Romeo and Juliet- Act I

Updated: May 3, 2021

Characters List and Setting


Act I


Prologue: The Chorus Appear on stage:

Two households of a long-standing enmity in the beautiful city of Verona erupts into new violence. Citizens stain the blood of their fellow citizens. The young couple from both houses becomes lovers and commits suicide. Their deaths put an end to their families’ enmity. This is going to be the next two hours show on the stage. If the audience remains patient we will try to show you the best version of the story (whatever is left missing in the prologue).


EXPOSITION:

Servants from the Capulet’s family Sampson and Gregory speak ill of the Montague family in a conversation, at that time comes Abram with another serving-man (the Montague servicemen). Sampson and Gregory anger them and start to fight; Benvolio (Montague’s kinsman) witnesses the quarrel and tries to stop the fight, which goes in vain by the arrival of Tybalt (Capulet’s Kinsman) who draws his sword and swings denying the peace proposal offered by Benvolio. Tybalt calls him a coward. Now the heads and ladies of both the families come to the scene and the quarrel continues all these happen in the public of Verona and the citizens’ watch over the fight (some cheering up and some disturbed). The Prince of Verona Escalus arrives at the spot and stops the fight, making men drop their weapons. He then in rage declares that these families’ enmity has disturbed Verona’s peace thrice, more than this will be repaid by the lives of the persons indulged in the quarrel. Now as all leave Montague, Lady Montague and Benvolio speak. Montague initially inquires on the quarrel and what created it, then he moves on to the subject “Romeo’s Sadness”. Romeo is seen crying often and he makes an artificial night in the day and stays in a room with a pen; nobody knows what is bothering him. Benvolio says that he saw Romeo but he escaped from his sight. Now enters the protagonist of the play Romeo, meantime the Montague couple exit. Benvolio learns that it is a woman, whose love denial is bothering Romeo the most. Benvolio also learns that her name is Rosalind, Romeo describes her as “too fair, too wise, wisely too fair”. He then promises Romeo that he will help him forget thinking of her by showing women who are fairer than Rosalind to him.


Capulet speaks with County Paris (Kinsman to the Prince) who proposes to marry Juliet. Capulet thinks about Juliet’s age as she is just 12 years old and there 2 more years to finish at least her 14 years. He also then asks Paris to win Juliet’s heart as she is the dearest to him on this whole earth. Capulet moves out along with Paris after providing a list of guests to his serviceman for the invitation to an old accustomed feast. The serviceman trembles because he does not know reading. On the way to invite he meets Romeo and Benvolio, he seeks their help to find who are all on the list this gives Romeo and Benvolio the information about the masque and Rosalind’s arrival to it. They also get invited by the serviceman (“if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a cup of wine.”) to which they decide to join (Benvolio to show there are women better than Rosalind and Romeo to see Rosalind and be merry).


Lady Capulet calls the Nurse and asks for Juliet. Nurse calls Juliet with some pet names. Juliet arrives. At first Lady Capulet asks Nurse to leave later she stops her because she is the one who is nurturing Juliet from her childhood. Lady Capulet then asks for Juliet’s age as 14 and finalizes 12 as the answer. Finally, L. Capulet asks Juliet about marriage and requests her to like Paris in the meeting (feast).


Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio and other workmen enter the feast. Mercutio (friend to Romeo and Kinsman to Prince) says Romeo should dance. When Romeo groans over the rudeness of love, Mercutio asks him to show love rudeness back. Romeo shares a dream sequence that he had last night (Romeo had a dream that warns him on tonight’s action which would ultimately end with his death). Before he begins to say Mercutio speaks about 40 lines non-stopped all on fantasy, dream, in short of nothing.

The dance begins, servicemen clear the space and all the people gather in a place. Capulet addresses the gathering cheerfully and draws all the youths to dance. He then makes a chit chat with his cousin regarding their old days and dance. Romeo now looks at Juliet for the first time. He inquires on her to which he gets no proper answer. He then tells himself that she is the beauty and he will set his place near her to dance with her, she looks like a dove in the crowd of crows. On hearing the voice Tybalt figures out he is a Montague and enrages out to draw a sword. Capulet witnesses this on further investigation he learns the presence of Romeo in his home. He stops Tybalt from doing any actions that would shame Romeo in his roof or that would create mutiny among his family friends, so Tybalt leaves the place. Romeo touches Juliet he compares Juliet to the Holy Shrine and his lips to 2 pilgrims. With a continued naughty talk he earns 2 kisses (he gives her twice by using pun as a weapon). To which Juliet responds “You kiss by th’ book”. Now Nurse calls on Juliet to meet her mother. Romeo now finds Juliet as his foe’s daughter (“oh dear account! My life is my foe’s debt”). Soon Juliet also finds the truth (“My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown and known too late”).

Act II

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