ONCE UPON A TIME…
Act 1: Scene 1:
The story begins in the markets of Verona, Italy. Three servants from the Capulet’s family seek to stir trouble in the markets, and find their pick as they see servants from the Montague’s family. Capulet’s servants first “bite their thumb” at the servants from Montague. Biting their thumb was like sticking your middle finger up back in those days. The Capulet servants say they did not intend to “bite their thumb”, but later on stir trouble by knocking over women with children. Montague’s servants are outraged by this, and start to fight and wrestle with the Capulet servants. This breaks out into a full on fight, between Montague and Capulet. Benvolio, Romeo Montague’s cousin, tries to settle peace between these servants, but Tybalt Capulet, Juliet’s cousin, does not wield and the fight continues.
Soon word had reached to Romeo’s father and to Juliet’s father. Both have the urge to join the fight, even when their wives insist not to. Before they can join the fight, Prince Escalus of Verona comes and stops the fight, shaming both families. Later on, Romeo’s mother questions where Romeo’s whereabouts are, and Benevolio says he can go track on why Romeo is acting strangely these days. But Romeo refuses to tell, stomping off.
Act 1: Scene 2:
In this scene, Paris is discussing matters with Juliet’s father, Lord Capulet. Abruptly, Paris asks for Juliet’s hand for marriage, and Lord Capulet does not seem that sure. He hesitates before he answers, saying that Juliet has not even reached her 14th birthday. Lord Capulet says she is a bit young for marriage, but then encourages Paris to speak to her. Lord Capulet says that Paris has to “persuade” Juliet to marry her
Act 1: Scene 3:
In this scene, Juliet’s mother, Lady Capulet, is calling for Juliet to discuss urgent matters. They speak in privacy with Juliet’s wet nurse. Lady Capulet is about to tell Juliet about Paris proposing to her, but Juliet’s nurse interrupts and goes on and on about how cute and excellent Juliet was as a baby. She does so until they arrive at the subject of marriage and Lady Capulet intercepts in, talking about Paris’s proposal. Juliet is stunned, and her nurse encourages her fully to take on Paris’s hand. Just then, Lady Capulet was called to the ball since the guests were coming, and Lady Capulet asks if Juliet can love Paris.
Act 1: Scene 4:
In this scene, Romeo is seen with Mercutio and others. Mercutio wants Romeo to join the ball, but Romeo is uncertain because of a dream he had. Mercutio makes fun of Romeo, saying he also had a dream that often dreamers tell lies. Mercutio goes off making stories about “Queen Mab” on which he claims Romeo has dreamt of. In the end, Mercutio falters, since he does not know what lies ahead for his story. Romeo speaks softly and says Mercutio should stop, for all he is saying are dreams. Afterwards, Mercutio and his friends skip away to the ball, leaving Romeo behind. Romeo hesitates. People are pressuring him to join the ball, but he has a strong urge because he feels as if there is something foul that will happen in the ball.
Act 1: Scene 5:
In this scene, Romeo enters the masquerade ball. He enters with his friend, Mercutio. They dance and sing with those in masks, until Romeo sees Juliet. Juliet is dancing with another, but Romeo has his eyes on her. He thinks that Juliet is the definition of true beauty. Later, Juliet sees Romeo. She cannot see his face, since he’s wearing a mask. But she does seem him constantly staring at her. So after the dance, when the others are listening to someone sing, Romeo seeks to find Juliet, while Juliet seeks to find Romeo. They both hide behind the crowds of those who are listening to the singing, and finally Romeo sees Juliet at the same time Juliet sees Romeo. Romeo takes Juliet’s hand and asks for a kiss. Juliet sees Romeo’s actual face, and falls all over him. They kiss twice, but then Juliet’s mother calls for her, so she departs. Later, Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capulet, and Juliet finds out that Romeo is a Montague. They are both stunned to find out they have fallen in love with their enemy
Act 2: Scene 1:
This scene takes place after the ball. Romeo decides to turn back, and runs away from his friends. While they are stumbling around like drunken folk, calling for Romeo, Romeo climbs the garden wall over to Juliet’s house. His friends leave, thinking Romeo has also left. Romeo sees that he has entered the walls of Juliet’s house.
Act 2: Scene 2:
In this scene, Romeo sees Juliet at her balcony from the garden. Romeo hears Juliet talking to the stars, about how dearly she loves Romeo. Juliet prays that Romeo can change his name, so that they can love freely without the bonds of hate between their families. Romeo hears this and surprises Juliet by promising to change his name. Juliet is thrilled at first, to see Romeo and his familiar voice. But she is wary and thinks Romeo is a spy, a replacement. Romeo promises it is him by pledging his love to her. Both are thrilled by each other’s company, until Juliet hears her nurse calling her. She tells Romeo to stay, but Romeo asks if she will leave him unsatisfied. Romeo asks for Juliet’s hand, proposing for a marriage, and Juliet undoubtedly agrees. Then for a moment, Juliet is gone. Romeo is empty without her presence, and Juliet hears his pledges of love to her. But not long after they start kissing, Juliet is called away again. They promise a time to meet up again, at 9 in the morning the next day. Then Juliet leaves.
Act 2: Scene 3:
In this scene, Friar Laurence is seen picking herbs when Romeo appears beside him. Romeo asks if Friar Laurence can marry him and Juliet, and Friar Laurence is taken back by Romeo’s sudden abruptness in romantic interest. He scolds Romeo about not long ago looking forlorn about Rosaline’s decline, and the sudden change to Juliet. Romeo chases Friar Laurence all the way to the church, until Friar Laurence sees the Christ cross and decides that if Romeo and Juliet marry, it might as well heal the hatred between two families. So he agrees to marry the star crossed lovers.
Act 2: Scene 4:
In this scene, Mercutio is wondering where Romeo is, since he disappeared last night. Benevolio says that Tybalt Capulet has set out a challenge to kill Romeo. Mercutio simply says Tybalt is a killer in the soul. After they set out on the streets, they see Romeo and the three of them joke about love. When Juliet’s nurse comes along to pass Romeo a message, Mercutio makes fun and mocks the nurse, teasing her until she is infuriated. The nurse and Romeo enter the church, with the nurse cursing all the way, and the nurse informs Romeo of the time and location of the marriage. The nurse is thrilled to hear that Romeo has pledged himself to Juliet, and happily talks about how cute Juliet was as a baby.
Act 2: Scene 5:
In this scene, Juliet is anxious on her nurses’ return. When the nurse finally does come, she takes her time to explain to Juliet. Juliet is impatient and angry, yet interested to see what news the nurse has come back with. The nurse mocks and teases Juliet, changing subjects until she spills the news. The nurse says Juliet must go to Friar Laurence’s church to be married to Romeo. Juliet bounds of happily to meet Romeo.
Act 2: Scene 6:
In this scene, Romeo is seen talking with Friar Laurence. Friar Laurence warns Romeo to love Juliet only moderately, for consequences could be severe. Then Juliet arrives, and the star crossed lovers tell each other how much they love each other, with Friar Laurence trying to separate them from too much kissing. Then Friar Laurence takes both to the church and up the steps to the altar, where the two are ready to be married.
Act 3: Scene 1:
In this scene, Romeo and Juliet are already married. Mercutio is with Benevolio, joking and teasing each other. Benevolio says do not mess with the Capulets, but Mercutio argues that Benevolio is just as good of a fighter as Mercutio is. Then the Capulets arrive, along with Tybalt. Tybalt is searching for Romeo, and Mercutio pretends to be all silly. Just at the right time, Romeo arrives at the scene, and Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel. Romeo declines, for he doesn’t want to feud with Juliet’s cousin. But Mercutio steps up, and challenges Tybalt. Tybalt agrees, and they duel all the while laughing. It is not known to the public, only to Mercutio and Tybalt, that Tybalt has wounded Mercutio, a fatal blow in the chest. In fear, Tybalt flees. Mercutio pretends he defeated the Capulets, and jokes around with the public. Mercutio tells Romeo that he is wounded, just before he dies. Romeo is shamed, angered and chases after Tybalt. Romeo and Tybalt duel, until Romeo manages to kill Tybalt before fleeing. Now the Capulet family is angered.
Act 3: Scene 2:
In this scene, Juliet and her nurse are mourning over Tybalt’s death. At first, Juliet blames Romeo, but then sides with Romeo and defends him, saying that if Romeo had not killed Tybalt, then Tybalt would have killed Romeo. It shifts to where the Montagues and the Capulets bring both their dead to the Prince, where Lady Capulet wants Romeo killed. But Benevolio tells the truth to the Prince, and the Prince decides to just exile Romeo. Then at Friar Laurence’s house, Romeo is throwing a tantrum. Juliet’s nurse comes and asks for Romeo’s presence at Juliet’s home, while Friar Laurence tries to calm Romeo. At one point, Romeo wants to kill himself, but Friar Laurence stops him. After that, Romeo had one last night with Juliet before he was exiled to Manuta, leaving Juliet by herself.
Act 3: Scene 3:
In this scene, Juliet is crying over Romeo’s exile. Lady Capulet first thinks Juliet is crying over Tybalt’s death, but then thinks that she’s crying because no revenge has been brought out yet over Tybalt’s death. Lady Capulet then thinks that the news of Paris proposing to Juliet will cheer her up, but instead Juliet promptly refuses. Lady Capulet tells this to her husband, and Capulet is so infuriated that he says if Juliet refuses to marry Paris, then she will be banished from the Capulet family. Juliet is desperate. She seeks for her nurses’ advice, but the nurse agrees that Juliet must marry Paris, and has turned against Romeo. Juliet pretends to listen to the nurses’ advice, but instead seeks Friar Laurence’s advice. Then if Friar Laurence agrees that Juliet must marry Paris, then Juliet will commit suicide.
Act 4: Scene 1:
In this scene, Paris is talking to Friar Laurence about Juliet when Juliet appears, anxious to speak with Friar Laurence. Paris sees Juliet, and teases her, wanting to develop some affection and response. Juliet pledges to talk with Friar Laurence alone, and Paris leaves, thinking Juliet will marry him. Juliet begs Friar Laurence for some sort of plan, because she would rather die than marry Paris. Friar Laurence stops Juliet before she suicides, he says something has sparked a hope. Friar Laurence tells Juliet to drink this vial of drug, which will make Juliet appear dead, but actually awake for 42 hours. In the meantime, Friar Laurence will write letters to Romeo, and Romeo will come back to “rescue” Juliet when she wakes. Juliet happily agrees to this plan.
Act 4: Scene 2:
In this scene, Juliet tells her father that she agrees to marry Paris. Her father is so happy that he decides to move the wedding to Wednesday. Juliet then persuades her mother and nurse to leave her alone, then dreads over how many things can go wrong with drinking the vial of poison. But she decides that it’s better than marrying Paris, so she drinks the vial of poison from Friar Laurence.
Act 4: Scene 3:
In this scene, Friar Laurence is seen giving a letter for Romeo to a monk who will pass by Manuta. Juliet’s nurse tries to wake Juliet, but fails and realises that Juliet is “dead”. The Capulet family runs wild with Juliet’s death, especially Lady Capulet and Juliet’s nurse. The funeral proceeds, but Romeo’s servant, Balthasar, sees that Juliet is dead, and quickly rides on a horse to tell Romeo. On the way, Balthasar passes by the monk with the message.
Act 5: Scene 1:
In this scene, Balthasar tells Romeo that Juliet is dead. Romeo rushes back to Verona, passing the monk with the message on the way. Romeo passes by the apothecary on the way, determined to die along with Juliet. Romeo tells Balthasar to leave, live his own life and prosper, while Romeo enters Juliet’s grave to die beside her.
Act 5: Scene 2:
In this final scene, Romeo enters the grave of the Capulets. Romeo sees Tybalt, and pleads for forgiveness. The Romeo spots Juliet, and mourns deeply for her death. He tells her how much he loves her, then drinks the vial of poison from the apothecary, thus dead. A few moments later, Friar Laurence comes to visit the grave, where Balthasar is outside waiting anxiously for Romeo. Balthasar’s words about Romeo chills Friar Laurence, but he goes in anyway. There, he spots Romeo’s corpse. Grieving, Friar Laurence doesn’t notice that Juliet is waking until she makes a sound. When Juliet asks where Romeo is, Friar Laurence avoids the question and flees because of the noise above the grave. When Juliet sees Romeo’s dead body, she wails and weeps for Romeo. In the end, she uses Romeo’s dagger to end her own misery, joining Romeo in death.
In the end, the Prince of Verona banished both families, blaming the Montagues and Capulets for Romeo and Juliet’s death. Both went their separate ways, enemies still to the very day. But what they both had in common was the tale of tragic Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo and Juliet Visual Literacy Picture: