Romeo And Juliet

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Romeo & Juliet was written during a period when Shakespeare had found the strength of his writing. He would have been about 26 years old when he wrote it. It stands as a great play in its own right. Romeo & Juliet is believed to have been written around 1595. The Nurse in the play refers to an earthquake eleven years past (Act II, scene 3, line 23). London experienced a strong tremor around 1580. The story is, of course, about a pair of star-crossed lovers. Two teenagers pursue their love for each other despite the fact that their families have been at odds with each other for decades. The story combines swordfighting, disguise, misunderstanding, tragedy, humor, and some of the most romantic language found in literature all in the name of true love. In Verona, Italy in the late 1500s, two powerful families the Montagues and the Capulets have been feuding with each other for years. Old Capulet, Juliets father, throws a party to which he invites all his friends. The Montagues are not invited of course, but Romeo devises a plan to get a look at Rosaline; a young girl he has been pursing. He disguises himself and slips into the party. Once inside, his attention is stolen; not by Rosaline, but by Juliet. Romeo falls instantly in love, but is disappointed when he finds out that Juliet is a Capulet. Juliet notices Romeo too, but she is unaware that he is a member of the hated Montagues. Later, after discovering that the young man who caught her eye is a member of the enemy family, Juliet goes out onto her balcony to tell the stars about her strong but forbidden love. At the same time, Romeo is lurking in the bushes below. He overhears Juliet confess her love for him to the heavens. No longer able to control his powerful feelings, Romeo reveals himself to her and admits that he feels the same. The very next day, with the help of Romeos friend Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet are secretly married. On the day of the wedding, two of Romeos friends, Benvolio and Mercutio, are walking through the streets of Verona when they are confronted by Juliets cousin, Tybalt. Tybalt is out to get Romeo for crashing the Capulets party so he starts a fight with his friends. Romeo shows up, but does not want to fight Tybalt because he no longer holds a grudge against Juliets family. Romeos friends cant understand why he wont stand up for himself so Mercutio steps in to do it for him. A swordfight with Tybalt follows. Mercutio is killed. To avenge the death of his friend, Romeo kills Tybalt, an act that will award him even more hatred from the Capulet family. The Prince of Verona banishes Romeo and he is forced to leave Juliet, who is devastated by the loss of her love. Juliets father, not knowing of his daughters marriage, decides to marry her to another young man named Paris. In despair, Juliet consults with Friar Laurence. He advises her to agree to the marriage, but on the morning of the wedding, she will drink a potion that h e prepares ...


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