Romeo and Juliet – Comprehension Questions

What purpose does the Prologue serve? The prologue introduced the fact that there were two families who constantly fought and their children fall in love.
What atmosphere does it suggest and what word or phases indicate such a tone? the play is a tragedy since it says that the children will die
Why does Shakespeare open the play with a quarrel between minor characters? to show that even minor characters from the feuding sides will fight
What does the conversation between Paris and Capulet accomplish in the progress of the drama? Paris wants to marry Juliet. Lord Capulet says to wait a year or two.
How does the Capulet invitation further the plot? Romeo saw who was invited so he and his friends decide to go.
Give a solid description of Juliet in this scene. Juliet has thought little about love and marriage.
Give a solid description of the Nurse’s character in this scene. Nurse is a very sentimental character who has cared for Juliet her entire life. She believes in love and wants Juliet to have a nice-looking husband.
What type of person is Mercutio? Mercutio is a jester who constantly puns, jokes, and teases. He mocks Romeo’s self-indulgence just as he ridicules Tybalt’s adherence to fashion.
How does Mercutio’s character contrast with Romeo’s? Romeo is intelligent and sensitive while Mercutio finds fun in situations.
What discovery do Romeo and Juliet make in this scene? How is this discovery revealed? When Nurse sends Juliet to find her mom, Romeo asks who she is and discovers she is a Capulet. When Romeo leaves, Juliet discovers from Nurse that Romeo is a Montague.
What is their reaction to the realization? When Romeo and Juliet discover the truth, they both realize the grave consequences of their love.
Give a brief description of Tybalt and his character traits. Be specific. Tybalt is Juliet’s cousin who is very vain and fashionable. When he feels his pride has been injured, he becomes aggressive and violent.
How does Tybalt’s personality differ form Lord Capulet’s as portrayed in this scene? Lord Capulet commands respect and propriety. Tybalt is the complete opposite.
Whom does the chorus refer to in line 3? (“that fair…”) Juliet
What mistaken idea does Mercutio have about Romeo? Mercutio believes that Romeo is with Rosaline when they cannot find him.
To what does Romeo compare Juliet at the beginning of scene II? the sun
Who does the pronoun “her” refer to in lines 6 and 7? Juliet
What does the word “wherefore” mean in line 33? Explain what Juliet is saying in lines 33-36. “Wherefore” means “does Romeo really have to be a Montague?” Jueliet is stressed about the fact that she fell for Romeo who is a member of the family that her family despises.
Is Romeo actually talking to Juliet in the passage lines 25-32. Romeo is expressing his thoughts about Juliet as he looks at her.
How does Juliet show herself to be more cautious than Romeo in scene II? Juliet takes “no joy in the contract tonight” because the proposal was so sudden.
What plans do they make? Juliet says she will send a message to Romeo to see if she intends on getting married.
Paraphrase the ideas expressed by Friar Laurence in his soliloquy. Friar Laurence is up at dawn and is gathering herbs. He comments on how, in both plants and animals, everything has some good. Every good can be abused and turned to evil.
What information or “news” does Romeo being to Friar Laurence, and what intercession or request does the Friar receive from Romeo? Romeo tells Friar Laurence that he has fallen in love with Juliet and wants him to marry them.
Explain the warning in which Friar Laurence gives Romeo. The Friar criticizes Romeo for jumping so quickly from love of Rosaline to love of Juliet.
Why is Mercutio concerned about Romeo’s probable acceptance of the challenge issued by Tybalt? Tybalt is a good fighter so Romeo will be likely to lose against him.
What is the “dramatic irony” at the beginning of scene four? Mercutio explains how good is a fighter Tybalt is.
Why do the Nurse and Peter appear in this scene? What is the Nurse’s opinion of Mercutio? Why does the Nurse feel as she does about Mercutio? The Nurse and Peter appear to watch the quarrel. The Nurse is not fond of Mercutio since he makes fun of her outfit.
What does Romeo instruct the Nurse to do? tell Juliet to come to confession in the afternoon and to wait for Balthazar to bring her the rope ladder
What does Romeo say he will send to the Nurse “within this hour? a rope ladder
Why is Juliet (in her soliloquy at the beginning of scene five) upset with the Nurse? the Nurse is late
How does the Nurse torment Juliet? The Nurse thought of all excuses to avoid giving Juliet news of Romeo.
What quality does Romeo reveal or express in lines 3-8 (scene six)? his extreme love for Juliet
What advice does the Friar give to Romeo? Lines 9-15 sudden joys have sudden endings
What time of day and what time of year is it when act II scene I opens? the middle of a hot summer day
Explain the punning (consort, discords, fiddlesticks) of Mercutio. Mercucio says, “look for me tomorrow and you will find me a grave man” when he is dying. He will eventually be in an actual grave.
How does Mercutio misinterpret Romeo’s conciliatory words to Tybalt? Mercutio is being a coward. Actually, Romeo is brave to stomach Tybalt’s insults for Juliet’s sake.
Who makes a challenge to draw their swords? Who slain and how? Tybalt makes a challenge to draw their swords. Mercutio is stabbed when he is distracted by Romeo.
Is Romeo’s killing of Tybalt foolish or honorable? Explain. foolish because he fought fire with fire, which doesn’t solve anything
How does Benvolio explain Romeo’s rule in Mercutio’s death? Romeo was trying to stop the unreasonable fight.
What immediate punishments does the Prince decree? Romeo is exiled from Verona.
Give two reasons why Juliet wants night to come. She want Romeo with her and wants to consummate their marriage.
Compare (in two or three complete sentences) Juliet’s description of Romeo with Romeo’s description of Juliet. Juliet describes Romeo like a day that comes during the night. Romeo compares Juliet to light.
How does the Nurse once again torment Juliet? How does she mislead Juliet? The Nurse doesn’t immediately tell Juliet the news. She mislead Juliet into thinking that Romeo is a villian
What does the Nurse say about men? There is no trust, no faith, and no honesty in men.
What one word does Juliet say has “slain ten thousand Tybalts”? Why does she feel this way? “Banished” since Romeo is now banished from Verona
What lines suggest that Juliet contemplates suicide? “Come cords. – Come Nurse. I’ll take to my weddingbed. And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!”
What mission does the Nurse go on at the end of scene 2? The Nurse goes to find Romeo to comfort Juliet.
When the Friar protest that being exiled is a merciful sentence, how does Romeo react? Romeo says that exile is worse than death.
How is Romeo finally comforted? when the Nurse gives him Juliet’s ring
What are Capulet’s instructions to his wife? tell Juliet that she will be married to Paris
What line indicates that it is morning? “It was the lark, the herald of the morn, no nightingale.”
How does Romeo convince Juliet that he should leave? Romeo says that there is more pain for them if there is more daylight.
Quote the line that foreshadows Romeo’s death. “Then, window, let day in and let life out.”
How does Capulet feel when Juliet refuses to marry Paris? Capulet feels disgusted with Juliet’s refusal.
Why is Juliet going to see the Friar? What else may she be planning? Juliet goes to the Friar to confess and be forgiven. She may be planning to kill herself.
Doe Juliet plan to confide in the Nurse? no
Explain the dramatic irony in act IV, scene I. Friar Laurence wishes he didn’t know the real reason of why the marriage should be slowed down.
Why does Paris come to see the Friar? Paris wanted to talk to the Friar about the wedding.
What does Juliet mean in lines 61-67 (act IV)? If she is married to another man, she will kill herself.
To what extreme will Juliet go to avoid marrying Paris? Juliet will kill herself
Summarize in your own words the Friar’s plans for Juliet (lines 89-120, act IX). Drink a potion that will keep her asleep for 42 hours. Her family will think she’s dead and Romeo could take her to Mantua.
How does Juliet deceive her father (lines 17-22, act IV)? Juliet agrees to marry Paris but she has another plan.
What change of plans does Capulet make? Capulet moved the wedding up 24 hours.
List four fears that Juliet discloses in her soliloquy. 1. Friar is trying to kill her2. Romeo us going to arrive too late3. suffocation4. her spirits will come alive
What does Juliet do at the end of the soliloquy? she drinks the potion
What day, and what time of day is it at the beginning of act IV, scene IV? Wednesday morning
Who is the “county”? Paris
What discovery does the Nurse make? Juliet’s “lifeless” body on her bed
Identify the simile in lines 28-29 (act IV) Juliet is dead, like a beautiful flower, killed by a forest
Identify at least two ways the Friar tries to console the bereaved. 1. trying to be optimistic2.
Explain the irony expressed by Capulet in lines 84-90 (act IV). taking the materials involved in the wedding and making them funeral materials
What request does Peter make of the musicians? play sad music
Find at least three lines in act V that refer to “stars” and relate these lines to the theme of “start-crossed, lovers”. .
Explain lines 66-67 (act V). .
What elements of “bad luck” or misfortune occur in scene 2 (act V)? .
Why does Romeo kill Paris? .
Describe Juliet’s appearance in the vault – what she looked like to Romeo. .
Exactly when. where, why. and how does Juliet die? .
What good comes form this tragedy? .

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