A tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young 'star-crossed lovers' whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers. She is only fourteen, he is only a few years older. Their families are bitter enemies, sworn to hatred. Yet Romeo and Juliet meet and fall passionately in love. Defying their parents' wishes, they are secretly married, but their brief happiness is shattered by fate.