Sung by choir, this prelude establishes the conflict
of both Romeo and Juliet between their love and their
loyalty to their respective families (Lines 1-11).
Act II. Scene I. - Verona. A Lane by the wall
of Capulet's Orchard.
Ignoring the danger, Romeo scales the Capulet's
wall to be near Juliet, the women he cannot forget...
Romeo is uncertain whether he can go on and forget
his feelings for the fair Juliet... "Can I go forward
when my heart is here?" he asks himself (Line 1).
Ignoring his own good advise to turn for home, he scales
the Capulet's wall and goes back to find Juliet.
Benvolio and Mercutio discuss this turn of events,
Mercutio discussing Rosaline's many attributes whilst
Benvolio comments that, "Blind is his [Romeo's] love
and best befits the dark" (Line 31). Mercutio wonders
whether they should leave Romeo alone and not go after
him. Benvolio knows Romeo all to well, telling Mercutio
to "Go then; for 'tis in vain / To seek him here that
means not to be found" (Line 41).
Act II. Scene II. - The Same. Capulet's Orchard.
Juliet: "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"
Unnoticed in Juliet's orchard, Romeo learns of Juliet's
love for him. After declaring their feelings for one
another, the two decide to marry. Juliet will send Romeo
a messenger in the morning...
Waiting and hoping patiently to see Juliet by her window,
Romeo is blessed to see the face of his fair Juliet.
He famously describes her by saying "It is the east,
and Juliet is the sun!" (Line 3).
Such is Juliet's beauty, that Romeo asks the sun to
rise so as to "kill the envious moon, / Who is already
sick and pale with grief, / That thou her maid [Juliet]
art [is] far more fair [beautiful] than she:" (Line
Appearing above Romeo, from her window, Juliet, believing
herself to be alone speaks. Romeo is delighted, asking
Juliet who cannot yet hear him, to "speak again, bright
angel; for thou art [you are] / As glorious to this
night, being o'er [over] my head, / As is a winged messenger
of heaven" (Line 26).
Juliet yearning for her Romeo famously proclaims: "O
Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" (Romeo, Romeo,
where are you Romeo?), (Line 33).
Juliet asks Romeo, not knowing he is nearby to "Deny
thy father [deny your father], and refuse thy [your]
name; / Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
/ And I'll no longer be a Capulet" (deny your father
and your family's name or if you will not, if you swear
your love to me, I will no longer be a Capulet), (Line
Romeo is not certain whether he should keep listening
in or make his presence known (Line 37). Juliet now
explains that only their names are barriers to their
love by famously exclaiming "What's in a name?
that which we call a rose / By any other name would
smell as sweet;" (Line 43). Romeo answers this
by saying, "I take thee [you, Juliet] at thy word. Call
me but love, and I'll be new baptiz'd;" (Line 50).
Hearing noises, Juliet asks who is out there in her
orchard. She learns that it is Romeo (Line 53) and though
Juliet warns Romeo of the dangers of being caught at
the house of his enemy (The Capulets), Romeo stays by
Juliet's side in the orchard. Having declared his love
for Juliet (Lines 66-84), the two decide to marry (Lines
125-149). Juliet tells Romeo to send her word of this
tomorrow by a messenger (The Nurse) which Juliet will
provide (Line 144).
Act II. Scene III. - The Same. Friar Laurence's
We meet Romeo's friend, Friar Laurence. He
wonders how Romeo can forget Rosaline so quickly but
agrees to marry the two since he hopes that this marriage
will finally end the Montague / Capulet feud...
Romeo arrives at the Friar's cell. The Friar who discusses
the how his herbs can both help and harm, is surprised
to meet his friend so early in the morning, suspecting
that "Our Romeo hath [has] not been in bed to-night"
(Line 42). Romeo confirms this and the Friar eventually
learns that Romeo's heart is set on the fair daughter
of the rich Capulet, Juliet. Specifically Romeo intends
on marrying Juliet (Line 61).
The Friar asks what happened to the fair Rosaline (Lines
70-80). Romeo explains to the Friar that he was often
criticized by the Friar "For doting, not for loving,"
(having crushes but not truly loving), (Line 83). The
Friar agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet hoping that this
union will end years of feuding. He warns of the dangers
of quick love: "Wisely and slow; they stumble that run
fast" (wisely and slow, those who run fast, stumble),
Act II. Scene IV. - The Same. A Street.
Romeo catches up with friends Mercutio and Benvolio.
Juliet's messenger, the Nurse, arrives and the
wedding is set for later that day. The Nurse brings
Romeo "cords" or ropes that will allow Romeo
to climb into Juliet's bedchamber as her husband
later that night....
Benvolio and Mercutio wonder about Romeo's whereabouts,
believing him to still be chasing Rosaline. We learn
that Tybalt has sent a letter to his father's house,
a challenge they believe Romeo will answer (Line 9).
Mercutio describes Tybalt (Lines 19-38) as "'a very
good blade!-a very tall man!-a very good whore'" (Line
32). There follows a criticism of Tybalt's obsession
with the formalities and protocols of fencing and Romeo's
undying love for Rosaline.
Romeo explains that the business of Juliet has kept
him away from his friends (Line 54-57). After a series
of barbs between Romeo and Mercutio, the Nurse and Peter
arrive in search of Romeo. She finds Romeo and a running
war of insults occurs between the Nurse and the rude
Mercutio who refers to the Nurse as an "ancient lady;"
(old woman), (Line 152).
The Nurse likes Romeo and agrees to tell Juliet to
meet "this afternoon;" where at the Friar Laurence's
cell, the two star-crossed lovers will be married (Lines
192-197). Refusing any tip from Romeo (Line 197), the
Nurse agrees to deliver Romeo's "cords" a rope ladder
or a "tackled stair;" that will allow Romeo
to climb into Juliet's bedroom later that night (Line
Act II. Scene V. - The Same. Capulet's garden.
Juliet learns from her Nurse, the wedding plans...
Juliet worries about what has taken her messenger,
the Nurse so long. She has already taken three hours
when she said she would be back in just half an hour
(Line 1-16). The Nurse presently arrives back to Juliet
and bidding Peter to stay at the gate, tells Juliet
her news. Juliet is extremely impatient to learn of
her marriage plans (Lines 32-48). The Nurse gives her
approval of the marriage, commenting on what a gentleman,
Romeo is (Lines 55-59). The Nurse now specifically tells
Juliet of the plan to marry in the cell of Friar Laurence
Act II. Scene VI. - The Same. Friar Laurence's
Romeo and Juliet are married (Lines 1-36).