Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 2 Full Summary| Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 2 Summary

Lord Capulet is talking to County Paris. (County is what a count a kind of European nobleman – was called in Shakespeare’s time.) Peter, Lord Capulet’s servant follows behind.

Capulet says that he and Montague have promised the Prince that they will stop fighting. Since the Prince has said the penalty for fighting is death and since Lord Capulet and Lord Montague are old, Lord Capulet says he thinks it will be easy to keep the peace.

Count Paris says he thinks it is a sad thing that two honorable men like Lord Capulet and Lord Montague have been fighting for so long. He wants to know if Lord Capulet will let him marry his daughter.

Lord Capulet says his daughter is too young to marry Count Paris. She is not yet fourteen. He wants Paris to wait two more years. Paris says there are happy mothers as young as Miss Capulet.

Capulet says that girls who marry too young become damaged, but Paris should come to the Capulet party this night and begin to try to make Capulet’s daughter love him.

Maybe Paris will see another young woman that he would like to marry. There will be beautiful women who are like stars who come from heaven and therefore make heaven dark.

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There will be other beautiful girls who will seem like April flowers making the land pretty after a long winter. Lord Capulet gives his servant, Peter, a note and tells him to walk around Verona to invite the people on the list to the Capulet party. Then Capulet and Paris walk away.

Peter does not know what to do. He shows how uneducated he is by saying that a shoemaker uses a yard and a tailor uses a last. It is just the opposite.

He goes on to say that a fisherman uses a pencil and a painter uses nets. Again, he has the tools paired with the wrong worker.

Peter wonders how he can learn the names on the list when he can’t read. He says he must find an educated person to help him. Just then he looks up to see Romeo and Benvolio.

Benvolio and Romeo have been walking and talking. Benvolio tells Romeo that Romeo can put out the fire of his love by starting a new fire. Romeo can reduce one pain by experiencing a new pain.

Romeo can turn in a circle and get dizzy and then turn in the opposite direction to feel better. Romeo can cure one grief by having another grief.

Romeo can infect his eye with the beauty of new love and destroy the poisoning caused by the old love. Clearly, Benvolio is joking; he does not take Romeo’s love-sickness seriously.

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Romeo jokes too and says that the plantain leaf is a great cure. Benvolio is confused and asks what the plantain herb cures. Romeo says it cures broken (bruised and cut) shins (the front part of the leg below the knee). (Romeo is giving silly advice right back to Benvolio.)

Benvolio is tired of Romeo’s love-sickness and foolishness. He asks if Romeo is crazy. Romeo says he is not crazy, but he feels as bad as a crazy person who is tied up in prison, given little or no food, and tortured.

Romeo sees Peter and says good evening. Peter says good evening to Romeo. He asks if Romeo can read. Romeo says that he can read his own fortune and that it looks sad.

Peter says that maybe Romeo learned to be sad from life, not from a book. Peter asks Romeo if he can read, and Romeo jokes around, saying he can read if he knows the language and the letters.

Peter is sad because Romeo seems to be just like Peter – unable to read because he doesn’t know the letters.

Romeo says he can read, and he reads the list of names of the people whom Capulet wants Peter to invite to the party. He sees that the name of the girl he loves, Rosaline, is on the list! She is Lord Capulet’s niece.

Romeo asks Peter where the party is. Peter says that he is a servant for the Capulets and the party will be at the house. Peter says that if Romeo is not a Montague he can come to the party. Then Peter leaves.

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Benvolio, having been told offstage between Scenes 1 and 2 that Rosaline is the name of the girl Romeo loves, says that they should go to the party.

There will be girls there who will probably make Rosaline look like a crow instead of a swan. Romeo says his eyes have made a religion of looking at Rosaline. If his eyes were to lie to him about her beauty, then they should be destroyed with fire like unbelievers are.

Romeo says that the sun has never seen a more beautiful woman than Rosaline, but Benvolio says that Romeo has not compared her to other women. Romeo agrees to go to the Capulet party, but only to see Rosaline.

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