As Mercutio and Benvolio leave the Capulet estate, Romeo
leaps over the orchard wall into the garden, unable to leave Juliet
behind. From his hiding place, he sees Juliet in a window above
the orchard and hears her speak his name. He calls out to her, and
they exchange vows of love.
Romeo hurries to see his friend and confessor Friar Lawrence, who,
though shocked at the sudden turn of Romeo’s heart, agrees to marry
the young lovers in secret since he sees in their love the possibility
of ending the age-old feud between Capulet and Montague. The
following day, Romeo and Juliet meet at Friar Lawrence’s cell and
are married. The Nurse, who is privy to the secret, procures a ladder,
which Romeo will use to climb into Juliet’s window for their wedding
The next day, Benvolio and Mercutio encounter Tybalt—Juliet’s cousin—who,
still enraged that Romeo attended Capulet’s feast, has challenged
Romeo to a duel. Romeo appears. Now Tybalt’s kinsman by marriage,
Romeo begs the Capulet to hold off the duel until he understands
why Romeo does not want to fight. Disgusted with this plea for peace,
Mercutio says that he will fight Tybalt himself. The two begin to
duel. Romeo tries to stop them by leaping between the combatants.
Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeo’s arm, and Mercutio dies. Romeo,
in a rage, kills Tybalt. Romeo flees from the scene. Soon after,
the Prince declares him forever banished from Verona for his crime.
Friar Lawrence arranges for Romeo to spend his wedding night with
Juliet before he has to leave for Mantua the following morning.
In her room, Juliet awaits the arrival of her new husband.
The Nurse enters, and, after some confusion, tells Juliet that Romeo
has killed Tybalt. Distraught, Juliet suddenly finds herself married
to a man who has killed her kinsman. But she resettles herself,
and realizes that her duty belongs with her love: to Romeo.
Romeo sneaks into Juliet’s room that night, and at last
they consummate their marriage and their love. Morning comes, and
the lovers bid farewell, unsure when they will see each other again.
Juliet learns that her father, affected by the recent events, now
intends for her to marry Paris in just three days. Unsure of how
to proceed—unable to reveal to her parents that she is married to
Romeo, but unwilling to marry Paris now that she is Romeo’s wife—Juliet
asks her Nurse for advice. She counsels Juliet to proceed as if
Romeo were dead and to marry Paris, who is a better match anyway.
Disgusted with the Nurse’s disloyalty, Juliet disregards her advice
and hurries to Friar Lawrence. He concocts a plan to reunite Juliet
with Romeo in Mantua. The night before her wedding to
Paris, Juliet must drink a potion that will make her appear to be
dead. After she is laid to rest in the family’s crypt, the Friar
and Romeo will secretly retrieve her, and she will be free to live
with Romeo, away from their parents’ feuding.
Juliet returns home to discover the wedding has been moved ahead
one day, and she is to be married tomorrow. That night, Juliet drinks
the potion, and the Nurse discovers her, apparently dead, the next
morning. The Capulets grieve, and Juliet is entombed according to
plan. But Friar Lawrence’s message explaining the plan to Romeo
never reaches Mantua. Its bearer, Friar John, gets confined to a
quarantined house. Romeo hears only that Juliet is dead.
Romeo learns only of Juliet’s death and decides to kill
himself rather than live without her. He buys a vial of poison from
a reluctant Apothecary, then speeds back to Verona to take his own
life at Juliet’s tomb. Outside the Capulet crypt, Romeo comes upon
Paris, who is scattering flowers on Juliet’s grave. They fight,
and Romeo kills Paris. He enters the tomb, sees Juliet’s inanimate
body, drinks the poison, and dies by her side. Just then, Friar
Lawrence enters and realizes that Romeo has killed Paris and himself.
At the same time, Juliet awakes. Friar Lawrence hears the coming
of the watch. When Juliet refuses to leave with him, he flees alone.
Juliet sees her beloved Romeo and realizes he has killed himself
with poison. She kisses his poisoned lips, and when that does not
kill her, buries his dagger in her chest, falling dead upon his
The watch arrives, followed closely by the Prince, the
Capulets, and Montague. Montague declares that Lady Montague has
died of grief over Romeo’s exile. Seeing their children’s bodies,
Capulet and Montague agree to end their long-standing feud and to
raise gold statues of their children side-by-side in a newly peaceful