Romeo and Juliet

This article is about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see Romeo and Juliet (disambiguation).

In Romeo and Juliet, one of William Shakespeare's plays, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud.

In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers' final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers.

Scholars generally date the writing of Romeo and Juliet to 1595-96. Sources include Arthur Brooke's Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet. A version was published as a quarto in 1596; a fuller text appeared as a quarto in 1599.[1]

Productions at the Folger

Helen Hayes Awards
Nominations: "Outstanding Resident Play", "Outstanding Director, Resident Play" for Aaron Posner, "Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play", for Erin Weaver, "Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play", for Sherri L. Edelen, and "Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production" for Christopher Baine and Carla Kihlstedt
Helen Hayes Awards
Wins: and Scott Burgess, the production's sound designer, each won a Helen Hayes Award, for "Outstanding Director, Resident Play" for Joe Banno, "Outstanding Lead Actress, Residential Play" for Holly Twyford, and "Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production" for Scott Burgess
Nominations: "Outstanding Resident Play"

Early editions

First Folio

LUNA: First Folio: 2e3r - 2g1r
Hamnet: STC 22273 Fo. 1 no. 68

Second Folio

LUNA: Second Folio: 2g5v - 2i5v
Hamnet: STC 22274 Fo. 2 no. 07

First Quarto

LUNA: First Quarto
Hamnet: STC 22322

Second Quarto

LUNA: Second Quarto
Hamnet: STC 22323 Copy 1

Third Quarto

LUNA: Third Quarto
Hamnet: STC 22324

Fourth Quarto

LUNA: Fourth Quarto
Hamnet: STC 22325a

Fifth Quarto

LUNA: Fifth Quarto
Hamnet: STC 22326 Copy 1

Modern editions

Romeo & Juliet Folger Edition.jpg

Romeo and Juliet can be read online with Folger Digital Texts and purchased from Simon and Schuster.

Hamnet link to Folger Edition: PR2753 .M6 2004 copy 2 v.29

In popular culture


Watch the trailer for this gun-slinging modern adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Ben Affleck, and Paul Rudd (1996).

Shakespeare in Love (1998), boasts an all star cast, including Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Dame Judy Dench. While the film takes as its primary focus the love story between Viola de Lesseps and William Shakespeare, whose love story echoes that of Twelfth Night, the film also portrays the development of the play Romeo and Juliet.

Inspired by the zombie craze of the second decade of the millenium, Warm Bodies (2013) is an adaptation of the 2010 novel by Isaac Marion. The film stars Nicholas Hoult as a zombie named "R" in love with a human named Juliet, played by Teresa Palmer. The movie also stars John Malkovich and Dave Franco.


The Folger owns over 95 stand-alone translations of Romeo and Juliet in various languages (not including collected works). Cataloging of these works is ongoing as of early 2015, and many have full-level catalog records, but some works still have only partial records. Translations can be found Hamnet in by searching for "Translations"in the Genre/Form Term field, or by searching the Call Number (Left-Anchored) field for call numbers starting with PR2796 (see the list of Sh.Col. translations call numbers for specific language call numbers). Since not all translations are fully cataloged, some items may only turn up in one of these searches.

Performance materials

Other media

Audio edition

Romeo and Juliet Audio Edition from Simon & Schuster available on CD or as an audio download.

Romeo and Juliet audio cd cover.jpg
Romeo Michael Goldsmith
Juliet Emily Trask
Friar Lawrence Eric Hissom
Nurse Naomi Jacobson
Lord Capulet Ian Merrill Peakes
Mercutio Tom Story
Benvolio Andrew Schwartz
Lady Capulet Karen Peakes
Tybalt Chris Genebach
Paris Michael Brusasco
The Prince Louis Butelli

Other parts were played by members of the cast.

Directed by Robert Richmond.

Original music composed by Jessica Witchger.

In partnership with Simon & Schuster Audio

Image Group

Explore the curated image group for Romeo and Juliet in the Folger digital image collection.

Content Advisory: this image group contains representations of suicide.


Watch Janet Griffin, director of public programs and artistic producer of Folger Theatre, discuss Jean Cocteau's surreal Romeo et Juliette. The 1924 production's design was featured in the 2014 Folger Exhibition Shakespeare's the Thing.


  1. Adapted from the Folger Library Shakespeare edition, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. © 1992 Folger Shakespeare Library.