RULING HOUSE OF ESCALUS
- Prince Escalus, Prince of Verona
- Mercutio, kinsman of Escalus, friend of Romeo
- Paris, kinsman of Escalus who wishes to marry Juliet
HOUSE OF MONTAGUE
- Montague, patriarch of the House of Montague
- Lady Montague, matriarch of the House of Montague
- Romeo, son of the Montagues
- Benvolio, cousin and friend of Romeo
- Abraham and Balthasar, servants in the Montague household
HOUSE OF CAPULET
- Capulet, patriarch of the House of Capulet
- Lady Capulet, matriarch of the House of Capulet
- Juliet, daughter of the Capulets
- Tybalt, cousin of Juliet, nephew of Lady Capulet
- Nurse, Juliet’s personal attendant and confidante
- Peter, Sampson and Gregory, servants in the Capulet household
- Rosaline (unseen), niece of Capulet with whom Romeo is in love
An ongoing feud between the Capulets and the Montagues breaks out again on the streets of Verona. Both sides are warned by Prince Escalus that they must not disturb the peace again, on pain of death.
Romeo, love-sick for Rosaline, is comforted by his friend Benvolio. Capulet forbids Paris to marry his daughter Juliet until she is older. Romeo and his friends learn of a party being held by the Capulets and decide to go to it as masquers. At the party, Tybalt sees Romeo but is prevented from fighting him by Capulet. Romeo meets Juliet and they instantly fall in love. After leaving the party, Romeo eludes his friends and returns to meet Juliet; they exchange vows of love. Romeo confides in Friar Lawrence and he consents to marry them.
Benvolio tells Mercutio that Tybalt has sent Romeo a challenge. Romeo joins them ad is visited by the Nurse, who is told of the marriage plan. When Juliet learns of it, she goes to Friar Lawrence’s cell, and the lovers are married. Tybalt, looking for Romeo, finds Benvolio and Mercutio. Romeo returns and is challenged by Tybalt, but refuses to fight. Mercutio draws on Tybalt, but is fatally wounded. Tybalt then fights with Romeo and is killed. Romeo flies and Benvolio reports the happenings to the Prince, who banishes Romeo.
The Nurse tells Juliet of Romeo’s banishment and promises to bring him to her. The Friar informs a distraught Romeo that he is banished, but advises him to visit Juliet secretly before leaving for Mantua.
Capulet tells Paris that he may marry Juliet in three days’ time; Lady Capulet brings the news to Juliet, who has just bade Romeo a hasty farewell. Juliet refuses to marry Paris, persisting in the face of her father’s anger. She goes to the Friar for help and finds Paris there, arranging the marriage. When Paris has left, thi friar devises a plan: he will give Juliet a drink that will make her appear dead, so that she can avoid marriage, and will write to Romeo to tell him; they can then elope to Mantua.
Juliet tell her father she will marry Paris, and Capulet bring the wedding forward to the next day. Juliet retires and drinks the liquid. When her ‘body’ is discovered, all mourn and she is taken to the family crypt. In Manuta, Balthasar tellsr Romeo that Juliet is dead. He vows to lie dead next to her that night and obtains a poison from an apothecary. Friar Lawrence learns from Friar John that his letter did not reach Romeo. Realising his danger, Lawrence leaves to explain to Juliet what has happened.
Paris goes to Juliet’s tomb to mourn her, and encounters Romeo. They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. Romeo then drinks the poison and dies beside Juliet. The Friar arrives to see Romeo dead and Juliet waking. She refuses to leave and kills herself with Romeos’ dagger. Officers arrive, then rouse the families and the Prince. The Friar explains what has happened. Montague and Capulet agree to make peace with each other.