The sixteen-year-old son of Montague and Lady Montague. He is cousins with Benvolio, and friends with Mercutio and Friar Laurence. Romeo's defining characteristic is the intensity of his emotions—whether in anger, love… (read full character analysis)
The beautiful thirteen-year-old daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet, and cousins with Tybalt. The Nurse is her closest friend and advisor. Juliet is naïve and sheltered at the beginning of the play, and… (read full character analysis)
The Nurse is a servant who nursed Juliet as a baby (the Nurse's own baby died just before Juliet was born), and raised her through childhood. She is Juliet's best friend and confidante, and in… (read full character analysis)
Romeo's close friend, and a kinsmen of Prince Escalus. Mercutio is a wild, antic, and brooding youth. He is a whiz with wordplay and is constantly dropping sexual puns, but beneath this playful… (read full character analysis)
Juliet's father, Lady Capulet's husband, and Tybalt's uncle. He is the leader of the Capulet family, and an enemy of Montague. Capulet tries to appear like an even-minded and loving man… (read full character analysis)
Montague's nephew, Romeo's cousin., and Mercutio's friend. Of the three boys, he is the most calm and the least quick-witted. On a few occasions he tries to keep the peace rather than fight. Yet Benvolio is seldom successful in his peacekeeping efforts, and will fight if pushed.
The nephew of Capulet, and Juliet's cousin. A hothead consumed by issues of honor and well known for his skill with a sword, Tybalt hates the Montagues with a profound passion. He seems to look for excuses to fight.
A kinsman of Prince Escalus who wants to marry Juliet. Paris is a good-looking and wealthy man, but is rather pompous, a tad boring, and lacks Romeo's passion. His love for Juliet seems genuine, but, like Capulet, he seems to think he can make Juliet's decisions for her.
The Prince and leader of Verona. Escalus is concerned primarily with keeping order in the city. He will do anything in his power to stop the feud between the Montagues and Capulets from affecting the other citizens of the city.
Romeo's father, Lady Montague's husband, and Benvolio's uncle. The leader of the Montague household, and quick to anger at his bitter rival, Capulet.
Montague's wife and Romeo's mother. She barely appears in the play.
A Franciscan friar.
Samson and Gregory
An illiterate Capulet servant.
A poor apothecary (a drug seller) in Mantua.
A young woman who has taken a vow of chastity, yet with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play.
An on-stage commentator on the events of the play (usually a single person).