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

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

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

Romeo says it is easy for Mercutio to joke about Romeo feeling the pain of love because Mercutio has never been in love. (Mercutio still does not know that Romeo is now in love with Juliet, not Rosaline.)

Romeo walks toward the Capulet house and sees Juliet at her balcony window. Romeo says two of the most famous lines in literature:

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” (Romeo is comparing Juliet to the sun. This metaphor shows that Romeo sees Juliet as someone who brings light to his heart.)

Romeo says that Juliet (the sun) should rise and kill the moon which is jealous of Juliet. Juliet is a maid (a woman servant) of the moon because Diana, the moon-goddess, helps virgins like Juliet.

Romeo thinks that virginity makes the moon look green and sickly and that those who keep their virginity are fools. He thinks that Juliet should stop being a virgin and give him her warm, sunny love.

Juliet comes out on her balcony, and Romeo says, “It is my lady. Oh, it is my love. Oh, that she knew she were!” (Romeo sees Juliet and wishes that she knew that she is his love.)

Romeo sees that Juliet is speaking, but he cannot hear anything that she is saying. He says her eyes are speaking, and he will answer. Then he changes his mind because he thinks he is too bold and she is not talking to him.

Romeo says that Juliet’s eyes are stars. Two of the most beautiful stars in heaven had to leave the sky to go away on business, and they ask Juliet’s eyes to take their places.

Romeo says that if the stars came down from heaven to shine in Juliet’s eyes, the beauty of her cheek would make the stars seem as dim as the sun’s light makes the light of a lamp look dim.

Romeo says if Juliet’s eyes were in heaven, they would shine so brightly that the birds would think it was day, not night, and they would sing.

Romeo sees Juliet put her cheek into her hand, and he says he wishes he were a glove on that hand, so he could touch Juliet’s cheek.

Juliet is talking to herself, and Romeo says: “She speaks. 0, speak again bright angel!” Romeo says to himself that Juliet is as glorious as an angel.

She is above him like a winged messenger from heaven who makes ordinary humans who live and die look up to see the angel walking on clouds and sailing on the air.

Juliet still does not know that Romeo is nearby. She speaks more loudly to herself and says, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Note: Juliet is not asking where Romeo is. “Wherefore” means “why.” Juliet wants to know why Romeo has to be Romeo Montague, an enemy.

Juliet continues to speak. She says that Romeo should reject his father and his name, or swear his love for her, and she will reject the name of Capulet.

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Romeo does not know if he should listen to more, or let Juliet know that he is thereby speaking to her. Juliet continues to say what she is thinking. She says that only Romeo’s name is her enemy. If Romeo were not a Montague, he would still be himself.

She asks what a Montague is. She says a Montague is not a “hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. She wishes that Romeo was not a Montague.

Juliet says these famous lines: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet.

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, certain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name, which is no part of thee Take all myself.”

Juliet is asking what a name really is. She says that the thing we call a rose would smell just as sweet if we called it by any other name.

Romeo would be just as perfect even if his name were not Romeo. She says Romeo should give away his name. He should give away his name and take her as his girl.

Romeo hears Juliet say that he should give away his name and take Juliet as his girl, so he calls up to Juliet and says he believes her words. If Juliet will call him her love, he will give up his name forever and take a new name.

Juliet is surprised to hear a voice calling up to her from the darkness. She asks who is hiding in the dark, listening to her spoken thoughts.

Romeo says he does not know how to answer Juliet because he does not want to tell her a name that he, himself, hates. He says if he had his name written on a piece of paper, he would tear it up.

Juliet says her ears have not yet “drunk” (heard) Romeo’s tongue speak one hundred words, but she knows his voice and that he is Romeo Montague. Romeo says that he is neither Romeo or a Montague if she does not like either name.

Juliet wants to know how Romeo got in over the high orchard wall. Why did Romeo come? He must know that her family would kill him if they saw him.

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Romeo says love gave him wings to fly over the wall. Love also made him come to her. Love makes him see her family is a problem that will not stop him.

Juliet is afraid that her family will murder Romeo. She says she will do anything to keep her family from seeing Romeo. Romeo says he is more afraid of getting one unhappy look from Juliet than he is of fighting twenty of her family members carrying swords.

If Juliet is happy with Romeo, he will be safe from the hatred of her family. Romeo says the night is a cloak that hides him from her family. It would be better to be murdered than to live without her love.

Juliet asks Romeo who had given him directions to find the place below her balcony. Romeo says that love gave him advice, but Romeo used his own eyes (since Cupid is blind).

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Romeo says he is not a ship’s pilot, but he would take a dangerous voyage across the ocean to find a treasure like Juliet.

Juliet says “the mask of the night” (the darkness of night) is on her face or Romeo would see her blush because Romeo had heard her speaking her thoughts before she knew he was listening.

Juliet says she would “fain deny” (gladly deny) her words and pretend she had not said them, but she is not going to use polite manners. She wants to know if Romeo truly loves her. She knows he may say yes, but be lying.

She also knows herself and knows she will believe him because she wants to. She says that Jove (the king of the Roman gods) laughs at the lies that lovers make to each other.

Juliet tells Romeo to tell her only the truth. She says he might think that he has won her heart (fallen in love with him) too soon. Romeo may not believe she truly loves him, but she will prove to him that her love is real.

She does not have to pretend that he needs to work hard to get her love. It is too late for her to pretend she does not love Romeo because he heard her speak about loving him before she knew he was listening.

Juliet asks Romeo to excuse how quickly she has come to love him and to believe that her love is serious and not light. Romeo starts to say that he promises by the holy moon that lights up the treetops that he will tell only the truth to Juliet, but she stops him before he can finish speaking.

Juliet stops him by saying these famous lines: “O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.”

Juliet thinks that a promise made by the moon will be a broken promise because the moon changes its position each month.

Romeo asks what he should swear by (use to make his promise). At first, Juliet asks him to use only himself to swear by, but then changes her mind and asks him not to swear at all.

Their love has happened too quickly. It is too much like lightning strong, but not lasting. She says good night to Romeo and hopes their love will grow like a beautiful flower from the bud. Juliet hopes Romeo will find the same peace she has found in her heart.

Romeo says he is not satisfied. He needs her promise of love. Juliet says he has already heard her say she loves him, but she will take back her words just to say them again.

She says her love for Romeo is like the sea – endless and infinite. The more love she gives to Romeo, the more love she has.

Juliet hears the Nurse calling her, so she tells the Nurse she is coming and tells Romeo to wait. She will return quickly. Romeo waits and says to himself that since it is night, he is afraid that he is only having a wonderful dream.

Juliet comes back and says she just wants to say three words, and then she has to go. She says more than three words. She says that if his love for her is honorable, and if he truly wants to marry her, Romeo should tell her by using a messenger Juliet will send to him the next day.

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Romeo should tell the messenger when and where they will be married. When they are married, Juliet will give her fortunes (herself) to him and follow him anywhere in the world.

Juliet hears the Nurse calling her. Juliet quickly tells Romeo to stop seeing her if his love is not true. The Nurse keeps calling out Juliet’s name, so Juliet tells Romeo, “A thousand times good night!”

After Juliet leaves, Romeo says that his good night is now a thousand times worse than it had been when Juliet had been talking to him. A boy in love goes toward his girl like a schoolboy leaving his books. A boy leaves his girl like a schoolboy sadly going toward his books at school.

Before Romeo has moved tar, Juliet returns. She softly says, “Hist!” (She just makes a sound to get his attention.) Juliet says she wishes she were a falconer who could get back her little falcon – Romeo.

Since Juliet is in her father’s house, she cannot say Romeo’s name loudly. If Juliet were free, she would say Romeo’s name so loudly that the sound would break into Echo’s cave and Echo, who has to repeat what she hears, would lose her voice by endlessly repeating the words, “My Romeo!”

Romeo says Juliet’s soft voice saying his name is sweet music to his ears. She speaks to his soul. A lover’s voice calling out a lover’s name in the night is the sweetest sound.

Juliet wants to know at what time in the morning she should send her messenger. Romeo says that the messenger should come by nine o’clock.

Juliet says that she will not fail to send the messenger. Then she and Romeo talk quietly. saying nothing important, but not wanting to leave each other.

The night is almost over, and Romeo must leave before the sun comes up. Juliet says she is like a child who has a pet bird on a string. She lets Romeo go, and then pulls him back.

Romeo says that he wants to be her bird. Juliet says she wishes Romeo were her bird, but she knows that if he were, she might kill him by petting him too much.

Juliet’s next lines are often quoted: “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow That I shall say good night till it is morrow.”
Juliet leaves.

Romeo says that he hopes Juliet will sleep peacefully. He wishes that he could be sleep and peace and stay with her. Then he says he will go find the friar (priest) to ask for help and to tell him about Romeo and Juliet’s new love for each other.

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