Old Capulet, Juliet”s father, throws a party to which he invites all his friends. The Montague’s are not invited Romeo and his friends plan to get a look at Rosaline a young girl he has been pursing. Romeo and friends disguises themselves and slips into the party. Once inside he met Juliet it was love at first sight. Romeo falls instantly in love. Romeo is disappointed when he finds out that Juliet is a Capulet. Juliet notices Romeo too, but she is unaware that he is a member of the hated Montague’s.
Later, after discovering that the young man who caught her eye is a member of the enemy family, Juliet goes out onto her balcony to tell the stars about her strong but forbidden love. At the same time, Romeo is lurking in the bushes below. He overhears Juliet confess her love for him to the heavens. No longer able to control his powerful feelings, Romeo reveals himself to her and admits that he feels the same. The very next day, with the help of Romeo”s friend Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet are secretly married.
On the day of the wedding, two of Romeo”s friends, Benvolio and Mercutio, are walking through the streets of Verona when they are confronted by Juliet”s cousin, Tybalt. Tybalt is out to get Romeo for crashing the Capulet”s party so he starts a fight with his friends. Romeo shows up, but does not want to fight Tybalt because he no longer holds a grudge against Juliet”s family. Romeo”s friends can”t understand why he won”t stand up for himself so Mercutio steps in to do it for him. A swordfight with Tybalt follows. Mercutio is killed.
To avenge the death of his friend, Romeo kills Tybalt, an act that will award him even more hatred from the Capulet family. The Prince of Verona banishes Romeo and he is forced to leave Juliet, who is devastated by the loss of her love. Juliet”s father, not knowing of his daughter”s marriage, decides to marry her to another young man named Paris. In despair, Juliet consults with Friar Laurence. He advises her to agree to the marriage, but on the morning of the wedding, she will drink a potion that h e prepares for her. The potion will make it look like Juliet is dead and she will be put into the Capulet burial vault.
Then, the Friar will send Romeo to rescue her. She does as the Friar says and is put into the vault by her heartbroken parents. Bad news traveled fast. Before the Friar can tell Romeo of the hoax, Romeo hears from someone else that his beloved Juliet is dead. Overcome with grief, Romeo buys a poison and goes to Juliet”s tomb to die beside his wife. At the door of the tomb, Romeo is forced to fight Paris, whom he swiftly kills. Nothing will stop him from joining his love. Inside the vault, Romeo drinks the poison and takes his last breath next to his sleeping wife.
Moments later, Juliet awakens to see her husband”s dead body. She learns what has happened from Friar Laurence who has just arrived and accessed the scene. With no reason left to live, Juliet kills herself with Romeo”s dagger. The tragedy has a tremendous impact on both the Montages and the Capulets. The families are hurt so much by the death of their children n that they agree to never fight again. Nurse: Having been the nanny since Juliet was an infant. Nurse is Juliet”s most trusted friend. She is the go between Juliet and her Romeo. She therefore rates as Romeo”s most important ally.
Friar: The Friar is trusted by all. Together with Juliet, they conceive the plan for her and Romeo to be together. With Romeo, the friar is a constant source of advice and safe haven. For both, the friar is the man who marries them in secret. Prince: He upsets Juliet with his banishment of Romeo for killing Tybalt. But banishment to another city is much better than having Romeo killed as well. For Romeo, he spared his life with Exile, although exile from Juliet may have meant death. His banter suggests long friendship with Romeo and can become far out — like way out.
For example: Mercutio: No I am the very pink of courtesy. Romeo: Pink for flower? Mercutio: Right. Besides being a flower, he is also a center of attention. Romeo describes him as “a gentleman… that loves to hear himself talk. ” If one cares to be superstitious, the ending of Romeo & Juliet can seem affected by Mercutio”s curse on both the House of Montague and that of Capulet. As he dies, from Tybalt”s blow, he proclaims, “A plague on both your houses! ” Romeo declares that his love for Juliet has made him effeminate, and that he should have fought Tybalt in Mercutio’s place.
When Tybalt, still angry, storms back onto the scene, Romeo draws his sword. They fight, and Romeo kills Tybalt. Benvolio urges Romeo to run; a group of citizens outraged at the recurring street fights is approaching. Romeo, shocked at what has happened, cries “O, I am fortune’s fool! ” The Prince enters, accompanied by many citizens, and the Montague’s and Capulets. Benvolio tells the Prince the story of the brawl, emphasizing Romeo’s attempt to keep the peace, but Lady Capulet, Tybalts aunt, cries that Benvolio is lying to protect the Montague’s.
She demands Romeo’s life. Prince chooses instead to exile Romeo from Verona. He declares that should Romeo be found within the city, he will be killed. The sudden, fatal violence in the first scene of Act III, as well as the buildup to the fighting, serves as a reminder that, for all its emphasis on love, beauty, and romance, Romeo and Juliet still takes place in a masculine world in which notions of honor, pride, and status are prone to erupt in a fury of conflict.
The viciousness and dangers of the play’s social environment is a dramatic tool that Shakespeare employs to make the lovers’ romance seem even more precious and fragileâ€”their relationship is the audience’s only respite from the brutal world pressing against their love. The fights between Mercutio and Tybalt and then between Romeo and Tybalt are chaotic; Tybalt kills Mercutio under Romeo’s arm, flees, and then suddenly, and inexplicably, returns to fight Romeo, who kills him in revenge. Passion outweighs reason at every turn.
Romeo’s cry, “O, I am fortune’s fool! ” refers specifically to his unluckiness in being forced to kill his new wife’s cousin, thereby getting himself banished III. i. 131. It also recalls the sense of fate that hangs over the play. Mercutio’s response to his fate, however, is notable in the ways it diverges from Romeo’s response. Romeo blames fate, or fortune, for what has happened to him. Mercutio curses the Montagues and Capulets. He seems to see people as the cause of his death, and gives no credit to any larger force.
Elizabethan society generally believed that a man too much in love lost his manliness. Romeo clearly subscribes to that belief, as can be seen when he states that his love for Juliet had made him “effeminate. ” Once again, however, this statement can be seen as a battle between the private world of love and the public world of honor, duty, and friendship. The Romeo who duels with Tybalt is the Romeo who Mercutio would call the “true” Romeo. The Romeo who sought to avoid confrontation out of concern for his wife is the person Juliet would recognize as her loving Romeo.
The word effeminate is applied by the public world of honor upon those things it does not respect. In using the term to describe his present state, Romeo accepts the responsibilities thrust upon him by the social institutions of honor and family duty. The arrival of the Prince and the angry citizens shifts the focus of the play to a different sort of public sphere. Romeo’s killing of Tybalt is marked by rashness and vengeance, characteristics prized by noblemen, but which threaten the public order that citizens desire and the Prince has a responsibility to uphold.
As one who has displayed such traits, Romeo is banished from Verona. Earlier, the Prince acted to repress the hatred of the Montagues and the Capulets in order to preserve public peace; now, still acting to avert outbreaks of violence, the Prince unwittingly acts to thwart the love of Romeo and Juliet. Consequently, with their love censured not only by the Montagues and Capulets but by the ruler of Verona, Romeo and Juliet’s relationship puts Romeo in danger of violent reprisal from both from Juliet’s kinsmen and the state.