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Romeo and Juliet

Synopsis

The chorus introduces Verona’s rival families: the Capulets and Montagues. The Montagues are hosting a ball, where Romeo Montague and Juliet, the daughter of Count Capulet, meet and fall in love. Tybalt, Count Capulet’s nephew, wishes to fight Romeo, but the Count won’t allow the disruption at his ball. Later that night, in the Capulets’ garden, Romeo calls up to Juliet’s balcony. The couple exchanges promises of love. Gertrude, Juliet’s nurse, helps Juliet steal away to meet Romeo at Friar Laurent’s cell. Laurent marries the lovers, hoping to reconcile the two warring houses. Outside, a fight breaks out between Tybalt and Mercutio, Romeo’s dear friend. Mercutio is killed in the duel; avenging him, Romeo kills Tybalt. The Duke banishes Romeo from Verona.

Romeo and Juliet spend their wedding night together, and at dawn Romeo leaves to hide in exile. Count Capulet desires that Juliet marry the young noble Paris immediately. Juliet seeks out Friar Laurent, who provides her with a sleeping draught that will cause her to appear to be dead. Laurent tells Juliet that he will inform Romeo of the deceit; Romeo will be sent to Juliet in her family tomb and the two will run away together. Juliet drinks the potion as her family leads her to the chapel; she is believed dead. Romeo has not received word from Laurent and believes Juliet has truly died. He breaks into her tomb and, in his grief, drinks a lethal poison. Juliet awakens just as Romeo takes his dying breath; she takes up his dagger and ends her life in order to be united with Romeo once more.