The tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare has been known since 1597. The plot of the fate of loving hearts, separated by the will of people or circumstances, was widely spread in the literature of the Renaissance, when the playwright worked. But it was the brilliant gift of Shakespeare that created on its basis a genuine literary masterpiece.
Shakespeare’s meaning of the work can, in the opinion of the well-known literary critic H. Anikst, express this: “the hymn of triumphant love,” “the tragedy of great passion,” “love that conquers death.” Read the summary of “Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet” first of all in order to easily get to know the full text of the play in the plot turns and understand “who’s who” among the actors.
Romeo is the son of Montague’s spouses, the beloved Juliet and her husband.
Juliet – the daughter of the four Capulets, the lover and wife of Romeo.
Montague, Capulet are two warring families.
Brother Lorenzo is a monk, the spiritual father of Romeo.
Escal – Prince of Verona, acts as a judge in the city.
Count Paris is a relative of the prince, in love with Juliet and intending to marry her.
Mercutio is a friend of Romeo, a relative of the prince.
Benvolio is a friend of Romeo, the nephew of Montague.
Balthazar is a servant
The nurse is Juliet’s nurse.
Tybalt is the nephew of the Capulets, Juliet’s brother.
Chorus – reads the prologue to the first two acts, according to the tradition of ancient tragedy expresses the point of view of the author of the work.
The place and time of the tragedy – medieval Italy, the cities of Verona and Mantua.
The choir narrates that within two hours the spectator will be told the tragic story of “life, love and death” of children from two warring noble families.
The action takes place on the area of Verona.
They talk with Samson and Gregory, servants of the Capulet family. Samson says that he is ready to fight with any of the Montecchi family, Gregory also believes that the hosts quarrel, and they do not need it, they are just servants.
Servants of Montague, Abram and Baltazar appear on the square. Samson provokes a fight. The fight of servants is seen by Benvolio and wants to stop her. Tybalt, who appeared on the square, ridicules the nephew of Montague for the fact that he “mated with the muzhiks.” Ignoring the words of Benvolio about trying to reconcile the servants, he calls him a coward. A fight begins, which involves all the new participants, the supporters of the houses of Capulets and Montagues.
The spouses Capuleti enter, followed by Signor and Signora Montague. Heads of families are going to enter into a duel, wives do not allow them to do it.
There is an enraged Escal, the Veronese prince, orders to stop the “slaughter” and “disperse on pain of death.”
In addition to the spouses of Montague and Benvolio, everyone leaves the square.
The Montagues are concerned about the son’s behavior: he is always sad about something. Benvolio promises to “get to the secret” of Romeo.
Appears Romeo, his parents leave him. After listening to it, Benvolio realizes that he is in love.
One of the streets of Verona.
Count Paris wants to marry the daughter of Capulet, who is not yet 14 years old. Capuleti says that she is too young, that the main thing in this matter is the desire of his daughter, and invites Paris to a holiday that suits every year, hoping that there the young man will find another bride.
Romeo and Benvolio learn about the holiday, arranged by the Capulet, and decide to visit it – there Romeo will be able to see Rosalind, in which he is in love.
The action takes place in one of the rooms in the house of the Capulet.
Signora Capulet tells her daughter that Paris is wooing her, they are praising the prince with a wet nurse. Juliet, who “did not think” about marriage, out of respect for her parents promises to “look at” the groom.
Several mummers, among whom Benvolio, Mercutio and Romeo, are going to enter the feast in the house of the Capulet. Romeo anticipates trouble:
“I do not expect anything, an unknown thing that is
hidden in the darkness,
but will be born from the present ball, it will
prematurely shorten my life with the
guilt of some terrible circumstances.”
House of Capulet, room.
At the ball, Romeo sees a girl who is “too bright for a world of disgrace and evil” and understands that “she did not know the real beauty until now.”
Tybalt recognizes Romeo by voice and is going to deal with him. The capuletti orders to leave the youth, who “was unanimously recognized as an example of true nobility” in Verona, at rest and continue to have fun.
Romeo, in the image of a monk, talks to Juliet and kisses her. The nurse calls Juliette back to her mother, and Romeo learns from her that the girl is the daughter of Capuletti, the enemies of his family. Romeo and his friends are leaving the ball.
Juliet finds out from the wet nurse that the young man who kissed her is from the family of Montague. The girl is amazed:
“I’m the embodiment of a hateful power
. I fell in love with ignorance!”
Act of the second
The action takes place at the wall of the Capuleti garden.
Romeo wants to see again the one that struck his heart.
Benvolio calls Romeo, but he does not respond, eludes, jumping over the wall of the garden inside the courtyard. Mercutio believes that you should not look for “someone who is not wanted to be found.”
The scene is the Garden of the Capulet.
After making his way to the Capuleti garden, Romeo sees Juliet on the balcony. Young people talk, and then confess to each other in love. Their happiness “is so exorbitant, so fabulous and wonderful!” Juliet is ready to “follow everywhere” for Romeo, her feeling “without a bottom.”
Romeo goes to his confessor, Father Lorenzo, in order to “get down to the marriage” without delay.
Action – in the cell of his brother Lorenzo.
Romeo tells the confessor about the meeting with Juliet, asks him to marry him with his beloved as soon as possible.
In the flashed love of the children of Montague and Capulets, Lorenzo sees the “isolation” of families.
The scene is street.
Benvolio and Mercutio say that Capuletti’s nephew Tybalt sent a letter to Romeo. It is assumed that this is a challenge to a duel. Appears Romeo, explains to friends that he has an important matter.
A nurse appears on the street, she is looking for Romeo. The young man assures her that his intentions are pure and serious, and asks Juliette that:
“Under any pretext, it is necessary
to come to her confession by noon.”
We will be married to her brother Lorenzo. “
In the garden of the Capulet.
The nurse returns to Juliet and, in short, gives her everything she heard from Romeo.
The priest’s cell.
Father Lorenzo secretly crowned lovers. “The stormy feelings have a violent end, only in the sense of measure is the true good,” he warns Romeo.
Area of Verona.
Benvolio asks Mercutio to leave, it seems to him, “troubles can not be avoided” – because everywhere there is the Capulet. During their conversation, Tybalt appears nearby, arguing with Romeo’s friends.
Romeo comes to the square, Tybalt insults him. The young man is not going to quarrel, offering “to part friends.” Mercutio, who considers Romeo’s behavior “a shame,” reveals his sword. Romeo tries to stop the fighting, at this moment Tybalt injures Mercutio and disappears.
Mercutio dies. Romeo desperately fights with the returned Tybalt and kills him.
Benvolio forces Romeo to leave. On the square, the townspeople, the prince with his entourage, the families of Montague and Capulets gather. Benvolio tells the prince about what happened.
Prince Escal is furious. He decides that Romeo, who killed Tybalt, “for an act the self-made one will be immediately deported to a foreign land,” and on the warring families, whose dissension is finally tired of him, is going to impose a fine.
In the garden of the Capulet.
Juliet is looking forward to Romeo.
The nurse brings news that Romeo “stabbed Tybalt and in exile”. The girl starts to scold Romeo, but, recovering herself, refuses to blame her husband, who “is not born for shame.” The words that her husband is sent into exile, plunge Juliet into “desperation without edge and without a bottom.”
The nurse knows where Romeo is hiding, promises to find him. Juliet gives her a ring for her lover and asks him to tell Romeo to come and say goodbye to her.
In the cell of his brother Lorenzo.
The priest informs Romeo, hiding in his cell, that the prince’s decision was expelled from Verona. The young man is in despair, because the exile will separate him from his wife.
There is a knock at the door – this is the nurse. She learns from Lorenzo that Romeo is “drunk with tears” and says that the same thing happens with Juliet. Hearing that he is the cause of his wife’s suffering, Romeo is going to kill himself.
Lorenzo stops him and calls to behave like a man, because now he is “a blindness of actions – a wild beast.”
“What, you need to
kill yourself and kill your
wife living by you at the same time?”
What is wrong with your kind and heaven and earth,
which you betray the blasphemy?
They have united everything in you.
Not for decay, that you dishonor your
nature and love and mind. “
The confessor explains to Romeo: there is no sense to blame for his own fate, because “how much luck is pouring out.” Juliet is alive and loves him, no matter how Tybalt wanted Romeo’s death, he is alive, but in punishment, instead of being executed for murder, he was exiled. The monk finds an outlet for the young man. At night Romeo should go on a date to Juliet and calm her down, and then go to Mantua, “as long as there is an occasion to open your marriage and reconcile the houses.” Then, let’s make sure that you are returned. “
The nurse gives Romeo a ring and leaves.
Romeo bids farewell to the spiritual father.
The action takes place in the house of the Capulet.
Paris is talking with the Capuletti couple. They make a joint decision about the wedding, appointing it in two days. Because of the mourning for Tybalt, the wedding will take place in the presence of the closest people.
The capulette sends his wife to inform Juliet about this.
Lovers are saying goodbye and can not part.
The nurse warns that her mother is going to the girl.
Speaking to his daughter, Signora Capuletti talks about his intention to avenge the death of Tybalt and poison Romeo. While supporting the conversation, Juliet tries not to give her attitude to Romeo. The mother reports on the decision to marry her to Paris. Juliet refuses to marry.
The father who enters the room hears about the daughter’s refusal. He is furious, does not want to hear explanations and gives her two days to think,
“And if you are my daughter, then you will marry,
And if not, wander, starve.
And you can pound yourself : God is a witness,
Then I’m no longer your father.”
Parents leave, Juliet asks for advice from the wet nurse. Nanny believes that Romeo is in exile and the girl can conclude a new, more profitable, marriage with Paris.
Realizing that the nurse is no longer her ally, Juliet decides to go for help to her father Lorenzo
In the cell of his brother Lorenzo.
Paris talks with the monk about the upcoming wedding. Juliet enters, Paris talks to her, calling her husband, but the girl wants to be alone with Lorenzo. Paris leaves.
Juliet is ready to do anything to avoid becoming Paris’s wife.
“I am given to Romeo, Before
I give my hand to my heart to another,
I am the heart of life by the hand of the suppressor.”
She asks the monk to help, and Brother Lorenzo decides to give her “a remedy like death from this shame and trouble,” but warns: courage is needed to apply it. Juliet agrees, “determination in love” will help her.
I could not hear before without trembling,
Now I will not hesitate to commit,
So as not to violate Romeo’s loyalty.”
Lorenzo advises Juliette to return home and inform parents that he agrees with their decision about marriage. On the eve of the wedding day, she will need to drink a medicine prepared by a monk. After that, for almost two days, the girl will plunge into a deep sleep, which everyone will accept for death. According to the family tradition, Juliet should be buried in the crypt of the family in a coffin without a lid. Lorenzo will call Romeo, together they will be next to the girl until she wakes up “refreshed.” After that, lovers will be able to leave.
Juliet takes the bottle with the drink and leaves, promising to follow the instructions of Lorenzo.
The place of what is happening is the house of the Capulet.
Signor Capulets gives orders about the wedding. He hopes that Lorenzo will convince her daughter to make the right decision. Appears Juliet, she asks Father for forgiveness and says that she agrees to a marriage. Satisfied with the words of his daughter, Capulets decides to marry Paris and Juliet the next day. Leaves to tell Paris this news.
Juliet asks the wet nurse to leave her alone. The girl is tormented by doubts: she is afraid of the thought that the drink may not work, then she is afraid that there is poison in the bottle, she doubts whether “the whole can keep her sanity” in the crypt. Imagining that the ghost of Tybalt is looking for Romeo, decisively drinking a cup with Lorenzo’s tincture and instantly falling asleep.
House of the Capulet.
The house is in a hurry to get ready for the wedding. The capulette sends a wet nurse to wake Juliet.
In the room of Juliet.
The nurse wakes Juliet and discovers that she is dead.
In the house come brother Lorenzo, Paris, musicians. Hearing the sad news, everyone suffers in his own way. The capulet is “crushed, mocked, maimed, murdered,” Paris is “divorced, deceived, trampled in the mud,” for the mother and nurse is the most terrible day of their life.
Lorenzo intends to shame everyone, explaining that there is no need to complain, Juliet “the sky shines with eternal life” – she is in paradise. The monk orders “to shower the body with rosemary” and carry it to the crypt.
The action takes place on Mantua Street.
Romeo walks down the street, contemplating his dream, which, as he thinks, promises joy. In a dream, Romeo saw himself dead, but the wife that appeared with a kiss brought him back to life.
Met Baltazar, who tells that he saw the “burial of Juliet”.
Romeo decides to go to Verona and on the same day to die next to his beloved. He remembers the poor apothecary and goes to buy poison from him.
The pharmacist initially refuses to sell the desired compound, because “in Mantua, those who sell such substances are executed.” But “need gives consent,” and for a lot of money he gives Romeo powder. Poured into any liquid, the poison will act from the first sip.
Romeo is going to drink a “saving potion” at the tomb of Juliet.
The monk Lorenzo’s cell.
To the confessor of Romeo Monk Giovanni comes. It turns out that he could not get to Mantua and hand over the letter. Lorenzo is very worried – the young man did not receive important news.
“The letter had a very important meaning: the
delay of these lines threatens with misfortune.”
Juliet is about to wake up. The monk decides to go to the tomb and hide Juliet in his cell when she wakes up.
The action takes place in the cemetery.
To the family vault of the Capulet, Paris is sent for a farewell to his unfaithful wife with a page. Not wishing to attract attention, Paris orders the servant to warn him if someone appears in the cemetery. The page whistles when it sees people, and Paris hides in the bushes.
Go out Romeo and Balthasar. Romeo gives the servant a letter for his father and asks him to leave, because he wants to look again at his beloved.
Seeing Romeo, Paris decides that he is going to desecrate the bodies of Juliet and Tybalt. Not recognizing Paris in the dark, Romeo explains to the young man that he is preparing “for himself a massacre,” but he does not believe him. The duel begins, in which Romeo wins. Learning in the murdered Paris, sympathizing with him, too, who loved Juliet, puts the body in the crypt.
Romeo addresses his wife with bitterness and tenderness:
“My love, my wife, my end, I
am sucked out like honey, your breath,
I have not coped with your beauty,
you have not been defeated: the banner of life
Burns in your lips and on your cheeks”
Romeo drinks the poison.
The brother of Lorenzo hurries to the crypt, encounters Balthasar. Having learned from the servant that nothing is aware of Romeo for half an hour in the crypt, he anticipates misfortune. On the slabs, he sees with horror the traces of blood, “swollen swords,” and, finally, the bodies of Romeo and Paris.
At this moment, Juliet wakes up, she wants to see her husband. “At your feet lies your dead husband, and with him Paris,” says the monk and wants to lead the girl away to hide her, sending her “nun to the monastery.” “Another force, more than mine, has warned us,” he sums up bitterly the result.
Juliet refuses to go, Lorenzo leaves. Juliet sits above the body of her husband, discovers a vessel in his hands, realizes that he has poisoned himself. The girl kisses her husband, hoping to poison with him the poison left on her lips. Seeing the dagger, it pierces itself and dies.
The page of Paris leads to the crypt guard. Call the prince, the Montagues, the Capulet, lead the sobbing Lorenzo.
Seeing the dead, the prince intends to find the “culprit of fanaticism.” Montague says that unable to withstand the separation from his son, today his wife died.
The Montagues and the Capulet look at their dead children.
Lorenzo leads his tragic story “in a double face – as an accused and accuser, to condemn himself and justify.” He narrates about the true cause of the death of the children of Montague and Capulets.
After listening to the monk, Escal interrogates Balthazar, who talks about everything he saw and heard. The prince reads Romeo’s letter, it confirms the words of the monk. The Prince of Verona refers to warring families:
“Where are you, irreconcilable enemies,
And your dispute, Capulets and Montagues?
What a lesson for the haters,
That the sky kills you with love!”
Struck by a common grief, the families are reconciled. The prince puts an end to the tragedy of families:
“The rapprochement with your dusk is over, the
sun does not seem to be visible through the thickness of the clouds
… the tale of Romeo and Juliet
Will be sadder in the world…”
Like hundreds of years ago, the events described in the drama of Shakespeare, excite our contemporaries with the depth of the feelings and characters of the characters. A brief retelling of “Romeo and Juliet” will prepare the reader for the perception of the history of the bright and faithful love of young people who have won the long-standing hostility of families.