Updated: May 3, 2021
Prologue: The chorus appears on stage and gives the audience the mood set for the next acts. They say, the love with Rosalind has faded and mutual love with Juliet is budding in Romeo’s life (Rosalind doesn’t seem beautiful now. Juliet and Romeo both fell for their good looks). Now they both are scared of their origin and their families’ long-standing enmity. It is hard for both of them to meet and share their feelings. Yet, love paves them a way to meet to intense their relationship.
After the feast, Romeo speaks to himself that he should follow his heart and climbs the orchard wall. Benvolio sees it, and informs Mercutio. Now they both try to call Romeo out. Mercutio tries to lure him by saying all the physical organs of Rosalind (whom they think he is in love with). They get no response from him. Benvolio says his ‘Love is blind’ and so he requires darkness as his company. Mercutio wishes Rosalind to be open to Romeo so that they can have physical intimacy which will make Romeo happy. Finally, they both leave the place saying if he doesn’t want to be found it’s a waste of time to call on his name.
Romeo reaches the balcony of Juliet’s room. He stands below looking at her window and the bright full moon. He says Juliet as the sun and her room as east. If she rises, the moon here will be disappeared. He then says the moon is jealous of Juliet for her beauty. Now Juliet appears above in the balcony. Looking at her he says, her eyes are the two brightest stars that bring shame to all other stars in the sky and her cheeks are brighter that would dim anything. Now he sees Juliet using her hands to hold her cheeks to which he wishes to be the glove to feel her cheeks. Juliet speaks without knowing the presence of Romeo. She says why is his name Romeo, a Montague, let him deny his name and his father if not at least let him say that he loves me so that she won’t be a Capulet anymore. She also says the name is not an organ it can be changed, it has nothing to do with a person’s character. On hearing Romeo’s voice, She inquires who is hidden and soon she realizes it is Romeo her love. She is blushed because he heard her private thoughts. She questions how he found this place, her room, and how he climbed this orchard wall. Romeo says it’s Love that made this all possible. She is worried that Romeo might get caught but he assures her that night will hide him. They both discuss poetically how they love each other. Juliet is more concerned about asking Romeo’s love affirmation because he found her love for him in her private talk. Juliet also feels like it’s too fast to decide on such a matter, so she says she would send a messenger tomorrow to him and he can say the date and time for their marriage to the messenger. While they speak, Nurse keeps on calling Juliet from inside, they get distracted twice. Juliet calls him again to ask the timing (when to send the messenger), it's 9 o’clock he says. Romeo wishes it’s not a dream as the happenings are too sweet happening at the night. After a long talk and as the sun is rising they both part with sorrow. Romeo now heads to meet Friar Lawrence.
Friar Lawrence in his place, with a basket in his hand, plucks flowers from the garden. He speaks on the magical quality of nature. He praises mother Earth and her abilities to create wonders. He also philosophically compares how a flower smells good but if tasted leads to death just like that a human has both good and evil qualities and when evil is high death reaches so fast. Romeo wishes good morning to him. Friar Lawrence after investigations gets to know Romeo and Juliet’s love. Initially, he scolds Romeo for his inconsistency. Friar feels this sudden change of love unacceptable as he himself has seen Romeo mourning over Rosalind and craving for her love. And so he says, you youngsters love by eyes, not by heart. Romeo asks him to calm down and says that he didn’t get love in return from Rosalind but Juliet loves him just like him and pleads him to secretly marry them (that he is in rush). Friar accepts and believes that this marriage might bring an end to their families’ enmity. He advises Romeo “Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”
Enter Benvolio and Mercutio, they both discuss how Romeo did not spend the night in his home and the challenge letter sent by Tybalt to Montague. Mercutio praises Tybalt for his defined sword skill and his ability to change any conversation into a sword fight. He also mocks that Romeo is a dead man and he cannot face Tybalt on his own. Romeo arrives and both confront him of his yesterday night’s behaviour. Mercutio and Romeo start fighting over developing jokes in the conversation. They both use many abusive sexual terms like, ‘Pink flower, Pump, Toy, Tale’. Nurse with Peter comes there and searches for Young Romeo. She does malapropism (conference- confidence) and so Mercutio and Benvolio tease her. After they (Benvolio and Mercutio) leave, Nurse begins the conversation, she warns Romeo if the love that he has for Juliet is just a prank or infatuation then it is no good. Romeo begins to swear but is stopped by Nurse. She feels satisfied with his approach (proposal). Romeo instructs her to inform Juliet to come to Friar Lawrence’s cell this afternoon where their marriage is about to happen. He also says that he would send a man with a rope ladder; Nurse should get it and set it in Juliet’s room without fail so that he would meet her in secret.
Juliet waits in her room for the messenger (Nurse) to return with the news. She complaints about her for being 3 hours late, and also about the elders for behaving like they are already dead and slow. Nurse arrives and asks Peter to wait at the gate. Impatient Juliet rushes for news but Nurse, delays giving the news. She says she is too tired and needs some air to breathe and then she speaks on how hard it was for her to search Romeo, her back pain, her headache, etc. nothing useful to Juliet. Juliet tries to calm her down and get the news as soon as possible. To her success, she gets the news about her marriage and the rope ladder arrangement. Both Nurse and Juliet move on their respective paths (Juliet- Friar Lawrence’s Cell; Nurse- to get the rope ladder).
In Friar Lawrence cell, Friar Lawrence says that he wishes nothing bad to happen after this marriage. Romeo that replies nothing wrong would happen, all they have to do is marry and after that even if death occurs he won’t be worried because Juliet will be his by that time and that is more than enough for him in this life. Lawrence looking at these sudden and intense love warns him saying, ‘These violent delights have violent ends; too swift arrives as tardy as too slow". Juliet arrives and Romeo shares his love through words. Now Friar Lawrence asks them to follow him to get ready for the marriage (and he is not ready to leave them alone before marriage).