Romeo and Juliet: Novel Summary: Act I, Scene 2-Act I, Scene 3

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Act I, Scene 2: Capulet discusses the Prince's proclamation with Paris, saying that he doubts that old men such as himself and Montague will have trouble refraining from fighting (though he was quick to jump to fighting just moments before).  Paris agrees quickly and turns the subject to the young daughter of Capulet, Juliet.  Paris hopes to marry Juliet though Capulet feels that she is too young.  He is reluctant to give up his only living child.  Juliet is Capulet's sole inheritor and responsible for carrying on his bloodline.  If she is harmed by marriage (having children too young), Capulet will have no one to continue the family.  Eventually, displaying the inconsistent mood shifting that he continues throughout the play, he gives Paris permission to attempt to win the consent of Juliet herself.  He then instructs a servant to take a list of names and invite those people to a gathering at the Capulet house.  Capulet and Paris exit, leaving the poor illiterate servant alone, wondering how he will decipher the list.  Romeo and Benvolio happen upon the servant as they continue to discuss Romeo's plight.  The servant, not recognizing the Montagues, enlists Romeo's help to read his list.  On the list is the name of Rosaline, the girl for whom Romeo pines.  Benvolio advises Romeo to go to Capulet's dinner and let him compare Rosaline to other women so he can see that she is not all that he had built her up to be.  Romeo agrees to attend but maintains that no one will outshine Rosaline. 
Act I, Scene 3: Scene 3 opens in a room in the Capulet house.  Capulet's wife has the Nurse call for Juliet.  The Nurse reminisces about Juliet's childhood.  The Nurse's own daughter, Susan, shared a birthday with Juliet but died.  The Nurse speculates that Susan was too good for her, much as Juliet will prove to be too good for the Capulets (losing her life because the families will not reconcile).  Juliet's mother wishes to discuss marriage with Juliet, priming her for Paris' suit.  Juliet has not thought of marriage, being only 13.  Her mother tells her that she was a mother by the time she was Juliet's age and then alerts her to Paris' interest.  Juliet replies that she will behave in accordance with her parents' wishes.  If they are happy with Paris as the choice for her husband, she will marry him, but does not express personal acceptance of the man. 

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