- Romeo – The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. 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.
- Juliet – The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. 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 swordfights.
- Capulet – The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague
- Lady Capulet – Juliet’s mother, Capulet’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.
- Montague – Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet. At the beginning of the play, he is chiefly concerned about Romeo’s melancholy.
- Lady Montague – Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife. She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona.
- Friar John – A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Juliet’s false death to Romeo in Mantua.
- Prince Escalus – The Prince of Verona. A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris. As the seat of political power in Verona.
- Balthasar – Romeo’s dedicated servant.
- Benvolio – Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend.