Romeo and Juliet

by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is an early tragedy by William Shakespeare about two teenage “star-cross’d lovers” whose “untimely deaths” ultimately unite their feuding households. The play has been highly praised by literary critics for its language and dramatic effect. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Romeo and Juliet are widely represented as archetypal young lovers.

Source: Shakespeare, W. Romeo and Juliet New York: Sully and Kleinteich

Cast of Characters
List of Characters represented throughout the play.
The Chorus recites a sonnet for the audience.
Act 1, Scene 1
A chance meeting of the Capulets and Montagues results in armed conflict on the streets of Verona. Benvolio informs the elder Montague of his Romeo's condition.
Act 1, Scene 2
Paris informs Capulet of his desire to marry Juliet. Romeo and Benvolio receive unexpected invitations to a masquerade feast.
Act 1, Scene 3
Lady Capulet talks of marriage with Juliet.
Act 1, Scene 4
Disguised with masks, Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio prepare to attend the Capulet's ball.
Act 1, Scene 5
Romeo, taken by Juliets beauty is recognized by Tybalt. Romeo and Juliet are both devastated by the discovery of each others true identity.
Act 2, Prologue
The Chorus recites a short sonnet concerning Romeo and Juliet's forbidden love.
Act 2, Scene 1
After the conclusion of the ball, Romeo sets out to find Juliet.
Act 2, Scene 2
Romeo, Having found Juliet, lets his intentions be known.
Act 2, Scene 3
Romeo pays a visit to Friar Lawrence.
Act 2, Scene 4
Mercutio confronts Romeo about his disappearance the previous night. Romeo sends a message to Juliet by way of her nurse.
Act 2, Scene 5
Juliet anxiously awaits the arrival of her nurse, who brings news of her meeting with Romeo.
Act 2, Scene 6
Friar Lawrence counsels Romeo as they await Juliet's arrival.
Act 3, Scene 1
In the streets of Verona, Tybalt and Mercutio's tempers get the best of them as Romeo attempts to keep the peace. A tragedy results in the exile of a member of the Montague family.
Act 3, Scene 2
News of Tybalt's death and Romeo's fate reaches Juliet.
Act 3, Scene 3
Romeo, in Friar Lawrence's cell, ponders his life without Juliet. The nurse arrives with a gift from Juliet as the Friar devises a plan to reunite the young lovers.
Act 3, Scene 4
Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Paris discuss Juliet. Capulet makes plans for Juliet and Paris to wed.
Act 3, Scene 5
After a display of his love, Romeo departs Juliet's room. Upset by the news of her planned marriage to Paris, Juliet departs for Friar Lawrence's to seek counsel.
Act 4, Scene 1
Juliet encounters Paris, who has come seeking counsel of his own, in the Friar's cell. Upon Paris' departure, Friar Lawrence devises a plan to spare Juliet from being wed.
Act 4, Scene 2
Juliet informs Capulet and Lady Capulet of her sudden change of heart regarding Paris.
Act 4, Scene 3
Alone in her bedchamber, Juliet ponders the many possible outcomes of the Friar Lawrence's plan before drinking the contents of the vial.
Act 4, Scene 4
The Capulet house prepare for the wedding of Juliet.
Act 4, Scene 5
Juliet is discovered in her bed chamber. The Capulets prepare for the funeral of Juliet.
Act 5, Scene 1
In exile, Romeo receives word of Juliets death and pays a visit to the Apothecary.
Act 5, Scene 2
Friar Lawrence, having learned of Friar John's failed delivery of his letter to Romeo, prepares to rescue Juliet.
Act 5, Scene 3
Romeo visits Juliet's grave, but is confronted by Paris, who intends to avenge the Capulets. Romeo enters the tomb and carries out his plan. Juliet reacts violently to the news of her loss. The Capulets and Montagues officially end their conflict after realizing the true cause and cost of their ongoing feud.
  • Year Published: 1597
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 11.0
  • Word Count: 26,478
  • Genre: Tragedy
  • Keywords: 16th century literature, 6th century literature, british literature, drama, romance, tragedy
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