Romeo and Juliet: Story Overview

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Romeo and Juliet: Story Overview Empty Romeo and Juliet: Story Overview

Post by Rachid Amri on Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:49 pm

Romeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

Type of Work:
Romantic tragedy
Verona, Italy; Fifteenth century
Principal Characters
Romeo, son of the house of Montague
Juliet, daughter of the Capulet household
Benvolio, Romeo's cousin
Mercutio, Romeo's friend
Tybalt, Juliet's cousin
Lady Montague, the clan's matriarch
Lady Capulet, Juliet's mother
Juliet's ribald nurse
Friar Lawrence, a Franciscan Monk
Story Overview
For a very long time the Capulets and the Montagues had been feuding. Harsh words often led to violence between the two houses, who were sworn as deadly enemies. Prince Escalus of Verona happened upon one such bloody brawl and angrily pronounced, "If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace."

Shortly after this, Romeo and his cousin Benvolio met on the street, and Romeo sadly confessed his unrequited love for an aloof and indifferent young woman. "[Give] liberty unto thine eyes; Examine other beauties," was Benvolio's curative. But Romeo was unmoved: "Thou canst not teach me to forget."

Meanwhile, as Lord Capulet arranged for the marriage of Juliet, his fourteen-year-old daughter, to Paris, a kinsman of the Prince, he advised Paris to woo the girl gently. That night Capulet was to give a party so Paris could meet Juliet. He called a servant to deliver the invitations.

Now the servant could not read, so as he walked along he petitioned Romeo and Benvolio to read the guest list to him. In thanks, he told Romeo, "If you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a cup a wine." Since Romeo's unreceptive Rosaline was named among the guests, Benvolio urged Romeo to go and find out for himself that Rosaline was a "crow."

As Romeo and his friend Mercutio, both wearing masks, searched for Rosaline among the gathering, Romeo's eyes fell upon the exquisite Juliet - and Romeo remembered Rosaline no more: "O, she cloth teach the torches to burn bright! .... Did my heart love till now?" he chimed. However, fier y Tybalt, Capulet's nephew, overheard Romeo pourin 9 out his heart and reported to his uncle that a Montague had invaded their festivity. But Capulet was not alarmed and would have no bloodshed,besides Romeo seemed to be "a virtuous and wellgoverned youth."

Romeo approached Juliet offering "my lips, two blushing pilgrims," to which Juliet replied, "Ay, pilgrim, lips that thou must use in prayer." But Romeo at last convinced her to press her lips to his - just before Juliet's Capulet mother called her away. Romeo was stunned by this revelation that the girl was a daughter of his father's enemy, but vowed that not even death would keep him from his true love.

The party ended, leaving Romeo outside the Capulet house, gazing up in lovesick rapture at Julict's window. Just then, to his joy, Juliet leaned from her balcony. Romeo whispered: "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!" As he debated within himself whether to speak to her, she, thinking herself alone, began to pour out her heart: "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn mv love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet."

Unable to contain himself, Romeo stepped out of the shadows. Though ashamed at her overheard declaration, Juliet reconfirmed her passion, but warned him that if her family discovered him there, he would be killed. Romeo was not alarmed, "For stony limits cannot hold love out." As he swore of his love by the moon, and by his heart, Juliet begged him not to swear at all. Things were happening too fast; the world seemed suddenly brilliant and fragile "like the lightening which cloth cease to be." So, the fragile lovers exchanged vows and agreed to meet the next morning.

On his way home, Romeo stopped by the monastery to visit Friar Lawrence. "Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night," the Friar observed. "I have been feasting with mine enemy," replied the young man...... Plainly know my heart's dear love is set on the fair daughter of rich Capulet ... what thou must combine by holy marriage." The Friar teased Romeo for his fickle nature (only yesterday he had professed undying love for Rosaline), but agreed to perform the marriage, in the hope that "this alliance may so happy prove to turn your households' rancor to pure love."

The following morning, Mercutio and Benvolio were worried ly searching for Romeo; Tybalt had sent out a challenge for him to fight. But when the pair finally met up with their enamored young kinsman, he was in no mood for fighting. At this point Juliet's nurse came on the scene and took Romeo aside to demand his intentions. Romeo assured her that his love was in earnest and bade her bring Juliet to the Friar's cell, where they would be married that afternoon. The wedding was performed; the lovers were to meet again meet later that evening. But that afternoon Benvolio and Morcutio ran into Tybalt and some of his men. Though Benvolio, remembering the Prince's edict, declined to duel, Mercutio and Tybalt began a joust of insults, with Mercutio's wit outdoing the other's words. Just then, the newly-married Romeo appeared, and Tybalt demanded that the "villain" fight. Romeo protested, "I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise." Mercutio, however, ached for a skirmish, and he and the equally hot-tempered Tybalt drew their sabers. Romeo stepped between the two, but Tybalt thrust forward and stabbed Mercutio, then bolted away. As the dying Mercutio was carried off, Romeo, torn with anger and mixed loyalties, confronted and killed Tybalt. Benvolio then implored his cousin to hide in order to avoid revenge or arrest.

The Prince and a group of citizens came upon the bloody scene and called for an explanation from Benvolio. Silencing arguments as to where the blame fell, the Prince declared, "I will be deaf to pleading and excuses. When Romeo is found he shall be put to death."

Juliet impatiently awaited the arrival of her husband, when her nurse came with the news: "Tybalt is gone,and ... Romeo that killed him, he is banished." Distraught, Juliet sent the nurse off once again: "O, find him! give this ring to my true knight."

In the meantime, Romeo, hidden in the Friar's cell, had just been informed of a change of heart by the Prince - rather than death, Romeo should only be exiled from Verona. Then the nurse came with news from Juliet: "She weeps and weeps." The Friar advised Romeo to wait until nightfall and then go to his true love.

That night Romeo went to Juliet's room; as dawn broke, the lovers could barely let themselves part. Soon after, Lady Capulet entered Juliet's chamber, believing the girl had stayed secreted in mourning for Tybalt. She spoke of the murder and the vengeance it demanded. "But now," she announced at last, "I'll tell thee joyful tidings, girl"; and she apprised her daughter that she would soon be married to Paris. When Juliet balked at any such wedding, her father flared up in anger: "I tell thee what - get thee to church ... or never after look me in the face."

Juliet now hurried to the Friar's cell, both to confess her filial disobedience and to see Romeo. There she met Paris, who was arranging for their forthcoming marriage. Though Juliet openly confessed to loving another, Paris mistook her words as a declaration towards him and promised that they would be married in bliss. After he left, Juliet turned to Friar Lawrence for help. The Friar had a plan: He gave her a vial with a potion inside that would make her appear to be dead, but in reality would only bring on a long sleep. When her family discovered her "lifeless" body, they would place it in the Capulets' tomb, and the Friar would then send for Romeo to rescue her and take her away from Verona.

The Capulets rejoiced when Juliet returned home and told her family that she would consent to marry Paris. But on the evening before the wedding, Juliet partook of the potion, and the next morning, when the Friar and Paris came to seek the bride, the found the parents filled with grief. They took juliet's limp body, according to plan, to the family tomb.

Meanwhile, in Mantua, word of juliet's death reached young Romeo ahead of the Friar's messenger. Rushing to Verona, the disheartened youth paused to purchase a vessel of poison: "Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight," he pledged.

At the Capulet's vaulted tomb, there young Romeo found Paris, also in mourning. Recognizing Romeo, he drew his sword. The two fought and Paris was fatally wounded. In the throes of death, he pled with Romeo to lay him next to his love. Romeo hesitated, then dragged the other man inside the tomb so that he too could lie near Juliet. Then, looking down at his bride, Romeo cried out...... Eyes, look your last! Arms, take your last embrace! and lips, O you ... seal with a righteous kiss a dateless bargain to engrossing death." Leaving a kiss on the beauty's silent lips, Romeo drank the poison and lay motionless by her side.

Soon, Juliet awoke - to find her husband lying next to her, dead. Hearing footsteps approaching, she unsheathed Romeo's dagger and plunged it into her breast, bewailing, "O happy dagger! ... Let me die!"

Just then the Friar entered, followed by the Montagues, the Capulets, and the Prince. Before them lay Paris, along with the limp bodies of the two lovers. At once each family began to cast blame upon the other for the tragedy. The Friar, however, stepped forward and explained the circumstances which had led to the deaths of their tender children, whose only sin was to have loved. When he heard the story, the Prince called out mournfully, "Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague, see what a scourge is laid upon your hate, that heaven finds means to kill your joys with love .... All are punished."

At these words, the adversaries clasped hands in brotherhood. "A gloomy peace this morning with it brings. . . " intoned the Prince in a final note, "for never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo."


Perhaps Shakespeare's most famous play, Romeo and Juliet combines the contrasting elements of humor and sorrow, bawdiness and civil strife, and innocent love and ignorant hate to rouse an amazing depth of mixed tenderness and tension. Although a Chorus begins the play by notifying the audience that these near-perfect lovers will in the end take their own lives, an irrational sense of hope remains that somehow they might escape their destiny. But the pride-hardened hatred between the feuding families leads the play to its inevitable tragic end.

Moreover, though the drama is one of ultimate reconciliation, ironically, both families lose their only children - neither family line will be carried on. In a sense Shakespeare is suggesting that war and hate lead, not to victory for either side, but to spiritual annihilation.

Rachid Amri

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Post by Nada Mrabet AB on Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:44 pm

Plot Overview

I n the streets of Verona another brawl breaks out between the servants of the feuding noble families of Capulet and Montague. Benvolio, a Montague, tries to stop the fighting, but is himself embroiled when the rash Capulet, Tybalt, arrives on the scene. After citizens outraged by the constant violence beat back the warring factions, Prince Escalus, the ruler of Verona, attempts to prevent any further conflicts between the families by decreeing death for any individual who disturbs the peace in the future.

Romeo, the son of Montague, runs into his cousin Benvolio, who had earlier seen Romeo moping in a grove of sycamores. After some prodding by Benvolio, Romeo confides that he is in love with Rosaline, a woman who does not return his affections. Benvolio counsels him to forget this woman and find another, more beautiful one, but Romeo remains despondent.

Meanwhile, Paris, a kinsman of the Prince, seeks Julietís hand in marriage. Her father Capulet, though happy at the match, asks Paris to wait two years, since Juliet is not yet even fourteen. Capulet dispatches a servant with a list of people to invite to a masquerade and feast he traditionally holds. He invites Paris to the feast, hoping that Paris will begin to win Julietís heart.

Romeo and Benvolio, still discussing Rosaline, encounter the Capulet servant bearing the list of invitations. Benvolio suggests that they attend, since that will allow Romeo to compare his beloved to other beautiful women of Verona. Romeo agrees to go with Benvolio to the feast, but only because Rosaline, whose name he reads on the list, will be there.

In Capuletís household, young Juliet talks with her mother, Lady Capulet, and her nurse about the possibility of marrying Paris. Juliet has not yet considered marriage, but agrees to look at Paris during the feast to see if she thinks she could fall in love with him.

The feast begins. A melancholy Romeo follows Benvolio and their witty friend Mercutio to Capuletís house. Once inside, Romeo sees Juliet from a distance and instantly falls in love with her; he forgets about Rosaline completely. As Romeo watches Juliet, entranced, a young Capulet, Tybalt, recognizes him, and is enraged that a Montague would sneak into a Capulet feast. He prepares to attack, but Capulet holds him back. Soon, Romeo speaks to Juliet, and the two experience a profound attraction. They kiss, not even knowing each otherís names. When he finds out from Julietís nurse that she is the daughter of Capuletóhis familyís enemyóhe becomes distraught. When Juliet learns that the young man she has just kissed is the son of Montague, she grows equally upset.

As Mercutio and Benvolio leave the Capulet estate, Romeo leaps over the orchard wall into the garden, unable to leave Juliet behind. From his hiding place, he sees Juliet in a window above the orchard and hears her speak his name. He calls out to her, and they exchange vows of love.

Romeo hurries to see his friend and confessor Friar Lawrence, who, though shocked at the sudden turn of Romeoís heart, agrees to marry the young lovers in secret since he sees in their love the possibility of ending the age-old feud between Capulet and Montague. The following day, Romeo and Juliet meet at Friar Lawrenceís cell and are married. The Nurse, who is privy to the secret, procures a ladder, which Romeo will use to climb into Julietís window for their wedding night.

The next day, Benvolio and Mercutio encounter TybaltóJulietís cousinówho, still enraged that Romeo attended Capuletís feast, has challenged Romeo to a duel. Romeo appears. Now Tybaltís kinsman by marriage, Romeo begs the Capulet to hold off the duel until he understands why Romeo does not want to fight. Disgusted with this plea for peace, Mercutio says that he will fight Tybalt himself. The two begin to duel. Romeo tries to stop them by leaping between the combatants. Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeoís arm, and Mercutio dies. Romeo, in a rage, kills Tybalt. Romeo flees from the scene. Soon after, the Prince declares him forever banished from Verona for his crime. Friar Lawrence arranges for Romeo to spend his wedding night with Juliet before he has to leave for Mantua the following morning.

In her room, Juliet awaits the arrival of her new husband. The Nurse enters, and, after some confusion, tells Juliet that Romeo has killed Tybalt. Distraught, Juliet suddenly finds herself married to a man who has killed her kinsman. But she resettles herself, and realizes that her duty belongs with her love: to Romeo.

Romeo sneaks into Julietís room that night, and at last they consummate their marriage and their love. Morning comes, and the lovers bid farewell, unsure when they will see each other again. Juliet learns that her father, affected by the recent events, now intends for her to marry Paris in just three days. Unsure of how to proceedóunable to reveal to her parents that she is married to Romeo, but unwilling to marry Paris now that she is Romeoís wifeóJuliet asks her nurse for advice. She counsels Juliet to proceed as if Romeo were dead and to marry Paris, who is a better match anyway. Disgusted with the Nurseís disloyalty, Juliet disregards her advice and hurries to Friar Lawrence. He concocts a plan to reunite Juliet with Romeo in Mantua. The night before her wedding to Paris, Juliet must drink a potion that will make her appear to be dead. After she is laid to rest in the familyís crypt, the Friar and Romeo will secretly retrieve her, and she will be free to live with Romeo, away from their parentsí feuding.

Juliet returns home to discover the wedding has been moved ahead one day, and she is to be married tomorrow. That night, Juliet drinks the potion, and the Nurse discovers her, apparently dead, the next morning. The Capulets grieve, and Juliet is entombed according to plan. But Friar Lawrenceís message explaining the plan to Romeo never reaches Mantua. Its bearer, Friar John, gets confined to a quarantined house. Romeo hears only that Juliet is dead.

Romeo learns only of Julietís death and decides to kill himself rather than live without her. He buys a vial of poison from a reluctant Apothecary, then speeds back to Verona to take his own life at Julietís tomb. Outside the Capulet crypt, Romeo comes upon Paris, who is scattering flowers on Julietís grave. They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. He enters the tomb, sees Julietís inanimate body, drinks the poison, and dies by her side. Just then, Friar Lawrence enters and realizes that Romeo has killed Paris and himself. At the same time, Juliet awakes. Friar Lawrence hears the coming of the watch. When Juliet refuses to leave with him, he flees alone. Juliet sees her beloved Romeo and realizes he has killed himself with poison. She kisses his poisoned lips, and when that does not kill her, buries his dagger in her chest, falling dead upon his body.

The watch arrives, followed closely by the Prince, the Capulets, and Montague. Montague declares that Lady Montague has died of grief over Romeoís exile. Seeing their childrenís bodies, Capulet and Montague agree to end their long-standing feud and to raise gold statues of their children side-by-side in a newly peaceful Verona.
Nada Mrabet AB
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Post by mochamed achraf nagati on Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:00 pm

thx but plz sir put us fiction

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