Romeo and Juliet is a heartbreak written near the beginning in the career of a playwright the one and only William Shakespeare about 2 young "star-cross'd lovers" whose deaths finally unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most well famous plays in his lifetime and, along with Hamlet and Macbeth, among his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are considered as archetypal young lovers. Romeo and Juliet borrows from a culture of tragic love stories moving back to ancient times. One of these is Pyramus and Thisbe, from Ovid's Metamorphoses, which have parallels to Shakespeare's story: the lovers' parents hate each other, and Pyramus falsely believes his lover This be is dead.
The Ephesiaca of Xenophon of Ephesus, written in the third century, also contains many similarities to the play, including the separation of the lovers, and a potion that induces a deathlike sleep. Romeo and Juliet is sometimes supposed to have no unifying theme, save that of young love. Romeo and Juliet have become symbolic of young lovers and doomed love. Since it is such a clear subject of the play, many scholars have explored the language and historical context behind the romance of the play.