Key Plot Points

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The Opening Sonnet: This outlines the entire plot of the play and “spoils” the ending. This enhances the play’s theme of doomed, short-lived love being the most pure form of love. It also makes the play more about the audience’s reaction to events. In other words, it asks why an audience would root for a couple that they know is doomed. 

Act 1, Scene 5: When Romeo and Juliet meet each other in this scene, they speak a perfect sonnet to each other—each character contributing to the sonnet line by line. This symbolizes that the couple is a perfect match. 

Act 2, Scene 2: This famous balcony scene can be interpreted as Juliet’s trying to teach Romeo how to love her. Romeo is full of romanticized language and hyperbolic perceptions of love. Juliet consistently interrupts and corrects Romeo’s language. 

Act 3, Scene 1: This is the turning point of the play. With the death of Mercutio, the play transitions from a comedy to a tragedy. 

Act 5, Scene 3: In this scene, the families react to their children’s deaths. They begin talking about building monuments to the deceased and end their feud. 

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