Romeo and Juliet Act 4, Scene 1 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}


Romeo and Juliet Act 4, Scene 1 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Romeo and Juliet Act 4, Scene 1 Full Summary| Romeo and Juliet Act 4, Scene 1 Summary

Friar Laurence and County Paris are talking. Friar Laurence says, “On Thursday, sir?” Friar Laurence says that is very soon. Paris says his “father Capulet” wants it, and Paris has no reason to make it slower.

The Friar knows that Paris is not yet Capulet’s son-in-law, but Paris is certain he soon will be. Friar Laurence says, “You say you do not know the lady’s mind: Uneven is the course, I like it not. ”

(Friar Laurence knows that Juliet does not want to marry Paris because she is married to Romeo. The Friar knows Juliet much better than Paris does. The Friar knows that Paris will not have an easy future if he plans to marry Juliet.)

Paris says Juliet is crying too much because of Tybalt’s death. Since Juliet is so sad, Paris has not talked to her about love.

Paris says, “Venus smiles not in a house of tears.” (Venus, the goddess of Venus is not happy where people are crying; they think of sadness, not love.)

Paris tells the Friar that his marriage to Juliet will be on Thursday because Lord Capulet is worried about Juliet. Juliet is too sad and is alone too much. Lord Capulet thinks that if Juliet is not alone, she will be happier and stop crying

Paris says he is happy to meet Juliet here at the Friar’s cell (room). He calls her “my lady, my wife.” Juliet says she “maybe” happy to see him after they are married. (Since Juliet is already married and will not marry Paris, she means she will never be happy to see him.)

Paris calls Juliet his “love” and says her words “maybe” will be “must be” on Thursday. (Paris thinks Juliet must be happy to see him on her wedding day on Thursday.)

Juliet says that what “must be shall be.” (She means that whatever is necessary is what will happen on Thursday.) Friar Laurence says Juliet’s words are true.

Paris asks Juliet if she has come to confess (tell what bad things she has done) to Friar Laurence. Juliet says if she answers Paris, then she would be confessing to him.

Paris tells Juliet to not keep the knowledge of her love for Paris a secret from Friar Laurence. Since Juliet does not love Paris, she says she will not keep her love for Friar Laurence a secret from Paris.

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(Juliet keeps showing she has no love for Paris, but Paris is sure she must love him because he is handsome, rich, and powerful.)

Paris again tries to get Juliet to say she loves him. He says he is certain she will say she AVA loves him to Friar Laurence. Juliet says if she ever says she loves Paris, she will never say it to his face.

Paris looks at Juliet’s face and sees that she has been crying. He tells Juliet that her face AYA has been hurt by her tears. Juliet says her tears did not win much because her face looked bad enough before her tears showed their anger against her.

Paris says Juliet hurt her face more with her words saying it was not good to look at than her tears did. Juliet says her words about her face were not “slander” (a lie). She says she spoke the truth about her face to her face. Paris says that he owns Juliet’s face and she has lied about it.

Juliet says that it is possible that Paris is correct. She says she does not own her face. (Her father has given her face and body to Paris, and the wedding on Thursday will make him her owner.)

Juliet asks the Friar if he has time to talk to her now or if she should come back later at the evening mass (church service). The Friar says he has time now to speak with his “pensive daughter” (sad and thoughtful daughter).

He asks Paris to give him and Juliet some time alone. Paris says that he does not want to keep Juliet away from God. He tells Juliet that he will wake her early on Thursday. He tells Juliet “Adieu” (good-bye) and he tells her to keep his kiss. He kisses her and leaves.

Juliet asks the Friar to shut the door and come and cry with her. She says she is “past hope, past cure, past help!” (She has no idea what to do because she is married to Romeo, unhappily engaged to Paris, and if she does not marry Paris, she will have no place to live or food to eat.)

Friar Laurence says he knows about the wedding that is planned for Thursday for her and Paris. He does not know how they can make the wedding happen at a later date.

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Juliet tells the Friar to not tell her he has heard about the planned wedding unless he can tell her how to stop it. If he is not wise enough to know how to stop it, then he should say she is wise to kill herself.


Juliet holds her knife ready. She says God joined her heart to Romeo’s and the Friar joined their hands. Before the Friar joins her hand to Paris or her heart turns to Paris, she will use her hand to destroy her hands and heart.

Juliet tells the Friar that he has lived a long time and has had many experiences. If he cannot tell her what to do, she will make her knife the umpire that will decide her future.

Juliet says she is between “extremes” (bad choices). (She can make her parents happy by going against her marriage vows to Romeo or she can keep her vows and lose her parents, her home, and food.)

She tells the Friar not to wait to speak because she wants to die if he has no “remedy” (solution) to her problem.

Note: If the Friar cannot help Juliet, there is no one else to help her. In her time, an umpire was a legal judge- someone like the Prince.

Juliet sees only two choices – to obey her parents and break her promises to God and Romeo to be a good wife or to keep her promises to God and Romeo and beg for food on the streets.

Without support, she cannot get to Romeo, and if Romeo returns, he will be killed. Juliet cannot decide between her bad choices, so she will let the knife be the umpire that will decide her future.

Friar Laurence tells Juliet to “hold” (put the knife down). He says if she thinks she has no choice except death, then she will choose
something like death and even fight death.

His answer to her problem is less than death. Juliet tells Friar Laurence that she will jump off a tower, become a thief, be with serpents, be chained to “roaring bears,” spend every night in a place full of “dead men’s rattling bones,” or lie in a new grave next to a dead man covered with a cloth if she can be married to Romeo.

She says she wants to be “unstained.” She does not want to marry Paris and have sex with him. If she did, she would still be Romeo’s lawful wife, but she would be stained.

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Friar Laurence tells Juliet to go home, pretend to be happy, and tell her parents she will marry Paris. He says the next day is Wednesday, so Wednesday night she should drink the liquid he is giving her.

When she drinks it, it will make her look like she is dead. No one will be able to feel her pulse. Her body will be cold. Her skin will be white. The Friar says that her eyes’ windows [will] fall, like death, when he shuts up the day of life..”

He says Juliet’s body will be stiff and unmoving. For 42 hours, she will look like she is dead, but then she will wake up as if from a “pleasant sleep.”

Friar Laurence says that when Juliet’s bridegroom Paris) comes on Thursday morning to wake her for the wedding, he will find her and think that she is dead.

Someone will put her in pretty clothes and she will be put in an open coffin. She will be carried into the stone monument where the Capulets put their dead.

While she is sleeping, the Friar will send a letter to Romeo and tell him about everything. When Juliet wakes up, the Friar and Romeo will be there and Romeo will be able to take her away to Mantua.

The Friar says his plan will free Juliet from her problems if she is brave, not fearful. Juliet tells Friar Laurence to give her the vial of liquid that will make her sleep look like death. She tells the Friar to not talk to her about fear.

Friar Laurence gives her the vial and tells her to go home and be strong. He says he will send a friar to Mantua with letters for Romeo. Juliet says that love will give her strength and strength will help her complete the plan. She says goodbye and leaves.

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