Romeo and Juliet Act 2 - Scene 4 Summary

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  • 0:04 Tybalt's Letter
  • 0:59 Romeo and the Nurse…
  • 2:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Katherine Garner

Katie teaches middle school English/Language Arts and has a master's degree in Secondary English Education

This lesson provides readers with a concise summary of Act 2, Scene 4 of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet.' It also includes a short quiz to check comprehension.

Tybalt's Letter

At the beginning of Act 2, Scene 4 of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio and Benvolio are on the streets of Verona, wondering where Romeo is because he never came home the night before. At this point, they also still think that he is lovesick over Rosaline.

Benvolio mentions that Tybalt, Lord Capulet's aggressive nephew, sent a letter to Lord Montague's house. They speculate that it's probably a challenge, and Benvolio thinks that Romeo will accept it. Mercutio goes on to describe what a good swordfighter Tybalt is.

Suddenly Romeo enters the scene, and they comment on how thin he looks because of his lovesickness and scold him playfully for taking off alone after the party the night before. Romeo and Mercutio joke around, teasing each other. Mercutio comments that he is acting like himself again and says isn't joking around with friends better than pining for Rosaline and feeling miserable?

Romeo and the Nurse Plan a Wedding

At that moment, Juliet's nurse and a servant, Peter, enter the scene. Mercutio makes jokes about the nurse being old and ugly in addition to making several offensive sexual innuendos; she tells them that she needs to speak to Romeo. Benvolio and Mercutio exit.

She pulls Romeo aside, first asking who the rude jerk was who was making fun of her and scolding Peter for not defending her. She then tells Romeo that he better not be double crossing Juliet or tricking her about his promise of marriage because she is so young, sweet, and innocent. Romeo assures her that he has arranged a marriage. He went to visit Friar Laurence in Act 2, Scene 3. He tells the nurse that she needs to bring Juliet to Friar Laurence's cell later that afternoon and the marriage rite, or ceremony, will be performed.

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