Detailed summary of Act 1 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet.
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The famous story of Romeo and Juliet starts in Verona, Italy. In this setting, there are two families, the Capulets and the Montagues, who hold a nasty rivalry filled with violence. Their feuds have been causing the rest of the city many problems, but there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.
Sampson and Gregory, two servants of the Capulet house are bad-mouthing the Montague family. While the two Capulets make sexually insulting remarks about the women of the Montague house, Gregory actually manages to spot out two montagues, on of them being Abram.
This triggering some tension in the streets. Sampson does something very unique here - he bites his thumb in front of Abram, which, in this story, is considered an insult.
Abram and Sampson continue to get worked up, comparing whose master is better, until Sampson dares the Montagues to pull out their swords, if they are men.
Benvolio, another Montague member, jumps into the scene and tries to get the fight to come to an end, but suddenly, Tybalt, another member of the Capulet house makes his entrance.
With all the commotion, Prince Escalus ends up in the scene.
The Prince successfully breaks up the brawl, but only by threatening to kill anyone who is caught breaking the peace. He exits the scene to have a word with Capulet, leaving only Montague, Lady Montague, and Benvolio in the scene.
Benvolio explains how the fight started to his Uncle, Montague. Lady Montague asks Benvolio if he’s seen Romeo, her son.
Apparently, early that morning Benvolio saw Romeo sulking around near the west end of the city. Montague comments on how his son has been seen there crying, many times, and only when the sun comes up, does he return home to get aw ay from the daylight.
Suddenly, they spot Romeo wandering around, and so Benvolio asks his uncle and aunt to give him some space, so he can try to find out what’s been causing Romeo’s recent negative behavior.
Romeo says that he’s been depressed lately because he has been having some love problems. Noticing some blood on the ground, he even attempts to say that love must be the reason for the fight that just erupted. And when Benvolio breaks up into tears because of how sad Romeo is, Romeo tries to blame Benvolio’s sadness on love as well. Romeo goes on for a bit longer describing what love is in a beautiful, but heartbreaking poem.
But Benvolio needs to know - who Romeo loves so much ?
And according to Romeo, it’s a girl who’s decided to stay a virgin forever, and will “not be hit With Cupid’s arrow.”
So, Benvolio does what any good friend (or cousin) would do and tells Romeo to forget about this girl. After all, there are so many other pretty girls out there! But Romeo says that looking at other girls will only remind him of the one he’s truly in love with, Rosaline. As the scene comes to a close, Benvolio promises that he’ll show Romeo how to forget about Rosaline.