The play opens with two servants from the house of Capulet talking about their hatred of the Montagues. They meet two servants from the house of Montague and a fight breaks out. Benvolio tries to stop the fight but when Tybalt arrives things get worse.
The Chorus explains that Romeo has traded his old desire for a new affection and that Juliet has also fallen in love. Though their secret romance puts Romeo and Juliet at risk, their passion drives them to meet, regardless of the danger.
In Capulet’s house, Juliet longs for night to fall so that Romeo will come to her “untalked of and unseen”. Suddenly the Nurse rushes in with news of the fight between Romeo and Tybalt. But the Nurse is so distraught, she stumbles over the words, making it sound as if Romeo is dead.
In his cell, Friar Lawrence speaks with Paris about the latter’s impending marriage to Juliet. Paris says that Juliet’s grief about Tybalt’s death has made her unbalanced and that Capulet, in his wisdom, has determined they should marry soon so that Juliet can stop crying and put an end to her period of mourning.
On Wednesday morning, on a street in Mantua, a cheerful Romeo describes a wonderful dream he had the night before: Juliet found him lying dead, but she kissed him and breathed new life into his body. Just then, Balthasar enters, and Romeo greets him happily,