It is believed that Romeo and Juliet was first printed in 1597. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.
Shakespeare's tragic drama of the "star-crossed" young lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet is best remembered for the famous balcony scene. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are teenagers who fall deeply in love but their families are bitter enemies. They seize the moment and marry in secret, they make every effort to conceal their actions but these end in tragedy when Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt, Mercutio and Paris all die. The themes running through the play address the issues of the consequences of immature blind passion, hatred and prejudice.
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616 ) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of William’s plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.