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Summary Act 1

Prologue

The prologue is designed to introduce the play. It tells us that this play takes place in Verona and at the center of this story are two lovers who belong to feuding families.

Scene 1

Scene 1 takes place in Verona in a public place. Sampson and Gregory of house Capulet enter the scene aremed with swords and bucklers. It is not long before they see Abraham and Balthasar and make a plan to anger them into starting a fight. Benvolio enters the scene and tries to get them to stop fighting, but Tybalt enters and starts the fight anew. Soon several member of both houses jump into the fight as well as citizens of Verona.

Capulet enters the scene and calls for his sword. Then Montague enters the scene and tells his wife to let him go so he can attack Capulet. The fight is then broken up by the Prince stating that if the Capulets and Montagues get into a fight again, those responsible will be put to death.

Everyone departs the scene save for Montague, Lady Montague, and Benvolio. Monntague asks who started the fight and Benvolio blames Tybalt. Then they speak about Montagues son Romeo who is currently sulking. Benvolio says he will find out what is bothering Romeo who appears in the scene. Montague and his wife leave the scene. Benvolio then moves to speak with Romeo. Benvolio learns that Romeo is saddened over the rejection of Rosaline. Benvolio tells Romeo the best way to get over a woman is to find another one. Romeo disagrees and states that he will never love another. Benvolio promises he can make it happen and the two exit the scene

Scene 2

Scene 2 takes place in a street. Capulet and Paris enter speaking about Paris's desire to marry Capulet's daughter Juliet. Capulet says that Paris may marry Juliet but he must first win her heart. He then invites Paris to a dinner party he is throwing that night. At the end of the conversation Capulet hands his servant a piece of paper with names on it and tasks the man to find them and invite them to his party that night. Capulet and Paris exit the scene.

The servant stands alone on the street and states he does not know how to read. Then Benvolio and Romeo enter the scene. The servant asks Benvolio if he will read the list for him. Benvolio after a bit of teasing reads the list. It is a list full of names to be invited to Capulet's party including Rosaline. Happy for their help the servant invites Benvolio and Romeo to the party as long as they are not Montagues. The servant leaves the scene.

Benvolio points out that Rosaline will be there as well as several other beautiful women. Romeo agrees to go the party. The two exit the scene.

Scene 3

Scene 3 takes place in a room in the Capulet house. Lady Capulet and Nurse enter the scene with Lady Capulet asking for her daughter. Juliet enters the scene and Lady Capulet asks Juliet what she thinks about marriage. Juliet claims it is something she dreams of. Then Lady Capulet lets Juliet know that Paris desires to marry her. A servant enters to inform Lady Capulet that guest have begun to arrive and she exits the scene. Nurse and Juliet talk a bit and then exit the scene.

Scene 4

Scene 4 Takes place in a street. Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo are wearing masks and are traveling with several other maskers and torchbearers. They speak amongst each other believing that not only will their masks keep them from being dedected as Montagues, but they also vow to stay for just one dance. Because Romeo is still pining for Rosaline, Mercutio teases him with the story of Queen Mab. They exit the scene.

Scene 5

Scene 5 takes place in a hall in Capulet's House. It begins with a conversation between two servants. As they speak Capulet enters with Juliet and others of his house. Capulet addresses the guests and tells them to have a good time. Capulet converses with a cousin and during this time Romeo sees Juliet. He asks a servant who she is. The servant tells him he doesn't know. Romeo then luanches into a poetic description of Juliet's beauty.

Tybalt overhears this speech and recognizes Romeo as a Montague and moves to attack him. Tybalt is stopped by Capulet who asks him why he is upset. Tybalt tells him that he knows Romeo is in the house. Capulet tells Tybalt not to attack Romeo and after a brief argument Tybalt agrees but is angry about it and exits the scene.

Meanwhile Romeo has started to romance Juliet but then learns she is a Capulet and after a brief word with Benvolio everyone but Juliet and the Nurse exit the scene. The Nurse and Juliet have a conversation and Juliet learns that Romeo is a Montague. The Nurse and Juliet exit the scene.

William Shakespeare