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Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by the playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616) between 1591 and 1595. This makes Romeo and Juliet one of his first plays. Romeo and Juliet tells the story of two young people - Romeo and Juliet - who are in love, but cannot be together because they belong to different houses in Verona. They ultimately commit suicide and die in each other's arms. The plot is based on an old Italian tale.