What problem does the servant have in Romeo and Juliet?I'm reading Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare in my English 1 class and I do not get any of it.

Expert Answers
sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The key to reading Shakespeare is to take the text sentence by sentence.  Don't try to lump together a whole speech and then figure it out.  Slow it down.  The more you do it, the easier it will get.  In regards to the servant, here is what he says:

Good day.—Please tell me, sir, can you read?

He is addressing Romeo here.  Romeo teases him about it, but the servant again asks, "can you read?"

From this question, we can assume that the servant's problem is that he can't read.  Romeo does it for him, and reads a list of people that the servant are supposed to go to and invite to a party at the Capulets.  This is how the servant describes it:

My master is the great rich Capulet; and if you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine. Rest you merry!

The first part is simple:  "My master is Capulet."  The second part says: "if you are not a Montague, come and drink."  The last part is a traditional parting phrase, like goodbye.  "Rest you merry" is the same as "be merry" or "be happy" or "have a nice day."

megann09 | Student

The servant cannot read!

7th grader who loves Shakespeare ;-)