The following are the characters from Romeo and Juliet.
The impulsive and hopelessly romantic son of Lord and Lady Montague.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Paris's Betty.
- Break the Cutie: Romeo falls in love with Juliet, but due to the fact that he and Juliet come from feuding families, he has to hide his relationship and love for her. Because of this, he has to resort to having a Secret Relationship with Juliet. He then marries her in secret, only to have everything go wrong after that. Juliet fakes her death, Romeo thinks that she is dead, which leads Romeo to be Driven to Suicide all so that he could join Juliet in death.
- Character Development: Goes from spouting shallow conventional poetry about Rosaline to speaking with a more distinctive poetic voice and conveying more genuine depth of feeling toward Juliet, and goes from being ineffectually weepy in the face of adversity (e.g. over Rosaline's rejection and over his own banishment) to facing Juliet's "death" with a colder, more serious form of desperation, most evident when he warns Paris not to try his luck with him and then kills him in the subsequent fight.
- Chick Magnet: Though we only see him with Juliet and at the tail end of an ill-fated romance towards the beginning, Romeo is suggested to have courted at least one other woman before the play's beginning.
- Driven to Suicide: Romeo kills himself because he wanted to join Juliet in death (but tragically, he didn't know that Juliet was only Faking the Dead, because the information that Friar Lawrence had intended for him never arrived).
- Emo Teen: Locks himself up in his room with the curtains drawn, writes depressing poetry, and generally mopes about Rosaline until he meets Juliet.
- Emotional Bruiser: Has a "weak" emotional personality, but wins both of the fights he gets into, first with Tybalt and then with Paris.
- Fatal Flaw: His impulsive behavior has him marry Juliet the day after meeting her and kill Tybalt for killing Mercutio. About an hour later.
- Fourth Date Marriage: With Juliet. Romeo is a hormonal teenager who is driven to both an elopement and suicide all because of their families' pointless feuding (Romeo's previous infatuation at the top of the play suggests that, if things had taken their natural course, his affair with Juliet would have burned out of its own accord).
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He's hanging out with Benvolio and Mercutio constantly before things start to go south.
- Honour Before Reason: To catastrophic levels. His decision to take the law into his own hands and avenge Mercutio's death leads to every other death in the play.
- Hot-Blooded: People tend to focus on this trait in Mercutio and Tybalt, but Romeo has a lot of it, too. He just tries to hold it in.
- Idiot Hero: Making good decisions isn't his forte. But Romeo did it all because he fell in love with a girl and wanted to do everything and anything he could to be with her, including having a Secret Relationship.
- In Love with Love: Romeo is strongly idealistic in regards to love and romance. He first loved and pined for a girl named Rosaline and then when he realized that their romance was not going to work, he gave up on love. But then he first laid eyes on Juliet and he instantly fell in love, completely forgetting about the fact that he was previously in love with Rosaline. He met Juliet just hours before he decides to marry her.
- It's All About Me: Shows little sense of duty to his family from the start, first pining after Capulet niece Rosaline, then falling for and secretly marrying Juliet. Then he kills Tybalt purely out of his own rage over Mercutio's death, not caring in the moment that Juliet will be devastated, or that the punishment he'll face will affect her and his parents too indeed, it causes his mother's Death by Despair. And he breaks his father's heart even further by committing suicide over Juliet's "death."
- Love at First Sight: Towards Juliet. The first moment that Romeo lays his eyes on Juliet, he instantly falls in love. Some modern audiences may find it very odd how they fell in love because it happened so fast. (However, it's important to remember that this was less of a worn-out cliche in Shakespeare's day.)
- Love Interest: Of Juliet. His relationship and love for Juliet is the epicenter of the entire story. It is also a love story of severe heartache, pain, suffering and tragedy.
- Love Makes You Dumb: His main problem is his near perpetual state of being completely blinded by his love for a girl, and quietly brooding to himself when he isn't.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Romeo's got a thing for virgins.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After killing Tybalt.
- Nice Guy: Romeo is implied to be this, considering the fact that Lord Capulet doesn't actually care when he's told that Romeo is at his party and says he's heard nice things about the boy. Keep in mind, this is the guy that was trying to kill said boy's father less than 24 hours earlier for no other reason than some old rivalry that no one remembers the cause of.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the impulsive, hot-tempered Red to Juliet's demure and sweet Blue.
- Secret Relationship: His relationship with Juliet. Due to being from opposing and fighting families, Romeo had to keep his relationship and love for Juliet a secret.
- Serial Romeo: The Trope Namer, obviously enough. His object of hopeless affection changes on a dime in the play, and it's implied he's done this sort of thing before. He knew Juliet for about a minute, and was already making out with her.
- Together in Death: With Juliet, in the end.
- Tragic Bromance: With Mercutio, but after avenging his death, he doesn't seem to care much anymore.
- Tragic Hero: His tragic flaw being his impulsiveness.
- Troubled, but Cute: He's got no shortage of flaws and emotional instability, although this doesn't stop Juliet from falling for him at all. She draws the line when he kills Tybalt.
- Unstoppable Rage: Far from the most aggressive of the bunch, but killing his friends is a bad idea, as trying to keep him from joining his wife in her tomb.
The very young only daughter of Lord and Lady Capulet, who is being pressured into marriage by her parents.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original text (see below), she is said to be golden-haired. However a lot of adaptations portray her as a dark, raven-haired beauty. Possibly because the idea of a blonde Italian would be seen as Aluminum Christmas Trees.
- Age Lift:
- She's thirteen in the text but pragmatically gets bumped up to fifteen-seventeen in adaptations. In the 1996 one, Natalie Portman tested for it but producers were uncomfortable with the fourteen-year-old actress having romantic scenes with Leonardo Di Caprio (twenty-one playing sixteen).
- Shakespeare himself performed one on her. In the poem the play is based on, Juliet is about to turn sixteen and the Matteo Bandello novella has her at eighteen. It's suggested Shakespeare made her younger to warn about the dangers of child marriage. Or possibly to accommodate for the fact that a prepubescent boy would have to play the role.
- Break the Cutie: Three hours after Juliet marries Romeo, he kills her cousin (who was like a brother to her) and gets kicked out of Verona. The next day her parents try to force her to marry a man she doesn't love, and threaten to disown her if she refuses. Her father claims that he and her mother "have had a curse in having her". Meanwhile, she's loyal to Romeo, not only because of her inclinations, but because of her religious beliefs (i.e. "I'm already married, it would be wrong of me to get married again") and is fully prepared to kill herself rather than go through with the wedding. She ends up taking a potion that makes her appear dead, even though she's terrified of what it will do to her, as part of an incredibly risky plan to get out of Verona that entails never seeing the people she loves again. Then, when she wakes up in her family tomb, her husband is lying dead with his head on her chest. She runs herself through with his dagger. And she's fourteen years old.
- Character Development: Starts out as an obedient, innocent ingenue. By the fourth act, she's matured into a significantly more decisive and determined person.
- Child Marriage Veto: Juliet refuses to marry Paris the second time her parents bring it up, though not the first time. She married Romeo in between, but her parents don't know that...
- Cosmic Motifs: When she appears on the balcony, Romeo compares the young and beautiful Juliet to the sun, banishing the "envious moon".
- Daddy's Girl: Her obedience and devotion to her parents is the main reason she considers marrying Paris, a man she's experienced absolutely zero desire to be with.
- Deadpan Snarker: Downplayed, but the Nurse often brings out this side of her. Notably in one scene the latter is talking about when Juliet was weaned, and Juliet essentially says "stop listing all the embarrassing things I did when I was three!" Likewise the Nurse takes a long time to get to the point when bringing news of Romeo, and Juliet snarks how can the woman be out of breath and yet be able to say she's out of breath.
- The Determinator: Juliet might seem sweet and innocent, but try and force her to marry someone she doesn't love, and she'll go through hell rather than do it.
- Driven to Suicide: After the utter backfiring of her...
- Faux Death: Eventually, the reason why Romeo commits suicide, with Juliet following soon thereafter. Juliet took a special potion which Friar Lawrence had concocted. The potion would put Juliet in a deep sleep, which would make her seem like she was dead. After a few hours, she would wake from the deep sleep. Romeo unfortunately did not receive this information from Friar, therefore, he believed that Juliet was really dead.
- Fourth Date Marriage: With Romeo. Juliet is a hormonal teenager who was driven to elopement AND a Suicide Pact, all because of their families' pointless feuding (Romeo's previous infatuation at the top of the play suggests that, if things had taken their natural course, his affair with Juliet would have burned out of its own accord).
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In the original play, Juliet is described as a blonde, and she definitely has the charming and innocent personality to match this trope.
- The Ingenue: When first introduced, Juliet is very innocent, docile and childlike. She is also incredibly naive and idealistic.
- Irony: She fakes her death by drinking something that makes her pass out. When she discovers Romeo's death, she tries to kill herself by drinking poison, but can't ;lk
- It's All About Me: Once she falls in love with Romeo, her earlier sense of duty to her family quickly flies out the window. By secretly marrying him and refusing Paris, she's willing to throw away her parents' hopes for enhancing their wealth and political connections, and later, she's willing to break her parents' and nurse's hearts by faking her death (and in the end by killing herself for real) just so she can be with Romeo.
- Last Girl Wins: Romeo is pining for another girl at the start of the play, and he's often imagined as a womaniser or sex fiend. Juliet is the last girl he meets chronologically and she is his true love.
- Love at First Sight: Towards Romeo. The first moment that Juliet lays eyes on Romeo, she instantly falls in love with him. To the point where she ends up engaging in a Secret Relationship with Romeo and even ends up marrying him only hours after they meet.
- Love Interest: Of Romeo and Paris.
- Plucky Girl: Especially considering the time period it's set in. She disobeys her parents, follows her heart, and braves disownment and being trapped in a tomb to stay true to the man she loves.
- Rapunzel Hair: Olivia Hussey and Hailee Steinfeld give her long flowing hair. She doesn't have it in the 1936 film, because it wasn't fashionable then.
- Replacement Goldfish: For the nurse's deceased daughter.
- Runaway Fiancée: The Faux Death set up by Juliet was an attempt to get out of marrying Paris.
- Smitten Teenage Girl: But it seems like she's more reserved than Romeo.
- Together in Death: With Romeo, in the end.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: At the start of the story, she's a naive and earnest girl with a limited concept of what love and death entail.
- Women Are Wiser: Juliet is way more practical and level-headed than Romeo. She's the one who proposes they get married, and worries about Romeo being caught by her kinsmen when he's climbed up to her balcony.
Romeo's more levelheaded cousin.
- Bromantic Foil: To Mercutio more than Romeo.
- Brother Chuck: Disappears after Romeo's exile.
- Bus Crash: According to the First Quarto, he dies sometime after Mercutio does (Lord Montague has a line saying "and Benvolio is deceased too") - yet this is rarely used.
- Composite Character: A lot of adaptations combine him with Balthasar, giving Benvolio something to do in the second half. Or else give him the lines of the random Montagues that show up in the final scene.
- Dumb Muscle: In the modern film he is portrayed as a typical bigger, older cousin who gets a kick out of teasing the younger one.
- Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on Deadpan.
- The Everyman: He is always caught in the middle.
- Foil: To Mercutio, Tybalt, and Romeo, for various reasons.
- The Generic Guy: His voice of reason isn't as memorable as Mercutio's antics.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mercutio and Romeo.
- Informed Attribute: Mercutio describes Benvolio as Hot-Blooded, willing to start a fight for any reason at all. In practice, Benvolio is a level-headed Nice Guy, and Mercutio's description of Benvolio is more applicable to himself. Depending on how it's played, Mercutio may be teasing Benvolio when he says this.
- The Lancer: To Mercutio.
- Manly Tears: He's seen crying them multiple times in the 1968 version. An added scene has a silent goodbye between he and Romeo after the latter is banished, where Benvolio's eyes are very watery. We also get to see his reaction to the deaths there, and he is seen crying with a Thousand-Yard Stare.
- Meaningful Name: His name can mean 'peacemaker', and his Establishing Character Moment is trying to keep the peace.
- Nephewism: He is Romeo's cousin and Lord Montague addresses him as "Nephew." And that's all we know.
- Nice Guy: Ultimately, he is just trying to keep his friends alive.
- Only Sane Man: Everyone around him seems to forget the death threat on those who fight in the streets.
- Pair the Spares: Oddly, some productions — such as the 2013 film and the semi-sequel children's play "After Juliet" — will attempt to pair him off with Rosaline.
- The Reliable One: Established in the first scene as a peacekeeper.
- Sole Survivor: At the end of the play, he is the only offspring of any of the three houses left alive.
- Straight Man: To Mercutio's Wise Guy.
- Tagalong Kid: In the 2013 film, he's considerably younger than the rest of the cast, to the point that Lord Montague breaks up his fight with Tybalt by declaring, "Tybalt, you argue with a child. Turn and face your equal!" Ironically, this puts Benvolio at the age that Juliet is meant to be in the original text.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Well it's his idea to go to the party where Romeo first meets Juliet.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Is never mentioned again after Mercutio is killed.
- The Worf Effect: He's introduced breaking up a fight between servants of the Montagues and Capulets. And then Tybalt comes along.
A boisterous ally of the Montagues, and a kinsman to the Prince.
- Adaptational Sexuality: Mercutio has been played as straight, gay or bisexual in different adaptations.
- Ambiguously Gay: Sometimes played this way. He's a drag queen in Baz Luhrmann's film version.
- Ax-Crazy: In Enfants de Vérone, he has a persistent maniacal laugh and expresses a desire to see the city burn.
- Berserk Button: Questioning his manhood and how he "consorts" with Romeo.Mercutio: What, dost thou make us minstrels? An thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords. Here's my fiddlestick; here's that shall make you dance. 'Swounds—"consort"!
- The Big Guy: He is usually presented as the muscle among the Montagues, despite not being a Montague.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Though he is technically not even part of the feud, he is very quick to fight.
- Bromantic Foil: To Romeo. The two contrast each other in just about every way possible.
- Dark Is Not Evil: In the Zefarelli version, where he wears all black and is still Romeo's close friend.
- Deadpan Snarker: To the point that audiences (despite typically knowing fate from high school literature) will sometimes take a while to get that he's not kidding after being stabbed by Tybalt.
- Dying Curse: Curses both the Montagues and the Capulets as he is dying in his famous "A plague on both your houses!" speech.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Romeo is heartbroken about Mercutio's death... at least during the scene where Mercutio actually died. After Romeo kills Tybalt to avenge him, Mercutio is pretty much forgotten. Romeo expresses far more grief over Tybalt's death than Mercutio's.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In some versions, he throws himself in front of Tybalt's sword rather than taking the blow by accident.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Benvolio and Romeo.
- Hot-Blooded: He and Tybalt are most often labeled as this. It makes sense that their duel leads to his death.
- Hypocrite: He calls Benvolio Hot Blooded (immediately after Benvolio suggests a pretty level-headed course of action, no less), but he himself is much quicker to fight. Then he calls Romeo out for intervening in the fight between him and Tybalt... right after he himself has intervened in the argument between Romeo and Tybalt.
- Jerkass: How much of a jerk he is varies from production to production but in some versions of his scene with the Nurse it is a wonder that Escalus has never received a complaint about his kinsman's behaviour.
- The Lancer: Mercutio is callous next to lovesick Romeo, cynical where he's naive, and proud where he is mostly unassuming. And so they are best friends.
- Large Ham: Specially in the Baz Luhrmann's version where his entrance in the Capulet party is basically a musical number with Harold "WAAAAAAAAALT!!!" Perrineau in drag and hamming it up magnificently.
- Laughing Mad: Incredibly so in Enfants de Vérone.
- The McCoy: Compared to Benvolio and even Romeo (which is really saying something.
- Meaningful Name: His name probably comes from the word "mercurial," meaning rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood.
- Never My Fault: His dying words are "A plague on both your houses" but he was the instigator of the fight that resulted in his fatal wound.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Even when realizing his impending death, he can't resist a wisecrack or two.
- Pungeon Master: Makes plenty of puns throughout the play. He and Romeo even get into an epic pun-off in Act Two. Taken Up to Eleven in Act Three when, after getting stabbed by Tybalt, he gets up and cracks a pun about that too before dying.
- Race Lift: Even if one or both of his brothers don't get this treatment, numerous productions, including the Luhrmann film adaptation, depict him as black.
- Sacrificial Lion: Famously, his death is used to mark a Genre Shift in the play. After he dies, it gets worse for everyone.
- Sad Clown: It's pretty heavily implied that he's had love issues in the past.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: The funny one in the trio. After he dies, the amount of 'funny' in the story drastically decreases.
- Taking the Bullet: Implied in the musical, in his dying song to Romeo: "I die so you may live, though it be a short life." Though it may simply be in reference to Mercutio fighting Tybalt in Romeo's stead, some versions actually show Mercutio throwing himself between them.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: With the "tall and dark" taken literally in quite a few productions; most recently in David Leveaux's 2013 Broadway revival.
- Tragic Bromance: With Romeo. Mercutio dies trying to defend Romeo's honour.
Juliet's battle-lusting cousin, who grew up at her side.
- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- Animal Motifs: His nickname is the Prince of Cats.
- Asshole Victim: He dies at Romeo's hands not long after he killed Mercutio. Benvolio even mentions that if Romeo hadn't killed him, the law would have done for him anyway for killing Mercutio.
- Ax-Crazy: The dude outright admits to hating the word "peace".
- Badass Baritone: In the Zeferelli version, where he is given the deep, resonant voice of Michael York.
- Berserk Button: Romeo's mere presence at the Capulet party triggers the absolutist in him, and when his complaints to Lord Capulet fall on deaf ears he swears he will get back at him one day. And he does, at the expense of his own cousin as collateral damage.
- Blood Knight: He loves street fights.
- Breakout Villain: One of Shakespeare's most famous. Pretty impressive, considering he has 17 lines across 3 scenes, and dies at the halfway point.
- Card-Carrying Villain: "Peace? I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."
- Disc-One Final Boss: He's the closest thing to a main villain (barring Lord Capulet, whose evil is not initially apparent), and he's dead by the end of the first half.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He tries to murder Romeo for gatecrashing a party. Then, when Capulet tells Tybalt off for this, he writes a letter inviting Romeo to a formal duel to the death. He later hunts Romeo down for said duel less than three hours after Romeo has received said letter. Dude has a few screws loose.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In most productions, he sincerely cares about Juliet and, judging by Juliet's inner turmoil upon his death, the feeling is mutual.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the Zefirelli version, he's (understandably) creeped out by his accidental killing of Mercutio. In the Baz Luhrmann version, he appears stunned at what he has done and has to be led away from the scene by Abra after Mercutio dies.
- The Fighting Narcissist: He's preening and quite deadly.
- Grumpy Bear: See Wrong Genre Savvy. He's an ill-tempered thug in a Romantic Comedy who ends up turning the play into a tragedy.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: One gets the feeling that Tybalt could be... difficult to interact with.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the Franco Zefarelli version, stabbed with the sword he dropped during the fight. In the Baz Luhrmann version, shot repeatedly by Romeo with one of his own handguns.
- Hot-Blooded: He's loud and angry at best.
- Informed Ability: Is supposedly a perfect gentleman, beloved by his uncle, and the best friend that Juliet's nurse ever had. We get none of this from his three scenes.
- It's All About Me: He's very self-obsessed. Fittingly, his nickname is the Prince of Cats.
- Jerkass: No matter how he's played, Tybalt will have traces of this.
- Knight of Cerebus: Definitely. His killing of Mercutio signifies the shift into Tragedy that the second half is famous for.
- Meaningful Name: Tybalt is the name of the hot-blooded prince of cats from the folk tales of Reynard the Fox. Tybalt is frequently made fun of for this, and is indeed hot-blooded.
- Nephewism: With Lady Capulet.
- Nice to the Waiter / Hidden Depths: Is introduced as a showy hothead, but after his death, we learn that he treated both the nurse and Juliet with kindness and was presumably a lot nicer when it came to his own clan.
- Pride: He's an arrogant little turd, and this proves to be his undoing.
- Religious Bruiser: Oddly enough, Tybalt is genuinely concerned with the idea of going to Hell, and announces that it wouldn't be a sin to kill Romeo.
- Small Role, Big Impact: As noted above, he has 3 scenes and about 17 lines, but his actions turn the story from a Romantic Comedy into a tragedy where six characters die.
- The Sociopath: He felt no guilt for killing Mercutio. Well, in some of the works at least.
- Troubled, but Cute:
- Certainly in Baz Luhrmann's adaption according to the opinion of many. Zeferelli's more playful, less vicious, Tybalt was also quite attractive.
- Szilveszter Szabo in the aforementioned Hungarian musical is also pretty damn gorgeous.
- Unfortunate costumes aside, Mark Seibert from the German Vienna production has quite the fanbase.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Doesn't realise he's in a Romantic Comedy. His killing of Mercutio signifies the shift into Tragedy that the second half is famous for.
Juliet's milk nurse and guardian.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In the 1968 film, she's seen comforting Benvolio this way at the ending funeral.
- Age Lift: She was Juliet's wet nurse, meaning she was a mother with a baby of her own and plenty of milk for a second baby as well. She likely would've been in her 20s at the time, possibly her 30s. Juliet is 14 now, so Nurse is likely in her middle to late 30s—maybe in her 40s at the older end. Most adaptions cast her as older than that. Considering the shorter life expectance back then, Nurse in her 30s might be "middle age" in those days, and aging her up could be considered a Cultural Translation.
- Miriam Margoyles, Edna May Oliver, Flora Robson and Lesley Manville were all middle-aged or older when they played her.
- The Zeffirelli film actually casts Pat Heywood, who was 36 and therefore closer to the original text, but is Younger Than They Look.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Amazingly Embarrassing Parental Figure. She's more of a mother figure to Juliet than the latter's actual mother, and spends most of her first scene telling stories about things Juliet did at the age of three. She also keeps interrupting the balcony scene by calling Juliet to come inside.
- Artifact Title: She's still called 'Nurse' even though she stopped being Juliet's wet nurse long ago.
- Big Fun: Commonly portrayed as a plus-sized woman (Pepper Ann has to wear a fat suit to play her), and a fun and jolly sort at that. She's the least angsty character in the play.
- Dirty Old Woman: Generally played that way (see Age Lift for a discussion about her age). Still, the obscenity of Mercutio's puns are enough to shock even her.
- Does Not Like Men: Considering how Benvolio and Mercutio treated her, however, she cannot be blamed.
- Hypocritical Humor: In the 1968 film, Romeo offers her some money as thanks for bringing him word from Juliet. The Nurse turns it down at first but when Romeo goes to put it in the poor box, she covers it with her hand and takes the coin after all.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: The stress of dealing with the other characters causes her to hit the bottle pretty hard.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Juliet. She's a Shipper on Deck for the couple at first, despite being middle aged and Juliet being a teenager.
- Maid and Maiden: She is the Maid, and Juliet is the Maiden.
- Matron Chaperone: Subverted! Once she's told about the couple, she's all for it. Although once Lord Capulet reprimands Juliet for not wanting to marry Paris, Nurse urges her to forget about Romeo and keep her father happy.
- Moment Killer: Little does she know that she's ruining a perfectly good love scene by calling for Juliet.
- Parental Substitute: To Juliet. She's closer to her than her actual mother. In fact when Lady Capulet wants to tell Juliet about her betrothal, she first dismisses the Nurse and then calls her back once she realises the Nurse is better at speaking to Juliet than she is.
- Servile Snarker: She won't hesitate to sass her own mistress or the Montague boys she encounters on the street.
- Shipper on Deck: She helps arrange Juliet and Romeo's marriage.
- Team Mom: She might not properly be on The Team but she is a motherly influence and contributes quite a bit.
- Women Are Wiser: She's one of the more sensible female figures in the play.
The Friar of Veronas church, and a good friend of Romeo.
- Barefoot Sage: He is often portrayed as this (justified, since Franciscan friars often went barefoot). However, as "sagey" as he is, he still makes a fatal mistake.
- The Chessmaster: He uses Romeo and Juliet's relationship to end the conflict between the Montagues and Capulets. It works, but not in the way that he wanted it to.
- Eccentric Mentor: Given his views on love and his strange familiarity with mystical herbs, one can assume that he's somewhat unconventional for a friar. Some adaptations tend to highlight this and depict him as extremely quirky, most notably Mervyn John's portrayal in the 1954 movie and the 2019 production, in which he's replaced by the female spiritual guru Maya Lawrence.
- Only Sane Man: A rare case where being the only sane man does not entirely justify his actions.
- Unscrupulous Hero: Has nothing but the best intentions, but knowingly encourages and manipulates Romeo and Juliet. Lawrence knew fully well that they were both infatuated, and that Verona's already tenuous peace breaking down, but deliberately encouraged the events of the play, leading to several deaths. He stopped more than he caused, but his meddling definitely killed the two leads and Paris.
- What the Hell, Hero?: To Romeo, twice. First, he calls him out for falling for a girl he met a day ago while completely forgetting about Rose. Secondly, he calls out Romeo for his excessive Wangst and tells him to suck it up and go do something about it.
A suitor to Juliet, and another kinsman to the Prince.
- Anti-Villain: Depending on your view, Paris could count as a Type IV. He's Romeo's rival for Juliet's hand, but is a good man who would have made a good husband for Juliet... Just the right guy, but in the wrong moment and place.
- Mind you, even in the play (and Reality Is Unrealistic), while people got married much younger back then—they didn't get married THAT much younger. Paris's desire to marry Juliet at thirteen discomforts her father greatly and he justifiably wants to delay until she's a few years older.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Romeo's Veronica.
- Demoted to Extra: Or left out altogether in subsequent adaptations.
- Meaningful Name: In a manner of speaking. "Paris" was a common name in Shakespeare's day for a plant also called "truelove", and it's very likely that he intended to show that, tragically, Juliet may have actually come to experience a fulfilling, life-long romance with Paris had she ended up with him. It also serves as an allusion to Paris of Troy, another famed prince who wanted to marry an important character and unintentionally caused suffering because of it.
- Nice Guy: Although how nice he is depends on the staging.
- Prince Charmless: Sometimes he's played as this, making the audience sympathize with Juliet for not wanting to marry him.
- Princely Young Man: The Gentleman type.
- Romantic False Lead: Capulet wants an arranged marriage between Paris and Juliet. Juliet marries Romeo to get out of this.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Most versions leave out the part where he's killed by Romeo. Averted in the 2013 film and the 1936 film, however.
The patriarch of the Montague household.
Lord Montagues wife.
- Adaptation Expansion: In the Presgurvic musical, she's a widow (running the Montague family on her own and frustrated by her inability to stop her family from battling the Capulets), and she survives the end of the play.
- Death by Despair: Dies as a result of what happens to Romeo at the end of the play.
The patriarch of the Capulet household.
- Abusive Parent: By modern standards at least — his exemplary quote indicates that he intends to beat Juliet for disobeying his will to marry Paris. Depending on the production, he may or may not go through with it and/or beat his wife.
- Anti-Villain: He tries to force Juliet into an arranged marriage with Paris after the Prince fines him and leaves him almost bankrupt.
- Berserk Button: Don't ignore his advice. The results aren't pretty.
- Big Bad: The man displaces Tybalt after the latter's death; it is Capulet's threat to disown and condemn Juliet should she refuse to marry Paris that ultimately drives her to initiate the plan that gets the two lovers killed. He undergoes a HeelFace Turn in the end, though, as he in grief decides to end the feud with the Montagues.
- Despair Event Horizon: "My child is dead, and with her, all my hopes and dreams are buried."
- FaceHeel Turn: When he out of desperation arranges Juliet a marriage with Paris, and Juliet refuses, he abandons all good qualities established in the play and becomes an abusive, violent tyrant who threatens to throw his own daughter on the streets to starve if she does not abide by his demands.
- Fire-Forged Friends: A very depressing example. He and Lord Montague are each other's Arch-Enemy stemming from a blood feud that no one remembers. They finally bury the hatchet and agree to become friends after their children have committed suicide.
- Honor Thy Parent: His enraged reaction at Juliet's resistance to marrying County Paris has strong undertones of shock at being defied by his daughter, who had probably been perfectly obedient to him up until this point; he accuses her of ingratitude and threatens to disown her if she doesn't comply. Shakespeare's source material, Arthur Brooks' Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet plays up Capulet's accusation of breach of filial respect; in the equivalent scene in that work, he lectures Juliet about how she has often heard at his table stories of how the Ancient Romans held obedience to parents in such high regard that they would execute defiant children, rhetorically asking what those ancients would do to Juliet.
- Hot-Blooded: Has a tendency to fly off the handle with little provocation.
- Noble Demon: He's a pretty rational man... until you get him worked up.
- Pet the Dog: Upon discovering that Romeo has entered the ball, he completely takes it calmly, despite the fact that Romeo is a Montague, his sworn archenemies. When Tybalt threatens to attack Romeo, Capulet makes it abundantly clear that Romeo is a kind person and he wont tolerate Tybalt making a violent unprovoked attack in the middle of the ball.
- Precision F-Strike: By the standards of his time, "God's bread!" At least one modern-day translation renders it as "Goddammit!"
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Tries to talk Tybalt and Juliet out of some very bad decisions. When they ignore him, he snaps.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivered to Tybalt and Juliet, respectively.
Lord Capulets wife.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: She offhand mentions that she gave birth to Juliet when she was thirteen, making her either twenty-six or twenty-seven.
- Hypocrite : She demands the death of Romeo for his killing of Tybalt, ignoring the fact that he did it as revenge for Tybalt killing Mercutio. Prince Escalus, who is Mercutio's kinsman, is not impressed.
- Incest Subtext: She is strongly implied to be having an affair with Tybalt in the Luhrmann film — her own nephew! (Though possibly not a blood relative.)
- Manipulative Bitch: Has a rather unexpected scene in which she plots to poison Romeo for murdering Tybalt. She probably would have gone through with it, too, if not for ensuing events.
- Nephewism: With Tybalt.
- No Accounting for Taste: Many productions portray her relationship with Capulet as a loveless marriage.
- Teen Pregnancy: She had Juliet when she was Juliet's age. Justified as she's a noblewoman, and back then noblewomen were expected to marry very early.
The prince of Verona, and the kin of Mercutio and Paris.
- Da Chief: He plays this role in all versions, but he explicitly bears the mantle in the Luhrmann version, which turns him into an actual police chief.
- Laser-Guided Karma: While he does try to stop the feud multiple times, he acknowledges that he still could have done more to keep the two families in line, and as a result of his failing to do so his kinsmen Mercutio and Paris are killed when they get caught up in the violence and hate.
- "Not So Different" Remark: Despite his disgust with the feud, in the end, the prince accepts that he, too, played a part in the tragedy.
- Only Sane Man: He and the Friary could compare notes in how he sees the feud as pointless.
- Papa Wolf: When Tybalt kills Mercutio, Escalus calls out Lady Capulet for ignoring it as Benvolio tells the tale. Then he says he'll fine the Capulets and banish Romeo for letting this feud go on and take more lives.
- Race Lift: Like Mercutio, he's black in the Lurhmann version. Unlike Mercutio, he doesn't get this treatment nearly as often.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's trying to balance the feuds that are tearing his city apart.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Trying to keep the peace in Verona is a futile effort. Threaten any rabble rousers with death if they keep fighting? Tybalt ignores the verdict when Romeo sneaks into the Capulet party, and seeks out Romeo for an honor duel. Fines the Capulets for Mercutio's death and banishes Romeo? Capulet tries to force Juliet to wed early, which starts the chain of events that lead to Romeo, Paris and Juliet dying.
- Tranquil Fury: After likely decades of the Capulets and Montagues at each other's throats, the Prince is utterly fed up with it, threatening them with execution or worse should their feud keep disturbing the peace. Once the debacle between Romeo and Juliet comes to light, leaving probably the most personal body count to everyone in its wake, the Prince's reaction is to calmly ask the heads of the feuding families if they understood what had just happened. Overall, the Prince's calm, clinical dialogue in that scene hints that he's simply too drained to explode in rage.
Another Friar of Veronas church.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Because he stopped to get some company for the trip delivering Friar Lawrence's letter, he was locked up for fear of contracting the plague, and wasn't able to deliver the letter explaining that Juliet was alive to Romeo.
- Small Role, Big Impact: For the character whose failure to do a simple job drives the ultimate tragedy of the story, he has a grand total of four lines in the original work. But dang, are those four lines important.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Because of Friar John's failure to deliver the letter explaining that Juliet was alive to Romeo in time, Romeo is led to believe that the girl he loves is dead, setting up the final tragedy of the story.
RosalineOne of Juliet's cousins, and the initial object of Romeo's affection.
- Cryptic Background Reference: Romeo mentions, "She hath forsworn to love," but doesn't provide any explanation or context.
- The Ghost: Rosaline is mentioned several times but never appears. Some of the adaptations have Rosaline appear onscreen, usually briefly. Others omit any mention of her.
- Romantic False Lead: Whether or not Romeo's feelings for Juliet are truly deeper than the affection he has for Rosaline is debatable, but Rosaline apparently ignores Romeo's attention, and he gets over her quickly.