Romeo and Juliet: Act 2

Act 2, scene 1

  • Romeo climbs over the orchard wall into the Capulets’ garden.
  • Mercutio and Benvolio try to find him but soon give up when he does not answer.

What do we learn in scene 1?

  • Mercutio wants Romeo to leave.
  • Romeo is taking a big risk going into the Capulet orchard and climbing their walls. He could be killed for being there.
  • Romeo still wants to see Juliet, even though he now knows she is a Capulet.

Act 2, scene 2

  • Juliet appears at her window/balcony, and Romeo watches her from below.
  • Romeo listens as she talks about him and eventually speaks to her. They tell each other that they love each other with Juliet asking him for marriage.
  • While they are talking the Nurse calls Juliet from inside which hurries their decision to meet the next day and get married.

What do we learn in scene 2?

  • Juliet and Romeo are in love and are willing to set aside family loyalty to be together.
  • Juliet pushes Romeo to make vows and promise to her that she can trust him.
  • They want to see each other again and to get married.

Act 2, scene 3

  • Friar Laurence is collecting herbs and plants that he uses for making medicines and potions.
  • Romeo joins him and tells him he wants to marry Juliet. At first, Friar Laurence is dismissive of Romeo’s request as it was only yesterday that he was talking about his love for Rosaline. However, he agrees, believing that the marriage might help end the feud between the two families.

What do we learn in scene 3?

  • Friar Laurence has an understanding of plants and herbs.
  • Friar Laurence has counseled Romeo against his infatuation of Rosaline and thinks his love for Juliet is the same.
  • Friar Laurence believes the marriage of Romeo and Juliet could end the family feud.

Act 2, scene 4

  • Mercutio and Benvolio are still looking for Romeo, who has not yet returned home. They reveal that Tybalt has challenged Romeo to a duel. Mercutio tells Benvolio that Tybalt is a very good swordsman.
  • Romeo arrives and is in a very good mood and the three friends tease each other.
  • The Nurse enters and asks to speak to Romeo. He tells her his intentions are true, and that Juliet should visit Friar Laurence that afternoon so they can marry.

What do we learn in scene 4?

  • Tybalt is a threat to Romeo. He is called a ‘captain of compliments’, referring to his studied ability with a sword. Other characters also call him the ‘Prince of Cats’ in the play. This is a reference to another fictional character, with a similar name, who was a quick-tempered fighter.
  • Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio are very good friends who know each other very well.
  • The Nurse does not want Juliet to be hurt by Romeo but is willing to help them.

Act 2, scene 5

  • Juliet is waiting for the Nurse to return with news of Romeo’s proposal.
  • She is even more irritated by the Nurse’s unwillingness to tell her the news when she comes back from meeting with Romeo.
  • The Nurse tells Juliet to visit Friar Laurence where she’ll be married.

What do we learn in scene 5?

  • Juliet is very impatient while she waits for the Nurse’s news.
  • The Nurse teases Juliet and deliberately holds back the news Juliet wants most.
  • The Nurse and Juliet have a strong and warm relationship.

Act 2, scene 6

  • Romeo and Juliet meet in secret at Friar Laurence’s cell with the Friar blessing them.
  • They exit together to get married off stage.

What do we learn in scene 6?

  • Romeo and Juliet are now married.
  • Friar Laurence is their ally and the only person, apart from the Nurse, who knows they are married.

Why is Act 2 important?

  • Act 2 is important because it is where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and are married – helped by the Friar and the Nurse. How willing are the Friar and the Nurse to help the young couple? How do you think they feel about the match and why do they help?

Ms. Gumbs English Literature OCS 2019-2020