Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare´s Tragic Romance


Romeo and Juliet are two of the most famous characters in all of literature. But Shakespeare didn´t create these „star-crossed lovers“ himself. He was inspired by a 16th – century poet named Arthur Brooke, who wrote a poem called „The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet“ in 1562. Shakespeare modified a few characters, added his flair for the English language, and published his play sometime in the 1590s.

The story

Mercutio convinces his friend Romeo to come to a party at the Capulet house. Juliet´s parents want to see her up with a rich man named Paris. But instead, Romeo and Juliet meet at the party and quickly fall in love.

Later, Romeo sneaks back to Juliet´s house, where they talk and agree to be secretly married. Friar Lawrence is happy to marry them because he wants their families to stop fighting. After the wedding, Romeo finds Juliet´s cousin Tybalt fighting with his friends, Mercutio and Benvolio. Romeo tries to stop the fight, but Tybalt tries to stab him. Tybalt misses Romeo and accidentally kills Mercutio. Romeo is so angry that he kills Tybalt. Then the prince comes and banishes Romeo from Verona.

The night before leaving the city, Romeo sneaks into Juliet´s house again and they spend one night together as husband and wife. He leaves in the morning.

The next day, Juliet´s parents come to tell her that they have planned a wedding for her and Paris. She argues with her parents, but doesn´t tell them that she is already married. Juliet goes to Friar Lawrence for help. He gives her a potion that will make her look dead, but not really kill her. He also writes a letter to tell Romeo about the plan.

Juliet goes home and drinks the potion. Her parents find her and, believing that she is dead, they move her body to the family tomb.

Sadly, Romeo never gets the friar´s letter. His friend comes to tell him that Juliet is dead. Romeo doesn´t want to live without her, so he buys some poison and goes to the tomb. He finds Juliet, who looks dead, and he is heartbroken. He drinks the poison and dies just as she wakes up. When Juliet finds her love dead, she takes his knife and kills herself.

The story ends with one powerful line: „For never was a story of more woe (sadness), than this of Juliet and her Romeo.“

Použitá literatúra:
Scallon A. Shakespeare´s Tragic Romance. In Bridge. Praha: Bridge Publishing House, 2016. Rozsah strán (strana 32)