Definition of Romeo and Juliet from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Romeo and Juliet

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a play (c. 1595) by William Shakespeare. It is set in Verona in Italy, and tells the story of two young people, Romeo and Juliet, who fall in love although they are from families who are enemies. They marry secretly but are unable to live together and the play ends with their death. It is famous for its beautiful poetry and for the balcony scene, during which Juliet says ‚O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?‘ and ‚What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.‘ The ballet Romeo and Juliet (1938) by Prokofiev and the musical show West Side Story were both based on the play.