Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Characters

Read our modern English translation.

Romeo

One of the protagonists of the play, along with Juliet. He is the male heir to the dynasty of House Montague, which is in a long-standing feud with House Capulet. At the start of… (read full character analysis)

Juliet

One of the protagonists of the play, along with Romeo. She is the female heir to the dynasty of House Capulet, which is in a long-standing feud with House Montague. At only 13, Juliet… (read full character analysis)

Friar Laurence

A kindly, philosophical friar of Verona who, as his community’s spiritual and intellectual center, keeps finding himself enmeshed in the dramas of House Montague and House Capulet. Romeo and Juliet like the friar and come… (read full character analysis)

The Nurse

Juliet’s nurse is the main source of comic relief throughout the play. Forgetful, long-winded, bawdy, and seemingly immune to embarrassment, the nurse is happy to share cringe-worthy stories from her own past and Juliet’s… (read full character analysis)

Mercutio

Romeo’s best friend and kinsman to Prince Escalus. Mercutio is one of the play’s most dynamic and complex characters. Wild, frenetic, easygoing, and fun-loving, Mercutio’s manic energy, rambling stories, and razor-sharp wit masks… (read full character analysis)
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Capulet

Juliet’s father and the head of House Capulet, which is in a long-standing feud with House Montague. Capulet, like Montague, is dedicated to stoking the “ancient grudge” between their two houses and ensuring… (read full character analysis)

Lady Capulet

Juliet’s mother. Like her husband, Capulet, Lady Capulet is obsessed with appearances and with advancing Juliet’s social station. She is ignorant of her daughter’s true feelings most of the time, and, even when… (read full character analysis)

Tybalt

Capulet’s nephew and Juliet’s cousin. Tybalt is a duelist whose skills with a rapier have gained him widespread renown—and whose temper is equally as famous as his talent. Hotheaded, brash, and devoutly loyal… (read full character analysis)

Prince Escalus

The Prince of Verona. An imposing man who nonetheless struggles to control the violent, unruly members of House Montague and House Capulet as they feud and brawl endlessly in Verona’s streets, spilling blood and disturbing… (read full character analysis)

Friar John

A Franciscan friar tasked with delivering a letter explaining Friar Laurence and Juliet’s scheme of faking Juliet’s death to Romeo. However, he is held up en route, and never manages to get the… (read full character analysis)

The Chorus

A chorus who introduces the action and sometimes comments upon it throughout the play. Adaptations of Romeo and Juliet throughout the years have interpreted and portrayed the chorus’s commentary in a wide variety of ways… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Benvolio
Montague’s nephew and Romeo’s cousin. Benvolio is more levelheaded, calm, and also more of a rule-follower than Romeo and Mercutio. He struggles to keep the peace and obey the law in the face of his kinsmen’s hot-blooded temperaments.
Paris
A handsome count who is a kinsman of Prince Escalus. Paris is boring, pompous, and obsequious—but he is wealthy, and Capulet believes that if Juliet marries him, their family’s fortunes and social standing will advance.
Montague
Romeo’s father and the head of House Montague, which is in a long-standing feud with House Capulet. A stoic leader, Montague bitterly hates his rival, Capulet, and is insistent upon continuing the feud between them through his house’s descendants, including Romeo and his kinsman Benvolio.
Lady Montague
Montague’s wife and Romeo’s mother. She appears very little in the play, and, at the end, it is revealed that she died of grief after learning of Romeo’s exile to Mantua.
Petruchio
A friend of Tybalt who is also part of House Capulet.
Balthasar
Romeo’s servingman.
Sampson and Gregory
Two servingmen of House Capulet.
Abraham
Montague’s servant.
Peter
An illiterate servingman of House Capulet.
The Apothecary
A poor apothecary in Mantua who sells Romeo a vial of poison. Though selling poison is illegal, the apothecary is self-admittedly desperate for any money he can get his hands on.
Rosaline
Rosaline, who never appears onstage, is, at the start of the play, Romeo’s latest romantic obsession despite the fact that she has taken a vow of chastity. When Romeo meets Juliet, however, he forgets all about his unrequited love for Rosaline.