Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 3 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}


Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 3 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 3 Full Summary| Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scene 3 Summary

Lady Capulet is at home talking to the Nurse- the woman Lady Capulet had paid to breastfeed her daughter when she was a baby. The Nurse still takes care of the thirteen-year-old Juliet Capulet.

Lady Capulet wants to know where Juliet is. Lady Capulet is not happy because she has been waiting for her daughter to come to her. The Nurse says she promises, on her virginity at the age of 12, that she has told Juliet to come to speak with her mother.

(The Nurse is like Peter, the Capulet servant in Act 1, Scene 2 because they are both supposed to be funny. The Nurse is the kind of person who says whatever she is thinking she has just said she was a virgin only until age 12.)

The Nurse is not happy. She yells for Juliet, and Juliet yells back, asking who wants her. Juliet comes in, and the Nurse says it is Juliet’s mother who wants her.

Juliet asks her mother what she wants. Lady Capulet says she wants to talk to Juliet with no one else around. She asks the Nurse to leave but then changes her mind. She says the Nurse knows all of their secrets.

Lady Capulet tells the Nurse that the Nurse knows that Juliet is at a good age. The Nurse says she knows exactly how old Juliet is because Juliet and the Nurse’s own daughter, Susan, had been born on the same evening – Lammas Eve- August 1st. Susan died and went to be with God.

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Lady Capulet says the Nurse is correct – Juliet will be 14 in two weeks and a few days.

The Nurse starts talking about how she remembers when she stopped breastfeeding the baby Juliet. It had been the day of an earthquake 11 years before.

The Nurse had put a bad-tasting herb on the nipple of her breast to teach baby Juliet it was time to stop drinking breast milk. Baby Juliet had hated the taste of the herb and had angrily turned away from the nipple that had been her friend.

The earthquake had caused the wall the Nurse had been leaning against as she had sat in the sun to fall.  Juliet had been old enough to walk and run.

Young Juliet had fallen down the day before. The Nurse’s husband had made a sexual joke asking young Juliet, who had fallen on her face if she would fall backward when she was older.

Juliet, not knowing what the Nurse’s husband was talking about, had answered him with a ‘yes.” The Nurse and her husband had laughed. The Nurse, laughing a lot, says now Juliet is old enough for sex and the Nurse has lived to see the day when Juliet will be on her back to have sex.

The Nurse thinks the sexual joke is so funny she tells the story again. Lady Capulet tells the Nurse to be quiet. The Nurse is having so much fun remembering the sexual joke that she keeps talking Juliet asks the Nurse to stop talking.

The Nurse says she will stop talking. She says Juliet was the prettiest baby she had ever nursed (breast-fed). The Nurse’s wish will come true if she can see Juliet get married.

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Lady Capulet says that marriage is what she wants to talk to Juliet about. She asks Juliet what she thinks about marriage. Juliet says that marriage is an honor that she has not thought about. The Nurse says she thinks Juliet is wise for thinking of marriage as an honor.

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The Nurse says Juliet must have sucked wisdom while being breastfed (since Juliet is so young), but the Nurse says she knows Juliet did not learn the wisdom that way since the Nurse was the one who had breastfed her, and the Nurse is not wise.

Lady Capulet says it is time for Juliet to think about marriage. Just as Paris had said to Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet says to Juliet that many girls Juliet’s age are mothers. Lady Capulet says that she herself was Juliet’s mother when she was the age Juliet is now.

Lady Capulet says that Count Paris wants to marry Juliet and he will be at the Capulet’s house that evening for the party. The Nurse is excited.

She says that Paris is a great man and a man who is so handsome that he looks like an artist’s wax sculpture. Lady Capulet says that Paris is so handsome that no summer flower in Verona is as beautiful as he is.

Juliet’s mother asks Juliet if she thinks she can love Paris. Before Juliet can answer, Lady Capulet says that at the Capulet party, Juliet should read Paris’s face.

It is a book written with “beauty’s pen.” Lady Capulet wants Juliet to study Paris’s face, so she can see that marriage to the handsome man will make her happy.

Juliet should also look into his eyes, which are like margins in a book where notes have been written to explain what the book means.
If Juliet marries Paris, she will be the cover of his book. They will both be beautiful, making a beautiful book, a beautiful married couple.

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Lady Capulet says it is natural for fish to live in the sea and for a woman to want to be the beautiful book containing a man’s “golden
story.” If Juliet marries Paris, she will own everything he owns and she will lose nothing.

The Nurse agrees that Juliet will lose nothing. In fact, Juliet will grow because she will become pregnant. Lady Capulet wants Juliet to say yes or no to whether Juliet can love Paris.

Juliet does not say yes or no. She says she will look at Paris and see if she can make herself like him. She will not work too hard to like Paris, just enough to try to make her mother happy

Peter comes in and says that the party guests have arrived, dinner is ready, people are asking for Lady Capulet and Juliet, and servants are cursing the Nurse because she is not helping. Everything is messed up.

Peter wants everyone to follow him. He must return quickly to serve the guests. Lady Capulet agrees to follow Peter, but first, she tells Juliet that Count Paris is waiting for her.

The Nurse tells Juliet to find happiness that night which will lead to happy days in the future (if she marries Count Paris).

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