Romeo and Juliet wake after their first and only night together.
They don't want to say good-bye, but they know Romeo will be killed if he gets caught in Verona. Not to mention in Juliet's bed.
"O think'st thou we shall ever meet again?" Juliet asks him as he leaves for Mantua, a nearby city. "I doubt it not," he replies.
Before Juliet has time to get herself together after saying good-bye to her husband, her mother comes in. They manage to have a conversation about "that villain Romeo" in which Lady Capulet misinterprets 99.9% of everything that Juliet says.
Lady Capulet announces her big, exciting news: in two days, Juliet will be marrying Paris!
Juliet responds fiercely that she will not marry Paris under any conditions. Her mother can't understand what's going on with her thirteen-year-old daughter. Juliet didn't used to be so stubborn and headstrong. Lady Capulet throws up her hands and decides to let her husband handle this. "Wait 'til your father gets home."
Lord Capulet walks, beaming that he set up his daughter for a marriage without consulting her first. In his mind, Juliet should be grateful.
Instead, she rains on his paternal-control parade. She tells him that she won't marry Paris, "and you can't make me!"
Lord Capulet blows up. When verbally abusing Juliet doesn't work, he tries a different tactic. If she doesn't marry Paris, he says, he'll throw her out in the street; she can beg for food or starve.
After Lord Capulet storms out, Juliet turns to her mother for help. How could a mother turn her own daughter out of the house? Juliet begs her mother to find a way even to delay the marriage with Paris.
Lady Capulet replies coldly, "Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee" and leaves.
Juliet turns to the Nurse for advice (because she's the only left).
Juliet makes a case for not abandoning the hubby: She is already married, so marrying Paris would be a sin against God, as well as an unthinkable betrayal of Romeo.
The Nurse tells her, marrying Paris would be a step up on the social ladder. He's better looking and a much better catch. In addition, he's not a hated enemy, and besides, there's no other option. Unless you count starving on the street which, clearly, the Nurse does not.
Juliet cannot believe this is happening. Even the nurse isn't on her side anymore.
Juliet has only one ally left: Friar Laurence. If he can't help her, she will be completely alone. Suicide, she thinks, may be her only option.