Romeo and Juliet Review

Romeo The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Though impulsive and immature, his idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love. At the beginning of the play he is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. Thus, Shakespeare gives us every reason to question how real Romeo’s new love is, but Romeo goes to extremes to prove the seriousness of his feelings. He secretly marries Juliet, the daughter of his father’s worst enemy; he happily takes abuse from Tybalt; and he would rather die than live without his beloved. Romeo is also an affectionate and devoted friend to his relative Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence.
Juliet The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city, climb over walls in the middle of the night, or get into swordfights. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Juliet’s closest friend and confidant is her nurse, though she’s willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the Nurse turns against Romeo.
Friar Lawrence A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs.
Mercutio A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays, Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions. He finds Romeo’s romanticized ideas about love tiresome, and tries to convince Romeo to view love as a simple matter of sexual appetite.
The Nurse Juliet’s nurse, the woman who breast-fed Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life. A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches. But, until a disagreement near the play’s end, the Nurse is Juliet’s faithful confidante and loyal intermediary in Juliet’s affair with Romeo. She provides a contrast with Juliet, given that her view of love is earthy and sexual, whereas Juliet is idealistic and intense. The Nurse believes in love and wants Juliet to have a nice-looking husband, but the idea that Juliet would want to sacrifice herself for love is incomprehensible to her.
Tybalt A Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured. Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared. He loathes Montagues.
Capulet The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague. He truly loves his daughter, though he is not well acquainted with Juliet’s thoughts or feelings, and seems to think that what is best for her is a “good” match with Paris. Often prudent, he commands respect and propriety, but he is liable to fly into a rage when either is lacking.
Lady Capulet Juliet’s mother, Capulet’s wife. A woman who herself married young (by her own estimation she gave birth to Juliet at close to the age of fourteen), she is eager to see her daughter marry Paris. She is an ineffectual mother, relying on the Nurse for moral and pragmatic support.
Montague Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet. At the beginning of the play, he is chiefly concerned about Romeo’s melancholy.
Lady Montague Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife. She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona.
Paris A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet. Once Capulet has promised him he can marry Juliet, he behaves very presumptuous toward her, acting as if they are already married.
Benvolio Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend, he makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places, though Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private. He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet.
Prince Escalus The Prince of Verona. A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris. As the seat of political power in Verona, he is concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs.
Friar John A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Juliet’s false death to Romeo in Mantua. Friar John is held up in a quarantined house, and the message never reaches Romeo.
Balthasar Romeo’s dedicated servant, who brings Romeo the news of Juliet’s death, unaware that her death is a ruse.
Rosaline The woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play. Rosaline never appears onstage, but it is said by other characters that she is very beautiful and has sworn to live a life of chastity.
The Chorus The Chorus is a single character who, as developed in Greek drama, functions as a narrator offering commentary on the play’s plot and themes.
Why do we study his work timelessness of situation and ______ amid words
Abram Montague’s servant, who fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene of the play
VI Synopsis opens with a brawl, pitting the Montagues against the Capulets, the fighting has been going on for many years, the Prince of Verona decreed that anyone who starts another fight will be banished, Romeo milled the fight because he has been jilted by his latest loveJuliet is old enough to get married off – 13 years oldHer parents have chosen Count Paris as her prospective husbandJuliet hasn’t given it much thought
V Romeo and Juliet One of Shakespeare’s best known tragediesSome people consider it his first love story
IV Globe Theatre First theater made by actors for actorsFirst performance May 1599Across the Thames River from LondonMayor of London did not like the atersHeavily taxed the theaters out of London
Performances Started at 2 in the afternoon3 hours performancesactors entertained before and after the showThey cleaned the theatre after every show
Audience Globe seated a max of 3000 people and was very noisyIf they disliked something they boo’ed or threw rotten vegetablesIf people liked something then they cheered and clapped
Particulars The “thrust” stage jutted out into the audienceNo one was more than 80-100 feet awayA whisper could be heard anywhereAside could actually be whisperedVery little sceneryScenes were set by the actors stating where they whereAll actors were malePerformances were not stop without intermissionsPlays were not originally divided into actsActors would go off stage and another would go onThe theaters were sometimes closed due to an outbreak of the plague
Globe Theatre 1613 a fire started during the performance of “Henry VII”Rebuilt one year laterLasted until the company disbanned in 1642Demolished in 1644
Globe Theatre old and new Found in 1989 when excavating to build an apartment buildingA thick layer of nut shells indicated its past as a theaterRebuilt and first modern performance in 1994
Summary of Play The play opens with the servants of the Montague and Capulet families quarreling and fighting in the streets of Verona, Italy. The two families have been enemies for as long as anyone can remember. Romeo, son of Lord Montague, accidentally finds out about a ball given by Lord Capulet and plans to attend uninvited. Romeo and his friends Mercutio and Benvolio put on masks and attend the ball, where Romeo meets the beautiful Juliet and falls instantly in love. Later that night Romeo goes to Juliet’s balcony, and they exchange vows of love. Romeo enlists the help of Friar Laurence, who agrees to marry the young lovers in hopes of ending the long-standing feud between the two families.Romeo returns from his wedding and is challenged to a duel by Juliet’s cousin Tybalt. Not wanting to hurt Juliet by fighting her kinsman, Romeo refuses and Mercutio, determined to defend his friend’s honor, takes his place. Tybalt kills Mercutio. Romeo, enraged over his friend’s death, then slays Tybalt. Romeo immediately realizes that he has murdered his wife’s cousin and flees to Friar Laurence for help. He also learns that the Prince has banned him from the city under penalty of death if he is found within its borders. Friar Laurence arranges for Romeo to spend one last night with Juliet before he flees to Mantua.In the meantime, Lord Capulet, unaware that Juliet is married to Romeo, has promised her hand in marriage to Paris. When Juliet is told of the arranged marriage, she is desperate and seeks the help of Friar Laurence, who gives her a vial of sleeping potion. The potion will have a death-like but temporary effect. The plan is for Juliet to take the potion, appear to be dead, and be laid out in the family vault. Romeo will come to the vault the next night and be there waiting when she awakens. The couple will then flee to Mantua to live. Friar Laurence sends the important message to Romeo telling him of his plan to help Juliet, but the message never reaches Romeo. Juliet, assured by Friar Laurence that Romeo will be waiting for her when she awakens in the tomb, goes home and drinks the potion.Hearing that Juliet is dead, Romeo purchases poison from a poor apothecary and rushes to her tomb. Upon his arrival, he finds Paris, also in mourning. Thinking that Romeo has come to rob the tomb, Paris fights with Romeo. Romeo kills Paris, enters into the tomb, and buries Paris there. He then bids farewell to Juliet and takes the poison. Awakening from her death-like sleep, Juliet discovers her dead lover and kills herself with Romeo’s dagger. Friar Laurence arrives too late to save the lovers and tells the Prince the entire story. The Montagues and Capulets promise to end their hostilities, which have caused the deaths of their only children.
William Shakespeare Background Facts • Born on April 23, 1564• Lived in Stratford-on-Avon• Father was a glover• Studied Greek and Latin• Married Ann Hathaway when he was 18• Died on April 23, 1616 at 52 years old
Translation: “You hang up.” “No, you hang up.” “No, you hang up.” “Okay, I’m going.” “Are you still there?” (Do kids these days even have these conversations anymore? Or is it all texting and gChat? Someone clue us in; we’re old.) JULIETI have forgot why I did call thee back.ROMEO Let me stand here till thou remember it.JULIET I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,Rememb’ring how I love thy company.ROMEO And I’ll still stay, to have thee still forget,Forgetting any other home but this.(2.2.184-189)
Juliet is devastated when she learns that her “only love” (that would be Romeo) has “sprung from [her] only hate” (is the son of her family’s only enemies, the Montagues). Romeo’s response to the news that Juliet is a Capulet is pretty similar. He says “O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt!” (1.5.8). But are they both just overreacting? In an earlier passage, we heard Juliet’s dad say that Romeo is a nice kid. Early on in the play, Capulet also says that he’s too old too keep on feuding with the Montagues (1.2.1). JULIET My only love sprung from my only hate!Too early seen unknown, and known too late!Prodigious birth of love it is to meThat I must love a loathèd enemy.(1.5.152-155)
Uh, Hallmark? We know that Juliet is sincere when she says her love is “as deep” as the ocean, but, for those of us living in the 21st century, the expression has become a cliché. JULIETMy bounty is as boundless as the sea,My love as deep. The more I give to thee,The more I have, for both are infinite. (2.2.140-142)
Juliet thinks suicide will let her be with Romeo forever, which… well, whether or not this is true depends on how you feel about the afterlife. JULIETWhat’s here? A cup, closed in my true love’s hand?Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end.— O churl, drunk all, and left no friendly dropTo help me after! I will kiss thy lips.Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,To make die with a restorative. (5.3.166-171)
Romeo (Act I, Scene 1)This is a famous definition of love from the master playwright through his character Romeo. It starts by saying that love is a smoke that rises from the fume of sighs, i.e. sighs of a person who is initially attracted to someone raises love just like fumes raise smoke. If the smoke is cleared, it causes a lover’s eyes to sparkle. However if the smoke is stirred up it can create a sea of tears of the lover. In simple words Shakespeare is saying that love can be source of great happiness or great sadness depending on how it is handled. #10Romeo and Juliet Title PageTitle Page of the first edition of Romeo and Juliet”Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears.”
Juliet (Act II, Scene 2)While talking to Romeo, Juliet wishes that may their young love flourish by the time they meet again. She compares their love to a bud and hopes that summer, with its ripening effect, converts that bud into a beautiful flower. #9″This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.”
Juliet (Act III, Scene 2)Juliet says these lines while impatiently waiting for Romeo. She wants to be with Romeo now. When she is dead she can share Romeo’s beauty with the world. For if he is cut into little stars to form a constellation then Romeo’s face will make the sky so beautiful that the whole world will fall in love with night and no one will worship the bright and showy sun. It should be noted that ‘when I shall die’ was changed to ‘when he shall die’ in later editions of the play giving the lines a slightly different meaning. “Give me my Romeo, and, when I shall die,Take him and cut him out in little stars,And he will make the face of heaven so fineThat all the world will be in love with night,And pay no worship to the garish sun. “
These lines are spoken by Romeo in praise of Juliet when he first notices her dancing with a knight. He considers Juliet’s beauty to be so great that she could teach the torches how to burn bright, i.e. her beauty emits radiance that overpowers the bright light of a torch and hence she can show the torches how to burn bright. “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright.”
omeo (Act II, Scene 2)Romeo says these lines while delivering a soliloquy as he stands in the Capulet’s fruit garden and is viewing Juliet as she stands on her balcony. When he sees her lean her cheek upon her hand, he yearns to be a glove on her hand so that he might touch her cheek. Romeo had just met Juliet earlier in the evening and his wish to get close to her again drives him to her garden. “See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!O that I were a glove upon that hand,That I might touch that cheek! “
Romeo (Act II, Scene 2)Romeo says these lines to himself when he is standing in the Capulet’s fruit garden in a bid to see Juliet and she appears on her balcony. As Juliet appears, Romeo compares her to the sun at dawn through these words. He says: But wait, what is that light that breaks through that window, it is Juliet appearing like the sun from the east. “But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. “
Romeo (Act V, Scene 3)Romeo believes that Juliet is dead and is standing near her grave when Paris finds him, blames him for her death and challenges him. It is then that Romeo says this famous line in which he warns Paris to not mess with a person who is already so desperate that he is likely to act violently. Though Romeo doesn’t want more bloodshed he ends up killing Paris and regrets it. “Tempt not a desperate man”
Juliet (Act II, Scene 2)Juliet speaks these lines at the end of a long scene in which they confess their love but now have to part. In what are considered one of the iconic lines of the play, Juliet is saying that parting is such a sweet sorrow that she will say good night till tomorrow. It simply means that parting between lovers is sweet because of the moments you spend while doing it and it is sorrowful because you have to part. “Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”
uliet (Act II, Scene 2)In one of Shakespeare’s best known lines, Juliet is asking why Romeo has to be Romeo in a monologue, not knowing that Romeo is standing below her balcony and listening to her. She says these lines because Romeo is a Montague and she is a Capulet and their families have a long history of violence against each other. She is questioning why Romeo has to be a Montague. She wants Romeo to give up his family name and if he doesn’t, she swears she will give up being a Capulet. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?Deny thy father and refuse thy name;Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my loveAnd I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”
Juliet (Act II, Scene 2)One of Shakespeare’s most quoted quotations in which Juliet is saying that name is just a meaningless convention and a rose by any other name would still be a rose, with all its qualities. She says these lines because she has fallen in love with Romeo who belongs to the family of their rivals and his name makes it very difficult for them to be together. Hence she is arguing that name of things is not important, what matters is what things “are”. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
Aside with example Romeo speaks an aside in Act II, Scene ii of “Romeo and Juliet” when he is standing beneath the balcony where Juliet is speaking, unaware that anyone hears her. Juliet is professing her love for Romeo, and he says “Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?”An aside is a literary term for words spoken aloud by one of the characters in a play to the audience. None of the other characters hear the words. In this example, Romeo has heard Juliet speak her private thoughts. He lets the audience know by his aside that he is torn about whether he should reply, thereby revealing his presence, or stay and hear more.
Monologue with example It is a literary device, which is the speech or verbal presentation that a single character presents in order to express his/her collection of thoughts and ideas aloud. Often this character addresses directly to audience or another character.But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?It is the east and Juliet is the sun!Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,Who is already sick and pale with grief…O that I were a glove upon that hand,That I might touch that cheek!(Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare)This is a famous balcony scene when Romeo hides in the garden of Capulet, and waits for the glimpse of his beloved Juliet, who comes out on the balcony, and then Romeo uses monologue by sharing his thoughts with the audience.
Soliloquy with example A soliloquy is a popular literary device often used in drama to reveal the innermost thoughts of a character.
Oxymoron with example “O brawling love! O loving hate!” William Shakespeare made plentiful use of oxymorons in his tragedy. An oxymoron is a statement or phrase employing seemingly contradictory terms. Brawling does not seem synonymous with love, nor does loving with hate.
Foil with example A foil character is one that has traits that are opposite of another character – being melancholy to the other’s happiness, for example, or extroverted to the other’s introverted nature. Juliet’s nurse, who also appears early in the play, is often portrayed as a foil for Lady Capulet. While Nurse is strict, she is also loving and warm with Juliet and dotes on her. She encourages her to make her own choices and helps when Juliet experiences parental censure for refusing to marry Paris. Conversely, Juliet’s mother is stiff and cool towards Juliet, seeming to care only about how Juliet will make the family look to others, treating her as a tool rather than a beloved daughter.
Pun A pun is a play on a word’s meaning or it may be a homophone (a word that sounds like another word with a different meaning, like the words ‘eight’ and ‘ate’).”Romeo and Juliet” begins with a triple pun on the word collier (coal vendor) which sound like choler (anger) and collar(hangman’s noose). (I,i,1-4)
Static Character Static characters are characters that do not undergo any sort of change or personal growthNurse is static in her actions and beliefs
Dynamic Character dynamic characters, on the other hand, do, especially through reaching self-revelations. Even though he does not play a large role, is Prince Escalus. Prince Escalus knows from the beginning of the play that the feud between the Capulets and Montagues is detrimental to the peace of Verona and lays down a severe punishment for fighting again. However, by the end of the play his own family member, Mercutio, is slayed as a result of the feud. Hence, in the final scene, he feels a great deal of remorse for not putting a stop to it sooner
Anthithesis An antithesis is a rhetorical scheme that refers to opposites in phrases that are very close to each other. ‘More light and light, more dark and dark our woes!’ (Act 3 Scene 5, line 36). This setting of word against word (e.g. ‘light’ versus ‘dark ‘) is one of Shakespeare’s favorite language devices. He uses it in all his plays. Why? Because antithesis powerfully ex presses conflict through its use of opposites, and conflict is the essence of all drama.
Tragedy Young, innocent lovers die, through no fault of their own.
Character flaw Romeo’s tragic flaw is his impetuosity, his rashness of action before thinking thoroughly. You would want to look for examples of this behavior. Examples include: Falling in “love” with Juliet within minutes of meeting her, even after finding out that she was a Capulet.

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