William Shakespeare, English, 1564-1616 Romeo + Juliet, 1996
Central characters: Romeo Montague, only son of Montague family, he’s a stubborn and headstrong, hormone enraged young man and Juliet Capulet, also an only child in the Capulet household, showing much naiveté, if not deliberate ignorance
Other characters: Montagues and Capulets too many to mention but consisting mostly of close and extended family members from both sides, there are princes, friars, friends, servants, an apothecary and what would a Shakespearian play be without a wet nurse
Scene: Mostly the scenes are happening in Verona but we spend some time on the Capulet’s property, both in the castle, in Juliet’s bedroom and in the orchard, there are a few scenes in Friar Laurence’s cell, as well
Dramatic question: Will Romeo and Juliet be together?
Brief summary of events: We open up to a city in turmoil, in which the prince threatens to kill anyone who pursues the violence. Romeo confides in his cousin that the girl that he loves doesn’t give a happy rat’s patootie about him. His cousin tells him not to chase this bus, there’s another prettier one coming in 10 minutes but Romeo is set on being bummed. Back on the Capulet front, Paris is getting to bend at the knee to ask for Juliet’s hand but her Papa wants him to cool his jets for a bit, since Juliet is only 13. He’s throwing his annual Halloween bash and invites Paris, hoping that Juliet will get an eyeful and want to get with him. Romeo and his cousin get wind of the party and decide to crash it, with hopes of finding another Betty for Romeo to get his hooks into or at least, to be able to spec out Rosaline. They arrive and it’s “love at first sight” for Romeo, the moment he lays eyes on Juliet, not knowing that she’s the mortal enemy of his people. Isn’t that always the way? They get into a heavy make out session before they even exchange names and figure out who they are. When they find out, they both come unglued. Romeo and his cousin leave the party but Romeo sneaks back and hides in the orchard, watching her in her room. She cries out for him… Romeo, where the F are you????? He responds and they exchange vows of forever love. They run off to the only friar that Romeo knows that would marry them. The friar thinks it over and is pretty sure that their love could possibly mend the fences and the Capulets and Montagues could be friends again. Before they can seal the deal, Romeo and a couple friends meet up with one of the Capulets, who just happen to see Romeo at the masquerade and was none too happy about it. He called out for a duel and one of Romeo’s cousins gets shanked. Romeo finds retribution in the death of his adversary. The prince sees the whole thing and bans Romeo from Verona. The friar sets up a meeting with Juliet the night before he has to jet. Romeo climbs up the ladder and after consummating their marriage, he leaves. Now Juliet has no idea if she’ll ever see Romeo again. Her nurse’s advice is for her to marry Paris and just go on as if she’d never even met Romeo. Angry that her nurse would be so disloyal, she went back to Friar Laurence. He hatches a plan for Juliet to drink some fake poison, then when she’s dead and in the crypt, he’d sneak back with Romeo to