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Romeo and Juliet Summary

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Mags Clancy

on 5 November 2014

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Transcript of Romeo and Juliet Summary

Romeo and Juliet
Written By: Shakepeare
Act 1 Scene 1
Act 2 Scene 2
Act 1 Scene 2
Act 1 Scene 3
Act 1 Scene 5
Act 2 Scene 1
Act 1 Scene 4
The famous balcony scene. Romeo spots Juliet up on the balcony. He talks to himself about her beauty and speaks in an aside. He listens to Juliet's spoken thoughts about her love for Romeo. She soon notices him and is startled. She tells him to leave because she is afraid her family will kill him. Romeo refuses to leave and they both express their love for each other, and agree to soon marry. Romeo flees to go find a priest.
Paris is talking to Lord Capulet about marrying his daughter Juliet. Lord Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris as well. Romeo overhears Peter talking about a party the Capulets are hosting. Romeo and Benvolio decide to go to the party to crash it because Rosaline will be there.
Chorus delivers another short sonnet. After leaving the party, Romeo does not go home. He climbs a wall and hides from Benvolio and Mercutio who were searching for him. He leaps down into the Capulet orchard.
Lady Capulet and the Nurse come together and explain to Juliet about how she needs to fall in love with Paris. Juliet is not too excited about marriage at the age of fourteen as she does not know Paris well at all. Lady Capulet tries to persuade Juliet to get married by telling her about girls at her age or younger that are already bearing children.
Romeo and Mercutio are at the Capulet party. Tybalt spots Romeo and wants to go over and start a fight. Lord Capulet tells Tybalt to leave Romeo alone. He may be thinking about the Prince's warning.
Romeo notices Juliet. He goes over and kisses her hand. They both speak playfully and Juliet asks Romeo to kiss her. She later discovers that he is a Montague and falling in love with him would be trouble. Juliet quotes, "My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late!" (1.5. 136-137).
It is night time and Romeo talks to Mercutio about his dreams. Mercutio gives the famous Queen Mab monologue. He tells Romeo his dreams are un-realistic and that he doesn't really love Rosaline. He convinces Romeo to go to the Capulet party and find other beautiful girls.
A fight breaks out between the Capulet and Montague servants. Tybalt, a Capulet, wants to fight with Benvolio, a Montague, but Benvolio refuses to fight with him and instead tries to make peace. Tybalt quotes "What drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell and all Montagues". (1.1. 63-65) Tybalt and Benvolio are considered to be foils because they have such contrasting personalities.
During the fighting, the prince comes into the town and stops everyone. Romeo returns from the garden and announces his love for Rosaline to Benvolio. Romeo wishes Rosaline loved him because she was so beautiful.
Act 2 Scene 3
Friar Lawrence gives a soliloquy in his garden. Romeo enters and asks Friar Lawrence to marry him and Juliet. Friar Lawrence at first refuses because he does not believe that Romeo got over Rosaline that quickly, especially after being so depressed. Romeo explains that Juliet is his true love and she loves him back. Friar Lawrence then agrees to marry them, but only to bring peace to the Montagues and Capulets.
Act 2 Scene 4
The nurse goes and gives Romeo the message about Juliet's agreement to the marriage. Romeo receives a letter from Tybalt, challenging Romeo to a duel. Tybalt felt extremely disrespected when he saw Romeo at the Capulet party. Mercutio believes Romeo is too soft and weak to take on the mean and strong Tybalt.
Act 2 Scene 5
Juliet waits impatiently until the Nurse returns home with the news from Romeo about their marriage. Juliet grows anxious as the Nurse continues to not tell Juliet the news by talking to her about how Romeo looks or how much of a gentlemen he is. The Nurse eventually tells Juliet the news that she and Romeo are to be married at the chapel by Friar Lawrence.

Juliet then tells her mother that she is going to the chapel to pray when really she is leaving to go marry Romeo.
Romeo Montague
Romeo is son of Montague and Lady Montague. He’s a handsome man of about sixteen years old, who is fickle and falls easily in and out of love. He is one of the main characters in the play and falls in love with Juliet Capulet.
Juliet Capulet
She is almost fourteen years old and is the only child of Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet. She is one of the main characters in the play. Juliet is very rebellious and curious, but she is also beautiful and strong.
Tybalt Capulet
Juliet's hot headed cousin who likes to start fights and get into trouble. Tybalt is a strong and experienced fighter with an over confident attitude.
Lady Capulet
Juliet's mother, Lord Capulet's wife. Lady Capulet is not as close to Juliet compared to the Nurse. Lady Capulet is the main person who tries to convince Juliet to marry Paris.
Lord Capulet
Father of Juliet, and husband of Lady Capulet. Very controlling and aggressive. He only wants the best for Juliet, and will do anything to make her life a success.
Act 3 Scene 1
The Fight Scene. Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt because he is now related to him. Mercutio is angered at Romeo's cowardice. Mercutio and Tybalt begin to fight. Romeo, attempting to restore peace, throws himself between the two. Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeo's arm. As Mercutio falls to the ground, Tybalt and his men flee. Mercutio dies cursing both the Capulets and Montagues. Romeo is devastated.

When Tybalt, still angry, returns to the scene, Romeo draws his sword and they fight. After the short battle Tybalt dies. Romeo flees in panic. When the Prince comes to the scene he decides that there has been enough bloodshed in Verona. Romeo must live in exile. If he is found in the city of Verona he is to be killed.
Act 3 Scene 2
The nurse rushes into Juliet's room to inform her about Romeo killing Tybalt. She is so distraught she muddles her speech and makes it sound like it is Romeo who is dead. Juliet can not believe what she is hearing and becomes very upset.

The nurse then corrects herself and Juliet becomes furious with Romeo because he killed Tybalt. She then realizes that Romeo is her husband and she should never say mean things about him. She takes back what she said. The nurse reassures Juliet that Romeo is alive and she knows that he is hiding out at Friar Laurence's place.

Juliet gives the nurse a ring to give to Romeo as a token of her love. The nurse heads to Friar Laurence's cell.
Act 3 Scene 3
In Friar Laurence's cell Romeo moans and cries about being in exile and how he would rather be dead. He assumes that Juliet now thinks of him as a murderer and threatens to stab himself. Friar Laurence tries to convince him that everything is not as bad as it seems and that they will figure it out.

The nurse arrives to the scene and gives Romeo the ring. Romeo suddenly feels better and declares that he must see Juliet.
Act 3 Scene 4
Paris, Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet talk about Juliet and Paris getting married. They all decide to have the wedding on Thursday because Wednesday is too soon. The final decision is made by Lord Capulet.
Act 3 Scene 5
Romeo and Juliet have spent their first night together as husband and wife. She does not want him to leave. Lady Capulet approaches Juliet's bedroom. Romeo and Juliet kiss then depart from each other. As he climbs down from her balcony, Juliet has a disturbing vision of Romeo in a grave.
Lady Capulet and Lord Capulet announce to Juliet that she is going to get married to Paris on Thursday. Juliet becomes very upset. Lord Capulet becomes enraged and shouts that Juliet is an ungrateful girl and she will be forced to marry Paris.
Paris
The handsome, rich, gentleman that Juliet is supposed to marry. He is the man that Juliet's parents set her up with, even though she does not know him.
Nurse
She plays the role of messenger in the play. She is always transporting messages between Romeo and Juliet. The nurse is also the comic relief in the play, She is not a very serious character and always makes Juliet smile. The Nurse is also very close to Juliet because she was her wet nurse.
Friar Laurence
He is one of the most complex and interesting characters in the play. He is the priest and he does everything he can to help Romeo and Juliet.
Vocabulary
Foils
-
Characters with contrasting personalities
Soliloquy - A long speech in which a character who is on stage alone expresses his or her thoughts aloud.
Monologue - A long speech delivered by one character with others on stage
.
I

Allusion
- Anything referring to historical or mythical events
Pun
- A play on the multiple meanings of a word.
Aside
- Speaking so the audience is intended to hear you but the actors on stage cannot.
Lecturing Tone
- Exposition of a given subject delivered before an audience for the purpose of knowledge or instruction.
Dramatic Irony
- This occurs when the audience or reader knows something important that a character in the play does not know.
Foreshadow - To present an indication of something bad about to happen.
Comic Relief - When a character in a play relieves tension in a scene by using a funny line.
Suspended Disbelief - when an audience knows that what they are watching is impossible but they allow themselves to accept it in order to enjoy the performance.
Act 4 Scene 1
Friar Laurence is speaking with Paris in his cell about his impending marriage to Juliet. She then enters and Paris leaves. She asks the Friar for help and tells him that she would rather kill herself than be with Paris.

Friar announces his plan that on the night before the wedding Juliet must drink a sleeping potion that will make her appear dead. She will be laid to rest in the Capulet tomb. Friar will send Romeo a letter telling him that she is not really dead and to get her out of the tomb. When she wakes up, they can run away together.
Act 4 Scene 2
Juliet returns home to find her parents preparing for the wedding. She tells them that she regrets what she said about Paris earlier and she wants to marry him.
Lord Capulet is so happy that he moves the wedding date to the next day. Juliet then heads to her chamber to prepare for the "wedding." Capulet goes to tell Paris about the change of plan.
Act 4 Scene 3
Juliet returns to her chamber, clutching the vial of potion in her hands. The Nurse comes in and Juliet asks if she could be left alone for the night. Juliet's thoughts are racing in her mind. What will happen when she wakes up? How will her family react? Can she trust Friar Laurence? After convincing herself that everything will be fine, she drinks the potion.
Act 4 Scene 4
The nurse goes into Juliet's chamber to wake her up but finds her "dead." She starts crying very loudly and alarms Lord and Lady Capulet.

Paris and Friar Laurence arrive with a group of musicians for the wedding. On learning what has happened Paris then joins the lamentations. Friar Laurence tells all of them that she is in a better place now and that they should all get ready for her funeral.
Act 4 Scene 5
Left behind, the musicians began to pack up their equipment. Peter enters and asks the servants to play a happy song to ease the tension. The musicians felt playing a happy song would be disrespectful and inappropriate so they refuse.
Act 5 Scene 1
Baltizar goes to Romeo with the news that Juliet is dead. Romeo actually believes this news because he never got the letter from Friar Laurence. Romeo decides to go to her grave and commit suicide there. He goes to the apothecary and buys poison. He then heads to Verona.
Act 5 Scene 2
Friar Laurence sent the letter to Romeo through his friend, Friar John. John was delayed due to the unfortunate mix-up (Someone accidentally thought he had the plague). Friar Laurence then is forced to go to the tomb to get Juliet.
Act 5 Scene 3
When Romeo arrives at the tomb where Juliet is placed, he finds Paris sadly tossing flowers. Paris thinks that Romeo is there to somehow dishonour the Capulets. They both fight resulting in Paris dying.

Romeo breaks open Juliet's tomb and kisses her. Romeo drinks the poison and dies beside his wife. Within a matter of seconds Juliet awakens to find her husband dead next to her. She kisses Romeo on the lips and tries to drink the rest of his poison. Since there isn't any left she stabs herself with a dagger.

The Prince, Capulets and Montagues come to the tomb and see the bodies of Romeo and Juliet. Friar Laurence explains the whole story. Both Lord Capulet and Lord Montague swear to end their feud and build statues of each others child.
Prince
The peace maker in the play, almost like the town mayor. He controls the power and decides the punishments.
Balthazar
Romeo’s dedicated servant, who brings Romeo the news of Juliet’s death, unaware that her death is a ruse.
Lady Montague
Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife. She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona.
Peter
A Capulet servant who invites guests to Capulet’s feast and escorts the Nurse to meet with Romeo. He is illiterate, and a bad singer.
Lord Montague
Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet. At the beginning of the play, he is chiefly concerned about Romeo’s melancholy.
Mercutio

A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend. . He can be quite hotheaded, and treats Romeo like he is silly.
Benvolio
Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend. He makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places, though Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private. He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet.
Friar John
A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Juliet’s false death to Romeo in Mantua. Friar John is held up in a quarantined house, and the message never reaches Romeo.
Full transcript