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Romeo And Juliet Summarys Essay, Research Paper
Paris asks Capulet for his daughter Juliet?s hand in marriage. Capulet replies that she is still too young to be married, but then invites Paris to try to woo her at a banquet he is holding that night. He gives a servant a list of guests and tells him to take an invitation to each of them. The servant is illiterate, and so goes about trying to find someone to read the list for him. He runs into Romeo and Benvolio, who are still discussing Romeo’s love. The servant gets Romeo to read the guest list for him, and then tells him about the banquet. Benvolio convinces Romeo to go along with him to the banquet to compare the other beautiful women there with the one he is trying to get: Rosaline, Capulets niece.
Act I, Scene iii
Lady Capulet, Juliet, and the Nurse talk about the possibility of Juliet being married to Paris. Lady Capulet encourages Juliet to consider him as a potential husband when she sees him at the banquet. The Nurse loves the idea of it, but Juliet does not.
Act I, scene iv
Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio, stand outside the entrance to Capulet’s masquerade banquet. Romeo complains again of the pains of love, and his friends try to cheer him up and encourage him to dance and be merry. Mercutio delivers a lengthy speech on Queen Mab, the fairy midwife who causes lovers to dream of love; Romeo considers his own death as a result of events which will take place at the banquet, but goes in with his friends.
Act I, scene v
Romeo sees Juliet for the first time at the banquet, and is so overwhelmed with her beauty that he renounces his love for Rosaline. Tybalt recognizes his enemy’s voice and calls for his sword, planning to do away with him right there on the dance floor, but Capulet restrains him, ordering him to ignore him. Romeo goes to Juliet, touches her hand, flatters her, and they kiss twice. They are parted by the Nurse, who reveals to each the other’s identity. They are both upset when they discover that their new love is a child of their family’s enemy.
Act II, Scene i
Romeo decides he cannot leave Capulet’s house after finding his true love, so he climbs over the wall into Capulet’s orchard. On their way home from the banquet, Benvolio and Mercutio come looking for him. Benvolio realizes he must have climbed over the wall, and Mercutio jokingly attempts to say Rosaline aloud, because they still think that Romeo is in love with her. They decide to let him be, and Mercutio wishes Romeo luck in his adventures.
Act II, Scene 2
Romeo is mad about how Mercutio was teasing him, and then sees Juliet appear at her window above him. To himself, without meaning Juliet to hear, he compares her to the sun and asks her to cast off the moon’s (Diana’s) jealous requirement of virginity. He describes her beauty and wishes that she knew he loved her. Juliet, not knowing that Romeo is beneath her balcony, calls out Romeo’s name to the night, asking him why he must be a Montague and telling him she would give up her name for him. She says that names themselves are not important, only the things they stand for, and asks him to be her love.
He answers her aloud, and says he will abandon his name if she dislikes it. She asks him how he got there, and he answers that love brought him; she tells him he must leave or her family will kill him, and he answers that he would rather die quickly than slowly beacause he wants her love. Juliet apologizes for being so open in her speech of love for him, but says it was only that she didn’t know he was there; her forwardness was not a sign that her love is shallow. Romeo begins to swear by the moon that he loves her, but she stops him, saying that the moon’s variability is a bad thing to swear upon. She tells him to swear on himself, as he is the god she now worships, but then stops him and tells him not to swear at all, as he would be too sudden and rash. She tells him that she will send someone to him the next day to find out if his intentions are honorable and he wishes to marry her. They bid each other goodnight, and Romeo goes off to see his priest.
Act II, Scene iii
Friar Laurence is gathering medicinal plants when Romeo approaches and tells him of his love for Juliet. He asks the friar to marry them that very day. The friar reminds Romeo that just yesterday he was there crying to him about Rosaline and talks to him for being such an inconstant and superficial lover. Romeo argues that this love is superior to his last because Juliet returns his love, and the friar agrees to marry them in the interest of ending the feud between their families.
Act II, Scene iv
Mercutio and Benvolioare looking for Romeo, because he did not return home that night. Benvolio tells Mercutio that Tybalt sent a letter to Romeo challenging him to a duel, and Mercutio says Tybalt as an overly courteous fop with a quick temper. He admits, however, that Tybalt is a duelist of the first rank from the best schools of fencing. Romeo appears, and Mercutio engages him in a bout of good-natured word-play. The Nurse enters with her servant, and Mercutio teases her for a moment before he and Benvolio go off for lunch at Montague’s. The Nurse asks Romeo what his intentions are with her mistress, and he tells her to have Juliet come to confession at Friar Laurence’s cell that afternoon to be married. He tells her to wait for his servant to bring her a rope ladder, that he will climb up to Juliet on their wedding night. The Nurse lingers for a moment talking about how adorable Juliet is and how she wouldn’t even look at Paris, who also wants to marry her; then she goes off to carry out her mission.
Act II, Scene v
The Nurse returns to Juliet, and postpones her answer to Juliet’s eager questions about Romeo as long as she possibly can, complaining about her and teasing Juliet about Romeo and how he doesn?t even compare to Paris. The Nurse finally describes her meeting with Romeo and lays out his plan, and Juliet runs off to Friar Laurence’s cell to meet him.
Act II, Scene vi
Juliet arrives at Friar Laurence’s cell, where she finds Romeo already waiting. Friar Laurence takes the lovers into the chapel to be married.
Act III, Scene i
Mercutio and Benvolio, dawdling in a public place, debate which of them is the more belligerent. Tybalt arrives with some of his men, looking for Romeo. Mercutio tries to provoke him, but when Romeo arrives, Tybalt storms over to challenge him. Romeo submits to his insults without a fight, saying they have reason to love each other and Tybalt doesn?t know yet. Mercutio steps in and answers Tybalt’s insults himself.
They draw their swords and fight, and when Romeo reaches out to stop them, Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeo’s arm. Tybalt runs off with his men, and Mercutio dies, cursing both Capulets and Montagues. Tybalt returns, and Romeo fights him in a rage over Mercutio’s death. Romeo overcomes Tybalt and kills him, then is forced to flee a mob of citizens. The Prince enters with Capulet, Montague and their wives, and questions Benvolio about the brawl. over Tybalt’s death. Lady Capulet calls for Romeo’s execution, but Montague argues that Tybalt was rightly killed for killing Mercutio. The Prince orders Capulet and Montague to pay a heavy fine for the death of Mercutio, and kicks Romeo out of the city for what he did.
Act III, Scene ii
Juliet stands at her window eagerly awaiting the night, when Romeo will arrive at her window. The Nurse comes and begins wailing, “He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!” Juliet takes this to mean Romeo is dead and begins to bewale her fate. The Nurse clarifies that it is Tybalt who is dead, and that Romeo has been banished from Verona for killing him. Juliet briefly admits what she takes to be a well-hidden wickedness in Romeo, but then recants and reproaches the nurse for speaking against her new husband. She mourns the loss of Romeo to banishment and resigns herself to die a virgin. The Nurse tells her to go wait in her room and sets off to find Romeo at Friar Laurence?s cell.
Act III, scene 3
Friar Laurence brings news to Romeo that he has been banished for killing Tybalt, and Romeo falls into a suicidal grief. The friar tries to console him by pointing out that banishment is a lighter punishment than the execution the law calls for, but Romeo argues that separation from Juliet is separation from life and therefore a slower, more painful version of death. The Nurse arrives to take Romeo to Juliet, and as he departs the Friar asks him for grieving so stupidly when his love still lives, he killed the man who was trying to kill him, and he escaped death at the hands of the law. The Friar promises to try to change the situation in Verona, and advises Romeo in the meantime to go to Juliet for the night and then to flee to Mantua. Romeo thanks him and leaves for Juliet’s bedchamber.
Act III, scene 4
Capulet speaks with Paris and arranges for him to marry Juliet in three days, in a small ceremony respectful to the memory of Tybalt. He sends Lady Capulet to tell Juliet what he has planned for her.
Act III, scene 5
The following morning, and Romeo says his goodbyes to Juliet. Lady Capulet comes to Juliet’s chamber and finds her still upet, she assumes for Tybalt. She says to her they will soon have revenge on Romeo, and Juliet offers to mix a poison to be given to him that will ensure that he will “sleep in quiet.” Lady Capulet tells her they arranged marriage, and Juliet exclaims that she will marry her enemy Romeo before she will marry Paris.
Capulet enters and is furious to hear of Juliet’s refusal. He says that she will either wed Paris as planned or be disowned. Lord and Lady Capulet leave, and the Nurse tells Juliet to marry Paris, who is an excellent match, except for her secret relationship with Romeo. Juliet agrees, and sends her to tell her mother she is going to confession for defying her father; after she is gone, she curses her nurse for advising the betrayal of her marriage vow and for making fun of Romeo with the same tongue she so often used to praise him. She determines to shut her out of her counsel in the future and heads off to get help from Friar Laurence, or to commit suicide.
Act IV, scene 1
Juliet finds Friar Laurence trying to convince Paris to postpone his wedding plans. Paris tries to wring a confession of love from Juliet, but he finally agrees to leave so she can make her confession to the Friar. Juliet asks the priest if he has any solution to her problem or if she should just kill herself. He tells her his plan: she should say yes to the marriage, then drink a potion the Friar will give her the night before the wedding, which will make her appear to be dead. He says he will send a friar to Mantua with a letter telling Romeo of their plan so he can come and carry her from the tomb when she awakes from the sleep the potion will have worn off.
Act IV, scene 2
Juliet comes home to find the preparations being made for her wedding. She tells her father that on Friar Laurence?s advice, she is going to say yes to the wedding. She goes with her Nurse to choose her outfit for the wedding, which has been moved up a day.
Act IV, scene 3
Juliet sends the Nurse and her mother away. She lies down with her dagger, which she has determined to use if the potion doesn’t work, and begins to have bad thoughts. She drinks the potion and falls asleep.
Act IV, scene 4
Capulet oversees the wedding preparations early on the morning of the wedding. Paris arrives with Friar Laurence, and the Nurse goes to wake Juliet.
Act IV, scene 5
The Nurse finds Juliet, apparently dead. The others enter one by one, and are stunned and extremely upset. The Friar consoles them, saying Juliet’s death is for the best, and urges them carry her to the church for her funeral.
Act V, scene i
Romeo, in Mantua, has a dream that Juliet finds him dead and then revives him with her kisses. Balthasar, his manservant, comes to him with the news that Juliet is dead, saying that he watched the Capulets lay her in her family tomb. Romeo sends him off after ink and paper and horses so he can leave for Verona that night. Desperate, Romeo goes to a place where the sell a vial of poison despite the law against it. He pays him generously and heads off to use the poison at Juliet’s grave.
Act V, Scene ii
The messenger sent by Friar Laurence to take the letter to Romeo returns without having delivered it; he was quarantined after going into a sick man’s house and so could not make the journey to Mantua. Juliet’s time to be asleep is almost up, so Friar Laurence sends the messenger for a crowbar and heads for the tomb. He plans to rescue Juliet, then bring her back to hide in his cell until he can get word to Romeo.
Act V, scene iii
Paris cries at Juliets grave. His hears that someone is coming, and Paris hides himself to see who it is. Romeo enters and breaks into the tomb. He sends Balthasar away to deliver a letter to his father; he tells him not to watch what the tomb break-in, that he is undertaking it to retrieve a ring he needs for some important business. Balthasar is suspicious of Romeo’s story and hides himself to see what happens. Paris recognizes Romeo and steps forward to confront him. Romeo tells him to be gone, as he is a desperate man and does not want another sin on his head. Paris refuses, and they draw their swords and fight.
Paris’s page runs to fetch the watch. Romeo kills Paris, then grants his final wish, that he be laid in the tomb with Juliet. Romeo remembers now that Balthasar told him on the road from Mantua that Paris was meant to marry Juliet, and he recognizes a sorrowful bond between himself and the man he has just killed. He goes to Juliet, drinks the vial of poison, and dies with one last kiss.
Friar Laurence enters and finds Balthasar, who tells him his master has been in the tomb for a full half hour, and that during that time he dreamt he saw him fighting with another man. Friar Laurence rushes to the tomb and finds the two dead men. Juliet wakes, and the friar tells her what has happened, urging her to come away so he can hide her in a convent. They hear the watch approaching, and she sends the Friar out. She kisses Romeo’s lips in search of a few last drops of the poison, then stabs herself with his dagger and dies.
The watch arrives and rounds up the friar and Balthasar. The Prince follows shortly, as do Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Montague, who reports that his wife died in the night of grief over Romeo’s exile. The Prince orders everyone to postpone their mourning until they can discover exactly what happened. The friar recounts what he knows of the story, and the page, Balthazar, and a letter Romeo wrote to his father fill in the rest. The Prince declares that heaven has punished the two families for their feud, and him for tolerating it. Capulet and Montague make peace, and each promises to raise a golden statue of the other’s child as a symbol of their tragic death.
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