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.

It is Thursday morning and Romeo is waiting to hear news from Verona. Balthasar, Romeo’s servant, enters and tells Romeo that Juliet is dead; he saw her corpse in the Capulet vault. Balthasar does not have any news from Friar Lawrence, so Romeo tells him to return with fast horses, a pen, and paper. Overcome with grief, Romeo remembers that there is an impoverished apothecary in Mantua. Despite the fact that it is illegal to buy poison there, the apothecary grudgingly sells Romeo some poison because he is desperate for money. Romeo exits with the poison, determined to leave this world with his wife.

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