Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespearean most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers. Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity.
Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragically History of Romeos and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1 562 and retold in rose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercuric and Paris. Believed to have been written between 1 591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was Of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespearean original.
Shakespearean use of his poetic dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub- lots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play. Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera.
During the English Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Advent. David Garlic’s 18th-centum,’ version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and George Bend’s operatic adaptation omitted much of the action and added a happy ending. Performances in the 1 9th century’, including Charlotte Ashman’s, restored the original text, and focused on surrealism’s. John Sludge’s 1935 version kept very close to Shakespearean text, and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama.
In the 20th and into the 21st century, the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as George Cursor’s comparatively faithful 1 936 production, Franco Ziegfeld’s 1 968 version, Bag Learner’s 1996 M TV-inspired Romeo + Juliet and the 2013 non- Shakespearian adaptation by Carlo Carlen. Characters Ruling house of Verona Prince Callus is the ruling Prince of Verona Count Paris is a kinsman of Callus who wishes to marry Juliet. Mercuric is another kinsman of Callus, and a friend of Romeo. House of Capsule Capsule is the patriarch of the house of Capsule. Lady Capsule is the matriarch of the house Of Capsule.
Juliet is the 13-year-old daughter of Capsule, and the plays female protagonist. Table is a cousin of Juliet, and the nephew of Caplet’s wife. The Nurse is Gullet’s personal attendant and confidante. Rosalie is Lord Caplet’s niece, and Romeos love in the beginning of the story. Peter, Sampson and Gregory are servants of the Capsule household. House of Montague Montague is the patriarch of the house of Montague. Lady Montague is the matriarch of the house of Montague. Romeo is the son of Montague, and the plays male protagonist. Benevolent is Romeos cousin and best friend.
Abram and Blathers are servants of the Montague household. Others Friar Laurence is a Franciscan friar, and is Romeos confidant. Friar John is sent to deliver Friar Laurence letter to Romeo. An Apothecary who reluctantly sells Romeo poison. A Chorus reads a prologue to each of the first two acts. House Of Callus Prince Callus Prince Callus, the Prince of Verona, is the Confliction of the feuding families. Callus is the voice of authority in Verona. He appears only three times within the text and only to administer justice following major events in the feud between the Capsule and Montague families.
He first punishes Capsule and Montague in I. I for the quarrel between Table, Benevolent, and a handful of servants. He returns in Ill. I, too late to stop the fatal brawls between Table and Mercuric and, subsequently, Table and Romeo. Callus is prepared to execute Romeo for his offense-?Romeos killing Table-?but lightens the entente to lifetime banishment from Verona, when Benevolent insists that Table started the quarrel by murdering Mercuric, a kinsman to the Prince. Prince Callus returns in the final the double suicide of Romeo and Juliet, and at last orders the lords of the feuding families to make peace.
Count Paris Main article: Count Paris Frederic Leighton sass’s painting depicting Count Paris (right) seeing Juliet apparently dead. Count Paris is a kinsman of Prince Callus and seeks to marry Juliet. He is described as handsome, somewhat self-absorbed, and very wealthy. Paris makes his first appearance in Act I, Scene II, where he expresses his wish to make Juliet his wife and the mother of his children. Capsule demurs, citing his daughter’s young age as a reason and telling him to wait until she is more mature. (Paris disagrees, however. Nevertheless, Capsule invites Paris to attend a family ball being held that evening and grants permission to woo and attract Juliet. Later in the play, however, Juliet refuses to become Paris’ “joyful bride” after her cousin Table dies by her new husband Romeos hand, proclaiming that she now wants nothing to do with Paris. Her parents threaten to disown (or cut ties with) her f she will not agree to the marriage. Then, while at Laurence cell at the church, Paris tries to woo her by repeatedly saying that she is his wife and that they are to be married on Thursday.
He kisses her and then leaves the cell, prompting Juliet to angrily threaten to kill herself with a knife. His final appearance in the play is in the cemetery where Juliet is “laid to rest” in the Capsule family tomb. Believing her to be dead, Count Paris has come to mourn her death in solitude and privacy and sends his manservant away. He professes his love to Juliet, saying he will nightly weep for her (Act V, Scene Ill). Shortly thereafter, Romeo arrives. Paris sees him and thinks he is trying to vandalize the tomb, so he tries to arrest him.
They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. Romeo grants Paris’ dying wish to be placed next to Juliet in the tomb. Mercuric Main article: Mercuric See also: #Valentine Mercuric is the cousin of Prince Callus and Count Paris, and is a close friend of Romeo and his cousin Benevolent, The invitation to the Caplet’s party reveals that he has a brother named Valentine. Mercuric is apt to make long, drawn out speeches (the most famous of which is the Queen MBA speech), ND is generally thought to be reckless, a jester, and a free spirit.
Due to his reckless and flamboyant personality, Mercuric is one of Shakespearean most popular characters. Mercuric is the instigator of many fights with his rather mean spirited humor, and often insults Table, a renowned swordsman. It is Table’s temper that leads to Americium’s death, and Romeos banishment and the tragedy that follows. After Romeo receives a death threat from Table, Mercuric expects Romeo to engage Table in a duel. However, Romeo refuses to fight Table, as Table is Gullet’s cousin and therefore his kinsman. Not knowing this, Mercuric is incensed, and decides to fight Table himself.
Romeo, not wanting his best friend or his relative to get hurt, intervenes, causing Mercuric to be killed by Table stabbing under Romeos arm. Before he dies, Mercuric casts “a plague o’ both your houses! ” He makes one final pun before he dies: “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man”. In revenge for the murder of his best friend, Romeo slays Table, thus leading to Romeos banishment from Verona and the increasingly tragic turn of events that follows. Page to Mercuric A page is present for Americium’s fight with Table. Before he dies, Mercuric angrily calls for his page to “fetch a surgeon! Page to Paris Another page accompanies Paris to the Caplet’s crypt when he goes to mourn Juliet. He stands guard as Paris enters, ordered to “whistle then to me, / As signal that thou heart’s something approach”. When Romeo and Paris break into a brawl, the page runs away to call the Watch. He returns with the Watch too late to stop the fray and later testifies to the Prince of Paris’ intentions. House of Capsule The Capsule family (in Italian, the Copulate) in the play was named after an actual political faction of the 13th century. ] Capsule Frederic Leighton 1854 watercolors The Reconciliation of the Montages and Capsules Lord Capsule is the patriarch of the Capsule family, the father of Juliet, and uncle of Table. He is very wealthy. He is sometimes commanding but also convivial, as at the ball: when Table tries to incite a duel with Romeo, Capsule tries to calm him and then threatens to throw him out of the family if he does not control his temper; he does the same to his daughter later in the play. Hang thee, young baggage! Disobedient wretch! Tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday, Or never after look me in the face
And you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend; And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets! Caplet’s ultimatum to Juliet Romeo and Juliet Capsule highly believes he knows what is best for Juliet. He says that his consent to the marriage depends upon what she wants and tells Count Paris that if he wants to marry Juliet he should wait a while then ask her. Later, however, when Juliet is grieving over Romeos being sent away, Capsule thinks her sorrow is due to Table’s death, and in a misguided attempt to cheer her up, he wants to surprise her by arranging a marriage between her and Count Paris.
The catch is that she has to be “ruled ” by her father and to accept the proposal. When she refuses to become Paris’ “joyful bride”, saying that she can “never be proud of what she hates”, Capsule becomes furious; threatens to make her a street urchin; calls her a “wilding” (meaning “slue’ or “where”), “unworthy”, “young baggage”, a “disobedient wretch”, a “green-sickness carrion”, and “tallow-face”; and says God’s giving Juliet to them was a “curse” and he now realizes he and his wife had one child too many when Juliet was born (in The Tragically History of Romeos and Juliet).
In addition to threatening o turn her out, he threatens to sentence her to rot away in prison if she does not obey her parents’ orders. He then storms away, and his wife also rejects Juliet before following him. He fixes the day of the marriage for Thursday and suddenly advances it to Wednesday out of anger and impulse. His actions indicate that his daughter’s wants were irrelevant all the way up to the point when he sees her unconscious on her bed (presumably dead) and later, when she is truly dead during the plays final scene.
Caplet’s wife Lady Capsule and the Nurse persuade Juliet to marry Paris Caplet’s wife is the matriarch of the house Of Capsule, and Gullet’s mother. She plays a larger role than Montage’s wife, appearing in several scenes. In Act 1, Scene 3, she refuses to talk to her daughter about marriage, as she feels uncomfortable about it, but in Scene four, she is pleased about Count Paris’ “interest” in her daughter. When Table is killed in Act 3, she expresses extreme grief and a strong desire for revenge on Romeo.
In Act 3, Scene 5, she becomes very angry with Juliet for refusing to marry Paris and coldly rejects her, saying: “Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word; do as thou wilt, or I am done with thee”. By the final act, she is nearly overcome by the tragic events of the play.  We know Gullet’s mother bore her first child by the time she was 14, Gullet’s age, and her husband is many years older than she. Calling her “Lady Capsule” is a modern addition; it is an echo of Gullet’s form of address in 3. 65: “my lady In the first texts the stage direction and speech headings can be “mother”, “wife”, or even “old lady”, but nowhere “Lady J Littered] Main article: Juliet Juliet or The Blue Necklace(1 898) by John William Waterholes As a younger child, she was cared for by a Nurse, who is now her confidante. Juliet is approaching her 14th birthday. She was born on “Llamas Eve at night” (August 1), so Gullet’s birthday is July 31 (1. 3. 19). Her birthday is “a fortnight hence”, putting the action of the play in mid-July (1. 3. 17). [clarification needed] Her father states that she “hath not seen the change of fourteen years” (1. . 9). Juliet dies at the end of the play, and the sacred lovers are reunited on the same deathbed. Both their families realize what they had done by trying to separate the star crossed lovers with the effect that the Capsules and Montages are reunited and their fighting ends. Table Main article: Table Table is Caplet’s nephew and Gullet’s hot-headed cousin, and is close to Caplet’s wife; he is a skilled swordsman who serves as the principal antagonist. Table is angered by the insult of Romeo and Venison’s uninvited presence at the ball in the Capsules’ home.
Table shares the same name as the character Tiber/Table the ” Prince of Cats” in Reentry the Fox, a point of both mockery and compliment to him in the play. Mercuric repeatedly calls Table “Prince of Cats” referring to Table’s expertise with the sword, as he is agile and fast, but also it is an insult as it offers not only to Reentry but to the Italian word cacao (pr. CAT-so) meaning “penis”. Table is first seen coming to the aid of his servants who are being attacked by the Montages’ servants. He is also present attitude’s feast in act one, scene five and is the first to recognize Romeo.
His last appearance is in act 3 scene 1 , wherein Mercuric insults Table and ends up fighting with him. Table kills Mercuric and, in retaliation, Romeo rages and kills Table, resulting in Romeos banishment. Nurse Main article: Nurse (Romeo and Juliet) The Nurse is a major character in the play, and like the Friar she is a neutral heartache. There has been speculation about her name, as Capsule refers to as “Angelica”, but the line can be addressed to either the nurse or Lady Capsule. She is the personal servant (and former nurse) of Gullet’s.
As the primary person who raised Juliet, she is Gullet’s confidante and effectively more of a mother to the girl than Lady Capsule.  Peter Peter is the personal servant of the Nurse’s. He appears to be a loyal servant, always quick to obey the Nurse. He is chastised for not fighting Mercuric for the Nurse’s honor, but insists that he “saw no man use you a pleasure; if I ad, / my weapon should quickly have been He appears again in act four, scene five in a bromidic relief scene with a number of musicians. Gregory and Sampson At the beginning of the play, Gregory and Sampson (right) quarrel with Abram and Blather.
Gregory and Sampson are the Capsule servants. Gregory is originally hesitant to start a fight. Sampson, however, bites his thumb at Abram, ‘Which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it”. The Montages then retaliate in earnest. Benevolent arrives to break up the fight but ends up fighting with Table. Both Gregory and Sampson appear to be friends of their master Table’s.  In the opening scene, the two engage in a dialogue full of puns on “coal” and “eye”, each intending to outdo the other and get each other ready to fight Montages.
The rhetorical form is called sadomasochist, wherein characters participate in a short, quick exchanges of one-musicianship. Their discussion and brawl in this scene set the stage for the rivalry and hatred which fills the rest of the play.  Anthony, Paton, unnamed Anthony, Paton, and two other servants to the Capsule family play out a short comic scene in act one, scene five, arguing over the preparations for Caplet’s feast. Caplet’s servants are referenced again in act four, scene one; Capsule orders them to begin preparations for another party: the wedding of Juliet and Paris.
Servant to Capsule The hapless servant attempting to find the people named on a list he cannot read A servant to Capsule is sent to deliver party invitations to a number of nobles and friends to Capsule. While walking, he comes upon Romeo and Benevolent and asks them to read the list for him, as he cannot read. As a thank you, he invites the boys to “come and crush a cup of wine,” not realizing that they are Montages. This character may have been intended to be the same as Peter, and is usually identified in scripts either as Peter or as a Clown.
House of Montague The Montague family (in Italian, “Monotonic”) was an actual political faction of the 13th century. [l] Montague Old Montague is the patriarch of the house of Montague, and the father of Romeo and uncle to Benevolent. As with Capsule, it would be incorrect to refer to him as “Lord Montague”. He worries over Romeos relationship with Rosalie (with whom Romeo was in love at the beginning of the story), but cannot get through to his son. He later pleads with the Prince to prevent his on from being executed, and gets his wish when the Prince lowers Romeos punishment to banishment.
In the earliest texts his name is actually spelled “Montague”, but Montague now seems well-established. Montage’s wife Montage’s wife is the matriarch of the house of Montague, and the mother of Romeo and aunt of Benevolent. She appears twice within the play: in act one, scene one she first restrains Montague from entering the quarrel himself, and later speaks with Benevolent about the same quarrel. She returns with her husband and the Prince in act three, scene one to see what the trouble is, and s there informed of Romeos banishment. She dies of grief offstage soon after (mentioned in act five).
She is very protective Of her Son Romeo and is very happy when Benevolent tells her that Romeo was not involved in the brawl that happened between the Capsules and Montages. When Romeo was banished his mother was heartbroken and then she died. As with Caplet’s wife, calling her “Lady Montague” is a later invention not supported by the earliest texts. Romeo Main article: Romeo An 1870 oil painting byword Maddox Brown deprogramming and Gullet’s famous balcony scene In the beginning of the play, Romeo pines for n unrequited love, Rosalie.
To cheer him up, his cousin and friend Benevolent and Mercuric take him to the Capsules’ celebration in disguise, where he meets and falls in love with the Capsules’ only daughter, Juliet. Later that night, he and Juliet meet secretly and pledge to marry, despite their families’ long-standing feud. They marry the following day, but their union is soon thrown into chaos by their families; Gullet’s cousin Table duels and kills Romeos friend Mercuric, throwing Romeo into such a rage that he kills Table, and the Prince of Verona subsequently banishes him. Meanwhile,
Gullet’s father plans to marry her off to Paris, a local aristocrat, within the next few days, threatening to turn her out on the streets if she doesn’t follow through. Desperate, Juliet begs Romeos confidant, Friar Laurence, to help her to escape the forced marriage. Laurence does so by giving her a potion that puts her in a deathlike coma. The plan works, but too soon for Romeo to learn Of it; he genuinely believes Juliet to be dead, and so resolves to commit suicide. Romeos final words were “Thus with a kiss I die”.  He kills himself at Gullet’s grave, moments before she awakes; she kills herself in turn shortly thereafter.
Benevolent Main article: Benevolent He is Montage’s nephew and Romeos cousin. He and Romeo are both friends of Mercuric, a kinsman to Prince Callus. Benevolent seems to have little sympathy with the feud, trying unsuccessfully to back down from a fight with Table, and the duels that end in Mercuric and Table’s death. Benevolent spends most of Act I attempting to distract his cousin from his infatuation with Rosalie, but following the first appearance of Mercuric in l. Iv, he and Mercuric become more closely aligned until Ill. I. In that scene, he drags the fatally wounded Mercuric offstage, before returning to inform Romeo of
Americium’s death and the Prince of the course of Americium’s and Table’s deaths. Benevolent then disappears from the play (though, as a Montague, he may implicitly be included in the stage direction in the final scene “Enter Lord Montague and others”, and he is sometimes doubled with Blathers). Though he ultimately disappears from the play without much notice, he is a crucial character if only in that he is the only child of the new generation from either family to survive the play (as Romeo, Juliet, Paris, Mercuric, and Table are dead). Blather Blather is Romeos servant and trusted friend.
While he is not directly referenced in the first scene of the play, the directions call for two Montague servants to quarrel with Sampson and Gregory. He then comes back in Act V Scene 1 telling Romeo about Gullet’s death. In the last scene (Act 5 Scene 3) in the graveyard, he tries to stop Romeo from entering the vault, but he gives up and lets him go into the tomb. Romeo gives him money saying that he is a good friend, and then he hides in the graveyard despite Romeo telling him not to. Later Friar Laurence runs past Blather and asks him where Romeo is. Blather tells him that he is inside the tomb.
Then the Prince calls him in and asks him questions about why was he there. He gives the Prince the letter that explains why Romeo killed himself. Abram Abram (sometimes referred to as Abraham) is a servant of the Montague household. He appears in Act 1 , Scene 1, where is provoked into a fight with Gregory and Sampson when they later bite their thumbs at him. Other characters Friar Laurence Main article: Friar Laurence Romeo and Juliet with Friar Laurence Henry William Bunker Friar Laurence plays the part of an advisor and mentor to Romeo, along with aiding in major plot developments.
Alone, the innocent Friar gives us foreshadowing with his soliloquy about plants and their similarities to humans.  When Romeo requests that the Friar marry him to Juliet, he is shocked, because only days before, Romeo had been infatuated with a woman who did not return his love. Nevertheless, Friar Laurence decides to marry Romeo and Juliet in the attempt to end the civil feud between the Capsules and the Montages.  When Romeo is banished[1 2] and flees to Mantra for murdering Table (who had previously murdered Mercuric), he tries to help the two lovers get back together using a death-emulating potion to fake
Gullet’s death.  The friar’s letter to Romeo does not reach him because the people of Mantra suspect the messenger came from a house where the plague reigns, and the Friar is unable to arrive at the Caplet’s monument in time. Romeo kills Count whom he finds weeping near Gullet’s corpse, then commits suicide,[1 7] by drinking poison that he bought from an impoverished 8] over what he thinks is Gullet’s dead body. Friar Laurence arrives just as Juliet awakes from her chemically-induced slumber. [1 9] He urges Juliet not to be rash, and to join a society of but he hears a noise from outside and then flees from the tomb.
Juliet then kills herself with Romeos dagger, completing the tragedy. The Friar is forced to return to the tomb, where he recounts the entire story to Prince Callus, and all the Montages and Capsules. As he finishes, the prince proclaims, “We have still known thee for a holy man”. Friar John Friar John calls at the door of Friar Laurence cell, “Holy Franciscan friar! Brother, ho! ” (5. 21 Friar Laurence comes out and immediately asks about Romeo: “Welcome from Mantra! What says Romeo? / Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter” (5. 2. 3-4).
Friar John explains that he sought out another aria for company and found him in a house where he was visiting the sick, whereupon the health authorities, fearing there was pestilence in the house, confined both friars in the house so they wouldn’t infect others. The authorities wouldn’t even allow Friar John to use a messenger to send the letter back to Friar Laurence. Chorus http://en. Wisped. Org/wick/ If Works_of_William_Shakespeare_( 1864). Jpg Woodcut of an actor portraying thesaurus delivering the Prologue for the play A Chorus gives the opening prologue and one other speech, both in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet.
The Chorus is an omniscient character. It appears at the top of the play to fill the audience in on the ancient quarrel between the, “Two households, both alike in dignity / In fair Verona, where we lay our scene”. It returns as a prologue to act two to foreshadow the tragic turn of events about to befall the new romance between the title characters. The Chorus only appears in the Quarto versions, not in the First Folio. Apothecary The Apothecary is a pharmacist/druggist who reluctantly sells Romeos poison; he is a poor potion maker of Mantra. Watchmen The Watch of Verona takes the form of three watchmen.
The First Watch appears to be the constable, who orders the Second and Third to “search about the churchyard! ‘ Unusual for a Shakespearean watch group, they appear to be a relatively intelligent unit, managing to capture and detain Blathers and Friar Laurence in the churchyard. They then testify to the Prince to their role in the murder and suicide scene. Musicians Three musicians for Gullet’s wedding appear in act four, scene five in a brief comic scene, refusing to play a song called “Heart’s ease” for Peter. They are referred to by the names of Simon Castling, Hugh Rebecca, and James Soundest.  Citizens Verona
A number of citizens emerge during Act l, Scene to break apart the fight between some Capsule and Montague servants. They appear again in Act Ill, Scene to discover the slain body of Table, at which point they place Benevolent under citizen’s arrest until the Prince’s swift entrance. Unseen and ghost characters Pediatric Pediatric is a guest at the Capsule feast. He is notable only in that he is the only ghost character confirmed by Shakespeare to be present. When the party ends and Juliet inquires towards Romeos identity, the Nurse attempts to avoid the subject by answering that Juliet is pointing at “the young Pediatric”.
Later, he is with Table when he fatally wounds Mercuric, and a few scripts identify a Capsule with one line by that name. Pediatric is also the name of a major character in Shakespearean earlier work, The Taming of the Shrew. Rosalie Main article: Rosalie Rosalie in Expressionism’s and Juliet, one of the few films to give her a visible role. Rosalie is an unseen character and niece of Capsule. Although silent, her role is important: her lover, Romeo, first spots Juliet while trying to catch a glimpse of Rosalie ATA Capsule gathering. Before Juliet, Romeo was feely intrigued with another woman that didn’t return his feelings.