Summary

Capulet and Paris discuss whether Juliet is old enough to marry. Paris wants to marry her, but Capulet believes it’s better to wait, since Juliet is still only thirteen years old.

Romeo and Benvolio meet a servant of the Capulets, who is going around town delivering invitations to the Capulet party that night. Romeo, being a Montague, would not be invited, but Benvolio points out that Rosaline, whom Romeo loves, will be there. Benvolio suggests that Romeo should go to the feast, where he can see Rosaline alongside other Verona beauties, but Romeo swears that no one can compare with her.

Enter

To come on stage.

Verona

The city of Verona, in Italy.

of the house of Capulet

These two men belong to the household of Capulet. They could be relatives of the Capulets, or noblemen, or even servants; the important thing to remember is that they are loyal to the house of Capulet, and will even fight to the death to defend its honor. The same can be said of the men of the house of Montague, of course, whom we will meet shortly.

The houses of Capulet and Montague have been feuding for years. There is no end in sight to their quarrel.

Bucklers

Small round shields, up to 18 inches in diameter. The men are equipped for fighting.

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Aside

In an aside, the character speaks privately to himself for a moment, or directly to the audience, or privately to some (but not all) of the other characters present.

As a matter of convention, an aside is always a true statement of what the character thinks. A character speaking in an aside may be mistaken, but may not be dishonest.

An aside (again as a matter of convention) cannot be heard by those not spoken to.

Exeunt

Latin, literally “they leave.” Everyone leaves the stage.

Pronounced EX-ee-uhnt.

Exit

The character leaves the stage.