Magic sang in the wild peals of church bells that kept breaking out first in one church and then another, in the way each sprig of mistletoe sheltered sweet kisses. It was Christmas… It was Christmas in Paris, and if there was ever a city made for love, and a season made to enjoy it in, the two of them together were as intoxicating as the strongest red wine. In fact, philosophers have argued for years whether it is possible to be in Paris and not fall in love…if not with a ravishing woman, then with the bells, with the bagettes, with the gleam of the illicit that touches every heart, even those of proper English noblemen.
A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Though impulsive and immature, his idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence.
His only interest is love. At the beginning of the play he is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. Romeo is also an affectionate and devoted friend to his relative Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence.
Read an in-depth analysis of Romeo. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city, climb over walls in the middle of the night, or get into swordfights.
Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Read an in-depth analysis of Juliet.
Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona.
As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs. Read an in-depth analysis of Friar Lawrence. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres.
He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions. Read an in-depth analysis of Mercutio. A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches.
She provides a contrast with Juliet, given that her view of love is earthy and sexual, whereas Juliet is idealistic and intense.
The Nurse believes in love and wants Juliet to have a nice-looking husband, but the idea that Juliet would want to sacrifice herself for love is incomprehensible to her. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured.
Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared. Often prudent, he commands respect and propriety, but he is liable to fly into a rage when either is lacking.
A woman who herself married young by her own estimation she gave birth to Juliet at close to the age of fourteenshe is eager to see her daughter marry Paris.
She is an ineffectual mother, relying on the Nurse for moral and pragmatic support.
She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona. Once Capulet has promised him he can marry Juliet, he behaves very presumptuous toward her, acting as if they are already married.
He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet. A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris.
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noun. the use of underhand machinations or deceitful stratagems. such a machination or stratagem or a series of them; a plot or crafty dealing: political intrigues. a secret or illicit love affair. The Strange Minds Think Alike trope as used in popular culture.
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