English Literature Revision: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

14th July 2021

Are you currently reading and revising Romeo and Juliet for GCSE English Literature? Learn the plot and themes with this blog and LearnThruMusic revision song.

Romeo and Juliet Plot 

A young man and women fall in love but they are from two warring families, the Montagues and the Capulets, which cause many problems throughout the play. 

Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story where supposed sworn enemies fall in love. They cannot be together due to family conflict, so kill themselves because they cannot cope with being separated from one another. A Shakespearean tragedy. 

It all starts when Romeo gatecrashes a Capulet party and falls in love with Juliet at first sight. They soon get married and secretly celebrate their marriage. Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, gets into a fight with Romeo and his friends. Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo’s friend, and in revenge Romeo ends up killing Tybalt.

The Prince of Verona banishes Romeo and Juliet is distraught. As Juliet’s Father wants to make Juliet marry Paris, Juliet and Friar Laurence come up with a place for Romeo and Juliet to be together. Juliet fakes her death so they can run away together, however, Romeo doesn’t receive the message about the plan and believes Juliet actually died.

Tragically, Romeo drinks poison so he can be with Juliet in death. As she wakes up to discover Romeo dead, Juliet kills herself with his dagger. Due to the terrible circumstances, the two families vow to never argue again. 

Themes in Romeo and Juliet

The 3 main themes in Romeo and Juliet are love, conflict and family. All three themes interlink, as Shakespeare wanted to illustrate how love, conflict and family intertwine with one another. He also wanted to show that sometimes, through love, we can also hate too.

Love is a theme that runs between Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare deals with its meaning, causes and impact. Even though Shakespeare's play is about a pair of 'star-crossed lovers', Shakespeare also wanted to examine the other types of love and how love can sometimes consume us, in a positive and negative way.

There is a lot of conflict in the play including two major deaths from a fight. The two main families have been taught to hate which means a lot of fights break out and often result in death. Shakespeare also presents themes of conflict through inner familial conflict.

Despite the conflict, family is a theme. When Romeo and Juliet die, both realise their conflicts are not worth the terrible deaths. Both families move forward in life and put the past behind them.

LearnThruMusic Revision Resources 

Are you looking for an easy way to learn this information within the GCSE English Literature topic? Why not use revision songs to help you remember the theory. Check out https://learnthrumusic.co.uk/subjects/gcse-english-literature/ to find out more!


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