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Historical Events  Books
Romeo and Juliet

Wherefore art thou, balcony scene?

The most famous scene in Romeo and Juliet

MMDE: The balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet

Current: There's no balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet

Most people, when asked to name the most famous scene from Romeo and Juliet, would reply with the balcony scene. This is understandable because it's probably the best known play in the world, and has been retold many, many times in the 500+ years since it was written. You see it in every theatrical production, every movie - even in every parody.

Yet this isn't in the original.

The only reference is to a window.

Even stranger - Shakespeare wouldn't even have known what a balcony was because there was no balcony at the time anywhere in the whole of England. The earliest use of the word "balcony", according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was in 1618 which is 15 years after Romeo and Juliet was first performed.

Wherefore art thou, balcony scene?

Time to rename it to "the window scene" - he famously asks "What light from yonder window breaks?".