Romeo and Juliet

Playbill for the 1754 performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. Image from the RSC Archive at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Shakespeare probably wrote Romeo and Juliet in 1595-6.
Explore the links on the left to find out more about this great tragic love story.

Full synopsis
Read the story of Romeo and Juliet plain English. If you don't want to know how it ends, don't read the last section!

Famous quotes
We've selected some well-known quotes from Romeo and Juliet.

Key moments
Directors choose their own key moments in Romeo and Juliet, depending on their interpretation of the play. Here Kath Bradley selects a number of important scenes.

Did you know...?
Some fascinating facts about Shakespeare's play and Romeo and Juliet in performance.

Dating the play
Rebecca Brown explains how we know when Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare's sources
Tragic love stories have endured since storytelling began but here Rebecca Brown presents the French and Italian influences which inspired Shakespeare when he wrote Romeo and Juliet.

Stage history
From its first performances in the 1590s up to modern theatre and film productions, Rebecca Brown examines Romeo and Juliet in performance.

Production 2010
Watch an extract and view photos from this production directed by Rupert Goold and featuring Mariah Gale and Sam Troughton as Romeo and Juliet.

Production 2008
Watch extracts, view photos and read an interview with Neil Bartlett about his production for the Courtyard's thrust stage.

Production 2006
Watch a scene and view photos from Nancy Meckler's production for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre's proscenium arch stage which formed part of our Complete Works Festival.

Production 1986
View photos from this production directed by Michael Bogdanov.

Productions 1947 - 2008
Rebecca Brown describes a selection of our productions.

The following articles from our show programmes are available:
Sweet sorrow
Half way through rehearsals for the RSC's 2008 production of Romeo and Juliet, director Neil Bartlett pauses for thought.
Love and hatred
Psychologist Dorothy Rowe examines how our strongest emotions are intertwined.
Sealed in eternity
Writer Fay Weldon on our enduring fascination with Shakespeare's young lovers.
Civil blood
Why are the Capulets and Montagues at war? Carol Chillington Rutter, Professor of English Literature at Warwick University.
Italian connection
Why was Shakespeare fascinated with Italy? Dr Alison Shell, a Reader in English Studies at Durham University investigates the 1600 equivalent of Hollywood.
Jonathan Bate, Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the Univerity of Warwick describes how Shakespeare emphasises the convergence of opposites in Romeo and Juliet: youth and age, day and night, poison and medicine, and of course: love and hate.

Resources for teachers
Extra resources for teaching on Romeo and Juliet: activities, synopses, themes and links to more from RSC Education.

Image shows a playbill for the 1754 performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.
Image from the RSC Archive © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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