A romantic youth, inclined to be in love with love, he gives up his idealized passion for Rosaline when Juliet rouses in him a lasting devotion. His star-crossed young life ends in suicide. Little more than a child at the beginning of the play, she is quickly matured by love and grief into a young woman of profound grace and tragic dignity.
Locked in a long-standing feud, one that is fought by the nobles of the two families as well as their servants, they have engaged in a series of bloody public battles.
In response, the ruler of Verona, Prince Escalus, is forced to intercede and declare that if any member of either family is caught fighting in the future they will be put to death.
Thus the feud is ostensibly put on hold. The Capulets, it turns out, throw a masquerade ball each year.
Obviously they do not invite the Montagues. Juliet, daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet, is 13 and will soon be of marriage age. It is the hope of her parents that she will fall in love with Paris, a wealthy kinsman of Escalus, at the ball. As it happens, three of the Capulets, sixteen year-old Romeo, his cousin Benvolio, and their friend Mercutio sneak into the ball.
Romeo has his sights on Rosaline although she has taken a vow of chastity and is unavailable. As soon as Romeo lays eyes on Juliet he falls in love with her, and Juliet falls in love with him at first sight.
They soon find out, to their dismay, that they are from rival families. As Juliet emerges from the window and tells the night sky about her love for Romeo, he emerges from hiding and they admit their love to each other.
The same day, Benvolio and Mercutio are waiting for Romeo on the street. It is here that Tybalt confronts them and demands the presence of Romeo for a duel to punish him for invading the ball. As Mercutio stalls Tybalt with an eloquent but vague speech, Romeo arrives on the scene.
After a period of verbal sparring between Romeo and Tybalt, Mercutio draws his sword to attack Tybalt. Romeo intervenes but Tybalt wounds Mercutio. Tybalt flees the scene only to return after to find that Mercutio has died.
Angry over the death of Mercutio, Romeo engages Tybalt and kills him. He decides to flee from the inevitable consequences from Escalus. Later, Escalus arrives, and upon learning the details of the murder, he banishes Romeo from Verona for life.
Juliet is heartbroken after finding out about all of this and sends her nurse to give her ring to Romeo. Later that night, Romeo returns to Juliet. He climbs into her room and their marriage is consummated. As morning approaches, Romeo is forced to leave. He departs for Mantua to await news of Juliet and his banishment.
While Juliet and Romeo spend their night consummating their marriage, Lord Capulet sets about making sure she marries Paris. When Lord and Lady Capulet tell Juliet of their plans for her, she refuses.
This sends he father into a rage. Juliet visits Friar Lawrence shortly after this and the two of them hatch a scheme designed to reunite her with Romeo. Friar Laurence is to give her a potion which will make her appear dead for two days.
During this time, Romeo will come to the Capulet family vault to meet her. Friar Lawrence makes arrangements to alert Romeo of the plan.
Following the plan, on the day she and Paris are to be married, Juliet drinks the potion. She is found later by her nurse who alerts everyone that she is dead. The family is in mourning over her apparent suicide. So as to expedite the scheme Friar Laurence explains that she should be put in the family vault as soon as possible.
Friar Laurence is unfortunately unable to deliver a letter to Romeo in time to let him in on the scheme. Upon his return form Mantua he hears that Juliet is dead.
In his grief, he rushes back to Verona.The best study guide to Romeo and Juliet on the planet, from the creators of SparkNotes. Get the summaries, analysis, and quotes you need. Mercutio. With a lightning-quick wit and a clever mind, Mercutio is a scene stealer and one of the most memorable characters in all of Shakespeare’s works.
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A teaching guide to the works of Shakespeare is the first of three volumes and is based on the conviction that students best learn Shakespeare by performing Shakespeare.
Get free homework help on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, character analysis, and filmography courtesy of CliffsNotes. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a long feud between the Montague and Capulet families disrupts the city of Verona and .