Act 1, Scene 1

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The Montagues and the Capulets squabble on the streets of Verona.

Summary

A brief prologue in the form of a sonnet tells us that we’re about to spend two hours watching a “star-crossed” love story that ends in death, but also reconciliation between the two conflicting houses to which the lovers belonged. Two men from the house of Capulet—Gregory and Samson—pick a fight with a few Montague men. Benvolio, a Montague man, tries to break it up, but his efforts aren’t exactly successful when Tybalt, a feisty Capulet, arrives to fuel the fire. The fight finally breaks up upon the arrival of the prince of Verona, Prince Escalus. Once the fight has broken up, Montague and Lady Montague ask about their son Romeo. Benvolio tells them that he has seen Romeo moping around in a bit of a stupor. After they leave, Romeo arrives to tell Benvolio why he’s really in a funk: he’s in love with a woman who does not love him back.

 

Character Interview: Montagues & Capulets

MyShakespeare | Romeo & Juliet 1.1 Interview with the Montagues and Capulets

 

Character Interview: Romeo

MyShakespeare | Romeo & Juliet 1.1 Interview with Romeo