Romeo and Juliet Short Summary

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At the masquerade, servants bustle, complain, and save a little marzipan for themselves. Servant’s view of the party: work.

Romeo catches sight of Juliet. He doesn’t know who she is, but immediately forgets Rosaline. He says that Juliet teaches the “torches to burn bright!”(1.5.41). At the same time, Tybalt recognizes Romeo and prepares to attack this party-crashing Montague. Romeo’s first sight of Juliet this inked to Tybalt’s noticing Romeo. Love can’t escape the society surrounding it.

Capulet, furious that Tybalt would ruin the party, stops him. Once Capulet is gone, Tybalt secretly vows revenge, and exits. Romeo and Juliet’s meeting sets in motion Tybalt’s part in their fate.

Romeo approaches Juliet. Their entire first conversation is an intertwined fourteen line sonnet, in which they develop a complicated religious metaphor that Romeo guides into a first kiss, and which Juliet guides toward a second. Juliet comments that Romeo kisses “by the book” (1.5.107). The prologue and this first meeting between R and J are both in sonnet form. The play links the prologue’s theme of fate with R and J’s love from the first instant through this stylistic echo.

The Nurse interrupts, calling Juliet to her mother. Romeo learns from the Nurse that Juliet’s a Capulet. Moments later, Juliet says about Romeo, as the Nurse goes to find out who he is, “If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed” (1.5.131-132). The Nurse reports Romeo’s a Montague. Just as they fall in love, R and J discover the main social forces—their families—opposing them. Juliet simultaneously foreshadows her fate: when Romeo gets married, Juliet’s grave does become her wedding bed.

Instead of leaving the party with Benvolio and Mercutio, Romeo jumps the wall into the Capulet garden to try to find Juliet. Benvolio and Mercutio call after him, and Mercutio laughingly mocks Romeo’s passion and love for Rosaline. Finally, they give up and leave. For the rest of the play, by the way,...
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