Act 1 Summaries

from Romeo and Juliet

Act 1. Scene One [Warring Houses and an All Too Emo Kid]

The play opens on the servants of Capulet 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.

Act 1. Scene Two [Paris & Juliet? Capulet Servant and Romeo Montague]

Paris asks Lord Capulet for Juliet’s hand in marriage and is told it is Juliet’s decision so he should try to woo her. Lord Capulet then asks an illiterate servant to read a list of guests and invite them to a party. The servant then tries to find someone to read the list and asks Romeo to read the list. After getting the help from Romeo, the servant then invites Romeo (a Montague) to a Capulet party. Only trouble is bound to come from this.

Act 1. Scene Three [Marriage, Motherhood, and Mommy’s Milk.]

Lady Capulet and Juliet’s nurse discuss Juliet’s future marriage when suddenly Juliet’s nurse goes off on a rant about how she lost her own daughter and through that was able to become Juliet’s wet nurse. While ranting she recalls moments of Juliet’s childhood, such as; the day that Juliet was weaned an earthquake occurred and when Juliet fell on her face the nurse’s husband tells her that she needs to remember to fall on her back for that is what all smart women do. Lady Capulet finally silences the nurse to ask Juliet where she stands on the topic of marriage. Juliet tells her mother that she does not want to be married off anytime soon. Lady Capulet then tells Juliet that she needs to realize that many girls younger than her are already married and Sir Paris has offered his hand. The nurse agrees that he is a fine man and Juliet should talk to him at the party. The servant then comes and tells the women that the party is starting and Juliet is then whisked off to the party.

Act 1. Scene Four [The Minds Creations.]

Scene four begins at the Capulets costume ball, guests walk down the streets with torches to light their way. Romeo and his two friends, Mercutio and Benvolio join the crowd. They enter the Capulet house, Romeo insists on standing in the corner but his friends refuse to let him. Mercutio tries to cheer Romeo up by telling him a tale of how a women, Queen Mab, queen of the fairies, brings dreams to people. Romeo is not amused, he fears that something terrible will happen at the party.

Act 1. Scene Five [Party Time]

This is the scene of the party at which Romeo and Juliet finally meet. Romeo and his friends, disguised in their masks, arrive as uninvited guests. As he watches the dancers, Romeo suddenly sees Juliet and falls in love at first sight. At the same time, Tybalt recognizes Romeo’s voice and knows he is a Montague. He alerts Capulet and threatens to kill Romeo. Capulet, however, insists that Tybalt behave himself and act like a gentleman. Promising revenge, Tybalt leaves. Romeo and Juliet meet and kiss in the middle of the dance floor. Only after they part do they learn each other’s identity.