Romeo and Juliet Act I

Characters: Capulets and Montagues
Romeo The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. In the first act he is in love with Rosaline, and he is very depressed because he knows Rosaline doesn’t like him back. He begins to like Juliet when he sees her in scene five.
Juliet The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naive child who has thought little about love and marriage. Her parents are trying to set her up for marriage with Paris.
Montague Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet. He is chiefly concerned about Romeo’s melancholy attitude in the first act.
Lady Montague Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife. She prevents Montague from fighting Capulet in the first scene.
Capulet The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy of Montague. He wants his daughter Juliet to marry the man Paris.
Lady Capulet Juliet’s mother, Capulet’s wife. A woman who married young and gave birth to Juliet at age 14. She is eager to see her daughter marry Paris, but she is an ineffectual mother, relying on the Nurse for moral support.
Tybalt A Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side. He has an extreme distaste for the Montagues and wants to kill Romeo for showing up to the Capulet’s party in scene V.
Benvolio Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend, he makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places. He spends most of the act trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline.
Mercutio A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend. He shows up to the Capulet’s party with Romeo and Benvolio uninvited.
Nurse Juliet’s nurse, the woman who has cared for Juliet her entire life. A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches.
Paris A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet. He is in his early 20’s age wise.
Prince Escalus The Prince of Verona. A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris. As the seat of political power in Verona, he is concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs.
Balthasar Romeo’s dedicated servant.
Sampson and Gregory Two servants of the house of Capulet, who, like their master, hate the Montagues. In the beginning of the play, they successfully provoke some Montague men into a fight.
Abraham Montague’s servant, who fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene of the play.
Peter A Capulet servant who has the list of people invited to the party the Capulet’s are hosting.
Scene I
How did the quarrel between the Montagues and the Capulets begin? Sampson and Gregory bit their thumb (flipped them off) at Abram who is a Montague.
What literary device is used by Sampson and Gregory? An aside is used when Sampson asks if the law is on their side if he bit his thumb at Abraham and Balthasar.
Who are all the people involved in the fight between the two families? Montagues: Abraham, Balthasar, Benvolio, Montague, and Lady Montague.Capulets: Sampson, Gregory, Tybalt, Capulet, and Lady Capulet.
Who breaks up the fight and what does he threaten them with if they fight again? Prince Escalus disrupts the quarrel between the families and he threatens them with a death sentence if he sees any one else fighting between the two families.
Who are Montague and Lady Montague worried about because of his melancholy state? Romeo
Who talks to Romeo and tries to cheer him up? Benvolio
What has been troubling Romeo? Romeo has been sad because the love of his life Rosaline does not feel the same way about him. She has also sworn a life of chastity and will become a nun.
What does Benvolio try to say to Romeo? He tells him to forget about his love and look elsewhere at other women.
Scene II
Who does Capulet set up for marriage with Juliet? Paris. He is a kinsman of the Prince and does not have any true relation with either of the families.
How long does Capulet ask Paris to wait for marriage? He asks him to wait 2 years before he can marry Juliet.
Why does Capulet ask Paris to wait that long? Juliet is only 14 years old and he feels that Juliet is not quite ready for marriage.
Who tells Romeo and Benvolio they could come to the Capulet’s party? The servant Peter says they can come to the party. Peter is not aware that they are Montague’s and they were uninvited to the party.
Why does Benvolio want to take Romeo to the party? He sees Rosaline will be there and he wants to Romeo to see other women and compare Rosaline to them.
What are Romeo’s thoughts about this idea? He does not want to go initially, but he ends up agreeing because Rosaline will be in attendance.
Scene III
Who starts out this scene and what do they discuss? Juliet, Lady Capulet, and the Nurse begin this scene talking about Juliet’s future husband Paris.
What is the Nurse’s role in Juliet’s life? She is essentially Juliet’s nanny, and she is a mother figure for Juliet because Lady Capulet is not a very good mother and is somewhat distant with Juliet.
What does the Nurse do that is very odd and stupid? She rambles on and on about a lot of different things like: how her daughter died in an earthquake, how Juliet was almost like a daughter to her, and how Juliet as a child was an innocent accomplice to a sexual joke.
Why does the Nurse do this? The Nurse is very uneducated and she is different than most of the characters. She is also comic relief in the story.
What is Juliet’s response to Lady Capulet’s question about the thought of marriage? Juliet says that she has never thought about getting married.
What is Lady Capulet’s response to this? She said that Juliet should be getting married soon and that she had already gave birth to Juliet when she was 14 years old.
What does Lady Capulet tell Juliet about Paris? She says that Paris is very interested in Juliet and that she should think about marriage soon.
What is Juliet’s response to this? She says that she will look out for him at the party and she will determine if she loves him or not.
Scene IV:
Who are the three Montagues sneaking into the Capulet’s party? Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio.
How do they plan on sneaking into the party unnoticed? They will be wearing masks and arriving with a group of people that are also wearing masks to make themselves look like they were invited.
Who makes fun of Romeo for being depressed? Mercutio
What does Mercutio talk about in his long speech? Queen Mab of the fairies, who visits people’s dreams. The speech begins as a flight of fancy, but Mercutio becomes almost entranced by it, and a bitter, fervent strain creeps in.
Romeo steps in to stop the long speech but what does Mercutio say to him? Mercutio admits that he has been talking of nothing and notes that dreams are but “the children of an idle brain”
What is Romeo’s final concern? He has a feeling that the night’s activities will set in motion the action of fate, resulting in untimely death.
Scene V
How does the scene open? It opens with preparation of the party and the Capulet’s welcoming everyone to their home.
What is the first thing Romeo does at the party? He asks a servant who that lady is, which happens to be Juliet.
What does Romeo think about Juliet and Rosaline now? He says that he has never felt true love until this moment and Rosaline has vanished from his mind.
What is Tybalt’s inital reaction to Romeo being at their party? He wants to get his rapier and kill Romeo.
Who tells Tybalt that he should not do this? Capulet tells him this and he says that Romeo is highly regarded in Verona and that he needs to keep the peace of the party.
What does Tybalt promise? Tybalt vows that he will not let this indignity pass.
What is the conversation between Romeo and Juliet about? In a dialogue laced with religious metaphors that figure Juliet as a saint and Romeo as a pilgrim who wishes to erase his sin, he tries to convince her to kiss him, since it is only through her kiss that he might be absolved. Juliet agrees to remain still as Romeo kisses her. Thus, in the terms of their conversation, she takes his sin from him. Juliet then makes the logical leap that if she has taken Romeo’s sin from him, his sin must now reside in her lips, and so they must kiss again.
Who interrupts Romeo and Juliet’s conversation? The Nurse by telling Juliet that her mother, Lady Capulet, wants to speak with her.
What is Romeo’s reaction to finding out Juliet is the Capulet’s daughter? He is devastated because he had no idea that she was Capulet’s daughter.
Who does Juliet ask to find out who the kissed her at the party? The Nurse
What does the Nurse tell Juliet when she returns? The Nurse goes off and returns with the news that the man’s name is Romeo, and that he is a Montague.
Where is the setting of this story? Verona, Italy
How do intelligent people, most notably Romeo, speak in this story? They speak in iambic pentameter.