Romeo and Juliet scenario
A strange and tortured character, Friar Laurence is the vital thread that links the drama from one part to another. He represents a figure in a trinity, caught between good and evil, tossed between chance and necessity, will and power. A manipulator who is manipulated, he is the story’s primary architect, through whom the tragedy is caused, even as he believes he has given over the key to happiness. Thus he appears from the beginning of Act One to show how much the story of Romeo and Juliet, their deaths as much as their meeting and even their love, owes to chance. He is the agent of the drama which begins in a street in Verona.
As Romeo passes by, a dispute degenerates into a fight between Mercutio, Benvolio and Tybalt.
Juliet amuses herself in her room with her Nurse. The young girl’s mother enters to tell her that Count Pâris has asked for her hand in marriage. She tries to reason with the girl who revolts and refuses the proposal.
Preparations for the ball
Inside the Capulet’s mansion, preparations for the ball are underway. Mercutio and Benvolio decide to enter, disguised behind masks, and persuade Romeo to accompany them.
The ball is in full swing in the Capulet’s great house. Romeo tries to capture the attention of the beautiful Rosaline, who shies away. It is Juliet who first notices the handsome young man who is soon equally captivated. Tybalt recognises the intruders and interrupts their first encounter.
On the balcony outside her room Juliet dreams about her evening. Romeo, whose two friends are looking for him everywhere, emerges from the garden to tell her of his passion.
Romeo joins Benvolio and Mercutio in the middle of the festivities – dances, masked revelers and puppets animate the street. The Nurse arrives with a letter from Juliet telling Romeo to meet her in Friar Laurence’s cell where the priest will bless their union.
Friar Laurence, who hopes through this act to reconcile the two feuding houses, has agreed to marry Romeo and Juliet. The marriage takes place under the sign of Moebius’s ring – an image of indissoluble unity, a symbol of infinity and eternal return, since even death will not end this love.
Tybalt provokes a quarrel with Mercutio and Benvolio. Romeo tries to calm matters but Tybalt finally kills Mercutio. Romeo, a pacifist but a man of honour, is obliged to avenge his friend. He duels with the Montague’s enemy and kills him.
Before he flees to Mantua to escape the fury of the Capulets, Romeo takes leave of Juliet. The parting is painful and Juliet cannot accept what has happened. After Romeo flees, her mother enters her bedroom with Pâris and announces that the two are to marry. Unable to accept the proposition of Pâris as a spouse, revolted and indignant, Juliet decides to seek the advice of Friar Laurence.
Juliet’s bedroom to the grave
Friar Laurence’s strategy is to give Juliet a potion which will give her the appearance of death but allow her to awaken after the funeral rites and join Romeo who the priest promises to advise. However, he is unable to get this message to Romeo who, despondent with grief when he hears of Juliet’s death, kills himself. Juliet, who then awakes, realises what has happened and decides to join him in eternal love.