Summary and Detailed Notes for Act 2 of Romeo and Juliet
Brief Summary of Act 2
Romeo and Juliet’s Love:
Romeo and Juliet’s love is complicated by their families’ feud. They must sneak around to meet and are unable to freely express their love. Romeo and Juliet exchange poetic declarations of love, with Romeo expressing his admiration of Juliet’s beauty and comparing her to the sun. Juliet asks Romeo to deny his name and they declare their love despite the feud between their families. Romeo is hesitant but eventually agrees. Romeo and Juliet profess their love and Romeo swears his love by the moon. Juliet warns against swearing by the inconstant moon. Romeo and Juliet discuss their love and Romeo asks Juliet to exchange vows. Juliet agrees and they plan to marry the next day.
Friar Lawrence collects plants and talks about their powerful qualities. Romeo tells Friar Lawrence that he is in love with Capulet’s daughter and asks him to marry them that day. Friar Lawrence questions Romeo’s love for Rosaline, but Romeo assures him of his love for Juliet.
Mercutio and the Nurse:
Benvolio informs Mercutio of a challenge from Tybalt. Mercutio boasts about Tybalt’s fighting skills, while also mocking the affectations of fashionable society. Romeo enters and is teased by Mercutio. A conversation between Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio involves wordplay and jokes, interrupted by the entrance of the Nurse.
The Nurse Inquires About Romeo’s Whereabouts
The Nurse comes looking for Romeo, and he appears with a witty remark.
The Nurse Questions Mercutio
Mercutio and Benvolio join the scene and the Nurse questions Mercutio.
Romeo and Juliet Make Plans for Marriage
The Nurse delivers the message from Juliet to Romeo, regarding their desire for marriage. The Nurse warns Romeo not to deceive Juliet and they make plans for their marriage.
Juliet Worries About the Nurse’s Delay
Juliet waits for the Nurse’s return, becoming increasingly worried about the delay.
The Nurse Delivers a Conflicting Opinion
The Nurse arrives, out of breath and weary, and delivers a conflicting opinion of Romeo to Juliet. Despite claiming that Romeo is not the man for Juliet, the Nurse still delivers Romeo’s message and urges Juliet to marry him.
Juliet Seeks Friar Lawrence’s Help
The Nurse complains of physical ailments and tells Juliet to go to Friar Lawrence for help.
Warnings from Friar Lawrence
Romeo and Juliet express their love for each other, but Friar Lawrence warns them of the dangers of passion.
Planning for Marriage Continues
Despite the warning, the couple proceeds with their plans to marry
Detailed Notes on Act 2
Analysis of Act 2, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet
•The Chorus sets the scene by explaining how Romeo is now in love with Juliet instead of Rosaline, but their families’ feud presents obstacles for their love to bloom.
•Romeo expresses his longing for Juliet, lamenting how he cannot move on from his love for her.
•Benvolio and Mercutio enter and attempt to find Romeo, who has snuck away to see Juliet.
•Mercutio playfully invokes Romeo’s name in hopes of finding him, while Benvolio warns him that he may anger Romeo.
•Mercutio reasons that his invocation is harmless and calls on Romeo to appear in the likeness of a sigh.
•Benvolio suggests they search among the trees, where Romeo is hiding to see Juliet.
•Act 2, Scene 1 sets the stage for Romeo and Juliet’s forbidden love and introduces the comic relief character of Mercutio.
Analysis of Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene 2
•Mercutio criticizes Romeo’s love for being blind and unfit for the night.
•Romeo wishes that Juliet were near him and compares her to the sun while expressing his love for her.
•Juliet speaks alone on her balcony as Romeo overhears her.
•Romeo admires her beauty, wishing he could touch her cheek, and praises her as an angel of the night.
•Juliet responds with a sigh, and Romeo continues to express his love for her.
•They exchange vows of love and make plans to be together despite the feud between their families.
A conversation between Romeo and Juliet in Act 2, Scene 2.
•Romeo compares himself to a winged messenger of heaven.
•Juliet wishes Romeo would deny his name and not be a Montague.
•Romeo responds that he will take Juliet at her word and be new baptized.
•Juliet wants to know if Romeo is a Montague, to which he responds that his name is hateful to him because it is an enemy to her.
•Romeo climbed over the orchard walls with love’s light wings.
•Juliet fears Romeo will be murdered by her kinsmen if they find him.
•Romeo believes her eyes are more dangerous than any sword.
The Convergence of Romeo and Juliet’s Love Passion in Act 2 Scene 2
•Juliet wants Romeo to leave before he’s seen by her kinsmen.
•Romeo tells Juliet he is not afraid to be seen because he’s hidden under night’s cloak.
•Romeo says he would rather die than be without Juliet’s love.
•Romeo reveals he found the place because of his love and borrowed counsel from it.
•Juliet confirms her love, but fears that Romeo may be fickle.
•Romeo swears his love to Juliet by the moon, but she cautions him against it.
•Romeo eventually swears by himself, and Juliet accepts him.
•Juliet is content but feels that the love is too sudden and inexperienced.
•The scene ends with both characters hoping that their love will blossom into a beautiful flower.
Romeo and Juliet’s exchange of vows
•Romeo and Juliet express their love and desire to exchange vows.
•Juliet offers her love’s faithful vow for Romeo’s.
•Juliet expresses her boundless love and willingness to follow Romeo anywhere.
•Juliet agrees to marry Romeo if his love is honorable and sends word through a trusted source.
•Romeo expresses his fear that their exchange is just a dream.
•Juliet offers to lay all her fortunes at Romeo’s feet and follow him.
•Romeo and Juliet say goodbye and plan to reunite tomorrow.
•Juliet calls out to Romeo and expresses her desire for his return.
•Romeo and Juliet express their love as Romeo departs.
Analysis of Scene 2 and Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet
•Romeo and Juliet exchange sweet words of romance in Act 2, Scene 2.
•Juliet is keen to know if Romeo will visit her tomorrow, to which he replies affirmatively.
•Juliet assures Romeo that she will not forget to meet him and admits her affection for him.
•Romeo wishes to stay close to Juliet, but she insists that he leaves before dawn.
•Juliet draws a poetic comparison between her love and the liberty of a bird while Romeo expresses the desire to be Juliet’s bird.
•The scene closes with Romeo and Juliet bidding each other goodnight in a sorrowful tone.
•Act 2, Scene 3 consists of Friar Lawrence soliloquizing with a basket filled with herbs and flowers.
•The friar praises the beauty of nature and mentions the different virtues of plants, herbs, and stones, emphasizing their powerful grace.
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 3
•Shakespeare writes that everything on Earth serves a purpose, good and evil, and virtue can become vice if misapplied.
•Romeo enters, greeted by Friar Lawrence, who questions his early morning visit.
•The Friar suspects Romeo’s lack of sleep is caused by a broken heart from his past love interest, Rosaline.
•However, Romeo reveals that he now loves Juliet and seeks the Friar’s help to marry her.
•The Friar advises Romeo to be plain and honest about his intentions.
•Romeo promises to tell the story of his love for Juliet and asks the Friar to marry them that day.
Analysis of Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 3 & 4
•Friar Lawrence criticizes Romeo for forgetting about Rosaline so soon, stating that young men’s love is not genuine but based on physical attraction.
•Romeo defends his love for Juliet and states that it is mutual, unlike his unrequited love for Rosaline.
•Friar Lawrence agrees to marry them in hopes of ending their families’ feud.
•Benvolio informs Mercutio that Romeo did not return home, and Mercutio blames it on Romeo’s previous infatuation with Rosaline.
•Benvolio reveals that Tybalt has challenged Romeo to a duel, and Mercutio mocks him for his love-sickness, calling him “already dead.”
Mercutio’s Description of Tybalt and Romeo’s Encounter
•Mercutio describes Tybalt as a skilled fighter and a gentleman of the highest social status.
•He mocks the new fashion trends and accents of the time.
•Romeo enters the scene and Mercutio continues his mocking humor, making fun of Romeo’s lovesick state.
•Romeo asks about the slip he gave them, but Mercutio jokes and misunderstands his words.
•The banter between Mercutio and Romeo exemplifies their friendship and Mercutio’s wit, setting the tone for later events in the play.
Humorous exchange between Romeo and Mercutio
•Romeo and Mercutio exchange witty banter in Act 2, Scene 4.
•Mercutio engages in puns and wordplay, such as calling a flower “pink forflower.”
•Romeo and Mercutio mock each other’s wit and intelligence, with Mercutio claiming Romeo has more of the “wild goose” in him.
•The Nurse and Peter enter, and Mercutio continues his playful banter with the Nurse.
•Mercutio jokes about the Nurse’s fan being her “fairer face,” and the Nurse is offended by his comments.
•The humorous exchange provides a light-hearted moment amidst the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet.
Dialogue between Juliet’s Nurse, Romeo and Mercutio
•Nurse agrees with a statement that a gentleman made about himself being the cause of his misfortune.
•Nurse asks for Romeo’s whereabouts, and he jokingly replies that he will be older by the time they locate him.
•Benvolio suggests that the Nurse invites Romeo for dinner.
•Mercutio makes witty remarks and sings a song about hare meat.
•The group plans to go to Romeo’s father’s house for dinner.
•Nurse asks Romeo about a man who insulted her, and he dismisses him as someone who loves to hear himself talk.
•Nurse threatens to take action against anyone who insults her.
•Peter, a servant, defends Nurse and boasts about his ability to fight.
Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 4
•The Nurse is vexed and scolds Romeo, warning him not to deceive Juliet.
•Romeo asks the Nurse to tell Juliet to come to Friar Lawrence’s cell to be married and shrived.
•Romeo gives the Nurse money as compensation for her efforts and trustworthiness.
•The Nurse refuses the money but agrees to bring Juliet to the cell that afternoon.
•Romeo also asks the Nurse to wait behind the abbey wall for his man, who will bring cords to help him reach Juliet’s window.
•The Nurse praises Juliet’s beauty and reveals that Paris is interested in her, but Juliet is not interested in him.
Analysis of Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 5
•Juliet waits for Nurse after sending her to meet Romeo, feeling anxious and worried as the promised time has passed. (Lines 200-207)
•She imagines Love’s heralds should be swift thoughts, and questions why Nurse is late when she has breath to say she’s out of breath. (Lines 208-217, 29-30)
•Nurse arrives breathless and tired, delaying her news. (Lines 226-230)
•Despite Juliet’s urgency, Nurse complains of aching bones and exhaustion, frustrating the anxious Juliet. (Lines 232-243)
•Juliet’s anxiety grows as Nurse delays speaking, leading her to question why Nurse is so hesitant. (Lines 243-247)
Dramatic Exchange between Friar Lawrence, Romeo, and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet
•Friar Lawrence and Romeo express their joy in the hope that the heavens will bless their union, and Romeo asserts that love is worth any sorrow that may come their way.
•Friar Lawrence cautions that love can be dangerous and that sudden passion can end in violence.
•Romeo compares the intensity of their love to a consuming fire, while Friar Lawrence warns that passion unchecked can lead to destruction.
•Juliet enters, and Romeo and Friar Lawrence exchange pleasantries about her arrival.
•Romeo expresses admiration for Juliet’s beauty and suggests that they share their happiness with the world.
•Juliet responds gracefully, expressing equal admiration for Romeo and sweetly acknowledging Friar Lawrence.
•Friar Lawrence agrees to assist the young couple in their union, stating that they will not be left alone until they are joined in Holy Matrimony.
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