A Story From: England
Read Time: ["10 to 15mins"]
For Ages: 10 to 14yrs.

Romeo and Juliet Love StoryRomeo and Juliet, a Love Story ~ Stories for Kids 

Romeo and Juliet, a Tragic Love Story. This story has been adapted from Shakespeare's play into story form. It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 

 

“Look!” said a servant from the House of Montague, pointing down the street. “Those are servants from the House of Capulet.” 

“When they pass,” said another Montague servant, “I’ll bite my thumb out at them.” 

The Capulets servants noticed. “Hey, you!” called one.  “Are you biting your thumb at me?”

“I may be biting my thumb,” said the Montague servant. “I’m not biting it AT you.”

“You know exactly what you’re doing!” said the Capulet servant, drawing his sword.  The two groups of servants rushed to each other, their swords held high.

 

“Hey you!” called one.  “Are you biting your thumb at me?”

 

The Prince of Verona galloped up on horseback.  “Stop!” he boomed. All the servants stopped, cold.  “What are you doing?” he yelled. “This is the third fight this month between the House of Montague and the House of Capulet.”  They hung their heads. “I’ve had it with your two Houses! Let the word be known – from now on, any Capulet who injures a Montague in a fight, or any Montague who injures a Capulet in a fight, will be banished from Verona forever. Or worse – put to death!”

The next morning at the Montague estate, the Lord Montague and the Lady Montague were seated at lunch, discussing that fight and the decree set by the Prince.  But where was their son Romeo? Lady Montague turned to her nephew. “Brando,” she said. “Do you have any idea where Romeo is? For days he’s shut himself up in his room from dawn to dusk.  But today he’s nowhere to be found.”  

Brando knew just where to find his cousin.  At a certain bridge is where he found Romeo, leaning over the rail and with his head bowed low.  

 

Brando knew just where to find his cousin.

 

 “Good morning, Cousin,” said Brando brightly.

Romeo looked up. “What makes this such a good morning?” 

“What’s the matter?” said Brando.  Dropping his voice, he added, “are you in trouble?”

“I’m not IN anything,” said Romeo.  “It’s more like what I’m out of.”  

“Out of…your mind?” Brando playfully tapped Romeo’s arm.

“Out of favor.”

“Whose?”

“Rosaline’s,” Romeo sighed and faced his cousin.  “The woman I love. But she has pledged to marry no man.”

“For goodness sake, Romeo!” said Brando.  “Why waste your time? Forget about her. There are plenty of other ladies.”

“Not like this one!”

 

“For goodness sake, Romeo!” said Brando.  “Why waste your time? Forget about her.”

 

Just then, a servant came up to the bridge who was clutching a scroll.  The servant’s master, Lord Capulet, had charged the servant with inviting each guest on the scroll to a masked feast the Capulets were hosting that night.  But the servant dared not admit the truth to his master – he could not read!

“Good sirs,” said the servant, eagerly.  “Can you help me with something?”

Brando and Romeo were glad to help.  They read aloud the names on the list, and the servant went on his way.  When he had crossed to the other side of the bridge, Brando turned to his cousin. “Romeo!” he said.  “Did you see what was on that list? Dozens of maidens are going tonight to the Capulet’s tonight! Let’s get eye masks for ourselves and crash the party. No one will be able to tell we’re Montagues.  A roomful of ladies – that’s what you need, my friend!”

Romeo agreed to go, but not for that reason.  He had also found something of interest on the list – the name of Rosaline.

 

“Let’s get eye masks for ourselves and crash the party.”

 

Meanwhile at the Capulet estate, Lord Capulet was entertaining a visitor.  The visitor was a rich Count whose name was Paris. Paris cleared his throat.  He said to Lord Capulet, “I’ve come about your daughter, Juliet. I would like to marry her.”

“Hmm,” said Lord Capulet, rubbing his chin.  No doubt Paris would make a fine match for his daughter.  In addition to his great wealth, Paris was also related to the Prince of Verona!  But would his daughter view the match with favor? “As you know,” said Lord Capulet, “Juliet is 17, going on 18, a good age to marry. Come to my masked feast tonight.  Find my daughter and we’ll see how she takes to you. For my part,” Lord Capulet leaned closer to Paris, “I hope it goes very well.” Paris agreed, confident that Juliet would soon be his.

 

“I’ve come about your daughter, Juliet. I would like to marry her.”

 

That night, holding eye masks in front of their faces, three Montagues – Romeo, Brando, and a friend named Marco, had no problem getting admitted to the Capulet’s feast and blending in with the crowd.  Romeo scoured the room. Where was Rosaline?  

Then Romeo’s eyes lit on a certain young woman whose eyes caught his own, too.  There was something about that maiden. The two of them stared at each other, unblinking.  

Without realizing how or why, they moved closer and closer, all the time holding a steady gaze.  When Juliet stood in front of the stranger, she said, “Are you a friend of the Capulet family?”

 

The two of them stared at each other, unblinking.

 

“I’m a friend,” Romeo said from behind his eye mask.

“Though,” said Juliet, turning her head a bit, “sometimes I wonder what all the fuss is about. I mean, between the Capulets and the Montagues.  I hope you don’t mind my saying so.”


“I don’t mind at all,” said Romeo.  “The Prince himself said the two Houses have to stop fighting.”

“Good luck with that,” said Juliet.

They exchanged quick smiles.

“The funny thing is,” said Juliet, “I’m not sure I even understand why the two Houses fight in the first place.”

“Beats me,” said Romeo with a shrug.

They smiled again.

Without realizing it, they had taken each other’s hands.  As if drawn together by an invisible pull, their faces came closer and closer together.  Their lips brushed.

 

“As if drawn together by an invisible pull, their faces came closer and closer together.

 

 “Juliet!” called her nurse from behind them, startling her.  “Your mother wants a word with you.”


“Of course,” said Juliet, quickly pulling away.  To Romeo she said, “I must go.” 

In a blink of an eye, Juliet had vanished into the crowd. Romeo turned to her nurse. “If I may, please.  Who was she, and who is her mother?”

“Why, that was Juliet, of course,” said the nurse, “daughter of the lady who is hosting this party, the Lady Capulet.”

 

“If I may, please.  Who was she, and who is her mother?”

 

Romeo swooned.  He realized the young woman he just met was none other than the daughter of his father’s sworn enemy the Lord Capulet, head of the House of Capulet.

Just then, a cousin of Juliet’s, whose name was Tybalt, overheard a familiar-sounding voice.  “Why, that’s Romeo, son of Lord Montague!” he realized. “What’s that Montague doing at our feast?”  

Tybalt rushed over to Lord Capulet.  “Uncle,” he panted. “Romeo’s here! How dare he sneak into our party?”  Tybalt drew his sword. “I’ll take care of him!” 

“No, Tybalt, put that away!” said Lord Capulet.  “Remember the Prince’s ban. And besides, I’m not going to let a fight ruin my feast tonight.”

“But Uncle…!” Tybalt was exasperated.  Yet he obeyed.

 

Tybalt drew his sword.  “I’ll take care of him!”

 

That very moment, Juliet was trying to find out the identity of the young man she had just met.  When told he was Romeo, the only son of Lord Montague, Juliet’s heart sank with despair. Surely any love between them would be impossible!

When the party ended, it was the wee hours of the morning.  Romeo left with his friends but once outside, he told them goodbye and returned back to the Capulet estate.  He climbed over the stone wall where he could not be seen. As he walked over to the Capulet mansion, the sun was starting to rise.  “It’s a soft new light to the east,” he thought, “and my Juliet is the sun.”  

When Romeo reached the Capulet mansion, he gazed up at its high stone wall.  How could he ever find her? Then his heart pounded – standing on the balcony overhead was Juliet herself!

 

“It’s a soft new light to the east,” he thought, “and my Juliet is the sun.”

 

 “Romeo, Romeo!” Juliet was calling his name!  “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?”  

He thought, “Should I speak aloud so she knows I am here?”

Juliet grasped the stone railing with both hands. “Why must we suffer for the sake of our family’s names?” she said.  “And what does a family name even mean? It is not a hand, or a foot, or an arm, or a face. What we call a rose, if we were to call it by any other name, would smell just as sweet.”  She raised both arms. “Romeo, I say to you, give up your family’s name! Or if you will not, then I will no longer be a Capulet!”

“For our love,” said Romeo, breaking his silence and calling up to Juliet, “my name will no longer be Romeo!”

 

“Romeo!” Juliet called out in surprise.  “Is that you?”

 

 “Romeo!” Juliet called out in surprise.  “Is that you? What kind of man hides in the darkness like this, listening to a maiden talk?”

“A man who is not himself!” said Romeo.  “For I hardly know myself, so steeply I am in love with you.”

“And how did you get in here?” said Juliet, looking around.  “If my kinsmen were to find you, it would surely be the death of you.”

“Not being with you is death to me!” declared Romeo.

“I feel the same,” said Juliet.  “Yet is this all too much, too soon?  Do we speak too quickly of love?”

“Nay!” said Romeo.  “We speak not quickly enough!”

“What if our feelings are like the lightning?” said Juliet, “disappearing before anyone can say, ‘Look! It lightens.’”

“For us,” said Romeo, “the lightning flashing in our hearts will burn forever.”

Then a voice from inside.  “Juliet, where are you?” Juliet’s nurse was calling her from inside the mansion.  She turned around. “I must go,” said she.

 

“For us,” said Romeo.  “The lightning flashing in our hearts will burn forever.”

 

 “What, before we exchange vows?” said Romeo.  “Let’s pledge vows to each other – here and now!”

“It’s right that we do that,” said Juliet.  “For our love feels as deep as the sea. The more love I give to you, the more I have, for both are infinite.”  

Again, Juliet heard a call from inside. “Juliet! Where are you?” 

“Stay, please!” urged Romeo.  “One minute more! I will know no rest if we don’t exchange vows.”

“If your intent is marriage,” Juliet said in a hushed voice, “make the arrangements.”  

“I will,” promised Romeo.  “I will speak to Friar Lawrence this very morning, as soon as the sun rises.”

 

“Stay, please!” urged Romeo.  “One minute more!”

 

 “And I will send my nurse to Friar Lawrence at noontime,” said Juliet, “to find out what arrangements you have made. Ah!” she cried.  “It will feel like twenty years until I hear your news! Parting is such sweet sorrow!”

“Until we meet again, my love,” said Romeo.  Juliet disappeared into the Capulet mansion and Romeo climbed back over the stone wall.  He hurried to the home of Friar Lawrence.

“It’s an early day for you, isn’t it, Romeo?” the Friar Lawrence said.

“After a wonderful night,” said Romeo, beaming.

“My goodness!” said the Friar.  “Things must be going well with your beloved Rosaline!”

“Who? Oh, no!” said Romeo.  “My heart is set on Juliet, the daughter of Lord Capulet.  In fact, Juliet and I exchanged vows to marry.”

“What? Romeo, I can’t keep up with you!” said the Friar.  “Yesterday it was Rosaline. Today it’s Juliet.”

“Forever it will be Juliet!” Romeo exclaimed. “Please, Friar,” he said, falling to one knee.  “I beg you! Will you conduct the marriage ceremony for Juliet and me today?”

 

“Forever it will be Juliet!” Romeo exclaimed.

 

Today? Friar Lawrence was taken aback.  How quickly Romeo’s heart had switched to the Capulet’s daughter!  And yet, look at him – how much he yearned for this marriage! Then at once, a thought struck him. Romeo was the only son of Lord Montague and Juliet was the only daughter of Lord Capulet.  A marriage between them would connect the two Houses for years. “Such a union,” thought the Friar, “could do more to bring peace to Verona than any decree by the Prince.” He turned to Romeo. 

“Very well,” Friar Lawrence said with a nod.  “I’ll do it.” 

“Today?” Romeo cried.  The Friar agreed, and Romeo rejoiced.  A time was set for that very afternoon.  

 

“Very well,” Friar Lawrence said with a nod.  “I’ll do it.”

 

Later that morning, Juliet was pacing at the Capulet mansion.  She had already sent her nurse to Friar Lawrence to arrive by noon, as agreed, to learn what arrangements Romeo had made.  But her nurse was late in returning. When she finally arrived, Juliet rushed to her.

“At last you’re back!” cried Juliet. “Did you see him?  What’s the news?”

“What a jaunt I had,” said the nurse.  “Do you not see that I am out of breath?”

“How can you be out of breath when you have enough breath to say that you are out of breath? Tell me,” said Juliet impatiently. “Is the news good or bad?  Just answer me!” And so Juliet learned that a wedding ceremony had been arranged for that very afternoon.  

Until the appointed time it seemed to Romeo and Juliet like they were waiting for twenty years.  But a mere three hours later, Romeo and Juliet were wed by the Friar Lawrence. 

 

“Tell me,” said Juliet impatiently.  “Is the news good or bad? Just answer me!”

 

After the wedding ceremony, the young lovers decided they must each quickly tell their families the news.  Within an hour, Romeo would get to the Montague estate to tell his family, and then hasten over to the Capulet’s and meet Juliet there.  The two of them would share their first day together as a married couple, and their first night. Romeo sped down the streets of Verona to the Montague estate to tell his family the news.   

A few blocks away, Romeo’s cousin Marco and their friend Brando were standing on a street corner.

“Heads up,” said Brando.  “On your left. Capulets.”

“I could care less,” shrugged Marco.

 

“Heads up,” said Brando.  “On your left. Capulets.”

 

Tybault, Juliet’s cousin as you know, strode up to Marco and Brando, followed by his servants.

“Gentlemen,” said Tybalt with an over-polite bow.  “A word with you.”

“Just one word?” said Brando.  “I’ll do you one better – a word and a blow!” He reached for his sword.

“If that’s how you want it, fine!” said Tybalt.  “Just give me one reason to fight you.”

“Who needs a reason?” said Marco.

“Tell me this,” said Tybalt.  “You’re friends with Romeo. I’m looking for him.”

“The last thing we’d do is tell Romeo your ugly face is looking for him.”

“Tell me this,” said Tybalt.  “You’re friends with Romeo. I’m looking for him.”

The next moment, Tybalt and Marco were swinging swords against each other.  Romeo heard the commotion and ran up.

“Stop!” he called out.  “The Prince has forbidden us to fight.”

“How inconvenient for all of us,” said Tybalt, turning to Romeo, “since I came to fight YOU.  So you thought you could invade our family’s party and get away with it. Think again!”  

Romeo thought, “This morning Tybalt was my enemy.  Now he’s a cousin of Juliet’s, and my kin.”  

“You say nothing?” said Tybalt, drawing back his sword. “You street worm!”  

“Tybalt, you rat-catcher!” yelled Marco, swinging at the Capulet.

 

“You say nothing?” said Tybalt, drawing back his sword.  “You street worm!”

 

Tybalt swung back at Marco.  Romeo rushed in between them. Swords were swung and thrust in vain. Then suddenly, one sword thrust made contact. It was Marco!  He fell, bleeding. Shocked, Tybalt ran away.

“Romeo, I am hurt!” gasped Marco.  “Why did you come between us?”

“I was trying to stop the fight,” said Romeo.

“And look what happened!” Marco moaned.  “Has he gone now, with not a scratch on him?”    

“Never mind that, Marco,” said Romeo, kneeling beside him, “save your strength.” Brando joined Romeo in kneeling beside Marco.

“I am gone for this world, I fear,” whispered Marco.  He took his last breath, and died.

 

“I am gone for this world, I fear,” whispered Marco.

 

A few moments later, Brando looked up.  “Romeo!” he called, pointing down the street.  “Tybalt has the nerve to come back here!”

“I’ve come to finish what I came here to do!” declared Tybalt.  

Romeo rushed up.  “Look what you’ve done!” he cried.  “Marco is now dead, at your hands! One of us will keep him company.  Either it will be you, or I, or both of us!”

“It will be YOU!” said Tybalt. Both swords out, Romeo and Tybalt clashed and jousted.  Stepping forward, then backward. First, one of them had the advantage, then the other.  Thrusting and ducking, each tried to catch his opponent exposed. Then Tybalt was slain. He fell.

“Romeo, run!” yelled Brando.  “Get out of here! If he catches you, the Prince will have your head!” Romeo fled, not knowing where he was going.

 

“Romeo, run!” yelled Brando.  “Get out of here! If he catches you, the Prince will have your head!”

 

The Prince of Verona rode up.  He saw the two fallen young men lying on the street.  “You!” he said to Brando. “I command you. Tell me who started this bloody fight.”

Brando had no choice but to tell the Prince everything that had happened.  The Prince heard this of all this. He raised one finger to the sky and declared, “I decree that for Romeo’s offense against Tybalt, he is forever exiled from Verona! From this point forth, if Romeo is found anywhere in this city, that hour will be his last.”

Not knowing any of this, Juliet was waiting at home for Romeo to come join her after the appointed hour. Yet the hour had already come and gone, and the bride yearned for her husband. “Come, Romeo!” So tedious the time felt to her!  “It’s like how an impatient child must feel the night before some festival,” she thought. “Oh come, Romeo, come!” 

 

Yet the hour had already come and gone, and the bride yearned for her husband.

 

Juliet heard footsteps of her nurse approaching.  “Oh, here comes my nurse!” she said, relieved. “She must bring news.”

But the news the nurse brought was bitter indeed.  Her cousin Tybalt had been slain! When Juliet was reeling with that news, the nurse shared the rest – that Tybalt had died at the hands of her own Romeo!  And that as a result, the Prince had banished Romeo from Verona.

“Romeo, banished?” Juliet cried.  “Is there no end, no limit, no measure or bound to the darkness of that word?  To say that Tybalt’s dead and then say, ‘Romeo has been banished,’ is like saying that my father, my mother, Tybalt, and Romeo have all been killed, that they’re all dead.”  Juliet looked around.  “Where are my mother and father?”

“They grieve for your cousin Tybalt, of course,” said the nurse. 

 

“Romeo, banished?” Juliet cried.

 

 “The grief they know has only one pain,” said Juliet.  “While I suffer so much more! Let my mother and father wash Tybalt’s wounds with their tears. After their eyes are dry, I will spend my tears for Romeo's banishment. I will die without him!”  She fell on her bed in gloom.

“Do not despair so,” urged the nurse.  “I will find Romeo and bring him to you.  He must be hiding at the home of Friar Lawrence.”

“Please go find him!” cried Juliet.  “Bid my dear love to come see me to at least take his last farewell.

Indeed, Romeo had gone to the home of Friar Lawrence after Tybalt had fallen and he didn’t know where else to turn.  Word spreads fast. The Friar had already heard of Romeo’s punishment, too.  

“Banished?” said Romeo, in horror.  

The Friar Lawrence comforted him, saying, “I know how you must feel. But look at it this way.  It could have been death and this is only banishment. Be patient – the world is broad and wide.”

“You don’t understand!” cried Romeo.  “There’s no world for me outside the walls of Verona!  It feels as if my head has been cut off, and you’re smiling on the golden axe that murdered me with its stroke.”

 

“You don’t understand!” cried Romeo.

 

 “Calm down,” said the Friar.  “What happened was a mercy.”

“It’s a torture, not a mercy!” insisted Romeo.  “I cannot bear to be parted from Juliet! If you were young and married but an hour like me, with Tybalt murdered and me banished, then you’d tear your hair and fall on the ground, too, as I do now.”

A knock on the door.  It was Juliet’s nurse, come to see Romeo.  “How is Juliet?” cried Romeo, rushing at her.  “Does she think me a murderer now?”

“She says nothing, Sir,” said the nurse, “but just weeps and weeps. She falls on her bed, and then starts up.  And then falls down again.”

 

A knock on the door.  It was Juliet’s nurse, come to see Romeo.

 

Romeo was beside himself to hear of this.  Friar Lawrence turned to the nurse. “Take him to Juliet,” he said.  “You know how to transport him unseen.” The Friar turned to Romeo, “Go now and comfort your wife.  But beware! You must escape from the Capulet estate before the sun rises. Get to the city of Mantua.  There you can live until we can make your marriage public and make peace between your families. We’ll ask the Prince to pardon you.  Then you’ll be able to return to Verona and live with Juliet openly.”

“Yes, we must do that!” cried Romeo.  

He sped off with the nurse back to the Capulet mansion.  The two of them tiptoed in a back door and the nurse led Romeo to Juliet’s room, seen by no one.  The time Romeo and Juliet spent together that night was cherished by them, short as it was.

Streaks of light appeared through the window. Romeo and Juliet knew their time together was ending. “If I want to live,” said Romeo, leaning out the window, “I must leave.”

 

Romeo and Juliet knew their time together was ending.

 

 “But must you go right now?” said Juliet. “Why, I don’t believe that’s daylight at all.  It must be the light of some meteor instead, coming out of the sun. Romeo, stay a little more!”

“I want to, more than anything!” he cried.  “Yes, of course I’ll stay. We’ll talk a bit more. After all, it’s not really daylight out there.”

“Ah, but Romeo,” cried Juliet.  “Who are we kidding? Look at the sky – with more and more light it grows.”

“And as it brightens,” said Romeo, “the more and more dark our woes.”  

“You must go now, love,” said Juliet. They clutched their hands and kissed.  He dropped a ladder out the window and climbed to the ground.

“And will you be gone, just like that?” Juliet called down to him. “My husband, my friend!  One minute alone spent waiting for you will hold so many days.”

“Our reunion will be all the sweeter!” cried Romeo.  “Goodbye, my love!” And he was gone.

 

“And will you be gone, just like that?” Juliet called down to him.

 

Juliet pulled up the ladder. “Ah,” she sighed, turning back into her room.  “As the light comes in the window, my life goes out of it.” 

Juliet’s nurse came to the door.  Her parents were looking for her.  

“So early?” said Juliet.

“It looks like something important,” said her nurse.

Juliet stepped downstairs.  “My daughter, you look pale,” said her mother with concern.  “Must you grieve this way for Tybalt forever?”

“I fear I will not be happy for a long time,” said Juliet.  And she meant it.

“The news we have will cheer you up,” said her father.  

“What is it?” said Juliet.

 

“The news we have will cheer you up,” said her father.

 

 “On Thursday this week you are to be wed!” said her mother with a smile. 

“What? How can this be?” said Juliet.  Turning to her father, “Father?”

“It’s all set!” said he.  “The man you will marry has come to me more than once for your hand.  You will find no better match – the Count Paris. You are lucky indeed!”  

“And such a fine-looking man he is,” added her mother.

“But I cannot marry!” Juliet said, shrinking back and thinking fast. “We’re still grieving for Tybalt.  Paris hasn’t even come to court me. Mother, Father, I won’t marry yet. I refuse!”

“There’s more to it than you realize!” snapped her father.  “Paris is related to the Prince. With everything that’s been happening lately, this match will be good for our family.  I told Paris you will marry him, and that you will!” 

“There’s more to it than you realize!” snapped her father.

 

 “It won’t be a grand affair,” said her mother, “so soon after Tybalt’s death.  About a dozen guests.”

“I don’t care about any of that!” said Juliet.  “I won’t marry Paris!”

“You will!” said her father, “if I have to drag you to the wedding myself!”  

“Mother?” said Juliet, her last hope.

“Shame on you, child!” said her mother, turning away.  

Juliet could not think of what to do.  She must ask the Friar Lawrence for advice.  On the way over to his place, she resolved that if there were no other way to get out of this marriage, she would kill herself.

“Friar!” Juliet called outside his door.  

The Friar invited her in.  In despair, she explained her peril. “What can I do?” she wailed.

 

“What can I do?” she wailed.

 

The Friar proposed a plan.  He would give Juliet a vial with a sleeping potion.  She must tell her family that she agreed to marry Paris after all.  The night before the wedding, she would take the sleeping potion. For 42 hours it would seem as if she were dead, and the family would lay her in the family tomb.  In the meantime, the Friar would send a letter to Romeo in Mantua and in the letter he’d describe the plan. The person who would take the letter to Romeo would be his friend, the Friar John.  Once Romeo read the letter, Romeo would know to secretly return to Verona. Together, Romeo and the Friar Lawrence would go to Juliet’s tomb and be there when she woke up. Romeo would take her back to Mantua where they could live, far from the unapproving eyes of her parents.

Juliet agreed.  She put the vial of sleeping potion in her pocket and went directly home.  Her father was very pleased to hear that Juliet had agreed to marry Paris without a fuss.  In fact, he was so pleased, he moved the wedding up to the very next day.

That night, Juliet lay awake, wondering.  What if the sleeping potion were really a poison, and the Friar Lawrence were covering up that he was the one who had married her and Romeo in the first place?  Or what if it were really a sleeping potion but when she awakened, no one was there to rescue her? She would go mad with fear!  

 

That night, Juliet lay awake, wondering.

 

In the end, Juliet decided she had no choice but go ahead and take the sleeping potion.  And that is what she did.  

The next morning was one of great frivolity at the Capulet estate.  Servants were getting the house ready for the wedding, and the Lord and Lady Capulet were already celebrating their happy day.  When it was time to wake up Juliet, the nurse was horrified to find the maiden in her bed, apparently dead! Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet rushed to Juliet’s room.  She must have died of grief, they decided, so devastated was she by the loss of her cousin Tybalt.  

When Paris arrived for his wedding, along with Friar Lawrence and a group of musicians, they all expected to find a home of great joy.  Instead, they entered a house shaken with grief. Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Paris wailed, reeling about. How death had robbed them! After awhile, the Friar reminded the mourners that Juliet had gone to a better place.  He urged them to prepare for her funeral. With sorrow, the Capulets prepared to take Juliet to her tomb.

 

How death had robbed them!

 

It wasn’t long before one of Romeo’s servants, still living in Verona, ran to Mantua to tell his master the horrible news that Juliet had died.  Romeo was thunderstruck. He searched his mind for any hope there might be. “Don’t you have a letter for me from the Friar Lawrence?” he asked. But the servant had none.  

You may be wondering – what happened to the letter that was entrusted to Friar John? Alas!  On his way, Friar John was quarantined because he ran into authorities who thought he was exposed to the plague.  And so the letter he carried in his pocket never reached its destination.  

Crushed to hear his servant’s devastating news, Romeo decided he would travel to Juliet’s tomb and kill himself.  That way, he could lie next to his beloved for all of eternity. He went to an apothecary and bribed the shopkeeper, who was a poor man, to sell him poison, a transaction that was a serious crime.  That poison, said the shopkeeper, was strong enough to kill twenty men. 

 

That way, he could lie next to his beloved for all of eternity.

 

Romeo arrived at Juliet’s tomb, carrying flowers in his arms.  He scattered the flowers around the tomb. Then with a crowbar he opened the top of the grave.  He looked in. He couldn’t help but notice how peacefully Juliet lay there. He climbed into the tomb with her and gazed at her.  Romeo wondered how she could still look so beautiful, as if she were not dead at all. He kissed his bride. Then he took his own poison, kissed her again, and there he died, lying across Juliet’s chest.

At the same time, Friar Lawrence was headed to the cemetery.  He was worried – why didn’t Romeo come to see him? Something must be wrong!  Still, it soon would be time for Juliet to awaken and he must get there in time to open her tomb.  Shocked he was to find her grave was already open. What’s more, on closer look, that Romeo was inside with her, apparently dead!  Juliet was stirring. The Friar reeled. Everything had gone horribly wrong!

 

Everything had gone horribly wrong!

 

The Friar heard a rustling in the woods.  Was the night watchman coming this way? He knew he must keep the watchman away from Juliet’s tomb so he could have more time to figure out what to do.  The Friar rushed off to think of some way to distract the night watchman.  

While he was gone, Juliet’s eyes opened.  She raised her head. She felt Romeo’s body across her, still and unmoving.  The strong smell of poison came from his lips. As her senses cleared, Juliet realized with horror what she was seeing and feeling.  Romeo, her beloved husband, was gone! Holding his dear face in her hands, she kissed his lips, hoping to get some of the poison from him. 

Then the sound of people coming – there was no time to wait for the poison to take effect!  Juliet took Romeo’s dagger and stabbed herself.  

 

There was no time to wait for the poison to take effect!

 

When Friar Lawrence could no longer distract the night watchman, they both arrived at Juliet’s grave and found both bodies inside her opened tomb.  The watchman sent other watchmen to round up anyone in the vicinity. Soon the Capulets, the Montagues, and the Prince, too, all arrived at the grisly scene.  

Friar Lawrence sadly explained the terrible sequence of events that had led to this tragedy.  Hearing all of it, the Prince said that the House of Capulet and the House of Montague had been punished for living so many years with this senseless feud.  And he had suffered, too, for he had lost two kinsman, Marco and Tybalt.

“I have lost a daughter,” said Lord Capulet.  

“And I have lost a son,” said Lord Montague.

“All for what?” said Lord Capulet.

“I cannot find any sense to it,” said Lord Montague.

“Let us put an end to this nonsense,” said Lord Capulet.

“Why did it take THAT–” and Lord Montague pointed to the sad scene before them, “for us to do THIS?” Then he stretched out his arm to Lord Capulet.  “Brother Capulet,” he said quietly.  

Lord Capulet took his hand.  “Brother Montague,” he said. And they shook hands.

Said the Prince, “All of Verona will know that peace has come between the House of Montague and the House of Capulet. For never was there a story of more woe, than this one of Juliet and her Romeo.”  

end

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