Plot

A quick overview of what happens in Romeo and Juliet.

  • The Montague and Capulet families are at war and have had another fight. The Prince, who keeps the peace in Verona, says that if there are any further fights the head of the houses will be killed.

    Did you know?

    Verona is the setting of virtually the whole of Romeo and Juliet. It is used as the setting in three of Shakespeare’s plays – The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet – but it is unknown if Shakespeare ever visited the city.

  • Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, meet at a party at the Capulets' house and they kiss. Romeo shouldn't be there and Juliet's cousin Tybalt sees him and decides to get revenge for the insult.

  • Romeo sneaks into the Capulet orchard to see Juliet and they declare their love for each other and decide to get married and be together.

  • Romeo and Juliet get married in secret with the help of Juliet’s nurse and Friar Laurence.

  • Another fight breaks out in Verona and Tybalt kills Romeo's friend Mercutio. Romeo had tried to prevent the fight but, after Mercutio's death, he kills Tybalt. The Prince banishes Romeo from Verona because of what he has done.

  • Juliet is distraught by the news of Tybalt’s death and Romeo being banished. Lord Capulet tells Juliet she must marry a man called Paris, not knowing she is already married.

  • Friar Laurence gives Juliet a potion that will make her appear dead so she does not have to marry again. He sends Romeo a note to explain the plan and Juliet takes the potion. Her body is moved to the family tomb.

  • Romeo does not receive the note about the potion from Friar Laurence and thinks Juliet is really dead. He buys some poison and goes back to Verona.

  • Romeo goes to the tomb and realises he can't live without Juliet. He takes the poison and dies next to her.

  • Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo dead. She then kills herself with Romeo’s dagger.

Teacher Notes

The following activity is a great way to introduce the story of Romeo and Juliet to a group of students who are getting to know the play and introduces them to the opening prologue.

The Prologue (2010)

The activity can be found on pages 2 and 3 and takes approximately 20 minutes.

You can also print the ten lines on this page and ask students to work in pairs to arrange them in the order they take place in the play.