The scene starts out with Paris and Lord Capulet talking about Juliet and whether or not she should marry Paris. Paris wants to marry her, but Capulet is not quite sure she is old enough. Paris counters that girls younger than Juliet are already mothers, and Capulet, though slightly annoyed by the comment, invites Paris to his large feast that evening to meet Juliet. Capulet likes Paris and he believes that Juliet will do whatever he asks of her in this situation. Capulet hands an invitation list to a servant so he can invite them to the party later, but Capulet doesn't know that the servant can't read. Capulet and Paris leave the servant to his task.
The servant, perplexed because he can't read the list and doesn't want to get beaten for not performing his job, decides to ask someone for help. He sees Romeo and Benvolio and goes to ask them, not knowing that they are the enemies of the Capulets. Romeo verbally plays with the ignorant servant, but he stops when he realizes that the servant thinks everything he says is true. Romeo reads the list for the servant and Romeo sees that Rosaline, his "true" love, is on the list for the party. Benvolio, Romeo's cousin who has been consoling Romeo over Rosaline (she spurned Romeo's advances and Benvolio thinks that Romeo should go after other girls to forget about her), thinks that the party will be the perfect diversion for sad Romeo. The servant, still unaware of who Romeo and Benvolio are, invite them to the feast for helping him, as long as they aren't Montagues (Romeo's last name). The servant leaves them, happy that he knows the people on the list.
Romeo and Benvolio discuss this odd chance meeting, and they decide to attend the party. Benvolio promises Romeo that there will be many girls there who will make Rosaline look positively ugly, and Romeo argues back that no one could be better than Rosaline.