WMG: Romeo and Juliet

The end of the play was an inverted "Death=Sleep" and "Sword In My Pocket" combo metaphor.
Romeo goes to the tomb and gets blitzed drunk on the "poison" (as in "What's your poison?" or "the measure makes the poison"). Juliet's kiss wakes him up, and she sheathes his knife within her... heart. Then they skip town and leave the friar to explain his knowledge of the situation, and Prince Escalus makes his heartfelt speech about the maleficence of feuds either before or after discovering the truth.

The entire "You didn't leave me any poison, perhaps I'll kiss you and see if there's any left on your lips" speech was a parody or subversion of True Love's Kiss.
Were it a genderbent fairy tale, Romeo would have woken up. Since it was Shakespeare, he didn't, and Juliet killed herself.

The Capulets and Montagues are Mafia families.
This would explain why the feuding is so heated, and why the prince (who may or may not be the Godfather in actuality) is the only one to intervene.
  • Isn't this similar to how the Baz Luhrmann film played it? (Other than that the "Prince" is a cop surnamed Prince!)

Benvolio orchestrated everything.
Because he is the next Montague heir in line, he plotted - possibly with Rosaline - to get Romeo to marry someone unsuitable and get disowned, so that he would inherit the Montague fortune. However, after Mercutio - the one person Benvolio truly cares about - is killed, partly because of his plotting, Benvolio decides to get revenge by orchestrating the death of everyone else.

Friar Lawrence orchestrated everything
He didn't send the letter, deliberately driving Romeo and Juliet to suicide, in order to show the families how futile their feud was.

Romeo and Juliet already knew each other.
Rosaline? Invented so that Romeo's friends wouldn't suspect him of loving a Capulet (or being gay). The conversation at the masque? Playful flirtation. Juliet's surprise at learning his identity? Sarcasm, of the "isn't playing with fire FUN?" variety. Of course, this isn't the original intent of the story, but it would be interesting to see their relationship played this way.
  • Rosaline was a Capulet—Lord Capulet's niece, as mentioned in the party guest list. However, it could seem a lot safer for Romeo's friends to think he was in love with part of the Capulet extended family as opposed to Lord and Lady Capulet's only child. I like this theory. It certainly puts Romeo and Juliet in a better light—even if they're still acting like idiots, they at least have built a loving, lasting relationship with each other before deciding to get married/die for their love.
    • Did Romeo ever tell anyone other than Friar Lawrence that he had been in love with Rosaline? The name never came up in his conversation with Benvolio before the party. Romeo did say that he was in love with a woman, but not which woman in particular.

Benvolio is dead by the end.
I've always thought it seems a bit weird that he just stops appearing after Mercutio dies. Perhaps they were actually in love and he just nipped off to kill himself right after Mercutio's death. Or maybe after hearing that Romeo had killed himself, he decided that as all his friends were dead, he had nothing left to live for. He's just a sensitive sort of guy, which is why he's opposed to everyone else's constant fighting. It's just no one had noticed he was dead yet by the end of the play, which is why no one talks about it. But that's why he abruptly stops appearing.

The mutual hatred between the Capulets and Montagues stems from them being Assassins and Templars
Which one is which is anyone's guess, though.