Romeo and Juliet minimized

The Montagues and Capulets are two of the world’s most famous families, made famous by Shakespeare. Romeo was a Montague and Juliet a Capulet.  For unknown reasons, the two families were enemies, but that’s how it was in 1595 Verona.

1. Montague and Capulet family members are feuding in public. The Prince of Verona intervenes.  Romeo’s mother believes Romeo to be despondent; his cousin Benvolio lets her know he’ll find out why.  Romeo’s late girlfriend, Rosaline, has dropped him. Capulet has a masquerade dinner party planned for that evening. Benvolio and Romeo plan to attend, masked. Lady Capulet wants her daughter to marry the County Paris, Juliet not yet fourteen. Romeo talks with Juliet at the party. They both fall for each other. An angry Tybalt, Capulet’s nephew, tells Capulet that he knows the mystery guest talking to Juliet is a Montague. Capulet dismisses the issue.

2. Romeo leaves the party and heads for the orchard beneath Juliet’s bedroom balcony. Swooning over thoughts of Romeo, Juliet comes out on her balcony.  They have quite the romantic conversation. They decide to get married. Romeo plans to make the arrangements. Friar Lawrence agrees to marry them that afternoon.  He does.  Only the Nurse is in on the secret.

3. A still Angry Tybalt runs into a just married Romeo.  Romeo and Tybalt fight. Tybalt is killed. An upset Prince enters, banishing Romeo to Mantua.  Romeo spends the night with Juliet, leaving for Mantua in the morning. On Monday, Capulet tells the County Paris that he may marry Juliet on Thursday.  Juliet is distraught. Her father is demanding. She balks. She visits Friar Lawrence, looking for a solution.

4. On Tuesday, Friar Lawrence tells Juliet that he has a “potion” that can make her temporarily appear to be dead. She buys into the scheme.  She tells her dad that she repents. He moves the wedding up to Wednesday. She drinks the potion and falls to sleep.  In the morning, the Nurse finds her “dead.” She is taken to the family crypt.

5. In Mantua, Romeo learns of Juliet’s “death.” He buys a poison. County Paris quietly enters the crypt. Romeo soon enters. They fight. Paris is killed. Romeo opens the casket, kisses Juliet, drinks his poison and dies. Friar Lawrence enters, finds the bodies of the two men, and exits.  Juliet wakens and asks for Romeo. Seeing that Romeo is dead, she stabs herself. Lady Montague had died overnight over grief of her son’s banishment. Capulet, Montague and the Prince enter.  Friar Lawrence spells out his role in the sordid affair. Capulet and Montague shake hands. The prince says “A glooming peace this morning with it brings.”