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Romeo and Juliet Act 1 - Scene 2 Summary

Instructor: Natarielle Powell
This lesson is a summary of ''Romeo and Juliet'', act 1, scene 2. In this lesson, you will see learn how Romeo, a Montague, comes to be 'invited' to a feast of his family's enemy, setting up his fateful meeting of Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet

Have you ever crashed a party? Did you get into trouble? In this lesson, you'll see how Romeo decides to crash a party that will lead him both to love--and some serious trouble.

Scene 1 Recap

The play opens with the Capulets and Montagues fighting in the street. Benvolio (a Montague and Romeo's cousin) tries to break it up, but it takes Prince Escalus to actually calm the rowdy group.

Romeo's parents (Old Montague and Lady Montague) see that something is bothering Romeo, but he won't tell them what it is. Benvolio is able to get him to open up and learns that Romeo is in love with a girl named Rosaline who doesn't want to get married.

Benvolio encourages his cousin to forget about Rosaline and find another girl. Romeo protests that this will not help, but simply make him think of Rosaline even more. The scene ends with Benvolio saying he will prove his point or die trying.

Scene 2 Summary

The Marriage Proposal

This scene opens with Capulet and Paris walking and talking on the streets of Verona. Paris wants to marry Juliet, Capulet's only daughter. Of course Capulet doesn't want to lose his only daughter. She's not even 14 years old yet! He uses the term soon married, soon marred to get Paris to understand that marrying too early will be harmful, but Paris doesn't care about her age.

Instead of agreeing to Paris's offer of marriage, Capulet invites Paris to a feast, or party, that he is having at his house that evening. He tells Paris to come and look at all the beautiful women. Who knows: he may find one that he likes more than Juliet. If not, Capulet tells him to woo Juliet and let her make the final decision.

Romeo's Invitation to the Feast

After their chat, Capulet gives the Clown a list of people to invite to the party. Unfortunately for Capulet, but fortunately for Romeo, the Clown can't read. He sees Romeo walking on the street and asks him to read the list for him.

Romeo reads the list and some of his sadness fades when he reads that Rosaline, the girl he is in love with, is one of the guests. There are several other young ladies named, but Romeo doesn't pay attention to that part.

The Clown invites Romeo to attend, providing that he's not a Montague (which he is, but he doesn't tell the Clown that).

Entertaining Thoughts of Other Women

Benvolio immediately thinks about the other young girls who will be at the party and urges Romeo to consider going to see them. His instructions are similar to the instructions Capulet gave Paris. Go and look at the others and maybe someone else will catch your eye.

Romeo still denies that there is anyone who could capture his attention like Rosaline, and he even wishes himself harm if he finds one. Benvolio suggests that the only reason why Rosaline seems so lovely is because Romeo has no one to compare her to. Romeo does agree to attend the party for his own reasons, not to prove Benvolio right.

Key Points of Interest

Capulet and Benvolio Give Similar Advice

Both Capulet and Benvolio give the men they are talking with advice that it's important to consider several women before settling on one. Capulet tells Paris this when he expresses interest in Juliet, and Benvolio tells Romeo this concerning Rosaline. The advisors want the young men to know that there's nothing wrong with exploring options before making such a huge decision.

Soon Married, Soon Marred

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