At the Capulet home, Capulet is busy hastily sending his servingmen on errands in preparation for Juliet’s wedding while Lady Capulet stands by. He sends one out to go around town inviting the guests and another to find a cook who will make the food. He asks Juliet’s nurse where Juliet is, and the nurse tells him she’s at Friar Laurence’s. Capulet says he hopes the friar can “do some good” on the “peevish self-willed harlot.”
Even as Capulet bustles about making arrangements for his daughter’s wedding, he holds vile resentment and disrespect for her in his heart. The wedding is not really for Juliet’s happiness—it’s all for Capulet’s personal advancement and gain.
Juliet enters. Capulet asks her where she’s been, and she tells her father that she has been repenting for the sin of her disobedience. In obsequious, beseeching terms, she begs her father’s forgiveness, even falling to her knees as she promises to be “ruled” by him forevermore. She tells her father that she saw Paris at Friar Laurence’s cell and has promised herself to him. Capulet asks for one of his men to go fetch the friar and bring him to the mansion so that Capulet can give him proper thanks.
Juliet knows that what her father wants is total loyalty and fealty. He doesn’t respect Juliet, but Juliet is expected to respect him, and she preys upon this fact as she seeks to make things right with her family so that she can do what needs to be done right under their noses.
Juliet asks her nurse to come with her to her room and help her pick out adornments for the following day. Lady Capulet reminds her that the wedding is not for two days, but Capulet says there’s no sense in waiting—the wedding should take place the following day. Juliet and her nurse hurry off. Capulet urges Lady Capulet to follow them and help while he goes off to tell Paris that the “wayward” Juliet has been “reclaimed.”
Juliet’s ruse has worked. She is back in her parents’ good graces—and, it seems, absolved of incurring any suspicion for her part in what’s about to transpire.