Romeo and Juliet -

Syosset High School

 The Plot of Romeo and Juliet 


The Chorus tells, in a Sonnet, that the play will concern a pair of lovers whose deaths shall end the conflict between their feuding families.



The play opens with two retainers from the house of Capulet talking about their hatred of the Montagues. They meet two retainers from the house of Montague and a fight breaks out. Benvolio tries to stop the fight but when Tybalt arrives things get worse. They fight escalates until there is a huge street brawl involving both Lord Montague and Lord Capulet. The fight is eventually stopped when the Princess stops everyone saying 'On pain of torture, from those bloody hands / Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground'. She is so angry she proclaims if there is another fight Montague and Capulet shall pay the ‘forfeit’ for it with their lives. Everyone departs leaving Lord and Lady Montague talking to Benvolio about their son Romeo, who has been missing all day. Benvolio promises to find out where Romeo has been and what’s upsetting him. Romeo reveals to Benvolio that he is in love with Rosaline but she doesn’t love him in return.



Paris visits Lord Capulet to ask for Juliet’s hand in marriage. Lord Capulet thinks Juliet is too young to marry saying to Paris ‘Let two more summers wither in their pride, / Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride’. However, he later encourages Paris to woo her at a ball at his house. Lord Capulet sends a messenger to invite other guests to the ball. The messenger bumps into Romeo and Benvolio revealing to them the ball is taking place and that Rosaline is one of the guests. Benvolio suggests they go to the ball so Romeo can find someone else to fall in love with. Romeo agrees to go – not to find a new love but to prove that Rosaline is the prettiest saying ‘I'll go along, no such sight to be shown, / But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.’



Lady Capulet is searching for her daughter who is getting ready for the ball. Together with the Nurse she tries to convince Juliet that Paris is a good match in marriage, praising him and saying ‘Verona's summer hath not such a flower’. The Nurse talks about a memory she has of Juliet when she was a little girl saying ‘Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed: / And I might live to see thee married once, / I have my wish.’ and is also keen for Juliet to marry Paris and to be happy.



Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio are on their way to the ball. Romeo is having second thoughts about attending because he is feeling depressed about Rosaline. He then tells them that he had an ominous dream. Mercutio tries to convince Romeo that dreams are meaningless in his famous ‘Queen Mab’ speech telling Romeo ‘True, I talk of dreams, / Which is as thin of substance as the air’. Eventually Romeo agrees to go to the ball.



The servants in the Capulet household are getting ready for the ball before Capulet welcomes all the guests. Tybalt sees Romeo and is offended by his presence at the ball claiming ‘I'll not endure him’ and viewing his presence as an insult. Lord Capulet stops him from confronting Romeo which makes Tybalt feel even angrier and he vows to seek revenge. Meanwhile, Romeo meets Juliet at the ball and they kiss, with Juliet saying ‘You kiss by the book’. They then both find out who the other is and are separated, with Juliet remarking ‘My only love sprung from my only hate! / Too early seen unknown, and known too late!’



Romeo climbs over the orchard wall into the Capulets' garden. Mercutio and Benvolio try to find him but soon give up when he doesn’t answer saying ‘Go, then; for 'tis in vain / To seek him here that means not to be found’.



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