The first act begins with a brawl of servants who belong to two warring families – Montague and Capulet. It is not clear what caused the enmity, it is obvious only that it is an old and irreconcilable, pulling the passions of both young and old into the whirlpool. To the servants quickly join the noble representatives of the two houses, and then themselves their heads. On the square filled with the July sun, the real battle begins to boil. Citizens, tired of discord, can barely manage to separate the fighting. At last comes the supreme ruler of Verona – the prince, who orders to end the clash on pain of death, and angrily withdraws.
Romeo, the son of Montague, appears on the square. He already knows about the recent strike, but his thoughts are occupied by another. As it should be at his age, he is in love and suffering. The subject of his undivided passion is some unapproachable beauty Rosalina. In a conversation with his friend Benvolio, he shares his experiences.
Benvolio good-naturedly advises to look at other girls and chuckles at his friend’s objections.
At this time Capulet is visited by a relative of the Prince Count Paris, who asks for the hands of the sole daughter of the hosts. Juliette has not yet turned fourteen, but the father agrees to the offer. Paris is noble, rich, beautiful, and you can not dream of a better groom. Capuleti invites Paris to the annual ball they give this evening. The mistress goes to the daughters’ chambers to warn Juliet about the matchmaking. The three of us – Juliet, mother and nurse, who raised the girl – they are vividly discussing the news. Juliet is still serene and obedient to her parents’ will.
On the magnificent carnival ball in the Capuletti house, several young men from the enemy camp penetrate under the masks – including Benvolio, Mercutio and Romeo. They are all hot, sharp on the tongue and are looking for adventure. Especially mocking is the talker Mercutio, Romeo’s closest friend. Romeo himself is on the threshold of the Capuletti house with a strange alarm. “Well, I do
not expect anything.” “Unknown something.” / What is hidden in the darkness, but / Will be born from the present ball, / Will prematurely shorten my life / With the guilt of some strange circumstances. / But the one who directs my ship / sail…”
In the thick of the ball, among the occasional phrases exchanged by the hosts, guests and servants, the views of Romeo and Juliet intersect for the first time, and, like a dazzling lightning, they are struck by love.
The world for both instantly transforms. For Romeo from this moment there are no past attachments: “Have I ever loved this before? / Oh no, there were false goddesses.” I did not know the real beauty from now on… “When he pronounces these words, he recognizes him by voice Cousin Juliette Tybalt, immediately grabbing for his sword. The owners beg him not to make noise at the party. They notice that Romeo is famous for his nobility and there is no harm, even if he visited the ball. Tortured Tybalt harbors resentment.
Romeo, meanwhile, manages to exchange with Juliet several replicas. He is dressed as a monk, and behind the hood she does not see his face. When the girl slips out of the hall to the call of his mother, Romeo from the wet nurse will know that she is the daughter of the owners. A few minutes later Juliet makes the same discovery – through the same nurse she finds out that Romeo is the son of their sworn enemy! “I’m the embodiment of a hateful force / I fell in love with ignorance”.
Benvolio and Mercutio leave the ball without waiting for a friend. Romeo at this time quietly climbs over the wall and hides in the dense garden of the Capulet. His flair leads him to the balcony of Juliet, and he, as he stops, hears her name. Unable to withstand, the young man responds. The conversation between two lovers begins with timid exclamations and questions, and ends with an oath of love and a decision to immediately connect their destinies. “I am not in control of what I own.” My love is without a bottom, and kindness is like the breadth of the sea. “The more I spend, the more I become boundless and richer,” says Juliet about her overwhelmed feeling. “Holy night, holy night… / So inordinate happiness…” – echoed her Romeo. From this moment, Romeo and Juliet act with extraordinary firmness, courage and yet caution, fully submitting to the love that has absorbed them.
Their attorneys are the monk brother of Lorenzo, the confessor of Romeo, and the nurse, Juliet’s confidante. Lorenzo agrees to secretly marry them – he hopes that the union of the young Montague and Capulet will serve the world between the two families. In the cell of Brother Lorenzo, a marriage ceremony is performed. Lovers are full of happiness.
But in Verona is still a hot summer, and “the blood boils in the veins from the heat.” Especially among those who are already hot-tempered like gunpowder and are looking for an excuse to show their courage. Mercutio spends time on the square and argues with Benvolio, which of them likes quarrels more. When there is a teetotal Tybalt with friends, it becomes clear that without a hassle is indispensable. The exchange of caustic bites was interrupted by the arrival of Romeo. “This is the right person for me,” says Tibalt and continues: “Romeo, the essence of my feelings towards you is all expressible in a word: you are a bastard.”
However, the proud Romeo does not grasp in response to the sword, he only tells Tybalt that he is mistaken. After all, after the wedding with Juliet, he considers Tybalt his relative, almost a brother! But no one yet knows. And Tybalt continues to abuse, until furious Mercutio interferes: “Coward, despicable obedience! / I must wash off her shame with blood!” They are fighting at swords. Romeo in horror from what is happening rushes between them, and at that moment Tybalt from under his hand deftly strikes Mercutio, and then quickly disappears with his accomplices. Mercutio dies in Romeo’s arms. The last words he whispers: “The plague take your families both!”
Romeo is shocked. He lost his best friend. Moreover, he realizes that he died because of him, that Mercutio was loyal to them, Romeo, when he defended his honor… “Thanks to you, Juliet, I’m getting too soft…” – mutters Romeo in a fit of remorse, bitterness and fury. At that moment Tybalt reappears on the square. Opening his sword, Romeo flies at him in “fiery rage.” They fight silently and frenziedly. After a few seconds, Tybalt falls dead. Benvolio in fear tells Romeo to flee urgently. He says that the death of Tybalt in a duel will be regarded as a murder and Romeo threatens execution. Romeo leaves, depressed by all that has happened, and the square is filled with indignant citizens. After the explanation of Benvolio, the prince pronounces a sentence: Romeo is now sentenced to exile – otherwise death awaits him.
Juliet learns about the terrible news from the wet nurse. Her heart is compressed with mortal anguish. Grieving about the death of her brother, she nevertheless is adamant in the justification of Romeo. “Wife censure me? / Poor husband, where you are kind to hear the word, / When he is not told and his wife on the third hour of marriage…”
Romeo at this moment grimly listens to the advice of his brother Lorenzo. He persuades the young man to hide by obeying the law, until he is forgiven. He promises to send Romeo letters on a regular basis. Romeo in despair, exile for him – the same death. He is desperate for Juliet. Only a few hours are able to hold them together, when at night he sneaks into her room. The trills of a lark at dawn inform the lovers that it’s time for them to part. They can not tear themselves apart from each other, pale, tormented by the impending separation and anxious forebodings. Finally, Juliet herself urges Romeo to leave, fearing for his life.
Entered into the bedroom, the daughter of Lady Capulets finds Juliet in tears and explains it with sorrow for the death of Tybalt. The news the mother reports makes Juliet cold: Count Paris hurries with the wedding, and the father has already decided on the wedding the next day. The girl is praying for her parents to wait, but they are adamant. Or an immediate wedding with Paris – or “you then I’m no longer a father.” The nurse after the parents leave persuades Juliet not to worry: “Your new marriage will eclipse your benefits first…” “Amen!” – Remarks in response to Juliet. From this moment in the wet-nurse she sees no longer a friend, but an enemy. There remains the only person to whom she can still trust – the brother of Lorenzo. “And if the monk does not help me, / there is a means to die in my hands.”
“There is no end to hope!” Juliet says lifelessly, when she is alone with the monk. Unlike the wet nurse, Lorenzo does not console her – he understands the girl’s desperate situation. With all her heart sympathizing with her and Romeo, he offers the only way to salvation. She must pretend to be submissive to her father’s will, prepare for the wedding, and in the evening take a miracle solution. After that, she must plunge into a state resembling death, which will last exactly forty-two hours. During this period Juliet will be buried in the family crypt. Lorenzo will inform Romeo about everything, he will arrive at the moment of her awakening, and they will be able to disappear until the best time… “That’s the way out, if you do not falter / or do not confuse something,” concludes the monk, without hiding the danger of this secret plan. “Give me a bottle, do not talk about fear,” – Juliet cuts it off. Inspired by a new hope, she leaves with a bottle of solution.
In the house of the Capulet prepare for the wedding. Parents are happy that the daughter no longer stubborn. The nurse and mother tenderly say goodbye to her before going to bed. Juliet remains alone. Before the decisive act of it embraces fear. What if the monk deceived her? Or the elixir will not work? Or will the action be different than he promised? What if she wakes up early? Or worse – will remain alive, but lose his mind from fear? And still. she does not hesitate to drink the bottle to the bottom.
In the morning the house is announced by the wail of the wet nurse: “Juliet died, she passed away!” The house is full of turmoil and horror. There can be no doubt – Juliet is dead. She lies in bed in a wedding dress, stiffened, with no blood in her face. Paris, like all the others, is crushed by the terrible news. Musicians invited to play at the wedding, still awkwardly trampled, waiting for orders, but the unhappy family is already plunging into inconsolable mourning. Coming Lorenzo utters words of sympathy to relatives and reminds that it’s time to take the deceased to the cemetery.
… “I saw a dream: my wife showed up to me. / And I was dead and, dead, watching. / And suddenly, from her hot lips I came to life…” – Romeo, who hides in Mantua, still does not suspect how this vision will be prophetic. While he knows nothing about what happened in Verona, but only, burnt with impatience, waiting for news from the monk. Instead of the messenger appears servant Romeo Baltazar. The young man rushes to him with questions and – about grief! – learns the terrible news of Juliet’s death. He gives the command to harness the horses and promises: “Juliet, we will be together today.” At the local pharmacist he demands the most terrible and fast poison and for fifty ducats receives a powder – “put any liquid into any liquid, / And be strong in you for twenty, / One sip will lay you down instantly.”
At this time, Brother Lorenzo is no less terrified. To him comes the monk, whom Lorenzo sent to Mantua with a secret letter. It turns out that the fateful accident did not allow the execution of the assignment: the monk was locked in the house on the occasion of the plague quarantine, since his comrade had been caring for the sick before.
The last scene takes place in the tomb of the Capuleti family. Here, next to Tybalt, just put in the tomb dead Juliet. Delayed at the coffin of the bride Paris throws Juliette flowers. Hearing a rustle, he hides. Romeo appears with a servant. He gives Balthazar a letter to his father and sends him away, and he opens the crypt with a crowbar. At this point, Paris stands out from hiding. He blocks Romeo’s way, threatens him with arrest and execution. Romeo asks him to go well and “not tempt the insane.” Paris insists on arrest. The duel begins. The page of Paris rushes for help in fear. Paris dies from the sword Romeo and before his death asks him to bring it into the crypt to Juliet. Romeo finally remains alone before the tomb of Juliet, He is amazed that in the coffin she looks as alive and just as beautiful. Cursing the evil forces that carried away this most perfect of the earthly creatures, he kisses Juliet for the last time and with the words “I drink to you, love!” drinks poison.
Lorenzo is late for a moment, but he is no longer able to revive the young man. It ripens in time for Juliet’s awakening. Seeing the monk, she immediately asks where her husband is, and assures that everything perfectly remembers and feels vigorous and healthy. Lorenzo, afraid of telling her the terrible truth, urges her to leave the crypt. Juliet does not hear his words. Seeing the dead Romeo, she thinks only about how soon to die herself. She is annoyed that Romeo alone drank all the poison. But next to him lies a dagger. It’s time. Moreover, the voices of watchmen can already be heard outside. And the girl stabs herself in the chest with a dagger.
Those who entered the tomb found the dead Paris and Romeo, and next to them the warm Juliet. Tempted to tears Lorenzo told the tragic story of lovers. The Montagues and Capulets, forgetting about the old quarrels, stretched out their hands to each other, inconsolably mourning the dead children. It was decided to put a gold statue on their graves.
But, as the prince correctly noted, the tale of Romeo and Juliet will still be sadder in the world…