In this section of our study guide, we show you how to make an interpretation of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The play can be read either as a story of how true love and individuality conquer all or as a story of the dangers of love and individual passions. We guide you through both readings.

First, we outline some of the central themes of the play, such as the power of love or fate versus free will. The themes deal with big questions in life. What is love? Which is more important - the individual or society? These themes make the story dynamic and universal and explain why we are still reading the play today.

Second, we explore some of the most important symbols in Romeo and Juliet, such as the use of poison and potions or light and darkness. These symbols tie in with the themes and message.

Third, we help you find the message of Shakespeare's famous play. It is not as simple as you may think.

In the following pages, you can dig into the elements mentioned above.