Romeo and Juliet Plot Summary

ROMEO AND JULIET PLOT SUMMARY

Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragic love stories. A couple that falls in love, despite their social backgrounds and family feuds, is driven to a tragic ending when their forbidden love leads to their deaths.

When analysing Romeo and Juliet, you need to be able to recap the main events of the play. In this section of the guide, we have broken down the play into the main events to hopefully give you a better insight into what the play is about.

ACT I – THE BALL

  • Amongst two rival families, a fight breaks out between them. The Prince demands them to stop, otherwise they’ll be sentenced to death.
  • Romeo is unhappy in his relationship with Rosaline. Romeo tells his friend Benvolio that their relationship is not built on love.
  • Juliet’s father decides to throw a fancy-dress party. Romeo gate-crashes the party with his friend, Benvolio.
  • Act One sees Romeo and Juliet meet for the very first time. They fall in love at first spite, oblivious to their family rivalry.
  • Towards the end of the party, Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capulet, and Juliet finds out that Romeo is a Montague.

ACT II – ROMEO AND JULIET GET MARRIED IN SECRET

  • Romeo sneaks in to the Capulet’s garden. Juliet is standing at her window talking out loud about her feelings for Romeo.
  • Romeo and Juliet decide to get married.

ACT III AND IV – TWO REAL DEATHS AND ONE FAKE ONE

  • Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin) kills Romeo’s friend, Mercutio, in a fight.
  • Out of revenge, Romeo kills Tybalt.
  • The Prince banishes Romeo from the city.
  • Romeo and Juliet spend the night together.
  • Juliet’s parents tell Juliet that she is to marry Paris, despite already being married to Romeo.
  • Juliet and the Friar come up with a plan to fake her own death. The plan is for Romeo to receive a letter from the Friar to rescue her after the potion wears off.
  • Juliet is believed to be dead and her family bury her in the family tomb.

ACT V – A TRAGIC ENDING

  • Unfortunately, Romeo does not receive the Friar’s letter. He too believes Juliet is dead. He goes to her tomb to kill himself.
  • Romeo kills Paris.
  • Romeo lies next to Juliet and drinks poison.
  • As Juliet wakes, she realises that Romeo is dead.
  • Juliet kills herself.
  • Everyone arrives at the tomb, and the Friar explains what’s happened.
  • The rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets is put to rest, after realising their family feud has caused the death of their children.

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