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.

Romeo hides in Friar Lawrence’s cell, waiting to learn of his punishment. When Friar Lawrence tells him that he will live, but he has been banished, Romeo is devastated. He claims that there is no life outside of Verona and away from Juliet. Friar Lawrence tries to talk some sense into Romeo by reminding him that he could have been murdered for his actions. However, Romeo is too consumed by his grief to listen to logic, and he continues to throw a near temper tantrum until the Nurse arrives.

The Nurse convinces him to stand up and“be a man” for Juliet’s sake. Once he hears her name, Romeo comes to and inquires about his wife. The Nurse informs him that she weeps for her banished husband and for her murdered cousin. Romeo grabs his sword and attempts to cut out the part of him where his vile name lies. Friar Lawrence stops him and tells him to stop acting “womanish.” Friar Lawrence suggests that Romeo spend the night with Juliet, just as he intended. At the light of day, Romeo is to flee to Mantua, where he will wait until Friar Lawrence can put an end to the familial feuds. Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that hewill send his servant to Mantua to update Romeo on his progress. The Nurse and Romeo both agree with this plan, and she gives Romeo Juliet’s ring. Romeo says ‘good-bye’ and prepares to leave.

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