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Romeo and Julie
In this play Shakespeare speaks of young love
in a tragedy, and his words speak for all lovers in all times.
Romeo and Juliet are passionate enough to defy death and eloquent
enough to speak of their passion in undying words.
They are not historical figures, but derive from a work by
Arthur Brooke , published in 1562 , which told their story in prose as
Shakespeare was inspired to do in poetry.
They lived in Verona , scions of rival families, the Capulets and
the Montagues, who had been feuding for generations. The servants of
both families go about the streets armed, and the Capulets , led by
Tybalt , pick qurrels with the Montagues whenever possible.
After a street brawl, the head of the Montagues, notices
his son Romeo was not present, and asks his friend Benvolio to find out
why. Benvolio asks , and Romeo tells him he is enamoured of
Rosaline, who has vowed not to marry.
Meantime the head of the Capulets has been asked by Count
Paris for his daughter Juliet in marriage, but as she is only fourteen
, he considers her too young as yet. A dinner party is arranged in
order for Count Paris to meet Juliet, but Romeo and Benvolio see the
guest list , with Rosalines name on it, and decide to crash the party .
Benvolio hopes Romeo will meet someone there who will outshine
Mercutio goes with them, and they enter the house of the
Capulets masked .
Romeo sees Juliet and is struck by her beauty, without
knowing who she is. Tybalt recognises him and wants to fight, but
is restrained by the elder Capulet. Romeo speaks to Juliet and
they hold hands and kiss, then Romeo learns who she is.
After the party Romeo climbs the wall of the estate and
hears Juliet speaking her thoughts aloud into the night air.
Romeo, she says, is perfect in all but his name, Montague, which
will keep them apart. Romeo hears her and declares his love.
They are secretly married, but Tybalt
kills Mercutio and is killed by Romeo.The Prince of Verona banishes
Romeo, Juliet takes a drug to feign death and so escape marriage to
Count Paris, is seen by Romeo who thinks she is dead, and he takes
poison to join her. She awakes to find Romeo dead and so stabs herself
Their impetuousity has led the lovers first into passionate love and then into great tragedy.