Many people do not know this, but the story of Romeo and Juliet is not one that Shakespeare is completely responsible for, though he is given full credit for its creation. An earlier version was written in Italy and then translated into poetic verse by a man named Arthur Brooke around 1562; he titled it The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet. Shakespeare did not write his play until the 1590's. Why we wrote it is unknown, though many critics have said it was originally meant to be a comedy by his intentions and then he decided instead to turn it into a tragedy. Though, when you think about it, it does have many of the makings of a tragedy: humor in the opening lines, a conflict, marriage, irony, etc.