ROMEO AND JULIET - A SUMMARY
A boy and a girl, from families who hate each other bitterly, fall in love, but everything goes wrong for them and they kill themselves rather than be parted.
Most of the play takes place in 'fair Verona' an attractive little city in the north of Italy. The action moves quickly from the city streets to the hall of old Capulet's house, then to the orchard below Juliet's balcony, to Friar Lawrences' lonely cell and finally to the vault where the Capulets and the Montagues view their dead children.
The play starts on a Sunday morning in the middle of July; less than five days later - just before dawn on the following Thursday - it is all over.
A fight between servants of two important families the Montagues and the Capulets is broken up by the Prince. Romeo tells Benvolio that he is in love with Rosaline. Lady Capulet tells Juliet that she is to marry Paris. Lord Capulet starts to prepare for the celebrations.
A servant of Lord Capulet asks Romeo to read the invitation list.
Romeo decides to go to the ball to see Rosaline.
At the ball Romeo meets and falls in love with Juliet, only afterwards do they discover that their families are sworn enemies.
Tybalt recognises Romeo but is prevented from doing anything by Lord Capulet who does not want trouble.
Benvolio and Mercutio look for Romeo. Juliet tells Romeo she loves him and they exchange vows. Romeo goes to see Friar Lawrence, who agrees to marry them as it may help end the feud. Meanwhile Tybalt makes it known he wishes to challenge Romeo to a duel.
Romeo tells the Nurse of his plan to marry Juliet. Juliet blushes when she hears the news.
Romeo and Juliet meet at the Friar's cell and are married in secret.
Next day Mercutio picks a fight with Tybalt. Romeo turns up and tries to intervene. Tybalt kills Mercutio when Romeo gets in the way. This makes Romeo angry and he then kills Tybalt. Romeo now a murderer is banished from Verona.
Paris goes to Friar Lawrence's cell. Paris announces he is to marry Juliet on Thursday.
Juliet says she will stab herself rather than marry Paris.
The Friar gives her a bottle containing a substance which will make her appear dead for 48 hours. His plan is to write to Romeo so that he will be there when she wakes up.
Juliet agrees to marry Paris to please her father, who then brings the wedding day forward to Wednesday.
Juliet takes the potion. Her family mourn her death.
Balthasar arrives in Mantua with news of Juliet's death. Romeo goes to an apothecary to buy poison. Friar Lawrence learns that his messenger Friar John did not get to Mantua because of the plague. Paris is at the tomb when Romeo arrives. They fight and Romeo kills Paris. Romeo sees Juliet who he thinks is dead and poisons himself. Friar Lawrence arrives to late to save Romeo.
Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead and kills herself with his dagger.
Montague and Capulet agree to end their feud and pledge to put a statue in pure gold in the town.
WHY IS THE PLAY SO POPULAR?
This summary of Romeo and Juliet was found at www.englishresources.co.uk
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