Romeo and Juliet


In this summary of Romeo and Juliet, the song breaks down the plot act by act. Rappers Spectac, Escher and Median summarize acts 1 through 5 of this famous Shakespeare play. They’ll take you from fight scenes to love scenes, and skillfully highlight the deepest conflicts. These rhymes have meaning that mimics the intensity of Romeo and Juliet.


Act I opens up with a feud between a few dudes,
It’s funny how they set the mood.
What to do if they lose?
The fight’s broken up by a prince,
Trying to make a little sense out of the nonsense,
He just spoke with eloquence:
"Peace to the Capulets and unto the Montagues,
and Montagues unto the Capulets."
Romeo and Juliet ain’t even met yet, no sweat,
He’s in love with Rosaline and she’s in love with Paris.
But you know as fate would have it,
The two meet, it’s like magic.
Whenever it’s good then something tragic happens.
Households divided, the feud’s flaring up,
Romeo, "oh Juliet," she’s just a few stairs up.

Love’s Desire...

Act II – The rhapsody, Romeo, the balcony.
Juliet is like, "Who’s this dude trying to step to me?"
A soft light breaks, my boy almost faints.
It’s intense like burning some incense, and yes,
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,
But would this track still be banging
If it didn’t have the 9th beat?
After one hot night it’s love at first touch,
Love at first sight.
They want to spend the rest of their life
Husband and wife.
They ask the friar to do the deed and he’s like:
"This might be the one thing that squashes the beef,"
Or brings a little peace at least to these families.
He brings them into holy matrimony, at a ceremony,
He does the honors, and makes them honest.
"I do, I do, I do." And it’s like...

Love’s Desire…

Act III – Mercutio and Tybalt was beefing,
When in walks Romeo, spicing up the scenery.
Tybalt speaks to him, calls him a villain,
Didn’t know that secretly,
Him and Romeo was kindred,
But wedding Juliet made him his kinsman.
So Romeo just maxed, he didn’t want to kill him.
Mercutio just spazzed, he really caught feelings.
Drawing his sword for Tybalt, he wanted to kill him.
So Romeo gets in the mix with them,
To stop the insolence,
But Tybalt lashed and stabbed ’Cutio with vengeance.
An eye for eye, now Romeo’s got to deal with him.
He takes the life of Tybalt, now Romeo’s a killer.
Gentleman to villain, he got to flee the village.
The news reach Juliet, she thought she was a widow,
Till later on he climbed through her window.
So they could spend the nighttime together, the last time living.

Love’s Desire…

Act IV is when the friar supplies them with the potion,
That’ll put the plot in motion,
Faking her death at her father’s toasting.
’Cause Dad was hoping Juliet would marry Paris,
but Juliet was mad with Dad and wasn’t trying to have it.

Act V opens with a dream that Romeo had,
A fantasy, but too bad that the dream couldn’t last.
Romeo finds that Juliet died,
It’s not true, just a lie, but he’s wondering, "Why?"
The friar should have used FedEx or UPS ’cause
One undelivered letter could be leading to death.
Romeo finds some poison on the black market.
He’ll make his own heart the target, regardless,
At the tomb is Paris, who hates his guts,
They draw swords and Romeo cuts him up.
He enters the tomb and Julie is softly sleeping,
Our boy thinks she’s dead and breaks down weeping.
He puts a kiss upon her lips and then sips the poison,
And then he falls down to his death.
Just as he dies, Julie awakes, yawning,
Like it’s 6 in the morning.
She sees her boy dead, and it’s all lost,
No plot has the power to uncross stars.
It’s pretty tragic, but that’s what’s up,
Only through death could this young cup find the...

Love’s Desire…

Writing Prompts

A summary of the action in Romeo and Juliet , this song breaks down the plot act by act. In Act I, the rapper Spectac sets up the tale, noting that the mood is set by the fight scene that opens the play. In Act II, Escher plays with some of Shakespeare's original lines while describing the balcony scene. The rapper Median takes Act III, poignantly riffing throughout on what is essentially a single rhyme sound: "Kill him." His verse could be a lesson on slant rhyme; he manages to rhyme killer with village with feelings . Act IV stays short and sweet with some Eminem-like in-rhyme from Spectac, and Escher finishes up Act V with the tragic finale.

eloquence: the ability to express oneself in beautiful, powerful language
rhapsody: an enthusiastic poem, piece of music, or expression
soft light breaks: "But soft! What light from yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." - Romeo, Act II, ii.
a rose: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." - Juliet, Act II, ii.
9 th Beat: this beat was produced by Grammy-award winning artist, 9 th Wonder.
squash the beef: to put an end to an argument between two sides
spicing up the scenery: alliteration
kindred: a member of one's family
to max: to relax. Romeo wasn't upset with Tybalt; he was chilling.
catch feelings: to get upset about something quickly, or to begin to feel romantic toward someone.
insolence: rude actions
with (a) vengeance: extra violently
friar supplies: internal rhyme
put the plot: alliteration
dream: Romeo dreams that he's dead and that Juliet's kiss brings him back to life. Keep wishing, kid!
undelivered letter: the messenger gets stuck in a house and can't leave because people think that someone in the house has the plague.
uncross stars: Romeo and Juliet are a pair of "star cross'd lovers." (prologue)

1. Was Romeo right to kill Tybalt? Why or why not? Imagine what the outcome would have been if Romeo had restrained himself.

2. Write your own fight scene between Tybalt and Mercutio. Be sure to include cultural references and figurative language.

3. Why do you think it took such a tragedy for the families to realize they should end their beef? Do you think the point Shakespeare makes applies to life today? Why or why not?

4. Romeo and Juliet are portrayed as two people bound by fate, seemingly unable to alter their life's course. They are "starcrossed lovers." What is your take on fate? Why do you believe what you believe?

Who breaks up the fight in the opening scene?
The prince
Between which two families does the prince demand peace?
The Capulets and the Montagues
Where does the second act take place?
The balcony
Who do Romeo and Juliet ask to officiate their wedding?
The friar
Which two people are fighting in the opening of the third act?
Mercutio and Tybalt
Who does Tybalt stab with vengeance?
When Tybalt stabs Mercutio, what is Romeo then forced to do?
Kill Tybalt
What does the friar give Juliet in the fourth act?
The potion to fake her death
Who does Juliet's father want her to marry?
Where does Romeo find some poison?
The black market

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