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.

Benvolio and Mercutio want to know where Romeo was last night. He never returned to his father’s house, where Tybalt sent him a letter challenging him to a duel. Mercutio and Benvolio are concerned with Romeo’s ability to fight in a duel with his recent melancholic state. Before they can speculate further, Romeo enters the scene. The three banter back and forth and Romeo is clearly in abetter mood than he was the last time he saw them. Their playful banter is cut short when the Nurse and Peter enter the scene. Mercutio pokes fun at the Nurse until she asks to speak to Romeo in privacy. Mercutio and Benvolio exit, reminding Romeo to meet them at his father’s house for dinner.

The Nurse is angry at Mercutio’s behavior, which initially makes her suspicious of Romeo’s intentions. She is relieved to hear that Romeo fully plans to marry Juliet. He tells the Nurse that Juliet must find a way to go to church that evening because that is when they will be wed. Romeo also tells the Nurse that he will sendhis servant to the Capulet house with a rope ladder so Romeo can climb up to Juliet’s window that night.

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