Story of the Shakespearean Tragedy
Once upon a time, two powerful families called Montagu and Capulet resided in Verona. They were both wealthy, and it may be assumed that they were intelligent in most things as other wealthy men. In one respect, though, they were extraordinarily foolish. The two families had a long-standing dispute, but instead of resolving it like rational people, they nourished it like a pet and refused to let it go. So that a Montagu would not talk to a Capulet if he saw one on the street, nor would a Capulet speak to a Montagu. And when they speak it was to say harsh and insulting words which often lead to a fight between the two groups. There relatives and servants were also stupid alike and street brawls, duels, and other unpleasentnesses were the result of the enmity between these two families,
The head of the family of Capulet, Lord Capulet, planned a big celebration with dinner and dance and he invited everyone of noble origin in Verona except the Montague family. But Romeo, a young man of the Montague family wanted to visit the party while a young woman named Rosaline, whom Romeo loved was attending the party. As for Rosaline, she was not so beautiful to attract Romeo or ever responded to Romeo’s amorous approaches. But as a young man Romeo wanted to love someone, and as till then he hadn’t met the proper one he tried to love this young lady Rosaline. His friends Benvolio and Mercutio were also attending the feast.
At the feast Lord Capulet welcomed Romeo and his friends cordially. All the ladies who attended the feast were beautifully dressed in velvet, satin and silks and had ornaments in gold studded with jewels. The men had jewels on their sword hilts and collars. Romeo had a black mask to disguise himself which hid most part of his eyes and nose, but from observing his mouth and hair and the style in which he held his head high everyone at the feast could observe that he is twelve times beautiful and elegant than any young man who attended the feast.
He was freely moving among the guests and suddenly his eyes fell on a lovely and attractive young lady that now onwards he forgot his former love to Rosaline absolutely. As he watched this girl dressed in white velvet and pearls he thought that without her the beauty of the whole world would be meaningless. As Romeo was speaking with his friends, Tybalt, a relative of the Capulet family heard him and and recognised him as Romeo of the Montague family irrespective of his mask. Romeo, a Montague, attending the feast enraged Tybalt and he reported the matter to the old Lord Capulet. As the Lord Capulet was gentleman who wanted not to make a quarrel in his home and destroy the jovial atmosphere of the feast asked Tybalt to be silent. Tybalt obeyed the command of Lord Capulet, but waited for an opportunity to fight with Romeo.
Romeo, on other hand went to the beautiful woman, made acquaintance with her, revealed his love to her and kissed her. Now the mother of the young lady called her, and only then Romeo realised that this beautiful young lady is the really Juliet, the daughter of the Lord Capulet, the enemy of his family. This information made him sad and he left the feast without attending the dance.
Juliet asked he nurse: who is this man who refused to dance.
He is Romeo, the only son of Lord Montague, the greatest enemy of your family.
As Romeo was gone, and as she was sorrowful at hearing that he was a Montague Juliet was filled with a sort of sadness and consternation that she retired to her room. There in her room she looked at the moon shining and flooding its light over the green garden through the window. Looking from outside in that moonlit night her window looked like a decorated picture frame with all the flowering plants around the window and Juliet the standing at the window, the picture in this frame. After leaving the feast hall Romeo lingered in the garden below the house because he was unable to leave this beautiful young lady. Actually he wanted to be near her, but the recognition of her identity as one of his enemy families caused him leaving the feast early. Because of the green foliage of the trees growing in the garden Juliet was unable to see Romeo was in the Garden. She thought that nobody is hearing her and she uttered her love for Romeo loudly to the tranquil air and the garden.
Romeo was also unaware that Juliet is standing at her window above him. Hearing her declaration of love he was overjoyed and looking upwards, still hidden from the sight of Juliet, Romeo saw the lovely face of Juliet shining in the moonlight, framed by the flowering plants that grew around her window. As he saw her and heard her declaration of love he had the impression that he has been transported in a dream to this magical garden. He was not able to discern whether it is a dream or not.
Juliet said, “Why are you called Romeo? Since i love you, what does that matter what you are called?”
Romeo came out of the shades of the trees and answered: “Call me love, and I’ll be newly baptised – henceforth, I never will be Romeo.”
Hearing the sound from outside her room in the garden she was at first frightened while she thought that a stranger might have overheard her. When she found that it was really Romeo who is standing outside int hte garden she was relieved and overjoyed. Leaning out from the window she conversed with Romeo for a long time using the sweetest words of the whole world such as lovers normally use. As they talked together, the time went fleeting by, and when the time came for separation it seemed to them they had just met and hadn’t got enough time to talk.
Juliet said: “Tomorrow, I will send you a letter.”
Unwillingly they parted from one another. Juliet went back to her room from her window and a thick curtain was drawn which hid Juliet from the vision of Romeo. Romeo went back from the calm and dewy garden like a man still in his dreams.
Next morning Romeo went to the monastery to meet his friend and guide Friar Laurence, a priest, with whom he confided the whole story and requested him to marry Juliet to him. After due consideration of the matter at hand Friar Laurence agreed to consecrate the marriage.
When Friar Laurence accepted secretly to marry them without the knowledge of their parents he had a good intention in his mind. He thought that this marriage between the members of the rivalling families might bring friendship between them and put an end to the daily fights in the streets of Verona.
When Juliet sent her nurse to know about their further steps and what Romeo has panned for their future Romeo sent her back with the happy news that the will be going to be get married on the next morning itself.
Because of the enmity between the two families, Montague and Capulets, the two young lovers Romeo and Juliet were afraid of telling their parents about their marriage.
Early next morning Romeo and Juliet were married secretly at the monastery of Friar Laurence and Juliets nurse and a few of Romeo’s friends were present at the wedding. After the wedding they parted kissing each other with the promise that Romeo will come to Juliet’s garden. Juliet’s nurse planned to prepare a rope ladder with which Romeo might be able to reach Juliet’s room through the window and be able to speak to Juliet alone.
But an unexpected terrible event happened during the day.
Rome and his friends Mercutio and Benvolio were walking through the street when they were stopped by the angry Tybalt. He was seeking an opportunity to quarrel with Romeo since he attended the feast at Capulets yesternight. Tybalt on seeing Romeo called him a scoundrel and challenged him to a duel. As Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin became a relative to Romeo by their marriage he had no intention to fight Tybalt. But Mercutio, without knowing about the marriage, drew his sword and fought with Tybalt finally died from a wound induced by Tybalt. The death of his friend, Mercutio was unbearable for Romeo and he forgot everything in sorrow and anger and drew his sword and battled with him until Tybalt was killed.
It happened so that on the same day of his marriage with Juliet Romeo murdered the cousin of his loving wife Juliet and was sentenced to exile. After this eventful day they met at Juliet’s room climbing the rope ladder prepared by Juliet’s nurse through the flowered window which we saw the previous night. But their meeting was a sorrowful one of separation. They talked for a while and separated themselves with tears and sorrowful heart not knowing when they will be able to meet again.
As the sentence of exile was hanged over Romeo, he had to leave Verona before next morning . Romeo left the city and went to live in a city called Mantua.
Juliet’s father found Juliet gloomy and sorrowful and thought that this was the result of the death of her cousin Tybalt. Unaware of the marriage between Romeo and Juliet, he thought that a marriage might help Juliet to regain her previous smartness and happiness. So he planned her to be married to Paris, a noble gentleman and proposed it to Juliet. When she refused to marry Paris Juliets father became angry and she went to Friar Laurence seeking help. Friar Laurence advised her to pretend to consent to the marriage and advised her as follows:
“I will give you a medicine that will make you seem to be dead for two days. When you are taken to church, it will be to bury you, not to marry you. They will place you in the Tomb, believing you are dead, and Romeo and I will be there to care for you before you awaken. Will you do this or are you afraid.”
“I’ll do it; don’t speak to me of dread!” said Juliet and she returned home and informed her father that she is ready to marry Paris.
(If she had told her father the truth it might have turned out good.)
Lord Capulet was happy at the consent of his daughter and and planned the marriage for the next morning. There was a lot to prepare for the marriage feast and all of them in the family and the servants worked the whole night preparing for the bridal feast. Lord Capulet was eager to marry his daughter as early as possible that he thought a marriage may relieve her from her gloomy and sorrowful disposition.
The nurse went early morning to Juliet`s room to awaken her and prepare her for the marriage. The nurse tried to awaken her but she will not wake up. At last in fear she cried out ‘Juliet….’
“Alas! alas! help!help!” “My Lady’s dead!” “Oh how unfortunate was the day that I was born!”
Lady Capulet rushed to her room followed by Lord Capulet and Lord Paris. There on her bead lay Juliet motionless and cold. It seemed no amount of weeping or tears can revive her from her death. So in place of a marriage a funeral procession went to the church on that proposed wedding day. Friar Laurence had already sent a messenger to Mantua to inform Romeo about the incidents taking place here at Verona and to bring him back to Verona before Juliet is supposed to wake up from her deep deathlike slumber. But the messenger sent by Friar Laurence was not able to reach Mantua because his journey from Verona was prevented by some untoward incidents.
But as is normal bad news spread quickly and the news about the death of Juliet reached the ears of a faithful servant of Romeo. This servant was aware of the secret marriage between Romeo and Juliet but he had no idea about the fake death of Juliet. When this servant heard of the burial of Juliet rushed to Mantua to inform Romeo about the death and burial of Juliet.
“Is it so? Then I will spend tonight at Juliet’s side.” was the response of Romeo upon hearing the news.
Purchasing some poison at Mantua he returned for Verona immediately. He rushed to the graveyard where Juliet was buried. It was not a normal grave dug in the ground, but a vault where all the bodies of the aristocratic family, Capulets were buried in honour. Romeo opened the door to the vault and was ready to descend the stone steps to the vault that he was challenged by Paris who was supposed to marry Juliet that same day, prevented him from entering the vault.
“How dare you come here and disrespect the dead remains of the Capulets, you wicked Montague.” Paris screamed.
As Lord Paris was unaware of the love and marriage between Romeo and Juliet he thought that Romeo came to damage the vault or something like that. It may be possible that the body of Tybalt murdered by Romeo is also buried in the same vault.
Romeo, partially mad with sorrow tried to evade Paris with mild answers. But the enraged Paris responded: “You were informed that if you returned to Verona, you would die.”
Romeo replied: “I must indeed, I came for no other reason.” “Go away, good and kind young man! Oh, go, before I do you any harm! I love you more than I love myself. Leave me here.”
“I challenge you, and I’ll arrest you as a criminal,” Paris cried out. Romeo, blind with sorrow and anger pulled his sword and they engaged in fight and Paris was killed.
As Romeo wounded Paris, he cried out: “Oh, I am murdered! If you are kind, please unlock the grave and entomb me with Juliet!”
“In faith, I will.” Romeo replied.
He dragged the dead body of Paris inside the grave placed it at the side of Juliet. Then he kneeled down before Juliet, took her body in his arms and kissed her cold lips thinking her dead and without knowing that the time of her waking up was nearing. Then he put her body down and swallowed the poison which he brought with him and and fell dead beside his wife and girlfriend.
Now Friar Laurence arrived. But he was too late only to see what happened. He heard a loud noise outside the graveyard. Many people approached the graveyard hearing the loud noise made by Paris and Romeo during their combat. Afraid that the people may see him in the vault Friar Laurence went away from there leaving Juliet alone.
When she awoke from her deep sleep there was nobody there except the dead bodies of her beloved husband Romeo and that of her best friend Paris alongside her. She imagined what might have happened as she saw the empty cup that contained the poison which Romeo drank. She thought of ending her life in the same way as Romeo himself, but there was no poison left in the cup. So she took the dagger that belonged her beloved Romeo and stabbed herself in the heart and fell dead with her head resting on Romeo’s heart. This is the end of the most famous Shakespearean tragedy which depicted that everlasting love of Romeo and Juliet.
And when the parents of Romeo and Juliet, Lord Montague and Lord Capulet heard about the whole story from Friar Laurence they were both sorrowful. They recognised that all this havoc passed due to the baseless enmity between the two families. They both repented themselves and they shook hands of forgiveness and friendship.