Romeo & Juliet read by Janne Lindrum

Written between 1594-1595 around the same time as the comedies Love’s Labour’s Lost and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is an enduring tragic love story about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families.

Shakespeare borrowed his plot from an original Italian tale. It is believed that Romeo and Juliette were true characters from Verona.

Juliet, a member of the Capulet family, falls in love with Romeo, a Montague. The Capulets and Montagues are feuding noble families.

The lovers marry in secret. Unfortunately, Romeo is caught up in a street fight on the eve of the wedding during which Juliet’s cousin Tybalt is killed by Romeo’s sword.

Juliet’s parents inform their daughter that they have a perfect match for her in a young man by the name of Paris. Her parents do not know that she is already married. At first she refuses the idea of marrying Paris then, to placate her parents she agrees whilst, at the same time, planning to fake her death and escape to be with Romeo forever.

Friar Laurence designs the plan.  He gives Juliet a sleeping potion. She appears to be dead and her body is placed in the family tomb alongside the body of her cousin Tybalt. However, Friar Laurence does not get to Romeo in time to alert him to the plan and, visiting the tomb, Romeo thinks his Juliet has passed away. Overcome by grief he takes up a dagger and kills himself. When Juliet finally wakes up, she discovers her dead Romeo and takes up the dagger and kills herself.

Moral to the story:  Hatred breeds hatred and nothing good can come from hatred.

Do not let your passions rule your life.