Discussion Questions: ROMEO AND JULIET – Prologue and Act 1

What is the poetic form of the prologue? Identify the meter and rhyme scheme? Iambic pentameterrhyme scheme: ABABCDCDEFEFGG
Summarize Prologue. Chorus gives preview of the play
Explain the message in the couplet. Why is it necessary? The rest of the play will fill in the gaps
whose servants are Gregory and Sampson? Capulets
Explain punning in the first exchange. people in coal industry – making fun of each other
How does Gregory view Sampson’s bravery? How does Sampson see himself? Gregory thinks Sampson is a coward and Sampson sees himself as brave and ruthless
Why didn’t Sampson want to openly provoke a quarrel? b/c they’re scared and the law
To whom is the crude humor of these two servants appeal to? Why might Shakespeare have chosen to begin the play in this way? Lower-groundlings / took hook audience in and animosity between 2 families
Identify Abraham and Balthasar. Abram: Montague servantBalthasar: Romeo’s personal servant
“Biting someone’s thumb” way to insult someone
Who is Tybalt and Benvolio? What is their first action? Benvolio: Romeo’s first cousin and friend / draws his sword to beat down the fight Tybalt: Juliet’s cousin – always trying to start a fight
Compare attitudes with Capulet and Montague men with those of their wives Men: to create a fightwives: say you’re too old to fight
What power does the Prince have? Why is he annoyed? What penalty does he promise? Ruler of Rome / doesn’t like fights on his streets / death penalty
Why might Shakespeare have had Benvolio summarize the action thus far? is his summary accurate? because he’s a peacemaker and he’s Romeo’s cousin / and the summary is accurate
Where has Romeo been scene? In what mood? why? in the woods / he’s at home in his room / he’s depressed because of Rosaline not loving him back
How does Benvolio gently poke fun at Romeo? because he is so expressive and dramatic
What cure does Benvolio suggest? fine another woman
Who is Paris? What request has he made of Capulet? related to Prince Esculus ~ a nobleman / Requesting Juliet’s hand in marriage
Explain Capulet’s response. In what way was this response atypical of the time period? wait 2 more years to marry / women generally married young
To what event does Capulet invite Paris? Capulet Party
What two functions does the illiterate servant serve in this scene? Add comedy and to learn guests at the party
Why does Romeo agree to attend the Capulet part? What does Benvolio hope? Rosaline is going to be there / Benvolio hopes Romeo will find another woman
Describe the position of the Nurse in the Capulet household. What is her personality like? The Nurse had basically raised Juliet / crude + talkative
What does Juliet’s mother want to discuss with Juliet? Describe Juliet’s response. What does this response reveal about Juliet? Possibly getting married to Paris / Juliet says she’ll try to like him – not enthusiastic / she is independent-minded
Why is Paris considered a good catch? Rich, good looking, related to Prince Esculus
Whos is Queen Mab? Why is her story told by Mercutio? Queen Mab: Queen of fairies and she brings dreams / brought to calm down Romeo
What premonition does Romeo have? that there’s going to be some kind of terrible thing

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