Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare
Publisher: Findaway Voices
Date: June 2016
Duration: 3 hours 14 minutes
In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers' final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers.
Shakespeare sets the scene in Verona, Italy. Juliet and Romeo meet and fall instantly in love at a masked ball of the Capulets, and they profess their love when Romeo, unwilling to leave, climbs the wall into the orchard garden of her family's house and finds her alone at her window. Because their well-to-do families are enemies, the two are married secretly by Friar Laurence. When Tybalt, a Capulet, seeks out Romeo in revenge for the insult of Romeo's having dared to shower his attentions on Juliet, an ensuing scuffle ends in the death of Romeo's dearest friend, Mercutio. Impelled by a code of honor among men, Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished to Mantua by the Prince of Verona, who has been insistent that the family feuding cease. When Juliet's father, unaware that Juliet is already secretly married, arranges a marriage with the eminently eligible Count Paris, the young bride seeks out Friar Laurence for assistance in her desperate situation. He gives her a potion that will make her appear to be dead and proposes that she take it and that Romeo rescue her. She complies. Romeo, however, unaware of the friar's scheme because a letter has failed to reach him, returns to Verona on hearing of Juliet's apparent death. He encounters a grieving Paris at Juliet's tomb, reluctantly kills him when Paris attempts to prevent Romeo from entering the tomb, and finds Juliet in the burial vault. There he gives her a last kiss and kills himself with poison. Juliet awakens, sees the dead Romeo, and kills herself.