Romeo and Juliet - "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet
ACT 1 : PROLOGUE

ACT 1 : SCENE 1

ACT 1 : SCENE 2

ACT 1 : SCENE 3

ACT 1 : SCENE 4

ACT 1 : SCENE 5

ACT 2 : PROLOGUE

ACT 2 : SCENE 1

ACT 2 : SCENE 2

ACT 2 : SCENE 3

ACT 2 : SCENE 4

ACT 2 : SCENE 5

ACT 2 : SCENE 6

ACT 3 : SCENE 1

ACT 3 : SCENE 2

ACT 3 : SCENE 3

ACT 3 : SCENE 4

ACT 3 : SCENE 5

ACT 4 : SCENE 1

ACT 4 : SCENE 2

ACT 4 : SCENE 3

ACT 4 : SCENE 4

ACT 4 : SCENE 5

ACT 5 : SCENE 1

ACT 5 : SCENE 2

ACT 5 : SCENE 3

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
 

Romeo and Juliet - Summary of the Play

Synopsis / Summary of Romeo and Juliet (in 500 words)

The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, set in Verona, Italy, revolves around the love story between two star-crossed lovers and the feud between families that largely directs the course of their fate. For years, the Capulets and Montagues (two of Verona's most important and influential families) have been at odds. The fighting between the two families has been extremely disruptive to life in Verona, and the Prince declares that the next incident shall be punished by death.

At the start of the play, Romeo (a Montague) is heartbroken over a girl called Rosaline. To cheer him up, his cousin Benvolio convinces him to attend a party at the Capulets' in disguise, of course. At the party, Romeo meets Juliet (a Capulet), and the two fall instantly in love with one another. Learning that each belongs to the opposing family is devastating to the young pair, but they are not to be dissuaded. After the party, Romeo steals into the Capulet orchard and overhears Juliet speaking of her love for him. He addresses her at her balcony and the two declare their love for one another. They agree to marry the next day.

The following day, Friar Lawrence marries the young couple, hoping that their union will alleviate the discord between the Capulets and the Montagues. Juliet's loyal nurse is a witness to the marriage, as well as Balthasar, a Montague family servant.

Romeo meets with Benvolio and Mercutio (also a Montague), but is then verbally provoked by Tybalt (a Capulet). Mercutio duels Tybalt and is killed; Romeo then kills Tybalt to avenge Mercutio's death. The Prince exiles Romeo from Verona, and warns that Romeo shall be killed if he returns. Friar Lawrence tells Romeo to stay with Juliet for the night and then make his way to Mantua in the morning. He does so.

Juliet's mother and father are unaware of her secret marriage to Romeo, and plan for her to marry Paris (a Capulet) within a few days' time. Juliet refuses, but her parents insist. Juliet appeals to Friar Lawrence, intent on suicide if she truly must marry Paris. He gives her a potion that will make her appear dead and instructs her to drink it the night before the wedding. He says that he will send a letter to Romeo explaining the plan, so that the couple can be reunited once again, travel to Mantua and live there happily.

Juliet follows his instructions and drinks the potion, and everyone assumes she is dead. She is entombed in the Capulet vault. Balthasar does not know of Juliet's subterfuge and immediately tells Romeo that Juliet is dead. Romeo does not receive the letter from Friar Lawrence and, agonized, races to Juliet's tomb. There, he drinks a vial of poison and dies. Shortly afterward, Juliet awakens and finds Romeo there. She stabs herself with his dagger and dies.

When the Montagues and Capulets discover what has truly happened, they realize what their feud has cost and finally make peace with one another.

Main Character Biographies:

 

Romeo

Juliet

Friar Lawrence

Mercutio

Tybalt

Montague

Lady Montague

Capulet

Lady Capulet

Paris

Benvolio

Prince Escalus

Friar John

Balthasar

Sampson and Gregory

Abraham

The Apothecary

Nurse

Rosaline

 

 

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