The play takes place in the town of Verona. The Montagues and
Capulets are two rivalry families.They are involved in a family feud that
goes back years before any of the members were born.Yet the feud still continues
due to the fact that neither family is ready to forgive and forget the past.
Even the townspeople are involved because the families do not
keep the feud in the privacy of their own home but have been seen fighting
in the public streets and displaying violence. They disrupt the peace of Verona
and even Prince Escalus personally had to break up a fight, where the family
members were heavily fined. They were also given a warning that another public
fight could result in death.
While this is occurring Romeo, the main character, is getting
over his last love, Rosaline, and was very upset. Juliet of the Capulet household
has just been introduced to a wealthy young man , Paris, who her parents wish
her to marry. Yet she does not love him.
Romeo and Juliet starts off with a prologue that tells
the general outline of the story foreshadowing future events. The prologue
is followed by the rest of the play which is in 5 acts. Unlike some of Shakespeares
other plays, most, if not all, of the main actions are onstage. The single
plot is chronological and easy to follow. There are no flashbacks and no dream
scenes. The attention is generally paid to Romeo as the focus follows him
through the play.