Characters in the 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….
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…
Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
5 From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love
10 And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which, if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.