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Romeo and Juliet Summary

The storied play of Romeo and Juliet begins in Verona with the hatred of two Royal families, the Capulets and Montagues. Their children, Romeo and Juliet, meet without knowing each of the other's families and fall inlove on first sight.

As others begin getting suspicious, the two start to sneek around. As the minutes and hours pass along the two's romance strengthens, leaving them afraid, but brave for what will come.

The two seek help from friends and set a date for their marriage. After their wedding, Romeo's friends (also relatives), Benvolio and Mercutio Montague meet Tybalt Capulet. The meeting ends horribly with Mercutio's death at the hands of Tybalt leaving Romeo no choice but to fight him to the death. Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished from Verona forever, leaving Juliet behind.

Since father Capulet had no idea of his daughters hand in marriage with Romeo, he sets a date for her to marry Paris on Thursday. She spends the night with Romeo before learning of her father's idea, she then plans to commit suicide if all else fails.

The two lovers friend, Friar Laurence, tells young Juliet to take a potion simulating death, letting her live unopposed with her husband Romeo since everyone will think she is dead. However, this backfires. After Capulet hears of Juliet's willingness to marry Paris, he moves the wedding forward to Wednesday leaving Juliet no choice but to take the potion ahead of time. Before Paris' arrival, Capulet tells the Nurse to take his daughter after discovering her death. The wedding is then changed to a funeral.

Friar Laurence's letter to Romeo telling of what had happened did not reach him, leaving Romeo to only know she is dead. He heads to her grave, opening it just once to view his lover one last time before Paris, who had been watching over her grave, attacks him thinking he is desecrating Juliet's grave.

Romeo kills Paris then takes a potion to die and be with his lovely wife. Friar Laurence arrives too late to stop his suicide. As Juliet awakes, she finds Romeo dead. She kisses him once more, then stabs herself dying. Escalus, the Capulets and Montagues arrive to learn of what had happened to the two. They find out all from Balthasar and Friar Laurence, ending their feud. The play ends with Prince summarizing the tragic love story.

Return to William Shakespeare biography

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