I remember in high school we had to read Romeo and Juliet in English class. The teacher said we should like it because it was about teenagers. Of course Romeo and Juliet is a compelling story, but I remember wishing we could read a romance with a happy ending instead of being confronted with the message that teenage sex leads to death. Sigh.
According to Shmoop, it is unclear whether or not Romeo and Juliet is based on actual events, however, when writing the play, Shakespeare drew inspiration from several different sources, such as Arthur Brooke s poem The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet, which was published two years before Shakespeare was born as well as The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe which is part of Ovid’s Metamorphasis.