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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet are characters of William Shakespear's play "Romeo and Juliet". In the play their death unites their feudalist families. This is the most popular play of Shakespear among his all plays. Its characters are based on an Italian tale translated into verse as "The Tragic History of Romeus and Juliet" by Arthur Brooke in 1562; and retold in prose "The Palace of Pleasure" by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare wrote his own between 1591 and 1595 - its exact date is unknown. It has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera.

This story comes from a tradition of tragic love stories from antiquity. The erliest known version of Romeo and Juliet is the story of Mariotto and Gianozza by Masuccio Salernitano i his 33rd novel in 1476. His version sets the story in Siena and insists that its events took place in his own lifetime. His version of the story includes the secret marriage, the colluding friar, the fray where a prominent citizen is killed, Mariotto's exile, Gianozza's forced marriage, the potion plot, and the crucial message that goes astray. In this version, Mariotto is caught and beheaded and Gianozza dies of grief.

Story According to Shakespear's Drama

In Verona, there lived two feudal noble families - of Capulet and of Maontague. Both often quarreled with each other. Prince Escalus, the ruler of Verona, intervenes to stop this quarrel between them. Romeo is the son of Montague and runs is business with his cousin Benvolio. After being provoked Romeo accepts that he is in love with a girl named Rosaline. Although she does not return his love, still he loved her.

In the meantime Paris, a kinsman of the Prince, asks the hand of Juliet, the daughter of Mantague. Montague is happy with this relation but asks Paris to wait for two years, because Juliet was not even 14 at that time. Capulet organizes a party in which he invites Paris in the hope that Paris might win the heart of Juliet, so he send a servant to invite the people in that feast.

Romeo and Benvolio were still talking about Rosaline that they meet the servant sent by Capulet to invite people. Benvolio suggests that they should attend hat feast so that they will have an opportunity to meet many beautiful women there. Romeo agrees to go there just only because Rosaline's name was on that list of invitees. Juliet's mother and her nurse talk to her about marrying her to Paris, but she says that she will think about it. She will look at him in the feast if she can fall in love with him.

Romeo goes to the feast with Benvolio and their witty friend Mercutio. As they enter the hall, Romeo sees Juliet and instantly falls in love with her. He forgets Rosaline and starts staring at Juliet. A young Capulet notices this, recognizes him and gets enraged that a Montgue has sneaked in the Capulet's house. He is prepare to attack but Capulet holds his hand. Romeo and Juliet meet each other, get attracted to each other and kiss each other even without each other's names. Both get upset as soon as they know each other that they came from each other's enemy's families.

Mercutio and Benvolio go away from the feast but Romeo does not want to leave Juliet, so he goes in the garden at the back of her house. From there he sees Juliet in the window and hears his name. He responds to his name and both take vow to love each other. Romeo comes back to his friend Friar Lawrence who is shocked to see Romeo's turn of heart from Rosaline's side. He thinks to marry Romeo and Juliet secretly in the hope that both families might get united after this marriage. So the following day Romeo and Juliet are married at Friar's place. Juliet's nurse arranges the ladder for Romeo to come to Juliet's house for their wedding night.

Next day Mercutio and Benvolio encounter Juliet's cousin Tybalt and Tybalt invites Romeo for a duel. Romeo begs the Capulet to hold, but Mercutio says that he will fight with Tybalt. Both starts fighting, Romeo intervenes, Tybalt stabs Mercutio and Mercutio dies. Romeo kills Tybalt in rage and lees from the scene. Prince declares his banishment from Verona. Friar Lawrence arranges the wedding night for Romeo at his place before he leaves for Mantua next morning. Juliet is waiting for Romeo, that her nurse informs her about Romeo killing Tybalt. Once he gets shocked that she is married to a killer of her kinsman, but then gathers herself that Romeo was her true love. Romeo comes and they pass their night together. Next day Romeo goes away leaving Juliet unsure when they will meet again.

Hearing all this, Juliet's father decides o marry Juliet to Paris in just three days. Juliet is unwilling to marry Paris as she is now the wife of Romeo. She asks advice from her nurse and her nurse says that she should forget Romeo and marry Paris. Juliet is not happy with this advice, so she goes to Friar Lawrence and Lawrence decides to reunite them. He suggests that the night before her marriage to Paris she must drink a potion which will show her as if she were dead. After her people will lay her to rest, Friar and Romeo will take her out from there and she will be free to live with Romeo.

Juliet comes home only to find that her marriage has been fixed one day prior to the fixed date, so her marriage is tomorrow. So she drinks the potion the same night and her nurse finds her apparently dead next morning. She is taken to be laid to rest but by then the messenger of the Friar never reaches to Romeo informing Friar's plan because he gets confined to a quarantined house. Romeo hears only that Juliet is dead. He prefers to die rather to live without Juliet. He buys a vial of poison and comes to Juliet's grave to die there only. When he comes there he found Paris was scattering flowers on Juliet's grave. Romeo fight with Paris and kills him. After killing him, he enters the tomb, drinks the poison and dies there only.

Friar Lawrence also comes there and finds that Romeo had killed Paris. At the same time Juliet awakes. Friar wants to take Juliet away from there, but she does not go from there, so he alone flees away from there. Juliet sees that her lover Romeo has killed himself by drinking poison, she kisses his poisoned lips but when that also does not kill her, she buries his dragger in her chest and dies then and there only.

Capulet and Montague's families come there, see their children and out of grief decides to end their age long quarrel and build the children's gold statues side by side in a new peaceful Verona.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/06/13