William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet Essay

2237 words - 9 pages

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Type of Work:

Romantic tragedy

Setting

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
pouring 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 well governed
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...

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