Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet book cover
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How old are Romeo and Juliet?

In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is 13 and Romeo likely between 13–21 years old.

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Romeo and Juliet is a 1597 romantic tragedy written by famed English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, who is commonly regarded as one of the most prominent and influential figures in literature. Set in the thirteenth or fourteenth century in Verona, Italy, it tells the tragic story of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet—two young teenagers who fall deeply in love with each other despite the never-ending feud of their families; unable to live without one another, Romeo and Juliet kill themselves.

Juliet is portrayed as a shy, gentle, and innocent 13-year-old girl, who always obeys her father. As the play progresses, however, we see that Juliet is quite witty, wise, and intelligent, despite her young age. Shakespeare doesn't specify Romeo's exact age, and it is often presumed that he is either the same age as Juliet or most likely a bit older than her. Some critics and literary analysts argue that he is between the ages of 13–21, while the majority agree that he is around three years older than Juliet, which would make him 16; he is often referred to as "boy," and he seems to posses all the impulsiveness and recklessness, as well as immaturity and lack of responsibility, of a teenager.

It's noteworthy to mention that the ages of Romeo and Juliet play an important role in the tragedy, as their inexperience and childish naivety are some of the main reasons why their love and their life end so tragically.

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