Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play written by William Shakespeare in the early 1590s. It centers around young love that cannot blossom due to warring families.
The play is set in Verona. Juliet Capulet, a thirteen-year-old girl, is facing pressure from her mother and nurse to marry Paris, a wealthy count. She does not want to marry him, so they decide to postpone the engagement for two years, assuming she will eventually agree to it.
Meanwhile, Romeo Montague is depressed due to an infatuation with a girl named Rosaline. His cousin, Benvolio Montague and his friend Mercutio encourage Romeo to attend a Capulet ball, in hopes of seeing Rosaline. Despite the fact that the Montagues and Capulets are in constant conflict, Romeo agrees to go.
When he is at the ball, he does not find Rosaline, and instead he meets Juliet Capulet, and falls for her immediately. Later in the famous "balcony scene" he sneaks into the Capulet orchard and overhears Juliet in her bedroom vowing her love for Romeo despite their families' conflict. He speaks to her and they agree to be married. Friar Lawrence, who hopes their marriage will create peace between the families, marries them the next day.
However, Juliet's cousin Tybalt Capulet is furious with Romeo for sneaking into the Capulet ball (he still does not know Romeo and Juliet are married). He challenges Romeo to a duel, but Romeo refuses to fight because they are now family. His friend Mercutio fights in his place, and when Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo becomes outraged and kills Tybalt.
The Prince of Verona exiles Romeo for the murder of Tybalt. That night, Romeo and Juliet have sex to consummate their marriage. Meanwhile, Juliet's parents try to force her to marry Paris, saying they will disown her if she doesn't. She still refuses.
Juliet goes to Friar Lawrence for help and takes a drug that will put her in a coma, but will not actually kill her. She does this so that her parents and Paris will believe her to be dead. Unfortunately, Romeo hears of Juliet's death and buys poison to kill himself. On his way to visit her body he has an altercation with Paris and kills him. He goes to visit Juliet's body and takes the poison. When she awakes from her coma she sees that Romeo is dead and stabs herself with his dagger.