Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – A Summary
One of the most well known of all romantic comedies, Romeo and Juliet is considered by many to be among the classic works of literature. It is one of the most classic works that has been written and it is definitely worth a read. The play itself tells the story of a young man who is sent by his parents to the city of Romeo in Italy to spend the summer with the Prince of Juliet. The city is ruled by King Juliet and it is hoped that Romeo will gain respect from the queen.
What you may not know is that the play has a long history in English literature. In fact it is set in Venice during the 15th century. That is right, in the middle ages there was an Italian play written about this very same story, called the Merchant of Venice. William Shakespeare himself used elements of this play in his Romeo and Juliet, and it was later revised and made into a movie of the same name as well.
It is important to note that although Romeo and Juliet are often referred to as a love story between two lovers, it is actually a play about betrayal and power struggles. The play begins with King Romeo, who is the ruler of the city of Romeo. He rules it with an iron hand, because he believes that he is rightfully or owed to his half-sinister, Juliet. However Juliet has already been locked in a cabin on the Costa del Sol with her mother, father, and two young men. At the beginning of the play we see that Romeo has been chosen to represent her in the trial that is to occur.
Romeo is chosen by the court jester because he is able to speak persuasively. It is because of this that he is able to present the queen with a cunning plan to have her killed. This plan has the approval of the king, prince, and several other prominent people in the play. However, the queen does not think it necessary and simply tells her lover to get rid of her.
As the play continues we see that Romeo’s plan goes perfectly into effect and Juliet’s death is prevented. Romeo is given the crown and he rules the country of Romeo with an iron hand. However, just before he can turn the kingdom over to his son Antony, he receives a messenger from Juliet offering to wed him if he gives up his claim to the throne. Unaware of the fact that he has been tricked the king agrees to marry Antony. Juliet meanwhile has found her lover, Cupid, and flees the country.
We next find that Juliet and Romeo are separated because of an incident that occurs during one of their second visits. During this visit both Romeo and Juliet fall in love with each other and engage in sexual intercourse. However, before they can consummate their relationship, one of them must travel back to Roman Spain where his native land holds celebrations for winning the crown. When they return Romeo is told of his heritage and that he must leave his beloved wife if he wishes to take his rightful place as king.
Romeo and Juliet then travel back to Juliet’s home in Italy where she tells her lover that she wants him to be king and he accepts. However, just before their marriage is to take place Juliet’s father dies. This tragedy leads to the death of Romeo’s mother and his return home to Greece. When the play ends Romeo and Juliet part ways.
Romeo and Juliet thus conclude with the famous lines “Romeo was a poor man married to a white woman” which has become an immortal and extremely well known quote. The most famous scene in the play is a passionate kiss that is exchanged between the two lovers at the conclusion of the play. William Shakespeare did a wonderful job writing this part and it remains one of the best romantic comedies ever written. I think he knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote it since he based it on ancient Roman and Greek plays. It has been called one of the best plays ever and I do not think there can be anything that can be compared to it.