“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona where we lay our scene, From acnient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean, From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life. The fearful passage of their death marked love and continuance of their parents’ rage which led to their children’s deaths.”
Romeo and Juliet are lovers whose lives are ruined by a conflict that has been going on between their families, the Montagues and the Capulets, for many years. In this respect the play resembles an epic in which the lives of relatively powerless humans are affected by the clash of powerul forces, such as the war between the Greeks and Trojans in Homer’s Iliad Neither Romeo nor Juliet can be called the protagonist or antagonist in Shakespeare’s play. The heads of their families are the protagonist and antagonist, and it would seem that the head of the Capulet family (Juliet’s) would be considered the protagonist and the other the antagonist, because the Capulet’s cause the problem by trying to force their daughter to marry Paris.
The balcony scene, it made them want to be together even more now. The marriage. Tybalt sends Romeo a duel.
Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo is banished.
When Juliet hears of Romeo’s banishment she is in a state of despair. Juliet is told she must marry Paris. She takes the potion from Friar Lawrence.
When they knew of the couple’s death, the Montagues and Capulets reconciled, letting go of their grudges.
Verona and Mantua, Italy, Renaissance, 14th or 15th century
son and heir of Montague, protagonist of tragedy
daughter of Capulet, naive child who trusts and gives her life to Romeo
a priest, friend to both Romeo and Juliet, who secretly marries them and gives Juliet the potion
kinsman to the Prince, Romeo’s close friend, overflowing with imagination, wit, strangeness, satire, and fervor. Finds Romeo’s love life tiresome. Gets killed by Tybalt
Juliet’s caretaker since birth, comic relief with inappropriate remarks, faithful and loyal medium between the lovers. Juliet’s sacrifice to her love is incomprehensible to her
Capulet, Juliet’s cousin, vain, aggressive, violent, dies by Romeo
head of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, truly loves daughter but does not understand her feelings, prone to rage,
Juliet’s mother, was a mom at Juliet’s age, eager to see her with Paris, ineffectual mother
Romeo’s father, concerned about Romeo’s melancholy
kinsman of the Prince, suitor of Juliet, very presumptuous toward Juliet, acting as if married to her
Montague’s nephew, thoughtful friend, genuine effort to break up fights, spends time helping Romeo get his mind off Rosaline
Prince of Verona, kinsman of Mercutio and Paris, concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs
charged by Friar Lawrence with taking news to Juliet’s false death to Romeo in Mantua, he is quarantined and message never sent
Romeo’s dedicated servant, who brings Romeo news of Juliet’s death, unaware of it being fake
Sampson and Gregory
2 servants of Capulet who provoke Montague men into fights
Montague’s servant who fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene
values morals more than money, refused to sell poison to Romeo but Romeo gives him money to he gave him it
Capulet servant who invites guests to Capulet’s feat and escorts Nurse to Romeo, illiterate and bad singer
Theme: Forcefulness of Love
Romeo and Juliet does not make specific moral statement about relationships between love and society, religion and family; rather it portrays the chaos and passion of being love, combining images of love, violence, death, religion and family in an impressionistic rush leading to the play’s tragic conclusion
Theme: Love as a Cause of Violence
This theme continues until its inevitable conclusion: double suicide. This tragic choice is the highest, most potent expression of love that Romeo and Juliet can make. It is only through death that they can preserve their love, and their love is so profound that they are willing to end their lives in its defense. In the play, love emerges as an amoral thing, leading as much to destruction as to happiness. But in its extreme passion, the love that Romeo and Juliet experience also appears so exquisitely beautiful that few would want, or be able, to resist its power.
Theme: The Individual Versus Society
The maintenance of masculine honor forces Romeo to commit actions he would prefer to avoid. But the social emphasis placed on masculine honor is so profound that Romeo cannot simply ignore them. And Romeo cannot cease being a Montague simply because he wants to; the rest of the world will not let him.
Theme: Inevitability of Fate
the tragic timing of Romeo’s suicide and Juliet’s awakening. These events are not mere coincidences, but rather manifestations of fate that help bring about the unavoidable outcome of the young lovers’ deaths.