Romeo and Juliet

A most tragic story of love

It all began with a kiss and ended with a death (or two)

Taking advice from his quirky friend, Romeo crashes the party of Juliet while wearing a disguise. Mercutio hopes Romeo finds a more beautiful woman to love after Rosaline broke his heart. The Montague squad were enjoying themselves when Romeo eyes Juliet, without knowing she's a Capulet. Falling madly in love, they quickly realize the only way they can be together is to secretly marry and runaway. However, the star-crossed lovers' romance ended as quickly as it began. Through a series of tragic events and missed communication, the lovers both take their lives. It is with four unnecessary deaths that the Montague and Capulet families finally put an end to their feud.

Important Story Notes

Setting: Verona

Rising Action: Romeo is heartbroken over Rosaline so he crashes the Capulet ball; Romeo and Juliet fall in love; Romeo and Juliet secretly get married; Tybalt kills Mercutio; Romeo kills Tybalt; Romeo is banished; Juliet makes a plan to fake her death and run away to Romeo

Climax: Romeo does not receive Juliet's note and thinks she has actually died; he goes to Juliet's tomb and kills Paris and then himself; Juliet wakes up and realizes Romeo is dead, so she kills herself

Falling Action: The Montague and Capulet family discover the bodies of Paris, Romeo, and Juliet

Resolution: The two families make peace

Man V. Man Conflict: Romeo & Tybalt, Capulet & Montague, Tybalt & Benvolio, Prince & families, Romeo & Paris

Man V. Society Conflict: Montagues & Capulets

Key Players

What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet.

Scene Analysis

Act Two Scene Two serves as what is likely the most famous scene in all of the play: the balcony scene. In this scene, Juliet is speaking aloud. She has just met Romeo and already fallen in love with him. When she met him, she did not realize who he was; it was only after they kissed that she learned he is her "only hate," meaning her only enemy. While she is talking to herself on the balcony, she confesses that Romeo's name does not define who he is. She wonders "what's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet" (2.3.45-46). What she means is not Romeo is an individual person. He is an enemy by name only. In this scene, Shakespeare is developing a central idea of individual versus group identity. He is exploring the importance of being defined as one's self, rather than being grouped with others.

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