Romeo is wandering aimlessly around the Capulet backyard when guess-who appears on the balcony. "What light through yonder window breaks?" he asks. He then answers his own question. "It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!"
Soon Juliet is talking to herself, too. "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" she asks.
You might wonder, "why is she asking where Romeo is?" Well, as it turns out, "Wherefore" doesn't mean "where." It means "why." Juliet is saying, "Why does the guy I love have to be a Montague?"
Juliet goes on talking to herself about how amazing Romeo is.
Romeo is smart enough to keep his mouth shut and listen. Finally, he can't resist anymore, and he calls out to her. Juliet is embarrassed that someone heard her.
Of course, in another minute she realizes that it's actually Romeo who's been hiding in the bushes.
Juliet says that if her family finds Romeo, they'll kill him.
Luckily, she gets over her shock fast enough to enjoy the most romantic love scene in the history of Western literature. There's lots of poetry, vows of love that sound a lot like religious worship, baffling language, and teenage melodrama.
Then Juliet basically proposes to Romeo when she says "If that thy bent of love be honourable, / Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow." Translation: "If you love me and want to marry me, let me know ASAP."
Romeo is game. They end up setting up a way to send messages the next day so they can plan the wedding.
Eventually, Romeo and Juliet run out of things to talk about and start babbling just so they don't have to leave each other – kind of a "You hang up," "No, you hang up," deal. But, in Shakespearian terms, "You hang up" is actually "Parting is such sweet sorrow / That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow."
If this went down 400 years later, these kids would be running off to Vegas together but, this being a Shakespeare play, Juliet finally drags herself away to bed and Romeo hightails it off to Friar Laurence, his favorite priest, to figure out the wedding plans.
Brain Snack: In a famous book called Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, literary scholar Stephen Greenblatt describes the balcony scene as "the most passionate love scene Shakespeare ever wrote" (122).