Choose your side: Montague or Capulet

"Two households, both alike in dignity..."

Get to know the characters of Romeo & Juliet and learn more about these two tragic families.

Benvolio, House of Montague

His name means "good-will," and Romeo’s protective and kindly cousin is continually looking out for him. When lovesick Romeo pines for Rosaline, Benvolio and Mercutio try to distract him by sneaking into the Capulet’s masquerade ball. Throughout the story, Benvolio attempts in vain to be a peacekeeper between the Capulet and Montague families. When Romeo kills Tybalt, it is Benvolio who helps convince the Duke of Verona to reduce his sentence to banishment rather than death.  

Juliet Capulet, House of Capulet

The only daughter of Lord and Lady Capulet, Juliet is just thirteen years old when she meets Romeo Montague at her family’s masquerade ball. Even though he is the only son of her family’s rival, she falls for him at first sight. As their relationship evolves so does she, maturing from a sheltered and naïve child to a confident and strong-willed woman. Juliet’s decision to take her own life is fueled by her intense and overwhelming love for Romeo. 

Lord Capulet, House of Capulet

The wealthy patriarch of the Capulet family, Juliet’s father perpetuates much of the bad blood between the Capulet and Montague houses. He arranges her marriage to the wealthy suitor Count Paris in a self-serving attempt to cheer her up after the death of her cousin Tybalt. When Juliet, who is actually grieving over Romeo’s departure, refuses to become Paris’ "joyful bride," Lord Capulet violently threatens to disown her.

Lady Capulet, House of Capulet

Married to the much older Lord Capulet when she was just thirteen herself, Juliet’s mother leaves most of her daughter’s upbringing to the Nurse. She champions Juliet’s marriage to Count Paris, a blood relative of the Prince of Verona, as a beneficial match for their family. When Juliet refuses, Lady Capulet also cruelly rejects her daughter. Though she is depicted through most of the story as heartless, Lady Capulet is grief-stricken when she learns of Juliet’s death.

Tybalt, House of Capulet

Juliet’s short-tempered first cousin is a skilled swordsman. The first to recognize Romeo’s uninvited presence at the Capulet’s masquerade ball, Tybalt is eager to kill him on the spot. His uncle, Lord Capulet, forbids it so the frustrated Tybalt later challenges Romeo to a duel. He becomes increasingly angry when Romeo refuses to fight him. Romeo’s closest friend Mercutio eventually loses his temper and interferes, provoking a fatal fight. Romeo avenges Mercutio’s death by dueling and killing Tybalt, escalating the crisis between the two warring families.

Nurse, House of Capulet

The personal servant and confidante of Juliet, the Nurse regards the girl as a daughter and agrees to be a go-between for the young couple. She and Friar Lawrence, high priest of the Verona parish, are the only ones who know of their secret wedding. Both hope that the union will help reconcile the two families.

Romeo, House of Montague

The only child of Lord and Lady Montague, Romeo is a sensitive young man who is immoderate when it comes to affairs of the heart. He pines for the unrequited love of Rosaline before meeting Juliet. An avid reader of romantic poetry, his longing to live what he reads drives him to extremes—risking death to see Juliet, killing her cousin in a reckless duel, and ultimately committing suicide when he discovers his beloved’s death. 

Lord Montague, House of Montague

A dignified man who has great love for his family, Lord Montague does not wish to feud with the Capulets. He is deeply protective of his lovesick son, pleads with the Duke of Verona for leniency when Romeo kills Tybalt, and grieves over his exile. Lord Montague is devastated by his son’s death.

Lady Montague, House of Montague

A devoted wife to Lord Montague and loving mother to Romeo, she dies of grief when Romeo is exiled from Verona for killing Tybalt.

Mercutio, Friend of Romeo

One of Romeo’s closest friends, Mercutio is clever, bawdy, and volatile. When he is invited to the Capulets’ masquerade ball, he convinces Romeo to come along and it is there that he meets Juliet. Later when Romeo receives a death threat from Tybalt, Mercutio expects his friend to engage in a duel. When Romeo refuses, Mercutio is disgusted with his cowardice and fights in his place.

Paris, Juliet's Betrothed

A wealthy aristocrat, Count Paris is the man that the Capulets want Juliet to marry. He meets her for the first time at the ball, but the two never have the chance to get to know each other because Juliet falls swiftly in love with Romeo. After Tybalt’s death, Paris comes back to the Capulet house to pay respects and is told by Lord Capulet that Juliet will still marry him. Though Juliet adamantly refuses, Paris visits Friar Lawrence in an attempt to plan their wedding. After Juliet’s “death,” Paris visits Juliet’s tomb where he encounters Romeo. Convinced that Romeo is there to desecrate his fiancé’s grave, the two engage in a deadly sword fight.

Friar Laurence

Friar Laurence serves as the father confessor of both Montagues and Capulets. He agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet in hopes of reconciling their two warring families. After Romeo kills Tybalt, he allows the boy to stay with him. When Juliet is banished from her home, the Friar gives her a potion to appear dead as part of the plan to reunite the girl with her beloved.

The audience connection to the art is what truly brings it to life.

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director