Romeo and Juliet - Short Version

Literature | Listenings | Phrasal Verbs | Idioms


Some students like to sit back and listen to some interesting English. It doesn't get much more interesting than some of the old classics from English literature. These Activities have been created to help you get the best from the vocabulary found in some of the old classics. As you listen and read your way through these Activities, you will also broaden your understanding of English culture.


Reading is the easiest way to take in English. Listening is a much harder skill and one that has to be developed as you study the language. There are lots of speech features that arise when native English speakers speak English. These speech features, such as elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm, and the way in which speakers may miss out sounds or whole words, are important to understand if you are to be able to listen to and fully understand spoken English. These Britlish Library Activities will help you to develop you listening skills.  

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are like idioms and have to be learnt individually. They are an essential part of your English vocabulary, and without them you will not be able to say that you have any degree of fluency in English. These Activities have been designed to make learning, remembering, and using phrasal verbs as easy and enjoyable as possible. English speakers use phrasal verbs all the time, so you need to at least be able to understand what they mean. Use them yourself and you will sound much more like a native speaker and your English will sound much more natural.


I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I created these Activities to encourage you to not only learn and remember many English idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activities you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.

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This short version of the classic Shakespeare play will teach you the basics of the plot. It will also teach you some useful vocabulary such as, banish, break up, bring forward, bump into, cheesed off, chemist, cousin, dagger. duel, fall in love, feuding, friar, gatecrash, get along, get own back, get together, grieve, hatch a plan, hot-headed, in secret, look forward to, love at first sight, mourn for, newlywed, nobleman, nurse, pad, poison, potion, shenanigans, spend the night, squabble, tomb, top, untimely, and wet lettuce.  

Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are the children of two families who don't get along together. Despite family differences, Romeo and Juliet fall in love when Romeo gatecrashes a party at her father's house. It's love at first sight.

Romeo goes to see Friar Lawrence who agrees to marry the two lovers in secret. The friar hopes that the marriage will end the long-standing dispute between the two families. The following day they get together at Friar Lawrence's pad and the young lovers are married. Afterwards, Romeo bumps into Tybalt, Juliet's cousin. Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel

Romeo is now married to Juliet, and so Tybalt is his cousin -in-law. He does not want to fight the duel. Romeo’s friend Mercutio is a bit hot -headed and does not know that Romeo and Juliet are married. He thinks that Romeo is being a bit of a wet lettuce and so challenges Tybalt to a duel in Romeo's place.

As Romeo tries to break up the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, Tybalt stabs Mercutio and Mercutio dies. Romeo is a bit cheesed off with this, so he tops Tybalt to get his own back. The Prince hears what has happened and banishes Romeo from the city of Verona forever.

Friar Lawrence and Juliet’s nurse arrange for Romeo to spend the night with Juliet before he has to leave for the city of Mantua. Juliet's father, who does not know about the marriage, has meanwhile decided that his daughter will marry Paris, a nobleman.

Juliet goes to see Friar Lawrence to ask his advice. The friar hatches a plan for the newlyweds to escape together to Mantua and live happily ever after. The plan involves Juliet drinking a potion the night before her arranged marriage to Paris. The potion will make her appear to be dead. When Juliet gets home, her father tells her that the marriage to Paris has been brought forward and she is to be married the following day.

Friar Lawrence has thoughtfully sent a message to Romeo explain the plan. Unfortunately, the messenger, Friar John, is delayed and the message is not delivered. As instructed, Juliet drinks the potion and is found, apparently dead, by her nurse in the morning. The grieving family place her “body” in the family tomb.

Romeo has not had the friar's message, but he has heard the news of Juliet untimely death. He hurries back to Verona, determined to die rather than live without her. He buys some strong poison from chemist and takes it to Juliet's tomb. Paris is there mourning for his dead bride -to-be, so Romeo kills him, too. Lying beside his apparently dead wife, Romeo takes the poison and dies. Friar Lawrence arrives to see Paris and Romeo dead. Oops!

Juliet wakes up, sees Romeo dead, and kills herself with his dagger. The remaining members of the Capulet and Montague families arrive and decide that they ought to get along instead of squabbling constantly. Everyone in Verona is happy that the feuding families have stopped their shenanigans and look forward to a peaceful future.

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