Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

This William Shakespeare tragedy hardly needs an introduction. It is the prototypical tale of feuding families and "star-cross'd lovers." Painting by Ford Madox Brown, 1870

The basic facts of this play are well known. The play is set in Verona, Italy. The Montague and Capulet families are involved in a family feud. The Prince of Verona intervenes to bring peace between the families and the first to break that peace will be punished by death. Romeo Montague is in a depressed state over the unrequited love of a young woman named Rosaline. When the Juliet's family, the Capulets, throw a ball, Romeo sneaks in hoping to meet with Rosaline. Instead he meets and falls in love with Juliet. Then the complications arise.

Since this story is so well known, and summaries are so readily found, I am going to abridge the story line right there. Instead I'd like to provide you with a couple of the odd little facts :

  • Juliet Capulet is only thirteen years old
  • Romeo and Juliet are married in secret . . . the day after they meet!
  • Romeo is banned from the city, but he sneaks into Juliet's bedroom and they consummate the marriage
  • When the grief-stricken Romeo wants poison, he gets it at the apothecary (ye olde time drug store)
  • Here are some of the often cited quotations from the play

    “When he shall die,
    Take him and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night
    And pay no worship to the garish sun.” 
    -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

    “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.” 
    -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

    “These violent delights have violent ends
    And in their triump die, like fire and powder
    Which, as they kiss, consume” 
    -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

    “Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow, 
    That I shall say good night till it be morrow.” 
    -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

    “Don't waste your love on somebody, who doesn't value it.”
    -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

    “O serpent heart hid with a flowering face!
    Did ever a dragon keep so fair a cave?
    Beautiful tyrant, feind angelical, dove feather raven, wolvish-ravening lamb! 
    Despised substance of devinest show, just opposite to what thou justly seemest - 
    A dammed saint, an honourable villain!” 
    -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

    Table of Contents

    Dramatis Personae

    ACT I - Prologue

    ACT I - Scene I

    ACT I - Scene II

    ACT I - Scene III

    ACT I - Scene IV

    ACT I - Scene V

    ACT II - Prologue

    ACT II - Scene I

    ACT II - Scene II

    ACT II - Scene III

    ACT II - Scene IV

    ACT II - Scene V

    ACT II - Scene VI

    ACT III - Scene I

    ACT III - Scene II

    ACT III - Scene III

    ACT III - Scene IV

    ACT III - Scene V

    ACT IV - Scene I

    ACT IV - Scene II

    ACT IV - Scene III

    ACT IV - Scene IV

    ACT IV - Scene V

    ACT V - Scene I

    ACT V - Scene II

    ACT V - Scene III

    Return to the William Shakespeare library.

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