Before anyone is seriously injured, the Prince breaks up the fight. He decrees that anyone who fights in the streets of Verona will forfeit his or her life. Afterwards, Benvolio speaks with Romeo to try to find out what is causing him to cry all the time and mope around. We learn that Romeo is in love with Rosaline--a beautiful woman who doesn't love him in return.

May i have your blessing?

Paris wants to marry Capulet's daughter. Paris asks her father, Lord Capulet, for Juliet’s hand in marriage. Lord Capulet says that is fine, but he wants to make sure that’s what his daughter wants before he gives a final answer. Meanwhile, Romeo is sad and depressed still. So he decides to go to the feast even though he had to get forced to go by Mercutio and Benvolio. Romeo also wants to see Rosaline at the feast. Romeo’s buddies also tell him that there are going to be even hotter girls, and Rosaline is going to look like crap compared to them.

A Good Question With An Unhappy Response

At the Capulet's house, Juliet, Lady Capulet, and the Nurse gather to talk about Paris's proposal. The Nurse starts the conversation by rambling about Juliet's childhood, providing frivolous information. Throughout the thirteen years of Juliet's life, she has made a special bond with her nurse. Also, when Juliet was a toddler she fell down cutting her head, and the Nurse’s old husband made a dirty joke about it. Lady Capulet soon shushes the Nurse and reveals that Paris has been asking for her hand in marriage. Juliet is not in the most impressed with Paris's doing and doesn't show any excitement but agrees she will go to the party that night and acknowledge Paris.

The convincing man with the magical fairy

Romeo is feeling down, so his friends try and persuade him to go to a party. He is finally convinced because Mercutio brings up a magical fairy who causes men and women to have dreams--especially dreams about love. Marcucio convinces Romeo that dreams don't always explain life. Little did he know that Romeo's dream is actually foreshadowing of the future.

Lets Get Weird!

The scene starts off at the Capulet’s party where Capulet is giving a speech about the night full of dancing ahead of them. Romeo then sees Juliet and waits in awe of her beauty for his chance of a dance. Tybalt notices Romeo’s voice and is about to attack him when Capulet scolds Tybalt and tells him he must go if he still wants violence. Romeo gets his chance at a dance with Juliet, and they flirtatiously converse and end their dance with two kisses. Nurse tells Romeo that the woman he danced with is a daughter of the Capulet house; Romeo understands he is in deep trouble. Nurse asks Romeo his name and reports back to Juliet that he is a Montague. Juliet then knows that she is in love with the son of the only man she truly hates.