Act 1 Scene 1
The scene opens with a brawl on the streets of Verona between servants from the Montague and Capulet households. While attempting to stop the fight, Benvolio (Romeo's cousin) is drawn into the fray by Tybalt, kinsman of the Capulets. The fight rapidly escalates as more citizens become involved and soon the heads of both households appear on the scene. At last, Prince Escales arrives and stops the riot, forbidding any further outbreaks of violence on pain of death.
After Escales dismisses both sides, Montague and his wife discuss Romeo's recent melancholy behaviour with Benvolio and ask him to discover its cause. They exit as Romeo enters in his sad state — a victim of an unrequited love for the cold and unresponsive Rosaline. Benvolio advises him to forget Rosaline by looking for another, but Romeo insists that this would be impossible.
Act 1 Scene 2
Paris wishes to marry Juliet but Capulet says his daughter is still only thirteen, but he will agree if Juliet agrees. He invites Paris to a party that night. Capulet sends off the guest list with a servant, who is, unfortunately, illiterate and cannot read the names. He meets Romeo and Benvolio whom he asks for help. The guest list includes Rosaline, the object of Romeo's affections, so Romeo resolves to go to the feast despite the danger involved. Benvolio hopes that Romeo will see another lady there to help him forget about Rosaline. Romeo again denies that this could happen.
Act 1 Scene 3
Lady Capulet questions Juliet regarding her feelings about marriage and then informs Juliet of Paris' proposal. When her mother mentions that Paris will attend the feast that evening, Juliet reacts with dutiful reserve, whereas her nurse, recalling incidents from Juliet's childhood, volunteers a bawdier response.
Act 1 Scene 4
Romeo, Benvolio, Mercutio, and others from the Montague household make their way to the Capulet feast. With their masks concealing their identity, they resolve to stay for just one dance.
Because Romeo continues to be lovesick for Rosaline, Mercutio teases him for being such a stereotypical hopeless lover. Mercutio then delivers his highly imaginative Queen Mab speech in which he describes how the fairy delivers dreams to humans as they sleep.
Act 1 Scene 5
Romeo and his fellow attendees arrive at the Capulet feast. The guests are greeted by Capulet, who reminisces with his cousin about how long it has been since they both took part in a masque. Romeo sees Juliet and falls in love with her instantly. Tybalt recognizes Romeo's voice and sends for his rapier to kill him. A violent outburst is prevented as Capulet insists on Tybalt's obedience, reminding him of Romeo's good character and the need to keep the peace.
Romeo and Juliet continue their exchanges and they kiss, but are interrupted by The Nurse, who sends Juliet to find her mother. In her absence, Romeo asks the Nurse who Juliet is and on discovering that she is a Capulet, realizes the grave consequences of their love. The feast draws to a close and Romeo leaves with Benvolio and the others. Juliet then discovers from the Nurse that Romeo is a Montague.
Act 2 Scene 1
This scene takes place outside the Capulet orchard. Romeo hopes to see Juliet again after falling in love with her at first sight during the Capulet masquerade ball. He leaps the orchard wall when he hears Mercutio and Benvolio approaching. His friends are unaware that Romeo has met and fallen in love with Juliet. Mercutio beckons to Romeo by teasing him about Rosaline's seductive beauty. Romeo continues to hide, and Benvolio persuades Mercutio to leave the scene, knowing Romeo's love of solitude.
Act 2 Scene 2
Romeo stands in the shadows beneath Juliet's bedroom window. Juliet appears on the balcony and thinking she's alone, reveals in a soliloquy her love for Romeo. She despairs over the feud between the two families and the problems the feud presents. Romeo listens and when Juliet calls