Arguably Shakespeare's most famous play begins with a Prologue which establishes that this play will be a tragedy and that the children of two feuding families, Romeo of the Montague family and Juliet of the Capulet family, will both love and die in the course of this play...
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In the prologue to Act 1, an actor playing the chorus recites a sonnet in which he describes the bitter hatred dividing the Montagues and Capulets and identifies Romeo and Juliet as lovers who had the misfortune to be born into warring families: “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes [the Montagues and the Capulets] / A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life” (lines 5-6).
The love between Romeo and Juliet is sublimely beautiful.
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In a prologue to Act 1, an actor called “the chorus” recites a sonnet in which he describes the bitter hatred separating the Montagues and Capulets (residents of Verona, a city in northern Italy about sixty-five miles west of Venice and the Adriatic coast) and identifies Romeo and Juliet as lovers who had the misfortune to be born into warring families.
Romeo and Juliet Summary guide at Absolute …
From the very beginning, Romeo and Juliet are "star-cross'd" as children of "fatal loins." But Shakespeare knows that the events leading to tragedy cannot be explained away so simply.
Immature as they were, Romeo and Juliet lacked the wisdom and experience to cope with their predicament.
The hatred between the Montagues and Capulets it promotes constant tension and violence, resulting in street brawls, the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio, and, of course, the deaths of their own children, Romeo, Juliet, and Paris.
Immaturity and inexperience can lead to tragic endings.
The lovers, Romeo and Juliet, are young, inexperienced; they have not yet learned to hate like adults.
So powerful is the love between Romeo and Juliet that it subjugates reason and common sense as guiding forces and causes the lovers to take dangerous risks.
Romeo and Juliet forfeit their lives partly as a result of their parents' hatred and prejudice. Fate acts through human folly.
In the second scene of Act 3, when Juliet criticizes Romeo for killing Tybalt while praising him as her beloved, she manages to squeeze in six oxymorons and four paradoxes:
Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of syllables, as indicated by the boldfaced letters below.
After Juliet awakens and discovers the bodies, grief overwhelms her and she kills herself, using Romeo's dagger.
At the end of the play, Romeo and Juliet both kill themselves to end their grief.
The climax of a play or another fictional literary work, such as a short story or a novel, can be defined as (1) the turning point at which the conflict begins to resolve itself for better or worse, or as (2) the final and most exciting event in a series of events.