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

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

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

Romeo walks away from the Capulet house and asks himself how he can go away when his heart is here at the Capulet house. He tells his body, which he calls “dull earth,” to turn back to find its “center”- Juliet. Then Romeo turns back.

Benvolio is looking for Romeo and calls out Romeo’s name, but Benvolio does not get an answer. Mercutio says that Romeo is smart and has probably gone home to bed.

Benvolio says that Mercutio is wrong because Benvolio saw Romeo jump over the Capulet’s orchard wall to return to the house.

Benvolio tells Mercutio to call out Romeo’s name. Mercutio says he will conjure (call out to the spirit of) Romeo as if using magic.

Mercutio calls out Romeo’s name and also calls out asking for a moody man, a madman, and a lover. (Mercutio is hoping to insult Romeo so Romeo will come back over the wall to yell at him, but Romeo just listens.)

Note: Look at which version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet you are reading. Many textbooks leave out the next speeches Mercutio makes because they are so sexual and insulting.

Mercutio tells Romeo to say a rhyme like “love” and “dove” and Mercutio will stop insulting Romeo. Romeo still does not speak.

Next, Mercutio tells Romeo to say something to Venus (the goddess of love) or to Cupid, the blind boy who, in an old story, had made King Cophetua love a beggar woman when the king had loved no woman before.

Mercutio is disappointed when Romeo says nothing. He says Romeo does not hear him and is not moving. He says the “ape” (Romeo) is dead and he (Mercutio) must make him appear.

Mercutio says he is calling out to Romeo by talking about Rosaline’s eyes, lips, feet, legs, thighs, and areas next to her thighs. In the name of those things, Mercutio asks Romeo to come to him.

Benvolio tells Mercutio that Romeo is going to be very angry with Mercutio if Romeo hears Mercutio’s words. Mercutio says Romeo would only get angry if someone else would have sex with Rosaline before Romeo could.

Benvolio says Romeo is blinded by love. Since blind people need no light, it is okay for him to be hiding in the orchard, in the dark.

Mercutio suggests that sex is better without blindness and also says that he knows Romeo wishes Rosaline was a girl who would have sex. (Mercutio does not say this directly. He compares Rosaline to a medlar fruit and Romeo to a Pop’rin pear.)

Note: Many textbooks now continue with Act 2, Scene 1.

Finally, Mercutio loudly says good-night to Romeo. Mercutio says it is too cold for him to sleep outside, so he is going home. Benvolio agrees to go home because there is no reason to look for Romeo if he does not want to be found.

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