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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Summary


Here you will find a Romeo and Juliet summary (William Shakespeare's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

Romeo and Juliet Summary Overview

In the city of Verona, violent altercations frequently erupt between the servants of two rival noble households, the Capulets and Montagues. The city's ruler, Prince Escalus, decrees a death sentence to anyone who further disrupts the peace. Caught amidst this feud is Romeo, a Montague, who reveals to his cousin Benvolio his unrequited love for a woman named Rosaline. Despite Benvolio's advice to forget Rosaline, Romeo remains heartbroken. Concurrently, Paris, related to the Prince, wishes to marry Juliet, Capulet's daughter. Capulet, pleased with the match, asks Paris to wait for two years as Juliet is still young. Capulet arranges a feast inviting Paris so he can woo Juliet. Romeo and Benvolio encounter the Capulet servant carrying feast invitations and decide to attend, hoping to measure Rosaline against Verona's other beauties. At the feast, Romeo sees Juliet and instantly forgets about Rosaline. Their mutual attraction leads to a profound connection and a secret kiss. They are both distressed upon discovering they are children of enemy families. Despite this, they exchange vows of love in secret and decide to wed in secret, hoping their union might end the feud between their families. The wedding night is short-lived as a duel breaks out the next day between Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, and Romeo's friend Mercutio. Romeo tries to intervene, resulting in Mercutio's death. Enraged, Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished from Verona. Juliet awaits Romeo's arrival, only to find out from her nurse that Romeo has killed her cousin, Tybalt. Despite her grief, she chooses her loyalty to her husband. They consummate their marriage before Romeo flees to Mantua. Juliet's father, distraught by recent events, arranges her marriage to Paris in three days. Desperate and unwilling to marry Paris, Juliet seeks advice from Friar Lawrence, who devises a plan to reunite her with Romeo by faking her death. The plan goes awry when the message to Romeo fails to reach him, and he learns only of Juliet's supposed death. In despair, Romeo kills himself next to Juliet's seemingly lifeless body. She wakes up to find Romeo dead and kills herself as well. The tragic death of their children leads to the end of the feud between the Capulets and Montagues, forever altering the peace in Verona.

act 1 prologue

The introduction of the play sees the Chorus delivering a fourteen-line sonnet that provides an overview of the plot. It mentions two distinguished families in Verona city, who have a deep-rooted enmity, leading to continuous violent clashes. It's prophesied that from these families, two ill-fated lovers will emerge whose deaths will ultimately reconcile the feuding households. The play's narrative revolves around these lovers and the dreadful feud that divides their families.

act 1 scene 1

Capulet's servants, Sampson and Gregory, wander in Verona, cynically joking about defeating Montague's men and women. Spotting rival servants, they plot a lawful way to start a fight. Sampson offends the Montagues, sparking a dispute that quickly turns violent. Montague's ally, Benvolio, tries to intervene, but Capulet's relative, Tybalt, challenges him. Despite Benvolio's peace plea, Tybalt responds with disdain, inciting a brawl. Local citizens, with clubs, attempt to quell the melee. Montague and Capulet almost join the fight, but their wives prevent them. Prince Escalus arrives, commanding everyone to cease, under threat of torture. The Prince denounces the ongoing feud, warning of a death penalty for any future disruptions. He plans to speak further with Capulet and Montague about the conflict. Everyone leaves, except for Benvolio, Montague, and Lady Montague. Benvolio explains the fight's origin to his uncle and aunt. They inquire about their son, Romeo. Benvolio saw him earlier in a grove of sycamores, appearing troubled. The Montagues confess that Romeo's melancholia is a common sight, confessing their unsuccessful attempts to uncover its cause. As Romeo approaches, Benvolio pledges to unearth the reason behind his cousin's gloom. Benvolio speaks with his cousin, who confesses his unrequited love for Rosaline, who has chosen chastity. Benvolio suggests looking at other women, but Romeo insists that Rosaline is the most beautiful. Dismissing Benvolio's advice, Romeo leaves. Still, Benvolio decides to help Romeo move past his infatuation.

act 1 scene 2

Capulet and Paris, a noble related to the Prince, stroll through Verona. They chat about Paris's wish to wed Capulet's young daughter, Juliet. While Capulet is thrilled, he believes Juliet is too youthful for marriage, being under fourteen. He suggests a two-year wait. However, he reassures Paris of his approval and welcomes him to a masquerade he's hosting that evening. This would provide Paris a chance to charm Juliet. Capulet assigns Peter, a servant, to invite certain guests to the party. As Capulet and Paris leave, Peter bemoans his illiteracy, foreseeing challenges in completing his task. Meanwhile, Romeo and Benvolio are debating over Romeo's ability to forget his love. Peter seeks their help in reading the invitees list, which includes Rosaline's name. Before leaving, Peter extends an invitation to the party to Romeo and Benvolio, given they aren't Montagues. Benvolio convinces Romeo to attend the feast as an opportunity to measure Rosaline against Verona's other beauties. Romeo concurs, fueled by the prospect of Rosaline's presence.

act 1 scene 3

Inside the Capulet residence, on the brink of a celebration, Lady Capulet seeks the Nurse's assistance in locating Juliet. When Juliet arrives, Lady Capulet initially sends the Nurse away, wanting a private conversation with her daughter. However, she quickly reverses her decision, asking the Nurse to stay and offer her advice. Before Lady Capulet can initiate their discussion, the Nurse embarks on a humorous anecdote about a young, naive Juliet unknowingly participating in a risqué jest. Despite Lady Capulet's attempts to halt the Nurse's tale, she continues, amusing herself. A flustered Juliet eventually commands the Nurse to cease. Lady Capulet queries Juliet about her thoughts on matrimony. Juliet confesses that she hasn't pondered it. Lady Capulet reveals that she was around Juliet's age when she became a mother and passionately advises Juliet to contemplate marriage, especially because the brave Paris has shown interest in her. Juliet obediently promises that she will gauge her feelings for Paris at the upcoming feast. A servant arrives to signal the commencement of the celebration.

act 1 scene 4

Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio, all masked, meet up with other disguised party-goers on their way to the Capulets' celebration. Despite his gloomy mood, Romeo questions their entry to the Capulets' party considering their Montague identity. Ignoring the issue, he declares his unwillingness to dance at the event. Mercutio lightly teases Romeo, turning his love sentiments into overtly sexual innuendos. Romeo opts out of this playful exchange, sharing a dream that hinted at the party being a bad idea. Mercutio counters with an extensive monologue about the fairy Queen Mab's influence on dreams. His speech starts off whimsically, but gradually takes a bitter, impassioned turn. Romeo intervenes to halt Mercutio's heated rant. Mercutio concedes that he's been speaking nonsense, dismissing dreams as mere figments of an idle mind. Benvolio steers their focus back to their journey to the feast. Romeo expresses a final worry: a premonition that the evening's events might trigger a chain reaction of fatal consequences. However, putting his fate in the hands of destiny, Romeo's mood lifts and he proceeds to the feast with his friends.

act 1 scene 5

At Capulet's grand hall, lively preparations are underway. The servants busily ensure the feast's success and set aside some delicacies for themselves. Capulet mingles with guests, mixing humor and dance invitations. Romeo spots Juliet from a distance and inquires a server about her identity, but he is clueless. Captivated by Juliet, Romeo forgets about Rosaline and confesses that he's genuinely in love for the first time. Tybalt hears Romeo's voice, recognizes it, and asks his servant for his sword, realizing a Montague is present. However, Capulet overhears and admonishes Tybalt, defending Romeo's reputation and demanding no harm come to him at the feast. Although Tybalt grudgingly agrees, he silently vows to settle the score. In the meantime, Romeo woos Juliet with a religious-themed dialogue, portraying her as a saint and himself as a sin-seeking pilgrim. He persuades her to kiss him, suggesting it would absolve his sins. Juliet complies, and in the context of their conversation, accepts his sin. This leads Juliet to conclude that if she's taken his sin, they must kiss again to return it. As they share their second kiss, the Nurse interrupts to summon Juliet to her mother. Romeo, confused, asks the Nurse about Juliet's mother and learns she is Lady Capulet. Heartbroken, he leaves the feast with Benvolio. Juliet, equally smitten, frets about the possibility of Romeo being married. To discretely uncover Romeo's identity, she sends the Nurse to identify several young men. When the Nurse reveals that Romeo is a Montague, Juliet is distraught. She exits the hall, following her nurse, burdened by the knowledge that she loves a Montague.

act 2 prologue

The Chorus presents a brief poem that unveils Romeo and Juliet's budding romance. The intense feud between their families complicates their ability to nurture their love; finding opportunities to meet proves challenging. However, the strength of their love equips them with the courage and resolve to overcome the hurdles they encounter.

act 2 scene 1

After the party, Romeo chooses not to return home but instead seeks out Juliet. He scales a wall surrounding the Capulet estate and jumps into their orchard. Benvolio and Mercutio show up, attempting to locate Romeo. Certain he is close, they yell for him, but Romeo stays silent. Feeling both frustrated and amused, Mercutio humorously ridicules Romeo's love for Rosaline. Believing that Romeo wants to remain hidden, Mercutio and Benvolio leave the scene.

act 2 scene 2

Romeo, hidden in Juliet's orchard, overhears his friend Mercutio’s teasing remarks. He spots Juliet appearing at a window above him, and marvels at her beauty, comparing her to the morning sun. Juliet, thinking she's alone, expresses her frustration over Romeo’s identity as a Montague, her family's enemy. She wishes he could denounce his name or profess his love for her so she could deny her Capulet identity. Romeo surprises Juliet by revealing his presence and confessing his love. Juliet is startled, yet pleased, but worries about his safety in the Capulet garden. Romeo reassures her, insisting that her love would protect him. Juliet reciprocates his feelings, but expresses anxiety about their rapid progression. He tries to make promises, but she stops him, fearing it's all happening too fast. They declare their love for each other once more. Juliet is called away by her Nurse but promises to return. When she does, she proposes to send a messenger the next day to confirm Romeo's intentions of marriage. She sets a meeting time for her envoy with Romeo at nine the next morning. After a tender farewell, Juliet retreats to her room and Romeo leaves to seek help from a monk.

act 2 scene 3

At dawn, Friar Lawrence is seen gathering various plants, showing his deep understanding of their characteristics. Romeo appears and the friar quickly notices his lack of sleep, worrying Romeo may have been sinful with Rosaline. However, Romeo reveals his newfound affection for Juliet, his marriage plans, and requests the friar's blessing for a wedding that day. The friar is stunned by Romeo's abrupt shift from Rosaline to Juliet, reflecting on the inconsistency of youthful love, especially Romeo's. Romeo justifies himself, pointing out Juliet reciprocates his feelings unlike Rosaline. The friar, still doubtful of Romeo's sudden love switch, agrees to wed them. He hopes that their union might reconcile the ongoing feud between the Montague and Capulet houses.

act 2 scene 4

As morning approaches, Mercutio and Benvolio are curious about Romeo's whereabouts the night before. They've heard from a servant that Romeo didn't come home. Mercutio throws a few harsh words about Rosaline, and Benvolio shares that Tybalt has issued a duel challenge to Romeo. Mercutio jokes that Romeo is already defeated by love, questioning his ability to overcome Tybalt. Defending Romeo, Benvolio listens as Mercutio gives an elaborate portrayal of Tybalt as an excellent swordsman but also an arrogant and superficial person, much to Mercutio's annoyance. Romeo shows up and is immediately mocked by Mercutio for being weakened by love. Mercutio mimics Romeo, over-praising Rosaline compared to historical beauties and criticizing Romeo for ditching his friends. Romeo admits he did, but justifies it as a necessity, leading to a lengthy exchange of bawdy and clever banter. The Nurse, followed by servant Peter, enters. Upon identifying Romeo, Mercutio teases the Nurse, implying she's a courtesan, which upsets her. Benvolio and Mercutio depart for dinner at the Montague residence, with Romeo planning to join them later. The Nurse advises Romeo against deceiving Juliet, which he promises he won't. He instructs the Nurse to ask Juliet to attend confession at Friar Lawrence's cell that afternoon where they will wed. The Nurse consents to relay the message and to set up a ladder for Romeo to climb to Juliet's room on their wedding night.

act 2 scene 5

In the Capulet's garden, Juliet eagerly anticipates her nurse, who she had dispatched to see Romeo three hours ago. Eventually, the Nurse comes back, and Juliet fervently inquires about any updates. Claiming exhaustion, soreness, and breathlessness, the Nurse initially refrains from sharing the news. Juliet's growing desperation eventually compels the Nurse to reveal that Romeo is at Friar Lawrence's quarters, ready for their marriage. The Nurse leaves to wait in the alley for Romeo’s attendant, tasked with bringing a ladder for Romeo to access Juliet’s room that night for their wedding's consummation.

act 2 scene 6

Romeo and Friar Lawrence are in the cell anticipating Juliet's arrival. Overwhelmed with joy, Romeo dismisses any thought of future misfortune. However, Friar Lawrence advises him to moderate his love and not to be too passionate, cautioning that extreme delights can lead to destructive consequences. When Juliet arrives, Romeo urges her to express her love poetically. Juliet replies that those who can simply quantify their love are like beggars, implying that her love is too immense to be easily put into words. They then leave with Friar Lawrence to get married.

act 3 scene 1

Under the sweltering sun, Benvolio proposes to Mercutio that they should retreat indoors, wary of conflicts with the Capulets. Mercutio jests about Benvolio being hot-headed. Soon, Tybalt and his gang arrive. He requests a word with either of them, but Mercutio begins to mock him. Romeo appears and Tybalt shifts his focus to him, calling him a scoundrel. Romeo, having secretly married Juliet and now related to Tybalt, refuses to take offense. Tybalt insists on a fight, but Romeo refuses, citing undisclosed love for Tybalt. This infuriates Mercutio, who challenges Tybalt himself. As Tybalt and Mercutio duel, Romeo tries to intervene and Tybalt mortally wounds Mercutio. Tybalt and his gang quickly depart. With his last breath, Mercutio curses both Capulet and Montague families. Furious, Romeo blames his love for Juliet for his inaction and vows to avenge Mercutio. Tybalt returns still enraged and Romeo engages him in a fight, killing him. Benvolio convinces Romeo to flee as the city's populace, incensed by the repeated brawls, approaches. Romeo laments his fate and escapes. The Prince arrives with the Montagues, Capulets, and townsfolk. Benvolio narrates the incident, highlighting Romeo's peace efforts. Lady Capulet accuses him of lying to protect Romeo and demands Romeo's death. However, Prince Escalus decides to banish Romeo from Verona, threatening death should he return.

act 3 scene 2

At the Capulet residence, Juliet anxiously waits for Romeo, hoping he'll arrive undetected at nightfall. The Nurse abruptly enters, delivering news about the clash between Romeo and Tybalt. She's so upset that her words are jumbled, and Juliet mistakenly believes Romeo is dead. This leads Juliet to contemplate her own death. The Nurse then mourns over Tybalt's demise, and Juliet fears that both Romeo and Tybalt might be deceased. Finally, Juliet comprehends that Romeo has slain Tybalt and is now banished. She's shocked and angry that Romeo, whom she thought kind-hearted, could act so brutally. The Nurse chimes in with curses towards Romeo, which Juliet rebukes. She criticizes herself for blaming Romeo and insists his banishment is more devastating than multiple Tybalts' deaths. She is distressed that she'll become a bride and a widow on the same day, without experiencing her wedding night. The Nurse, however, gives her hope and promises she'll arrange for Romeo to visit Juliet. Juliet hands over a ring to the Nurse to pass onto Romeo as a sign of her devotion.

act 3 scene 3

In the confines of Friar Lawrence's quarters, a distraught Romeo inquires about his punishment from the Prince. Friar Lawrence informs him that his sentence is merely exile, not death. However, Romeo feels exiled life without Juliet is unbearable. Despite the friar's attempts to console him, Romeo remains inconsolable and sinks to the ground. Unexpectedly, the Nurse appears bringing news from Juliet, which Romeo eagerly anticipates. He expects Juliet to think of him as a killer now. He even contemplates suicide. However, Friar Lawrence intercepts his desperate act and reprimands him for his lack of courage. The friar reminds Romeo that both he and Juliet are still alive and the Prince may reconsider his decision once everything settles down. Friar Lawrence devises a strategy for Romeo: he must visit Juliet that night and depart from her room and Verona before dawn. Romeo is to settle in Mantua until their secret marriage becomes public knowledge. The Nurse hands over a ring from Juliet to Romeo, lifting his spirits with this tangible proof of their love. After the Nurse leaves, Romeo bids Friar Lawrence goodbye and readies himself to visit Juliet and subsequently escape to Mantua.

act 3 scene 4

Capulet, his wife, and Paris are having a conversation. Capulet admits he hasn't spoken to Juliet yet about marrying Paris due to recent tragic events. Lady Capulet assures that she'll know Juliet's opinion by morning. As Paris tries to leave, Capulet stops him and makes a confident offer of Juliet's affection to him. He is confident that Juliet will obey his choice. He assures Paris of a Wednesday wedding, only to rethink and ask what day it currently is. On learning it's Monday from Paris, he reschedules the wedding to Thursday, deeming Wednesday too early.

act 3 scene 5

As dawn approaches, Romeo readies to descend from Juliet’s window and start his exile. Juliet vainly argues that the bird sounds they can hear are from a night bird, not a day bird, in a bid to convince Romeo to stay. Romeo, however, knows the dangers of staying and insists on leaving. Juliet, undeterred, argues the light they see is from a meteor not the sun, attempting to delay Romeo's departure. Despite the imminent threat of death, Romeo, moved by Juliet's love, is willing to risk everything to stay with her. However, Juliet, now fully aware of the danger, insists that the sound they heard was indeed the morning bird and urges him to leave. The Nurse interrupts their farewell, warning of Lady Capulet's impending arrival. Romeo and Juliet share a heartbreaking goodbye before Romeo climbs out the window. While standing beneath her window, Romeo assures Juliet they will meet again. Juliet, however, is doubtful, commenting on how pale he looks, likening him to a corpse in a tomb. Romeo echoes her sentiment, attributing their pallor to their shared sadness. As he rushes away, Juliet retracts the ladder and prays for his swift return. Lady Capulet arrives in Juliet’s room. Juliet, puzzled by her early visit, greets her. Oblivious to Juliet’s secret marriage to Romeo, Lady Capulet misinterprets Juliet's tears as grief for her cousin Tybalt. Lady Capulet shares her deep-seated wish for Romeo's demise which Juliet cleverly uses to express her love for Romeo while leading her mother to believe she too yearns for his death. Lady Capulet then informs Juliet about Capulet’s plan for her to wed Paris, hoping that this will make her happy. Juliet is horrified and strongly rejects the idea, defiantly stating she would rather marry Romeo, who she pretends to hate, than Paris. When Capulet learns of Juliet's resistance, he furiously threatens to disown her if she disobeys him. Juliet’s plea for her mother’s assistance falls on deaf ears. After her parents leave, Juliet seeks advice from her Nurse on how to escape her predicament. However, the Nurse suggests she should marry Paris, deeming him a better suitor and considering Romeo as good as dead. Upset by her Nurse's disloyalty, Juliet feigns agreement, and says she will confess at Friar Lawrence’s church. Juliet rushes off to the friar, resolved never to trust the Nurse's advice again. She muses to herself that, if all else fails, she still has the power to end her own life.

act 4 scene 1

At his quarters, Friar Lawrence has a discussion with Paris about his upcoming wedding to Juliet. Paris explains that Juliet has been distraught over Tybalt's passing, causing her to behave unusually. He believes that a quick marriage, arranged by Capulet, will help her move past her grief. Friar Lawrence privately wishes he didn't know why Paris's wedding to Juliet must be postponed. Juliet arrives and Paris expresses his love for her, albeit with a touch of arrogance. Juliet, however, is nonchalant and neither reciprocates his feelings nor displays any animosity. She makes it clear they're not yet wed. Friar Lawrence cleverly sends Paris away under the guise of needing to take Juliet's confession, but not before Paris manages to steal a kiss from her. Once Paris exits, Juliet, clutching a knife, pleads with Friar Lawrence for assistance, threatening to end her own life rather than wed Paris. The friar suggests a risky scheme: Juliet must agree to marry Paris and on the eve of the wedding, she should drink a potion that will mimic death. Upon awakening in the Capulet tomb, Romeo will rescue her, having been informed by the friar. The couple will then escape to Mantua, far away from their families' feud. Eagerly, Juliet accepts the plan and the friar hands her the potion.

act 4 scene 2

Juliet comes back home to find her parents, Capulet and Lady Capulet, in full swing with wedding preparations. Unexpectedly, she apologizes for her earlier defiance and happily agrees to wed Paris. Her changed attitude thrills Capulet so much that he decides to hasten the wedding to the following day, Wednesday. Juliet then retreats to her room, seemingly to get ready for her wedding, while Capulet dashes off to share the good news with Paris.

act 4 scene 3

In her room, Juliet tells the Nurse and Lady Capulet to leave her alone for the night. Holding Friar Lawrence's vial, she contemplates drinking it. She fears the friar might be deceitful, hiding his involvement in her marriage to Romeo, which could lead to her death. Another fear is waking up in the tomb, should Romeo be late, and losing her sanity from fright. She envisages Tybalt’s ghost on the hunt for Romeo and pleads with it to stop. Raising a toast to Romeo, she downs the vial's liquid.

act 4 scene 4 - 5

In the early hours, the Capulet residence buzzes with wedding arrangements. Capulet orders the Nurse to awaken Juliet. Discovering Juliet's lifeless body, the Nurse breaks into cries of despair, soon joined by Lady Capulet and Capulet himself. Paris, accompanied by Friar Lawrence and musicians, arrives for the wedding. Learning of the tragic turn of events, Paris mourns too. The friar consoles them, reminding them that Juliet is in a better place, and persuades them to prepare for her funeral. With heavy hearts, they oblige and leave. Left alone, the musicians start packing up, their services no longer needed. The Capulet's servant, Peter, enters and requests the musicians to play a cheerful tune to alleviate his grief. The musicians decline, stating that such music would be unfitting. Peter, irked, offends the musicians, who retort. Peter departs after a final jibe at the musicians. The musicians opt to stay, hoping to partake in the forthcoming lunch for the mourners.

act 5 scene 1

In the early hours of Wednesday, a jubilant Romeo is found on a Mantua street recounting a delightful dream: Juliet reviving his lifeless body with a kiss. Balthasar, his confidant, arrives and Romeo assumes he brings news of Juliet and his father. When Romeo expresses that all is well as long as Juliet is well, Balthasar shatters his joy by revealing that Juliet is in heaven, found dead that morning. Devastated, Romeo exclaims, “Then I defy you, stars.” Romeo instructs Balthasar to fetch pen and paper for a letter to Montague and to arrange for horses, as he intends to return to Verona immediately. Although Balthasar is reluctant, fearing for Romeo's emotional state, Romeo insists. Upon verifying that Balthasar doesn't carry a letter from Friar Lawrence, Romeo sends him away, vowing to join Juliet in death that night. Romeo seeks out an apothecary, a drug dispenser. Observing the man's poverty, Romeo proposes a lucrative deal for a dose of poison. Although the Apothecary hesitates, citing the death penalty for selling poison in Mantua, his financial desperation compels him to make the sale. Alone, Romeo addresses the vial, affirming his plan to end his life at Juliet's tomb.

act 5 scene 2

Friar Lawrence converses with Friar John in his cell. He had previously sent John to Mantua to deliver a message to Romeo about their plot regarding Juliet's feigned death. When Lawrence inquires about Romeo's reaction to the letter, John reveals he couldn't deliver it because he was trapped in a house under plague quarantine. This news alarms Lawrence, as he realizes no one may be there to wake Juliet from her artificial slumber in the tomb if Romeo is unaware of the plan. Unbeknownst to him, Romeo is already under the impression that Juliet is truly dead. Determined to save Juliet, Lawrence plans to open the tomb himself using a crowbar. He drafts another letter to Romeo explaining the situation and intends to shelter Juliet in his cell until Romeo reaches them.

act 5 scene 3

At the graveyard, Paris arrives with a servant, who then retreats as Paris scatters flowers on Juliet’s tomb. A whistle warns him of someone coming, so he hides. Romeo appears with Balthasar, holding a crowbar. He declares he needs to retrieve a ring from Juliet’s tomb, then instructs Balthasar to deliver a letter to his father, Montague. Balthasar leaves but suspiciously stays nearby. Paris, recognizing Romeo from his hiding spot, perceives him as Tybalt’s murderer and the indirect cause of Juliet’s death. Believing Romeo has returned to dishonor the Capulets, Paris confronts him. Romeo suggests he leaves, but Paris declines. A sword fight ensues. Paris’s servant runs for help while Romeo kills Paris, who requests to be placed next to Juliet in death. Romeo honors this wish. Romeo enters the tomb, laying Paris’s body next to the seemingly peaceful Juliet. He expresses his love and desire to join her in death before drinking poison. He kisses Juliet and succumbs to the poison. Friar Lawrence arrives at the graveyard, Balthasar informs him that Romeo is in the tomb. Balthasar also reveals a dream he had in which Romeo killed someone. The friar enters the tomb, finding both Paris and Romeo dead. As he absorbs the horrific scene, Juliet awakens. Upon Juliet’s inquiry about Romeo, the friar hears sounds suggesting the arrival of the guards. He hurriedly tells her both Romeo and Paris are dead and insists she must leave with him. She refuses and the friar leaves alone. Discovering Romeo’s dead body and the empty poison vial, Juliet decides to join him in death. She takes his dagger and stabs herself as she hears the guards approaching. Turmoil ensues in the graveyard as Paris’s servant brings in the guards. They find Balthasar and Friar Lawrence lingering nearby. The Prince and the Capulets arrive to find the bodies of Romeo, Juliet, and Paris in the tomb. Montague joins the scene, revealing that his wife has died due to grief over Romeo’s exile. Friar Lawrence explains the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet’s secret marriage and its consequences. Balthasar hands over Romeo's letter to the Prince, which affirms the friar’s account. The Prince reprimands both families for their feud, attributing the tragedy to their enmity. He also reminds them of his losses: Mercutio and Paris. Capulet and Montague reconcile, vowing to erect gold statues of Romeo and Juliet. The Prince then takes the group to discuss the tragic events, concluding that there has never been a sadder tale than that of Juliet and Romeo.

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