Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Summaries

Act 1 Scene 1 [WARRING SERVANTS, THE PENALTY, and AN ALL TOO EMO KID]

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.

Act 1 Scene 2 [CREEPY QUESTION AND A BALL]

A grown man named Paris asks the father of a 13 year old girl to give him permission to marry his daughter. Lord Capulet tells Paris that his daughter, Juliet, is too young to marry, but he can come to the ball and try to court her. Capulet then sends an illiterate servant to go read and invite people to the Capulet Ball. Being unable to read, the servant runs into Romeo and Benvolio and accidentally invites them. Benvolio then suggests to Romeo that he should go to the ball.

Act 1 Scene 3 [TOO YOUNG, TOO EAGER, TOO TALKATIVE]

In this scene we meet three characters: Nurse , Lady Capulet , and Juliet. Lady Capulet, Juliet’s mother, is asking Juliet what her thoughts are on marriage. Juliet, who is almost 14, is not too eager to jump in a get married. The Nurse and Lady Capulet try to build up Paris’s image so that he sounds more appealing to Juliet,never the less, Juliet is still not too thrilled. Lady Capulet then proceeds to tell Juliet that people in the town are getting married younger than she. Lady Capulet says that she was a mother by Juliet's age. In the end of the scene, Juliet says she will look at him but not look any harder than need be.

Act 1 Scene 4 [AN EMO KID SCARED OF A BALL]

In this scene Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio are getting ready to go into the ball. Romeo is hesitant about going because he has petty. On the question of why he does not wish to go to the ball, he says he had a dream of it. He said he dreamt that he would die due to something at the ball. Mercutio tells Romeo that dreams are but fantasy. He also tells Romeo of Queen Mab, a fairy who is sort of like a prostitute. After Mercutio is done speaking Benvolio says how they are already late. Romeo, still nervous about going, decides he will go.

Act 1 Scene 5 [Beauty is Enemy]

Covered in their masks, the three Montagues walked into the Capulet Ball. Romeo spots Juliet, who in his eyes, is the most beautiful sight he has ever seen. Once again we see the hot-headed Tybalt and he recognizes Romeo’s voice. Knowing Romeo’s voice as a Montague he goes to Capulet and demands that they throw Romeo and his party out. Capulet then tells Tybalt that Romeo is heard to be a gentleman and appears as one so he instructs Tybalt to leave them be. Romeo and Juliet now meet (not knowing who each other are).They start to flirt with each other and end up kissing, not once but twice. As Juliet is called by her mother Romeo is told by the nurse who Juliet really is. After Romeo leaves with the knowledge that he loves an enemy Capulet, the nurse tells Juliet who Romeo is. Juliet states her love for him at the end of Act one.