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Romeo and Juliet
Act 1, scene 2

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Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The prologue of Romeo and Juliet calls the title characters “star-crossed lovers”—and the stars do seem to conspire against these young lovers….

Prologue

Act 1, scene 1

A street fight breaks out between the Montagues and the Capulets, which is broken up by the ruler of Verona,…

Act 1, scene 2

In conversation with Capulet, Count Paris declares his wish to marry Juliet. Capulet invites him to a party that night….

Act 1, scene 3

Lady Capulet informs Juliet of Paris’s marriage proposal and praises him extravagantly. Juliet says that she has not even dreamed…

Act 1, scene 4

Romeo and Benvolio approach the Capulets’ party with their friend Mercutio and others, wearing the disguises customarily donned by “maskers.”…

Act 1, scene 5

Capulet welcomes the disguised Romeo and his friends. Romeo, watching the dance, is caught by the beauty of Juliet. Overhearing…

Act 2, chorus

Again the Chorus’s speech is in the form of a sonnet.

Act 2, scene 1

Romeo finds himself so in love with Juliet that he cannot leave her. He scales a wall and enters Capulet’s…

Act 2, scene 2

From Capulet’s garden Romeo overhears Juliet express her love for him. When he answers her, they acknowledge their love and…

Act 2, scene 3

Determined to marry Juliet, Romeo hurries to Friar Lawrence. The Friar agrees to marry them, expressing the hope that the…

Act 2, scene 4

Mercutio and Benvolio meet the newly enthusiastic Romeo in the street. Romeo defeats Mercutio in a battle of wits. The…

Act 2, scene 5

Juliet waits impatiently for the Nurse to return. Her impatience grows when the Nurse, having returned, is slow to deliver…

Act 2, scene 6

Juliet meets Romeo at Friar Lawrence’s cell. After expressing their mutual love, they exit with the Friar to be married.

Act 3, scene 1

Mercutio and Benvolio encounter Tybalt on the street. As soon as Romeo arrives, Tybalt tries to provoke him to fight….

Act 3, scene 2

Juliet longs for Romeo to come to her. The Nurse arrives with the news that Romeo has killed Tybalt and…

Act 3, scene 3

Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that his punishment for killing Tybalt is banishment, not death. Romeo responds that death is preferable…

Act 3, scene 4

Paris again approaches Capulet about marrying Juliet. Capulet, saying that Juliet will do as she is told, promises Paris that…

Act 3, scene 5

Romeo and Juliet separate at the first light of day. Almost immediately her mother comes to announce that Juliet must…

Act 4, scene 1

Paris is talking with Friar Lawrence about the coming wedding when Juliet arrives. After Paris leaves, she threatens suicide if…

Act 4, scene 2

Capulet energetically directs preparations for the wedding. When Juliet returns from Friar Lawrence and pretends to have learned obedience, Capulet…

Act 4, scene 3

Juliet sends the Nurse away for the night. After facing her terror at the prospect of awaking in her family’s…

Act 4, scene 4

The Capulets and the Nurse stay up all night to get ready for the wedding. Capulet, hearing Paris approach with…

Act 4, scene 5

The Nurse finds Juliet in the deathlike trance caused by the Friar’s potion and announces Juliet’s death. Juliet’s parents and…

Act 5, scene 1

Romeo’s man, Balthasar, arrives in Mantua with news of Juliet’s death. Romeo sends him to hire horses for their immediate…

Act 5, scene 2

Friar John enters, bringing with him the letter that he was to have delivered to Romeo. He tells why he…

Act 5, scene 3

Paris visits Juliet’s tomb and, when Romeo arrives, challenges him. Romeo and Paris fight and Paris is killed. Romeo, in…

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Scene 2
Enter Capulet, County Paris, and a Servingman.

CAPULET 
 But Montague is bound as well as I,
 In penalty alike, and ’tis not hard, I think,
 For men so old as we to keep the peace.
PARIS 
 Of honorable reckoning are you both,
5 And pity ’tis you lived at odds so long.
 But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
CAPULET 
 But saying o’er what I have said before.
 My child is yet a stranger in the world.
 She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.
10 Let two more summers wither in their pride
 Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
PARIS 
 Younger than she are happy mothers made.
CAPULET 
 And too soon marred are those so early made.
 Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;
15 She’s the hopeful lady of my earth.
 But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;
 My will to her consent is but a part.
 And, she agreed, within her scope of choice
 Lies my consent and fair according voice.
20 This night I hold an old accustomed feast,
 Whereto I have invited many a guest
 Such as I love; and you among the store,
 One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
 At my poor house look to behold this night
25 Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.
 Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
 When well-appareled April on the heel
 Of limping winter treads, even such delight

29
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Among fresh fennel buds shall you this night
30 Inherit at my house. Hear all, all see,
 And like her most whose merit most shall be;
 Which, on more view of many, mine, being one,
 May stand in number, though in reck’ning none.
 Come go with me.To Servingman, giving him a list.
35 Go, sirrah, trudge about
 Through fair Verona, find those persons out
 Whose names are written there, and to them say
 My house and welcome on their pleasure stay.
Capulet and Paris exit.
SERVINGMAN Find them out whose names are written
40 here! It is written that the shoemaker should
 meddle with his yard and the tailor with his last, the
 fisher with his pencil and the painter with his nets.
 But I am sent to find those persons whose names
 are here writ, and can never find what names the
45 writing person hath here writ. I must to the learned.
 In good time!

Enter Benvolio and Romeo.

BENVOLIO, to Romeo 
 Tut, man, one fire burns out another’s burning;
 One pain is lessened by another’s anguish.
 Turn giddy, and be helped by backward turning.
50 One desperate grief cures with another’s languish.
 Take thou some new infection to thy eye,
 And the rank poison of the old will die.
ROMEO 
 Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.
BENVOLIO 
 For what, I pray thee?
ROMEO 55 For your broken shin.
BENVOLIO Why Romeo, art thou mad?
ROMEO 
 Not mad, but bound more than a madman is,

31
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Shut up in prison, kept without my food,
 Whipped and tormented, and—good e’en, good
60 fellow.
SERVINGMAN God gi’ good e’en. I pray, sir, can you
 read?
ROMEO 
 Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.
SERVINGMAN Perhaps you have learned it without
65 book. But I pray, can you read anything you see?
ROMEO 
 Ay, if I know the letters and the language.
SERVINGMAN You say honestly. Rest you merry.
ROMEO Stay, fellow. I can read.(He reads the letter.)
 Signior Martino and his wife and daughters,
70 County Anselme and his beauteous sisters,
 The lady widow of Vitruvio,
 Signior Placentio and his lovely nieces,
 Mercutio and his brother Valentine,
 Mine Uncle Capulet, his wife and daughters,
75 My fair niece Rosaline and Livia,
 Signior Valentio and his cousin Tybalt,
 Lucio and the lively Helena.

 A fair assembly. Whither should they come?
SERVINGMAN Up.
ROMEO 80Whither? To supper?
SERVINGMAN To our house.
ROMEO Whose house?
SERVINGMAN My master’s.
ROMEO 
 Indeed I should have asked thee that before.
SERVINGMAN 85Now I’ll tell you without asking. My
 master is the great rich Capulet, and, if you be not
 of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a
 cup of wine. Rest you merry.He exits.
BENVOLIO 
 At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s

33
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 1. SC. 3

90 Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so loves,
 With all the admirèd beauties of Verona.
 Go thither, and with unattainted eye
 Compare her face with some that I shall show,
 And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
ROMEO 
95 When the devout religion of mine eye
 Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fire;
 And these who, often drowned, could never die,
 Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars.
 One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun
100 Ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.
BENVOLIO 
 Tut, you saw her fair, none else being by,
 Herself poised with herself in either eye;
 But in that crystal scales let there be weighed
 Your lady’s love against some other maid
105 That I will show you shining at this feast,
 And she shall scant show well that now seems best.
ROMEO 
 I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,
 But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.
They exit.