A tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young 'star-crossed lovers' whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers. She is only fourteen, he is only a few years older. Their families are bitter enemies, sworn to hatred. Yet Romeo and Juliet meet and fall passionately in love. Defying their parents' wishes, they are secretly married, but their brief happiness is shattered by fate.Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could remove, Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.