Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scenes 3 - 5 Summary

     Scene three takes place in the Capulet house where everyone is preparing for the party. Lady Capulet wants to talk to her daughter, Juliet, so she asks the Nurse to find her. Juliet comes forth, and Lady Capulet remembers that Juliet is not yet fourteen, which makes the Nurse remember back to when Juliet was a baby. The Nurse would take care of Juliet and even nursed her since her own daughter, Susan, died in infancy. Lady Capulet to say that she needs to talk to Juliet about the prospect of marriage. Lady Capulet herself was married when she was about Juliet's age. She tells Juliet that Paris is interested in marrying her, he is a rich, handsome young man who will be attending their party. She asks whether Juliet would be interested in him. Juliet agrees to look him over at the party, but she won't give him any more attention than she would any of the other eligible men. Her mother isn't pleased but accepts her response, and the Nurse encourages Juliet to just go and have a good time.

     In scene four Romeo and Benvolio have met up with their friend Mercutio who as a friend to both families has also received an invitation to the Capulets' party. Still somewhat depressed, Romeo is encouraged by Mercutio to cheer up. He tries to hasten Romeo to the joyous party that awaits, but Romeo does not share his enthusiasm. Romeo admits that he had a dream last night about the party. Mercutio then recites a long monologue about Queen Mab who visits people in their dreams, so sometimes they dream of love. However, as Mercutio speaks he becomes angry until Romeo cuts him off and tells him to calm down. Benvolio then reminds them all that they are late to this costume party that they are attending. Romeo, despite the bad feeling he has that by attending this party it will result in someone's untimely death, agrees to go.

     Scene five is back at the Capulets' house where they party is in full swing. First, the servants are calling to one another, trying to keep up with the demands of the guests. Then, Capulet is welcoming guests as they enter his house. Next, Romeo spots Juliet from across the room and is struck by her beauty. He decides to cross over to speak with her. However, Tybalt sees Romeo, a Montague, at his uncle's party, and decides he must be punished. Capulet grabs Tybalt as he passes and asks what has made him so angry. Tybalt points out Romeo and says that he will not endure a Montague in his house. Capulet forcefully tells Tybalt to leave Romeo alone because Romeo isn't bothering anyone, he has heard Romeo is a nice boy, and he doesn't want his party ruined. Begrudgingly, Tybalt agrees to leave him alone but vows that he will make Romeo suffer later.

     Romeo, unaware how close he just came to a fight, has reached Juliet. The first words he speaks to her are to ask her for a kiss. Juliet, somewhat surprised by his forward behavior, protests that perhaps they should begin in a more seemingly way, such as holding hands. Romeo protests that even the purest of souls have lips, but Juliet points out that they use these lips to pray, not kiss. Romeo counters that they should let their lips do what saints hands do by putting them together. Juliet is enchanted by Romeo and allows him to move in for a kiss, which he claims takes away all his sin with its purity. Juliet then asks if she has absorbed this sin from him because that's not something she wants. He tells her not to worry, that he will take it back again, and he kisses her a second time. The Nurse interrupts informing Juliet that her mother wants to see her. Romeo stops the Nurse to ask the name of the girl he was just kissing, and he finds out that she is the daughter of Capulet. Romeo's friends then haul him away as the party is ending. Juliet also inquires the name of the young man who so impressed her and finds out he is Romeo Montague. She is bitterly disappointed as she knows she is supposed to hate all Montagues, and this news will make her new relationship quite challenging.

     Some of the most memorable lines in the play appear in scene five, including when Romeo first sees Juliet and says, "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night" explaining how incredibly beautiful Juliet is and how he didn't even know what love was until he saw her. Then at the end of the scene Juliet says, "My only love, sprung from my only hate!" which in itself is an oxymoron about how she has just fallen in love with a man from the family that is supposed to be her enemy.

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