Romeo and Juliet Study Guide

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

In Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare's tragic plays, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall in love, despite the fact that their families are bitter enemies. Undeterred by this obstacle, the two begin a passionate romance that is interrupted by their feuding relatives. The lovers' final attempt to be together results in the death of them both, leaving their families, and the reader, to contemplate the power of love and question the meaning of violence.

Capulet and Paris, one of the Prince’s kinsmen, walk together and discuss Paris’ desire to marry Juliet. Capulet is happy about this request, but he insists that Paris should wait two years because Juliet is not even 14 years old yet. Capulet tries to console Paris by saying that he is throwing a party that would serve as the perfect place for Paris to woo Juliet. Capulet gives a guest list to a servant named Peter and tells him to invite the guests. As Paris and Capulet walk away, Peter reveals that this will not be an easy task because he cannot read. Fortunately, Romeo and Benvolio wander by at that moment and Romeo readsthe list aloud. Peter feels relieved and invites Romeo and Mercutio to the masquerade feast, provided that they are not Montagues. Benvolio persuades Romeo to go to the party to get his mind off Rosaline. Romeo agrees, but only because he saw Rosaline’s name on the list.

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