Act One – Scene I On the streets of Verona, a minor quarrel between Montague and Capulet servants erupts into an aggressive battle between the two rival families (in which Tybalt and Benvolio join in). Before Lord Montague and Capulet can participate, Prince Escalus arrives at the scene and halts the fight. Growing annoyed by the families’ rivalry, the Prince declares a penalty of execution for the next Montague or Capulet to instigate a fight. The brawlers, Prince Escalus and Lord Capulet exit, leaving Benvolio with his uncle and aunt. The Montagues discuss Romeo’s increasing depression and how concerned they’ve become over the matter. Observing Romeo approaching, Benvolio promises to find out why he is so unhappy. As Lord Montague and his wife exit, Romeo informs Benvolio about how he is mourning over his love Rosaline. He is upset because Rosaline does not want to sleep with him. Benvolio advises his cousin to move on to more beautiful women. However, Romeo proclaims that it would be simply impossible and he cannot learn to forget about his love. Benvolio is still determined to do so.
Act One – Scene II Elsewhere in Verona, Lord Capulet cheerily converses with Paris, a wealthy relative of the Prince. The two men casually discuss Paris’ desire to marry Juliet, Lord Capulet’s daughter. While Capulet is elated over the matter, he requests that Paris wait a couple of more years, as Juliet is simply too young. In an attempt to allow Paris to attract Juliet, Lord Capulet invites the suitor to his masquerade feast occurring later that night. Capulet then orders his servant, Peter, to invite a list of people to the party. As Capulet and Paris walk away, Peter reveals that he is illiterate and won’t be able to read the list. Benvolio and Romeo then appear, still debating over whether or not Romeo will be able to forget about his love Rosaline. Peter then asks Romeo to read the list of invites to him and the Montague complies, noticing Rosaline’s name on the list. In a way of thanking the two for their assistance, he invites them to the Masquerade party, assuming that they are not Montagues. Benvolio perceives the party as a great opportunity to encounter other women, while Romeo only wants to go to see Rosaline.
Act One – Scene III In Capulet’s home, Lady Capulet calls to the Nurse, asking for her to retrieve Juliet. As Juliet enters, Lady Capulet tells the Nurse to leave, wanting to converse with her daughter alone. However, because she knows nothing about her daughter, she asks the Nurse to stay and offer her advice. After forcing the Nurse to stop cracking adult jokes, Juliet discusses marriage with her mother. Juliet admits that she hasn’t really thought about the topic that much. Lady Capulet then reminisces on her marriage and informs Juliet that Paris is interested in marrying her. Juliet dully agrees to meet Paris, reestablishing her indifference over marriage. As the scene ends, the party is about the begin.
Act One – Scene IV Disguised in a mask, Romeo arrives at the party with his cousin Benvolio and his friend Mercutio (another relative of the Prince). Romeo is still clearly upset over Rosaline and claims that he will not dance at all. Behaving in a more energetic manner, Mercutio teases his pal and twists Romeo’s statements about love into obvious sexual metaphors. Still serious, Romeo refuses to participate in any witty banter and explains that he had a dream that going to the party would be a bad idea. Mercutio responds with a speech about a dream he had about Queen Mab of the fairies. This speech reveals Mercutio’s bitter and cold perception of love and women. After Romeo calms Mercutio down, Benvolio focuses everyone’s attention back to getting to the party. Romeo then worries that going to this party will a trigger a series of events that will lead to his eventual death. However, accepting whatever fate he may have, he cheerily follows his friends.
Act One – Scene V By the time this scene commences, the party is in full-swing. People are busily socializing and dancing, while the servants make sure everything goes well. Lord Capulet acts as a good host and makes sure to talk to everyone. Meanwhile, Romeo observes Juliet from across the room and tries to find out who she is. Even though he is unaware of her identity, he is still mesmerized by her beauty. Forgetting about Rosaline instantly, he declares his love for this new stranger. Elsewhere, Tybalt hears and recognizes Romeo’s voice. Infuriated that there is a Montague present, Tybalt tries to get a servant to fetch a weapon for him. Capulet hears this and scolds his relative, not wanting Romeo to be harmed in front of everyone. When Tybalt protests, Capulet reprimands him until Tybalt agrees to keep the peace. However, Tybalt silently vows to attack Romeo eventually. Elsewhere, Romeo has already approached Juliet and touches her hand. In a conversation that establishes their romance as holy and innocent, the two teenagers flirt and then kiss. Enjoying the kiss, Juliet wittily finds an excuse to kiss him again. However, the Nurse interrupts them and tells Juliet that her mother is looking for her. Romeo then learns from the Nurse who Juliet is and becomes devastated. As Benvolio leads Romeo away, Juliet slyly finds out from the Nurse who Romeo is. She, too, is also devastated.
Act Two – Scene I After leaving the feast, Romeo realizes that he cannot go home as he wants to see Juliet too badly. As such, he climbs over the bordering wall of the Capulet property and sneaks into their orchard. Meanwhile, Benvolio and Mercutio search for their friend, convinced they had witnessed him running in this direction. They call out for him, but he does not answer. In an explicit speech, Mercutio mocks Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline. However, they soon exit, realizing that there is no point to look for him if he doesn’t want to be found. Meanwhile, Romeo observes Juliet appearing out of her balcony and is once again mesmerized by her beauty. Unaware that Romeo is present, Juliet mourns over Romeo’s identity as a Montague. She states that she would love him if he would forget his Montague heritage and/or vice versa. Romeo suddenly replies, startling Juliet. As she wonders how Romeo found her her, he explains that love led him to her. She is also worried that if Romeo is found, he would be killed. However, Romeo believes that their love will protect him. As they admit their love for each other, the Nurse once again interrupts their moment of intimacy. Juliet exits for a moment and then returns, stating that she will send someone to him tomorrow to see if his love is true. The Nurse calls her back again and when Juliet returns later, they agree to have an emissary meet him around nine in the morning. After professing their love for each other again, Romeo leaves.
Act Two – Scene II Friar Lawrence is introduced in this scene, as he casually collects herbs, weeds and flowers. It is established very early on that he possesses a deep knowledge of plants. Romeo enters and the Friar observes that the Montague has not slept the night prior. This allows Friar Lawrence to fear that Romeo has slept with Rosaline. Romeo assures him otherwise and informs him of his love for Juliet and how he desires to marry her today. The Friar is shocked and comments on Romeo’s fickleness in the world of love. Romeo tries to defend himself but the Friar remains skeptical over the matter. However, he agrees to wed the couple anyway, blindly hoping it would bring the Montagues and the Capulets closer.
Act Two – Scene III Later in the morning, Benvolio and Mercutio ruminate over where Romeo was last night and what he was doing. Eventually, using the knowledge that he did not return home, the two friends decide that Romeo has most likely slept with Rosaline. The conversation switches to the topic of Tybalt inviting Romeo to a duel. After they compare and describe Tybalt and Romeo’s fighting skills, Romeo approaches and is ridiculed. Benvolio and Mercutio mention his perception of love and his abandonment of the two friends the night before. Eventually, the Nurse enters with the Capulet servant Peter. The Nurse asks for Romeo, whom then identifies himself. However, before she can continue, she is insulted by Mercutio and Benvolio, who call her both old and a harlot. Since Romeo does not defend her, the Nurse already does not like him. Having a private conversation away from Romeo’s pals, the Nurse warns Romeo not to bring harm to Juliet. After reassuring the Nurse, Romeo has her leave to send a message to Julie, which details the time and place of their future marriage. Also, the Nurse aggress to situate a ladder at Juliet’s balcony, so Romeo may ascend to her room after their wedding and sleep with her.
Act Two – Scene IV In a simple, comical scene, Juliet impatiently awaits for the Nurse to return. She blames her servant for being slow because she’s so old and also doesn’t understand true love. The Nurse eventually arrives and Juliet anxiously fires questions. However, the Nurse complains about how she is too tired to tell Juliet what Romeo had said. Juliet becomes more and more anxious by the second and the Nurse soon gives up and repeats Romeo’s message. The Nurse then leaves to go get a servant to set up the ladder; that way, Romeo can follow Juliet to her room and consummate the marriage by sleeping together.
Act Two – Scene V At Friar’s cell, Romeo anxiously waits for Juliet to arrive. In reference to his prophetic dream, Romeo exclaims that he doesn’t care what misfortune may lie in the future as it won’t compare to this wonderful moment. The Friar offers Romeo advice on love when Juliet appears. As the couple banter about love, they eventually depart with Friar. The wedding occurs off-stage.
Act Three – Scene I Wandering around the streets of Verona, Benvolio recommends that he and Mercutio hide indoors as he is concerned that a fight may occur if they encounter Capulet men. Mercutio declines, accusing Benvolio of having a worse temper than any person in Italy. At that, Tybalt enters with a group of followers and approaches the two. After requesting that speak with one of them, Mercutio starts to teasingly provoke the war-like Capulet. However, Tybalt is too distracted by Romeo’s entrance to properly respond to Mercutio’s ridicule. When Tybalt tries to instigate a brawl, Romeo declines because he is forced to love his new in-law. Pulling out a sword, Mercutio offers to fight Tybalt as a replacement for Romeo. As Mercutio and Tybalt brawl, Romeo acts as a peaceful mediator and manages to convince Mercutio to drop his weapon. However, taking this as a perfect opportunity to attack, Tybalt stabs and murders Mercutio. As Tybalt runs away with his men, Mercutio blames and curses both Tybalt and Romeo for his untimely death. However, he still manages to crack a joke before he breathes his last breath. Romeo is full of rage because his love for Juliet has turned him far too soft and girly. When Tybalt returns to the scene of the crime, Romeo draws out his sword and eventually murders Tybalt. As a crowd of outraged citizens approach the street, Benvolio convinces Romeo to leave. Later the Prince arrives at the scene, with citizens, Montagues and Capulets following behind. Benvolio provides a completely accurate story to the Prince. Since Tybalt had technically murdered someone already, the Prince changes Romeo’s punishment from execution to exile. However, if Romeo is seen in Verona again, he will be killed.
Act Three – Scene II Juliet waits for it to be nighttime so Romeo will arrive and sleep with her. Suddenly and abruptly, the Nurse bursts in, blurting out the news of the recent battle. Since the Nurse is so hysterical, her words are somewhat hard to understand. As such, Juliet misinterprets her message as a comment that Romeo committed suicide. Feeling distraught, Juliet already plans to also commit suicide. However, the Nurse corrects herself and moans about Tybalt’s murder. Once again, Juliet fears the worst and assumes both Tybalt and Romeo are dead. Eventually, Juliet understands from the Nurse of the real story and becomes very frustrated with her husband. The Nurse agrees and also curses Romeo’s name. Juliet then switches sides and defends her lover, believing that Romeo’s banishment is much worse than Tybalt’s death. As Juliet complains that she will never get to consummate her marriage, the Nurse reveals that she knows where Romeo is and will go tell him to return to his wife. Before she can depart, Juliet hands the Nurse a ring, which she wants to be given to Romeo as a symbol of their love.
Act Three – Scene III Meanwhile, in Friar Lawrence’s cell, Romeo is incredibly unhappy over his act of murder. He wonders what the Prince’s punishment for him will be. Perceiving the Prince as a kind, merciful man, the Friar informs Romeo that his penalty is exile instead of execution. However, Romeo believes that exile is a better punishment, as he doesn’t want to live the rest of his life without Juliet. Even though the Friar tries to calm him down, Romeo falls to the ground and throws a hissy fit. The Nurse then arrives and Romeo frantically requests for news on Juliet’s status. Automatically assuming Juliet now hates him, Romeo threatens suicide. In an extensive speech, the Friar stops him and also scolds him for behaving so brashly and unmanly. He believes that Romeo is very lucky that he and Juliet are alive. The Friar is also hopeful that the Prince may eventually change his mind. As such, Friar Lawrence constructs a detailed plan; Romeo will visit Juliet that night, consummate the marriage, leave before morning and reside in Mantua until he receives word to return to Verona. After the Friar finishes explaining his plan, the Nurse cheers Romeo up by handing him Juliet’s ring. The Nurse departs and eventually Romeo does as well, wanting to spend as much time with Juliet before he is forced to leave.
Act Three – Scene IV Paris, Lord Capulet and his wife walk around together, discussing the recent events. Due to Tybalt’s death, Lord Capulet realizes that there will be no time to ask Juliet about whether or not she possesses feelings for Paris. Lady Capulet offers to talk to her daughter and promises to know how Juliet feels by morning. After that, Paris is ready to leave when Capulet suddenly calls him back. Completely certain that his daughter will approve of his decision, Capulet decides that the wedding will occur on Wednesday. However, after realizing it is only Monday, he switches the date back a day to Thursday.
Act Three – Scene V A little bit before dawn, Romeo starts to exit from Juliet’s room. In an attempt to keep him there longer, Juliet flirtatiously tries to persuade Romeo that the birds they hear are nightingales (night birds) and not larks (morning birds). However, Romeo cannot try to entertain the thought, unless he wants to risk death. Juliet tries to convince him it’s still night and, overcome by his love for her, Romeo agrees to stay even if it might mean he will be executed. Suddenly, Juliet exclaims that they do hear a lark and that Romeo must flee as soon as possible. The Nurse then bursts into the room to warn the couple that Lady Capulet is approaching the room. Romeo and Juliet unhappily say their goodbyes and as Romeo climbs out the window, he promises that they will see each other again. In a morbid observation, Juliet states that Romeo appears to be as pale as a corpse. Romeo merely reasons that their pale faces are a result of their immense sadness. At that explanation, Romeo barely manages to escape the Capulet house in time. Lady Capulet then calls for her daughter, as Juliet becomes confused over why her mother would want to talk to her so early in the morning. Still unaware that her daughter is married and in love with Romeo, Lady Capulet mistakes her tears for Romeo’s departure as tears for Tybalt’s death. As such, she expresses her desire to witness Romeo’s death to Juliet. In a complicated and cunning manner, Juliet manages to trick her mom into thinking she hates Romeo, when she’s actually firmly admitting her love for him. Lady Capulet then switches the conversation to how Juliet will marry Paris on Thursday. Even though she explains to her daughter how Paris wants to make her happy, Juliet becomes appalled. She denies the offer, stating that she will never marry Paris. Capulet enters the room and when he learns that Juliet has no intention of marrying Paris, he becomes infuriated and not only calls his daughter a harlot, but also threatens to disown her. When her parents storm away, Juliet requests the Nurse to offer her advice. The Nurse then suggests that Juliet merely forget about Romeo and just marry Paris. Disgusted by her friend’s betrayal, Juliet pretends to agree and says she will go make confession at Friar Lawrence’s. Juliet then hurriedly escapes from her house, claiming that if the Friar is unable to help she can always just kill herself.
Act Four – Scene I At Friar’s cell, Paris discuses his impending marriage to Juliet with Friar Lawrence. Paris explains that he hopes the marriage will make Juliet happier and forget about Tybalt’s death. Juliet then enters, to which she receives a cheerful, romantic greeting from Paris. Juliet responds to him indifferently, showing him neither any affection or any hate. Using the lie that Juliet must make her confession, the Friar guides Paris out of the cell. Once he has left, Juliet requests the Friar’s help and then pulls out a knife, stating that she will kill herself rather than marry Paris. Trying to calm her down, the Friar once again constructs a plan; first, Juliet will lie and say she will marry Paris. Then, she will drink one of the Friar’s potions that will put her in a comatose state and make her seem like she’s dead. Once she’s placed in the Capulet tomb, Friar will have a letter sent to Romeo, so he will return to Verona and retrieve his wife when she awakes. After that, they will reside happily in Mantua, far away from their resentful parents. Juliet agrees to the plan, liking the idea of it, and the Friar then hands her the potion.
Act Four – Scene II Juliet quickly returns back to her house, where she arrives to see her parents still busily preparing the upcoming wedding. She shocks her parents by politely apologizing for her prior disobedience. Juliet then happily agrees to marry Paris. Her father is elated by her willingness that he moves the wedding date from Thursday to Wednesday. Juliet then heads up to her room, lying that she wants to prepare for her wedding. Excited, Lord Capulet goes to find Paris so he can tell him about the wonderful news. He’s Lying!
Act Four – Scene III Residing within her room, Juliet calmly requests both the Nurse and Lady Capulet to leave and let her be alone. She uses the excuse that she wants to spend the night by herself. When she’s finally alone, she holds the Friar’s vial and ponders what might happen if she drinks it. She has many fears; one of her concerns is if the Friar is a traitor, she might actually be drinking poison! She also worries that Romeo will be late in arriving at the tomb and that she will go insane at the sight of all the corpses. Juliet also has an eerie vision that Tybalt shall rise from the dead and slay both her and Romeo. Finally, though, Juliet toasts to Romeo and drinks the vile. As the potion effects her body almost immediately, Juliet passes out.
Act Four – Scene IV The morning after Juliet drank the potion, the Capulet house is busy with Juliet’s wedding preparations. Eventually, Lord Capulet orders the Nurse to go and wake up Juliet. When the Nurse arrives at Juliet’s room and believes she has died, she starts to wail. When the parents come to see what’s the matter, they too start to lament. Paris then arrives at the house and he has brought along Friar Lawrence and a group of musicians for the wedding. However, when he has learned what has happened, he joins in with the mourning. The Friar reminds the Capulets and Paris that Juliet has moved on to Heaven and they should chance their preparations from a wedding to a funeral. Filled with sorrow and pain, they agree and start to get ready. -You informed us to ignore the scene with Peter and the musicians, so I decided to leave it out-
Act Five – Scene I On a Wednesday morning in Mantua, Romeo elatedly describes a dream where Juliet kissed new life into his corpse. Just then, his loyal servant Balthasar enters and Romeo assumes that the Friar sent him with news of Juliet and Verona. However, he actually had arrived to inform him of Juliet’s death, unaware that the whole event was a ruse. Horrified and devastated, Romeo cries out. He tells his servant to fetch him pen and paper so that he may write a letter to his father. He then asks for a horse so he may return to Verona. However, Balthasar is worried to leave his master because he appears to be far too distraught but Romeo reassures him. Before Romeo sends him away, he asks if Balthasar has a letter from the Friar. Balthasar says no and Romeo once again has him go and fetch the desired items. Romeo searches for an apothecary, or a pharmacist. When he does, he asks for poison; even though it is illegal to sell poison, the apothecary does so anyway because he is poor and desperately needs the money. When he is alone, Romeo declares that he shall later kill himself.
Act Five – Scene II At his cell, Friar Lawrence converses with Friar John, whom he had earlier ordered to send a letter to Romeo in Mantua. The Friar curiously asks him how Romeo had reacted to the letter that described the plan involving Juliet’s staged death. However, it turns out that Friar John was unable to send the letter to Romeo, as he was trapped in a house being quarantined from an outbreak of the black plague. Frustrated and upset, Friar Lawrence falsely concludes that Juliet will wake up alone, since he thinks Romeo will never know to return to Verona. After requesting for a crowbar, Friar Lawrence proclaims that he must rescue Juliet. He then writes and sends another letter to Romeo that will warn him about all that has happened. In the meanwhile, after he rescues Juliet, he will keep her at his cell.
Act Five – Scene III On Wednesday night, Paris enters the graveyard with a torch-bearing servant. After demanding the servant to leave, Paris mournfully begins to spread flowers amongst Juliet’s grave. However, he does not stay long as he hears a whistle – which is his servant’s warning that a stranger is approaching the graves. As Paris hides in the darkness, Romeo enters with Balthasar and is wielding a crowbar. He lies to his servant by saying that he is breaking into the tomb to retrieve a valuable ring from Juliet’s corpse. He orders him to hand a letter to his father and threatens to tear him apart if he comes to see what is doing in the tomb. Balthasar hesitates in the darkness, not trusting his master. Paris, meanwhile, recognizes Romeo and remembers that he is the man who had killed Tybalt. Paris then thinks Romeo has returned to inflict damage among the tomb and the corpses as revenge towards the Capulets. Enraged by the thought, Paris emerges and tries to arrest Romeo. The Montague warns Paris to leave but he declines. A fight erupts between the two and Paris’ servant runs off to find help. Eventually Paris is killed by Romeo and with his dying breath, he asks to be laid next to Juliet’s corpse. Romeo consents to his request and, upon witnessing Juliet’s body, is amazed how she still appears so lively and beautiful even though she’s supposed to be dead. Romeo talks to Juliet, kisses her, drinks the poison, kisses her again and then dies. The Friar arrives at the graveyard and encounters Balthasar , whom tells him that he had a strange dream that Romeo had a swordfight with someone. Becoming concerned, the Friar enters the tomb and observes the bloody corpses of Paris and Romeo. At that moment, Juliet wakes up and asks the Friar where her husband is. Hearing people coming, the Friar becomes frantic and quickly replies that he and Paris are dead. He then asks Juliet to quickly come with him but she declines so the Friar leaves without her. Juliet glances at Romeo’s dead body and realizes that he poisoned himself. In an attempt to take in some of the poison, she kisses him – however, nothing happens. Hearing the watch approaching the tomb, Juliet pulls out a dagger and commits suicide. After keeping the loitering Friar and Balthasar nearby, the watchman then enters the graveyard and observes blood stains near the tomb. The Prince and the Capulets soon arrive and discover the corpses. Afterwards, Lord Montague arrives and reveals that Lady Montague died of shock upon hearing news of Romeo’s exile. He is then shown his son’s dead body. The Friar then explains Romeo and Juliet’s terrible story of love and death and after he’s finished and his story of proven to be true, the Prince scolds the two families for possessing such a strong hatred towards each other. Taking solace from the fact that they have all lost loved ones, Lord Montague and Capulet decide to end their feud and remain peaceful and friendly. As they walk away to discuss recent events, Paris ends the play with the line, “For never was a story of more woe, then this of Juliet and her Romeo.”