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Romeo and Juliet Summary The play is set in Verona, Italy, where a feud has broken out between

the families of the Montagues and the Capulets. The servants of both houses open the play with a brawling scene that eventually draws in the noblemen of the families and the city officials, including Prince Escalus. Romeo is lamenting the fact that he is love with a woman named Rosaline, who has vowed to remain chaste for the rest of her life. He and his friend Benvolio happen to stumble across a servant of the Capulet's in the street. The servant, Peter, is trying to read a list of names of people invited to a masked party at the Capulet house that evening. Romeo helps him read the list and receives an invitation to the party. Romeo arrives at the party in costume and falls in love with Juliet the minute he sees her. However, he is recognized by Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, who wants to kill him on the spot. Capulet intervenes and tells Tybalt that he will not disturb the party for any amount of money. Romeo manages to approach Juliet and tell her that he loves her. She and he share a sonnet and finish it with a kiss. Juliet's Nurse tells Romeo who Juliet really is, and he is upset when he finds out he loves the daughter of Capulet. Juliet likewise finds out who Romeo is, and laments the fact that she is in love with her enemy. Soon thereafter Romeo climbs the garden wall leading to Juliet's garden. Juliet emerges on her balcony and speaks her private thoughts out loud, imagining herself alone. She wishes Romeo could shed his name and marry her. At this, Romeo appears and tells her that he loves her. She warns him to be true in his love to her, and makes him swear by his own self that he truly loves her. Juliet then is called inside, but manages to return twice to call Romeo back to her. They agree that Juliet will send her Nurse to meet him at nine o'clock the next day, at which point Romeo will set a place for them to be married. The Nurse carries out her duty, and tells Juliet to meet Romeo at the chapel where Friar Laurence lives and works. Juliet goes to find Romeo, and together they are married by the Friar. Benvolio and Mercutio, a good friend of the Montegues, are waiting on the street when Tybalt arrives. Tybalt demands to know where Romeo is so that he can challenge him to duel, in order to avenge Romeo's sneaking into the party. Mercutio is eloquently vague, but Romeo happens to arrive in the middle of the verbal bantering. Tybalt challenges him, but Romeo passively resists fighting, at which point Mercutio jumps in and draws his sword on Tybalt. Romeo tries to block the two men, but Tybalt cuts Mercutio and runs away, only to return after he hears tha. Mercutio has died. Romeo fights with Tybalt and kills him. When Prince Escalus arrives at the murder scene he chooses to banish Romeo from Verona forever.

The Nurse goes to tell Juliet the sad news about what has happened to Tybalt and Romeo. Juliet is heart-broken, but soon recovers when she realizes that Romeo would have been killed if he had not fought Tybalt. She sends the Nurse to find Romeo and give him her ring. Romeo comes that night and sleeps with Juliet. The next morning he is forced to leave at dusk when Juliet's mother arrives. Romeo goes to Mantua where he waits for someone to send news about Juliet or about his banishment. During the night Capulet decides that Juliet should marry a young man named Paris. He and Lady Capulet go to tell Juliet that she should marry Paris, but when she refuses to obey Capulet becomes infuriated and orders her to comply with his orders. He then leaves, and is soon followed by Lady Capulet and the Nurse, whom Juliet throws out of the room, saying, "ancient damnation" (3.5.235). Juliet then goes to Friar Laurence, who gives her a potion that will make her seem dead for at least two days. She takes the potion and drinks it that night. The next morning, the day Juliet is supposed to marry Paris, her Nurse finds her "dead" in bed. The whole house decries her suicide, and Friar Laurence makes them hurry to put her into the family vault. Romeo's servant arrives in Mantua and tells his master that Juliet is dead and buried. Romeo hurries back to Verona. Friar Laurence discovers too late from Friar John that his message to Romeo has failed to be delivered. He rushes to get to Juliet's grave before Romeo does. Romeo arrives at the Capulet vault and finds it guarded by Paris, who is there to mourn the loss of his betrothed. Paris challenges Romeo to a duel, and is quickly killed. Romeo then carries Paris into the grave and sets his body down. Seeing Juliet dead within the tomb, Romeo drinks some poison he has purchased and dies kissing her. Friar Laurence arrives just as Juliet wakes up within the bloody vault. He tries to get her to come out, but when she sees Romeo dead beside her, Juliet takes his dagger and kills herself with it. The rest of the town starts to arrive, including Capulet and Montegue. Friar Laurence tells them the whole story. The two family patriarches agree to become friends by erecting golden statues of the other's child. http://www.gradesaver.com/romeo-and-juliet/study-guide/short-summary/ character List

Romeo - The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Though impulsive and immature, his idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love. At the beginning of the play he is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. Thus, Shakespeare gives us every reason to question how real Romeos new love is, but Romeo goes to extremes to

prove the seriousness of his feelings. He secretly marries Juliet, the daughter of his fathers worst enemy; he happily takes abuse from Tybalt; and he would rather die than live without his beloved. Romeo is also an affectionate and devoted friend to his relative Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence. Juliet - The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a nave child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her familys great enemy. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city, climb over walls in the middle of the night, or get into swordfights. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Juliets closest friend and confidant is her nurse, though shes willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the Nurse turns against Romeo. Friar Lawrence - A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs. Mercutio - A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeos close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeares plays, Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions. He finds Romeos romanticized ideas about love tiresome, and tries to convince Romeo to view love as a simple matter of sexual appetite. he Nurse - Juliets nurse, the woman who breast-fed Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life. A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches. But, until a disagreement near the plays end, the Nurse is Juliets faithful confidante and loyal intermediary in Juliets affair with Romeo. She provides a contrast with Juliet, given that her view of love is earthy and sexual, whereas Juliet is idealistic and intense. The Nurse believes in love and wants Juliet to have a nice-looking husband, but the idea that Juliet would want to sacrifice herself for love is incomprehensible to her. Tybalt - A Capulet, Juliets cousin on her mothers side. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured. Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared. He loathes Montagues.

Capulet - The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague. He truly loves his daughter, though he is not well acquainted with Juliets thoughts or feelings, and seems to think that what is best for her is a good match with Paris. Often prudent, he commands respect and propriety, but he is liable to fly into a rage when either is lacking. Lady Capulet - Juliets mother, Capulets wife. A woman who herself married young (by her own estimation she gave birth to Juliet at close to the age of fourteen), she is eager to see her daughter marry Paris. She is an ineffectual mother, relying on the Nurse for moral and pragmatic support. Montague - Romeos father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet. At the beginning of the play, he is chiefly concerned about Romeos melancholy. Lady Montague - Romeos mother, Montagues wife. She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona. Paris - A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet. Once Capulet has promised him he can marry Juliet, he behaves very presumptuous toward her, acting as if they are already married. Benvolio - Montagues nephew, Romeos cousin and thoughtful friend, he makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places, though Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private. He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet. Prince Escalus - The Prince of Verona. A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris. As the seat of political power in Verona, he is concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs. Friar John - A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Juliets false death to Romeo in Mantua. Friar John is held up in a quarantined house, and the message never reaches Romeo. Balthasar - Romeos dedicated servant, who brings Romeo the news of Juliets death, unaware that her death is a ruse. Sampson & Gregory - Two servants of the house of Capulet, who, like their master, hate the Montagues. At the outset of the play, they successfully provoke some Montague men into a fight. Abram - Montagues servant, who fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene of the play. The Apothecary - An apothecary in Mantua. Had he been wealthier, he might have been able to afford to value his morals more than money, and refused to sell poison to Romeo. Peter - A Capulet servant who invites guests to Capulets feast and escorts the Nurse to meet with Romeo. He is illiterate, and a bad singer.

Rosaline - The woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play. Rosaline never appears onstage, but it is said by other characters that she is very beautiful and has sworn to live a life of chastity. The Chorus - The Chorus is a single character who, as developed in Greek drama, functions as a narrator offering commentary on the plays plot and themes.