Romeo and Juliet

Type: 
Tragedy
First Performed: 
1594-95
First Printed: 
1597
"

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

"

This tragedy is fueled by the long-standing feud between two prominent families of Verona: the Montagues and the Capulets.

Romeo, the only son of the Montagues, is persuaded by his friends to attend a masquerade party at the Capulets' home in an effort to take his mind off his hopeless love for the unattainable Rosaline. In disguise, the Montagues “crash” the Capulet's party, where Romeo—upon seeing Juliet—forgets Rosaline completely and falls immediately in love with the only daughter of his family's arch rivals. After spending the evening declaring their undying love for one another, the two are secretly married by Friar Lawrence.

The next day, Romeo quarrels with Juliet's cousin Tybalt, and Romeo's friend Mercutio is killed. Romeo avenges his friend's death by killing Tybalt, for which he is banished from Verona.

Juliet's parents, not knowing she has already married Romeo, plan a wedding for their daughter to Count Paris. Juliet again turns to Friar Lawrence for help, and he devises a plan that they both believe will solve all their problems and reunite her with Romeo. Juliet will take an elixir that will make her appear dead, and after her parents place her in the family tomb, she can awake and escape to Mantua to be with Romeo.

However, not knowing of this plan, Romeo returns to Verona for his beloved Juliet, only to hear the news that his beloved has died. Believing this to be true, Romeo takes his own life beside his beloved. Juliet, upon awakening, sees the dead Romeo beside her and kills himself with his dagger. The two families, facing the terrible price of their grievances and their shared unimaginable grief, vow to end the feud.