Romeo and Juliet Important Characters, Quotes, and Terms

Romeo -Son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague-Handsome, intelligent, and sensitive sixteen year old-Impulsive and immature, but idealism and passion make him extremely likable-Lives in middle of a violent feud between his family and Capulets, but not interested in violence-Only interest is love-Secret husband of Juliet-Kills Tybalt and Paris-Friends include Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence-Kills himself at the end to be with Juliet
Juliet -Daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet-Beautiful,naïve thirteen year old-Begins play as child, with little thought about love and marriage, but grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo-Shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo-Closest friend is her nurse-View of love is idealistic and intense-Drinks potion to act dead to be able to live the rest of her life with Romeo-Kills herself at the end because she can’t live her life without Romeo
Friar Lawrence -Franciscan friar-Catholic holy man-Friend to Romeo and Juliet-Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, always ready with a plan-Secretly marries Romeo and Juliet in hopes the union might bring peace to Verona -Expert in potions and herbs
Mercutio -Kinsman to Prince-Romeo’s close friend-Blood relative to Prince Escalus-Overflows with imagination, wit, brooding fervor-Loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres-Quite hotheaded-Hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions-Finds Romeo’s romanticized ideas about love tiresome-Tries to convince Romeo to view love as simple matter of sexual appetite-Killed by Tybalt
The Nurse -Breast-fed Juliet-Cared for Juliet her entire life-Vulgar, long-winded, sentimental character -Provides comic relief -Until disagreement near play’s end, she is Juliet’s faithful confidante in her affair with Romeo-Provides a contrast with Juliet-View of love is earthy and sexual-Believes in love and wants Juliet to have a nice-looking husband-Idea Juliet would want to sacrifice herself for love is incomprehensible to her
Tybalt -Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side-Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy-Aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured-Once drawn, sword is something to be feared-Loathes Montagues-Killed by Romeo
Capulet -Patriarch of the Capulet family-Father of Juliet -Husband of Lady Capulet-Enemy of Montague -Truly loves his daughter, though not well acquainted with her thoughts or feelings-Thinks best for her is a “good” match with Paris-Often prudent-Commands respect and propriety-Liable to fly into a rage when either is lacking
Lady Capulet -Juliet’s mother-Capulet’s wife-Married young -Gave birth to Juliet at age fourteen-Eager to see Juliet marry Paris-Ineffectual mother-Relies on Nurse for moral and pragmatic support
Montague -Romeo’s father-Patriarch of the Montague -Husband of Lady Montague-Enemy of Capulet-Concerned about Romeo’s melancholy
Lady Montague -Romeo’s mother-Montague’s wife-Dies of grief after Romeo exiled from Verona
Paris -Kinsman of Prince-Suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet-Once promised to can marry Juliet, behaves very presumptuous toward her acting as if they are already married
Benvolio -Montague’s nephew-Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend-Makes a genuine effort to defuse violence in public places-Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private-Helps Romeo get his mind off Rosaline
Prince Escalus -Prince of Verona-Kinsman of Mercutio and Paris-Concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs
Friar John -Franciscan friar -Charged by Friar Lawrence with taking news of Juliet’s false death to Romeo in Mantua-His message delivery never reaches Romeo
Balthasar -Romeo’s dedicated servant-Brings news of Juliet’s death-Unaware her death is a ruse
Sampson & Gregory -Two servants of Capulets-Hate the Montagues -They successfully provoke some Montague men into a fight in onset of play
Abram -Montague’s servant-Fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene of the play
The Apothecary -Apothecary in Mantua-Poor-Sells illegal drugs/potions-Had he been wealthier, might have been able to afford to value morals more than money-First refused to sell poison to Romeo but eventually gave into the temptation of money
Peter -Capulet servant-Invites guests to Capulet’s feast-Escorts the Nurse to meet with Romeo-Illiterate-Bad singer
Rosaline -Woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play-Very beautiful -Sworn to live a life of chastity
“Part, Fools! / Put up your swords. You know not what you do” (1.1.54-55). Benvolio:Tybalt, Sampson, Gregory, and Other Capulet soldiers; This is where Benvolio establishes himself as a peacemaker in Act 1. During the brawl with the Capulets, Benvolio attempts to stop the fighting. Along with Tybalt responses, it shows how Tybalt and Benvolio are foils for each other.
“If ever you disturb our streets again, / Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace” (1.1.87-88). Prince Escalus:Members of Verona; This is where Prince Escalus establishes his rule that the next person to start up a fight will be executed.
“My child is yet a stranger in the world. / She hath not seen the change of fourteen years. / Let two more summers wither in their pride / Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride” (1.2.8-11). Capulet:Paris; This is where Capulet sets up how naïve and young Juliet is. This shows how Capulet really does love Juliet and wants her to take the idea marriage slowly. He requests for Paris to wait to more years until he starts considering him as a potential match.
“I’ll look to like if looking liking move. / But no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your consent gives strength to make it fly” (1.3.99-101). Juliet:Nurse and Lady Capulet; Juliet says how she will look at Paris at the party that night to see if she likes him. Although, she notes that she won’t fall in love with him anymore than their permission allows.
“I fear too early, for my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars” (1.4.107-108). Romeo:Benvolio; Romeo is worried that they will arrive at the Capulet party. Also, he has a bad, underlying feeling that tonight will be the start of something bad, something that will end with his own death.
“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! / For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5.50-51). Romeo:Servingman; This is when Romeo first sees Juliet across the room of the Capulet’s party. he asks if his heart has ever loved anyone before that moment. He then believes that his eyes are liars because he has never saw true beauty before he saw Juliet.
“My only love sprung from my only hate! / Too early seen unknown, and known too late! / Prodigious birth of love it is to me, / That I must love a loathed enemy” (1.5.138-141). Juliet:Nurse; This is when Juliet realizes that she has fallen in love with her family’s enemy. She believes that love is a monster for letting her fall in love with her worst enemy.
“He jests at scars that never felt a wound” (2.2.1). Romeo:Romeo; Romeo says this to himself right before he starts creeping on Juliet at her balcony. He basically says how it’s easy for someone to joke about his unfortunate love, “scars”, if they have never endured it before. This is an appropriate thing to say since Mercutio and Benvolio were just giving Romeo a hard time about his love life.
“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? / It is the east, and Juliet is the sun” (2.2.2-3). Romeo:Romeo; As he is creeping on Juliet, Romeo says how Juliet is the sun, the light in his life. Ironically, Juliet compares Romeo to the moon. How cute #goals!
“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? / Deny thy father and refuse thy name. / Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet” (2.2.33-36). Juliet:Juliet; Most people believe that Juliet is saying, “Where’s Romeo at?” But she is actually pleading on why he is a Montague. And she adds that he should forget about his family and just casually give up his whole family name/honor to be able to love her. She then says how she could do the same thing if he just swears that he loves her. You know, just usual “second date” comments.
“If that thy bent of love be honorable, / Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow / By one that I’ll procure to come to thee / Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite, / And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay / And follow thee my lord throughout the world” (2.2.144-149). Juliet:Romeo; Juliet says to Romeo that if his intentions are true, that he shall send her word tomorrow to get married. She then lays all her fortunes at his feet and declares that she will follow him….all over the world.
“Then plainly know my heart’s dear love is set / On the fair daughter of rich Capulet” (2.3.57-58). Romeo:Friar Lawrence; Romeo updates Friar Lawrence saying how he now loves Juliet.
“Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, / So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies / Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes” (2.3.66-68). Friar Lawrence:Romeo; Friar Lawrence is like, “Woah hold up, bud!” You just were hung over with your love for Rosaline and now it is for this Capulet girl!?! Your heart changed so quickly. He then adds that Romeo has the possible case of loving Juliet with his eyes and not with his heart.
“In one respect I’ll thy assistant be, / For this alliance may so happy prove / To turn your households’ rancor to pure love” (2.3.90-92). Friar Lawrence:Romeo; Friar Lawrence eventually gives into Romeo agreeing to bond Romeo and Juliet in marriage. He hopes that this bond with turn the hatred between the families into pure love. Although, if the plan works out successfully, this would create glory and fame for Friar Lawrence. The people would rejoice him for reuniting the households back together. Haha, I see what your doing there Friar Lawrence. winky face
“We talk here in the public haunt of men./Either withdraw unto some private place,/And reason coldly of your grievances,/Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us” (3.1.22-24). Benvolio:Mercutio; Benvolio tells Mercutio to either take a chill pill and talk like a normal man or go somewhere private to talk about his problems because out there everybody can see them. Another prime example of how Benvolio is the peacekeeper especially since Mercutio was getting a little heated up while talking to Tybalt.
“Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee/Doth much excuse the appertaining rage/To such a greeting. Villain am I none./Therefore, farewell. I see thou know’st me not” (3.1.33-36). Romeo:Tybalt; Romeo tells Tybalt that he has a secret reason about why he loves him (aka Tybalt is now Romeo’s cousin) so he is going to excuse the insult of being a “villian”. On a sidenote, being called a “villian” was a humongous insulted back in Shakespeare’s day. Then Romeo says bye bye because you know my name not my story. Yay Romeo for trying to keep his family tight and avoid fighting!! 🙂
“A plague o’ both your houses!/They have made worms’ meat of me” (3.1.68-69). Mercutio:Tybalt and Romeo; Mercutio basically says “screw you”, to Tybalt and Romeo, for having this family feud because he is the one suffering for it.
“My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain,/And Tybalt’s dead, that would have slain my husband./All this is comfort. Wherefore weep I then?” (3.2.107-110). Juliet:Juliet; Juliet is comforted by the news that Romeo has survived the slaughter of that day; although, she starts having doubts. She doubts whether she should weep/support Tybalt (cause you know he is dead) or weep/support Romeo (cause you know he is her hubby). This is the first time that Juliet questions her devotion to Romeo. Eventually, she snaps out of this doubting phase and continues to support the man she met less than 24 hours ago #gottaloveRomeo.
“But look thou stay not till the watch be set,/For then thou canst not pass to Mantua,/Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time/To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends/Beg pardon of the Prince, and call thee back/With twenty hundred thousand times more joy/Than thou went’st forth in lamentation” (3.3.148-154) Friar Lawrence:Nurse/Romeo; Friar Lawrence warns Romeo to get out of his chamber before the night watchmen take to their duties. Friar Lawrence plans that Romeo will escape to Mantua and live there until they make peace between the Capulets and the Montagues. He will ask the Prince to pardon Romeo. And then Verona will welcome Romeo back with twenty thousand times more joy than he’ll have when he leaves Verona crying.
“O God, I have an ill-divining soul./Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low/As one dead in the bottom of a tomb./Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale” (3.5.53-56). Juliet:Romeo; After Juliet and Romeo consummate their marriage, Romeo hitches off of his high horse and climbs down from her window. Juliet then says that her soul predicts evil things. She also notes that Romeo is looking a little pale similar to a dead person (how romantic). And Romeo then slyly remarks that his sadness takes away both of the color in their face.
“Hang thee, young baggage! Disobedient wretch!/I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday,/Or never after look me in the face./Speak not. Reply not. Do not answer me./My fingers itch” (3.5.160-164). Capulet:Juliet; Capulet goes wild and says how disobedient Juliet is being for not agreeing/liking his plans. I mean all he is asking is for you to marry in an arranged marriage to a guy you have barely interacted with before. Super nice, right!?! Capulet says that she must go to church on Thursday to marry Paris or he will disown her. He then shushes her up and adds that he feels like slapping her. Someone must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed!
“Faith, here it is./Romeo is banished, and all the world to nothing/That he dares ne’er come back to challenge you./Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth./Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,/I think it best you married with the county” (3.5.213-218). Nurse: Juliet; Nurse says that Romeo has been banished and he will never come back to her. And if he does, he would have to do so undercover. And with the circumstances at hand, the best thing to do is marry Paris. This is the first time that Nurse does not support Juliet’s idea, so, as you can imagine, Juliet becomes devastated.
“I’ll to the friar to know his remedy./If all else fail, myself have power to die” (3.5.242-244). Juliet:Juliet; Since Nurse did not support Juliet’s idea of her and Romeo forever, she says that is going to go to Friar Lawrence to find a solution. She then concludes that if it fails that at least she has the power to commit suicide. How, Juliet…great way to look at the positive side of things! :/
“God shield I should disturb devotion! – / Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye. / (kisses her) Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss” (4.1.42-44). Paris:Friar Lawrence/Juliet; Paris is excused from Friar Lawrence’s chamber for her “confession”. Paris is like, “Oh dear me! Don’t let me interrupt this sacred practice.” He then adds that he will wake Juliet bright and early on Thursday for their wedding. He kisses and and slyly says to “keep this holy kiss.” This is the one and only time that we see arrogance from Paris.
“If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help, / Do thou but call my resolution wise, / And with this knife I’ll help it presently” (4.1.53-55). Juliet:Friar Lawrence; Juliet says that if Friar Lawrence is not wise enough to invent a plan for her to rejoin with Romeo that she will just commit suicide right then and there. Yikes!
“In the meantime, against thou shalt awake, / Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift, / And hither shall he come, and he and I / Will watch thy waking, and that very night / Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua” (4.1.116-120). Friar Lawrence:Juliet; In his plan, Friar Lawrence says that he will send Romeo a letter of their plan. Romeo and then come and keep watch for when Juliet wakes up. After she wakes up, they will ride into the sunset of Mantua.
“Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink! I drink to / thee” (4.3.59). Juliet:Juliet; Juliet raises her vile in a toast to Romeo to begin the sketchy plan, devised by Friar Lawrence, to reunite with Romeo.
“Lady, lady, lady! – / Alas, alas! Help, help! My lady’s dead!” (4.5.16-17). Nurse:Capulet Mansion; Nurse freaks out and is devastated to find Juliet dead.
“Death lies on her like an untimely frost / Upon the sweetest flower of all the field” (4.5.29-30). Capulet:Nurse/Lady Capulet; A devastated Capulet describes how beautiful flower Juliet has been killed by an unseasonable frost. Meaning, that youthful, beautiful Juliet has passed away so suddenly and unexpectedly.
“I dreamt my lady came and found me dead” (5.1.6). Romeo:Romeo; Romeo has a dream that Juliet found Romeo dead and she brought him back to life by kissing his lips. Ayyee, foreshadowing!! Romeo thinks how strange it is to have such a dream. Just you wait, Romeo.
“Then I defy you, stars!” (5.1.24). Romeo:Balthasar; Romeo rebels against God, the stars, for letting Juliet die.
“I could not send it—here it is again—/Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,/So fearful were they of infection” (5.2.14-17). Friar John:Friar Lawrence; Friar John explains to Friar Lawrence how he was unable to send the news of what actually happened of Juliet to Romeo because Mantua didn’t want any spread of the plague.
“O my love, my wife!/ Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath/ Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.” (5.3.100-103). Romeo:Not-so-dead Juliet; Romeo says to Juliet how death has not conquered her beauty. Well no DUH because she is not DEAD!!!
“A greater power than we can contradict/ Hath thwarted our intents.” (5.3.165-166). Friar Lawrence:Juliet; Friar Lawrence tells Juliet that a greater power, God, has ruined their plan. Well shucks!
“O brother Montague, give me thy hand./This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more/Can I demand” (5.3.311-313). Capulet:Montague; Capulet extends a hand of peace to Montague as they grieve over their deceased children. This is the first sign of peace amongst the family again! In theory, Juliet and Friar Lawrence’s plan worked! Romeo and Juliet are reunited and the Capulets and Montagues restored peace.
“For never was a story of more woe/ Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” (5.3.325-326). Prince:All; The Prince of Escalus finishes the play with the famous line saying how there was never a story more full of pain than the story of Romeo and Juliet.
Act one of the main divisions of a play
Archetype a primordial object, substance, or cycle of nature that always symbolizes or represents the same positive or negative qualities.
Couplet two successive lines of poetry with end rhyme
Foil a secondary or minor character in a literary work who contrasts or clashes with the main character
Iambic Pentameter in verse and poetry, meter is a recurring pattern of stressed (accented, or long) and unstressed (unaccented, or short) syllables in lines of a set length.Ex: ShallI comPARE theeTO aSUM mer’sDAY?
Oxymoron combining contradictory words to reveal a truth
Paradox contradictory statement that may actually be true
Soliloquy recitation in a play in which a character reveals his thoughts to the audience but not to other characters in the play
Sonnet form of lyric poetry invented in Italy that has 14 lines with a specific rhyme scheme

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