How do Romeo and Juliet react to each other when they meet at the party in Romeo and Juliet?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Romeo and Juliet meet, it is love at first sight. As the enotes summary notes "Romeo sees Juliet for the first time and falls instantly in love. His tortured love for Rosaline has been replaced with a blissful love for Juliet" (enotes summary Act I, Scenes 3-5).

Romeo spots Juliet at the party, but has no idea who she is.  He asks someone, and meanwhile is completely enchanted.

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night

Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear—

Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! (Act I, Scene 5, enotes etext pdf p. 31)

Juliet seems to be just as interested in Romeo.  When he suggests that his hand is unworthy to touch her, she responds in an even more alluring way.

Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,

Which mannerly devotion shows in this;

For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,

And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.(105) (p. 32)

It is Juliet, then, who first brings up kissing!  They kiss, and Juliet is called away.  Romeo asks Nurse who she is and is heartbroken with the answer.

Is she a Capulet?(125)

O dear account! my life is my foe's debt. (p. 33)

Juliet is a little more coy, asking Nurse about several young men before getting to Romeo, so Nurse will not know who she is really interested in.  When she learns he is a Montague, she is equally distressed.

My only love, sprung from my only hate!

Too early seen unknown, and known too late! (p. 34)

Yet Romeo and Juliet both take little heed to their situation.  In the next Act, they are together again despite the danger.  Clearly love at first sight trumps common sense!

For the full text:

For a summary of the scene:

Citation: Enotes. "Romeo and Juliet." Web. 14 May 2012. <>.