The original story of Romeo and Juliet

Once upon a time, in the walled city of Verona in northern Italy, there were two rich family, the Montagues and the Capulets, who hated one another.

In order to increase the Capulets’ wealth and power, Lord Capulet, who was eager to find ways of belittling the Montagues, decided to marry his thirteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, to a rich and handsome nobleman called Count Paris. Lord capulet organised a great ball to introduce the couple, and everyone in Verona, except the hated Montagues, was invited.

However, the young Romeo, the teenage heir of Lord Montague, attended the ball at the Capulet house in hopes of meeting Rosaline, the niece of Lord Capulet. However, Romeo instead meets and falls in love with Juliet. And Juliet, risking the fury of her father, fell equally in love with Romeo.
 

After the ball, Juliet couldn’t sleep as she was thinking of Romeo. She got out of bed, wandered onto the balcony and started to talk aloud about her love. Meanwhile, Romeo sneaked into the Capulet courtyard and overheard Juliet just below the balcony. Romeo climbed up to the balcony, the couple kissed and vowed eternal love. The very next day, with the help of a friendly priest, they were married in secret. 
Meanwhile, the Capulets were furious when they discovered Romeo and his Montague cousins had cheated their way into the ball. Young Tybalt Capulet picked a quarrel with Mercutio Montague and, in the fight that followed, killed him. Enraged by his friend’s death, Romeo in turn killed Tybalt, and as a punishment, he was banished Verona.

Early the next day, Romeo left Verona for the neighbouring city of Mantua. Lord Capulet then tried to force Juliet to marry Count Paris. Juliet refused and Lord Capulet resorted to cruel threats. In desperation, Juliet ran off to find the priest who had married her to Romeo.

The priest offered her a special sleeping pill that would, for 40 hours, put her on a death-like coma, on the night before the planned wedding with Count Paris, while sending a messenger to Romeo, to warn him of what to expect.

Juliet did as the priest suggested and everything happened as planned. However, there was one fatal lapse – the messenger did not reach Romeo. When Romeo heard that Juliet was dead, he ran to the vaults, wanting to bid goodbye, discovered Count Paris, killed him in a fit of jealousy, kissed Juliet on the lips and swallowed some poison, to join her in death.

It was only seconds later that Juliet woke up and found Romeo’s body beside her, She stabled herself with his dagger and fell dead across Romeo’s chest.

The Capulets and the Montagues, realised their hatred was the cause of the tragedy, and at last decided to end their violent feud and made peace.

~ Re-written by Boon Sin Ler

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