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.

Friar Lawrence and Paris discuss the upcoming wedding and Friar Lawrence tries to convince him that Thursday is too soon. Paris reveals that Juliet has been devastated by Tybalt’s death and Lord Capulet thinks this wedding will revive her spirits. Juliet enters the room and tries to avoid Paris’ talk of love and marriage. She asks Friar Lawrence if she can make confession and Paris exits. Once they are alone, Juliet begs Friar Lawrence to help her. She says that if shecannot avoid this marriage, she will certainly kill herself.

Friar Lawrence realizes how dire this situation is and tells Juliet that he has a plan. Juliet will pretend to agree with the marriage to make her family happy. On Wednesday night, she will drink a potion that will induce a sleep that is so deep that she will appear dead. Thursday morning, her family will find her and think she is dead. They will put her in the Capulet tomb, where she will sleep for 42 hours. Friar Lawrence will send word to Romeo about his plan, and Romeo will be waiting in the tomb when Juliet awakens. Then the two can live out the rest of their days together in Mantua.

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