Most people know the terrible tale of two lovers separated by family, fate, and death. The most famous of its kind—was it the first? Did fictitious characters have actual stories? Is the story more complicated?
The Mysterious Origins of Romeo and Juliet
The eternal legend of Romeo and Juliet makes Verona the metropolis of love. Both young lovers became embroiled in the horrible war between their families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Romeo and Juliet met at a masquerade party, fell in love, and secretly married against their families’ wishes. Sadly, fate seemed to be against their happiness.
Romeo’s best buddy Mercutio is killed by Juliet’s cousin Tybalt in a street brawl. Romeo kills Tybalt in a duel for revenge and leaves Verona. In contrast, Juliet’s father has arranged a grand wedding for her with Paris. Juliet eats a medicine that makes her appear dead with the help of the friar who married her to Romeo to escape.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t tell Romeo her plans. Romeo returns to Verona, thinking Juliet has died and commits suicide by swallowing a lethal poison and lying next to her. Juliet refuses to see Romeo’s corpse after waking up and stabbing herself with his blade to join him forever in a loving embrace.
Between the 13th and 14th centuries, the Montecchi and Capuleti families lived in Verona. Had they a boy named Romeo and a girl named Juliet? No idea. In the Divine Comedy, Dante, who was in Verona at the time, stated that they feuded for political reasons and were melancholy.
Is Romeo and Juliet a True Story?
The story is based on two true lovers who died for one other in Verona, Italy in 1303. Shakespeare found this tragic love story in Arthur Brooke’s 1562 poem “The Tragical History of Romeo and Juliet”. We at Love Happens support it.
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