The Romeo and Juliet play is set in Renaissance Verona in Italy. In the Elizabethan imagination that would have presented a picture of heat, quick tempers and violence. See more on Romeo and Juliet settings
Date written: 1597
Read the full, original Romeo and Juliet text
Genre classification: Romeo & Juliet is regarded as one of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
Romeo and Juliet Characters: Romeo Montague is the son of Lady Montague and Montague, the patriarch of a rich merchant family engaged in an ancient feud with another wealthy family, the Capulets. He gatecrashes a party at the Capulet mansion where he falls in love with Capulet’s daughter, Juliet. Juliet’s mother, Lady Capulet and her Nurse are other members of the Capulet household.
Friar Lawrence is a monk, who helps Romeo and Juliet to marry. Mercutio is Romeo’s friend, accidentally killed by Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, whom Romeo kills and is banished to Mantua for his crime. Paris is the young nobleman Juliet is to marry, and whom Romeo kills. Benvolio is Romeo’s cousin and friend. Balthazar, Samson, Gregory, Peter and Balthazar are servants of the two families. Friar John is the associate of Friar Lawrence who is unable to deliver a critical message which is the immediate cause of the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Escalus is the Prince of Verona who threatens death for anyone who breaks the peace.
Themes in Romeo and Juliet: Romeo and Juliet is the deepest, most penetrating, exploration of love that can be found in Shakespeare or, indeed, in any other writers’ plays. The play also explores the consequences of futile quarreling and social division. Read more about Romeo and Juliet themes.