In the prologue, we find out what will happen in the play. The chorus sings that there will be two "star-crossed lovers" from feuding families who will perish in the end The chorus also mentions that the play will last two hours.
In the first scene of the first act, fighting breaks out between the servants of two rival families, the Capulets, and Montagues. Soon, a Montague named Benvolio arrives on the scene and tries to stop the servants from killing each other. A Capulet named Tybalt comes and starts fighting Benvolio. The heads of both families join the fray, then the ruler of Verona, Prince Escalus, comes and breaks up the fight, saying that whoever continues the battles will be executed. Benvolio tells the Montague leader that Romeo is in a nasty mood on having lost his girlfriend, and when Romeo arrives, Benvolio tells his cousin that the remedy to his situation is to go and see other women so that he could fall in love with one of them.
In the second scene of the first act, Count Paris is talking with Capulet. The count asks Capulet if he can marry Juliet, the girl's father says that he would prefer to wait until she was sixteen years old, but if he managed to woo her at the party that night, he could marry her. Then, Capulet gives a servant a list of guests and asks him to go and fetch them for the party. The servant doesn't know how to read, so he asks Romeo (who was walking down the street) to read him the list. Romeo does it and decides to go to the party because his former girlfriend was also going.
In the third scene of the first act, Lady Capulet and Juliet's nurse are talking about her. The nurse tells Lady Capulet a story about her girl when she was little. Then, they tell Juliet that Paris wants to marry her. The nurse mentions that Paris was very handsome, but Juliet was not so excited as the older woman to get married. Then, Lady Capulet and the Nurse tell her to go to the party, which was starting downstairs.
In the fourth scene of the first act, Romeo and his friends are going to the party. Romeo says that he had a dream, and Mercutio tells him about Queen Mab, the imaginary fairy that gives people dreams. After the story, they put on their masks and go into the Capulet house.
In the fifth scene of the first act, Capulet is talking with his cousin, asking him how long they waited before going to such a good party. Then Romeo enters and sees Juliet. He starts praising her beauty and they sing a song. Then, Juliet asks her nurse who Romeo was, and as she did not know, asked her to go and find out. The nurse tells her that Romeo was a Montague, and Juliet is sad that he is from that family because she knows that she could not get married to him.
In the first scene of the second act, Romeo climbs over a garden wall to escape from Mercutio and Benvolio. They call him to show himself and come home, thinking he is with Rosaline. He does not come and they leave.
In the second scene of the second act, Romeo sees Juliet coming to her balcony which is above the garden he is in. He again praises her beauty to himself and then hears her talking to herself, wishing that Romeo was not a Montague so that she could marry him. Romeo shows himself and they talk some more about various things. Finally, they decide to get married the next day and Romeo goes to tell Friar Lawrence about his plan.
In the third scene of the second act, Romeo talks with Friar Lawrence about getting married to Juliet. The friar is not very convinced that he will love only Juliet, but he agrees to marry them that day, as it would bring peace to the Capulet and Montagues.
In the fourth scene of the second act, Romeo's friends talk with him about Rosaline, they think that he still loves her. The nurse comes and tells Romeo that she was sent by Juliet to ask for a message from him. He tells the nurse for Juliet to meet him at the monastery where Friar Lawrence lives.
In the fifth scene of the second act, Juliet is waiting for the nurse to come back home. When she arrives, the Nurse tells her that Romeo is waiting at the monastery for her. Juliet goes there.
In the sixth scene of the second act, Romeo and the friar are waiting for Juliet to arrive. Friar Lawrence says that he fears that Juliet will not be able to take getting married, but when she arrives, they go to perform the ritual of marriage.
In the first scene of the third act, Mercutio and Benvolio are in the city square. Tybalt enters and says that he wants to fight Romeo. Then, Romeo enters the square and says that he doesn't want to fight Tybalt. Mercutio challenges Tybalt on his friend's behalf and they fight. Romeo tries to break up the fight, but while he is trying, Tybalt stabs Mercutio and he dies. Then Romeo fights Tybalt and kills him, then runs away. Prince Escalus enters and then says that he will banish Romeo under the pain of death because he killed Tybalt.
In the second scene of the third act, Juliet is very sad that Romeo killed Tybalt, but she reasons that if Romeo had not done the act, Tybalt would have killed him. The nurse tells Juliet that she knew where Romeo was hiding out. Juliet asks the nurse to go there and tell Romeo to come to her room that evening.
In the third scene of the third act, Romeo is very sad that he was banished and wants to kill himself. Just then, the nurse arrives and tells Romeo that Juliet wants him to come to her room that night. The friar tells him that he should do Juliet's bidding and then go to Mantua until they can announce Romeo and Juliet's marriage.
In the fourth scene of the third act, Capulet declares that he will let Paris marry Juliet on Thursday, it being Monday at the time. Paris thanks him and then leaves.
In the fifth scene of the third act, Romeo and Juliet are on Juliet's balcony. Romeo is very sad that he has to leave the city. Juliet starts crying and her mother enters the room. Juliet's mother thinks that she is sad because Romeo killed Tybalt and says that she will send a person to kill Romeo by poisoning his drink. Juliet pretends she is happy and says that she will mix the poison herself. Then Juliet's mom says that she (Juliet) will marry Paris on Thursday. Juliet says that she does not want to marry Paris and would rather marry Romeo instead. Capulet comes in and commands her to marry Paris, but she still will not. Then, Capulet and his wife leave. The nurse comes in and tells her to forget Romeo and marry Paris instead. Juliet says that she will seek advice from Friar Lawrence, if he cannot help her then she will kill herself instead of marrying Paris.
In the first scene of the fourth act, Juliet went to Friar Lawrence's house and meets Paris there. He thinks she had been crying about Tybalt and secretly longs to marry him. Paris leaves, and Juliet asks the friar how she can stop the marriage. The friar gave her a potion that will make it look like she is dead so that her parents can bury her, and Romeo to come and take her to a different city where they can live in peace.
In the second scene of the fourth act, Juliet comes back home with the potion and tells her father that she will marry Paris on Thursday. He tells her to go to her room and find some nice clothes because he changed the marriage date to the next day.
In the third scene of the fourth act, Juliet contemplates if she should drink the potion or not but finally decides to do it.
In the fourth scene of the fourth act, the wedding banquet is ready and Capulet calls Juliet down to go to church.
In the fifth scene of the fourth act, the Capulets find out about Juliet's "death" and are very sad. Paris comes and starts weeping over her dead body. Friar Lawrence says they should stop mourning and be happy that she is in a better place.
In the first scene of the fifth act, Romeo wakes up. He had a very good dream and is euphoric. Romeo is then notified by his servant, Belthazar that Juliet died. Romeo is extremely sad and goes to buy poison so that he can go to Juliet's tomb and kill himself there.
In the second scene of the fifth act, Friar Lawrence meets with Friar John, who could not send the message to Rome because he was quarantined, the police thinking that he had the plague. Friar Lawrence is worried that Romeo might kill himself because of Juliet's "death".
In the third scene of the fifth act, Paris is at Juliet's tomb when Romeo arrives. Paris hides and sees Romeo starting to pry open the tomb. He challenges Romeo and gets killed by him, asking his murderer to put him in Juliet's tomb. Romeo does so and then drinks the poison next to his dead wife. Juliet wakes up and sees's Romeo's dead body. The friar comes there and sees her awake. He tells her to come along so that she could become a nun and in time forget about this horrible incident. She says that she does not want to and kills herself with Romeo's dagger. Prince Escalus arrives with Capulet and Montague. The friar tells them the whole sad tale, and Montague says that his wife died of sadness because Romeo got exiled. Capulet and Montague decide to end their feud and build statues of Romeo and Juliet to honor them.