A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naive child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy. 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 swordfishes. 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.
Juliet closest friend and confidant is her Nurse, though she’s willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the Nurse turns against Romeo. C. Mercuric – A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeos close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespearean plays, Mercuric overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercuric loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendre. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions.
He finds Romeos romanticizes ideas about love tiresome, and tries to convince Romeo to view love as a simple matter of sexual appetite. D. Table – A Caplet, Gullet’s cousin on her mother’s side. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when e feels his pride has been injured. Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared. He loathes Montague. E. The Nurse – Gullet’s nurse, the woman who breast-fed Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life.
A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches. But, until a disagreement near the plays end, the Nurse is Gullet’s faithful confidante and loyal intermediary in Gullet’s affair with Romeo. 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. F.
Caplet – The patriarch of the Caplet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Caplet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague. He truly loves his daughter, though he is not well acquainted with Gullet’s thoughts or feelings, and seems to think that what is best for her is a “good” match with Paris. Often prudent, he commands respect and propriety, but he is liable to fly into a rage when either is lacking. G. Lady Caplet – Gullet’s mother, Caplet’s wife. A woman who herself married young (by her own estimation she gave birth to Juliet at close to the age of fourteen), she is eager to see her daughter marry Paris.
She is an ineffectual mother, relying on the Nurse for moral and pragmatic support. H. Friar Lawrence – A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and 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. L. Montague – Romeos father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Caplet.
At the beginning of the play, he is chiefly concerned about Romeos melancholy. J. Lady Montague – Romeos mother, Montague?s wife. She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona. K. Prince Callus The Prince of Verona. A kinsman of Mercuric and Paris. As the seat of political power in Verona, he is concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs. L. Paris – A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred y Caplet. Once Caplet has promised him he can marry Juliet, he behaves very presumptuous toward, acting as if they are already married.
M. Benevolent – Montage’s nephew, Romeos cousin and thoughtful friend, he makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places, though Mercuric accuses him of having a nasty temper in private. He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosalie, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet. N. Friar John – A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Gullet’s false death to Romeo in Mantra. Friar John is held up in a quarantined house, and the message never reaches Romeo. O.
Blathers – Romeos dedicated servant, who brings Romeo the news of Gullet’s death, unaware that her death is a ruse. P. Sampson and Gregory – Two servants of the house of Caplet, who, like their master, hate the Montague. At the outset of the play, they successfully provoke some Montague men into a fight. Q. Abraham – Montague servant, who fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene of the play. R. The Apothecary – An apothecary in Mantra. Had he been wealthier, he might have been able to afford to value is morals more than money, and refused to sell poison to Romeo.
S. Peter – A Caplet servant who invites guests to Caplet’s feast and escorts the Nurse to meet with Romeo. He is illiterate, and a bad singer. T. Rosalie – The woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play. Rosalie never appears onstage, but it is said by other characters that she is very beautiful and has sworn to live a life of chastity. U. The Chorus – A single character who functions as a narrator offering commentary on the plays plot and themes. Ill. Setting A. Time: Sunday through Wednesday, Early Renaissance B. Place: Verona, Italy and Mantra lb.