Romeo and Juliet Study Guide

In which town is the play set? In what country do you suppose this town exists? Verona; Italy
When Sampson says he will not “carry coals”, what does he mean? What literary technique is being used in this silly exchange between Sampson and Gregory? He will not take insults; a pun
Complete this sentence: In Shakespearean times, biting your thumb was… an insult
Is Benvolio a Montague or a Capulet? Montague
Why doesn’t Lady Capulet want her husband to get involved in the fight? She thinks he is too old
How many times have the Capulets and Montagues had street fights recently? 3 times
How has Romeo been spending his days recently? locked in his room being moody
List three of the oxymorons Romeo uses to describe the conflict between his family and the Capulets. Then, explain how the family feud is oxymoronic in its nature. heavy lightness, sick health, feather of lead; both families hate each other, but they are alike
Romeo is heartsick over a girl (it’s not Juliet) who is not at all interested in Romeo. Name three of the ineffective romantic strategies Romeo has used in his attempt to woo this girl. sweet talk, lingering eye contact, gifts of gold
Why doesn’t this girl like Romeo? She wants to become a nun
What does Benvolio tell Romeo to do in order to forget the girl who doesn’t want him? Look at all the other beautiful women in Verona
What “suit” does Paris bring to Capulet in Scene 2? marriage
How old is Juliet? What are her father’s thoughts about allowing her to marry? 13 years old; her father thinks that she is too young
Lord Capulet’s willingness to allow Juliet to have a say in whom she marries is pretty progressive, since most marriages for this social class at the time would’ve been arranged by parents. Why, do you suppose, Capulet is willing to take Juliet’s feelings into consideration? Since Juliet is an only child, she is spoiled rotten
Why is the Capulet servant upset about having been given a list of party guests to find? The servant is unable to read
Why does Benvolio want to crash the party? Why does Romeo agree? He wants Romeo to compare Rosaline to the other pretty girls; Romeo agrees so he can be near Rosaline
What does Romeo want to happen to his eyes if they find someone other than Rosaline desirable at the party? What does this show us about Romeo? burn; It shows us that Romeo is very dark and passionate
In your own words, explain the Nurse’s two stories about Juliet as a toddler. there was an earthquake and Juliet fell on her face
Does Lady Capulet want Juliet to love Paris? Yes, she says Paris is a gorgeous book and Juliet will be the cover
What is Juliet’s reaction to her mother’s request? What does this show us about Juliet? She says she will think about marrying Paris; she is obedient
According to Mercutio, who or what is Queen Mab, and what does she do? Queen Mab is a Fairy who delivers babies and dreams
What does Romeo say about the value of dreams? Romeo thinks that dreams hold the secret of fate
What does Mercutio say about the value of dreams? Mercutio believes that they are meaningless
At the end of Scene 4, Romeo mentions the subject of his latest vivid dream. What did Romeo dream? Why isn’t he changing his course of action? What does this show us about Romeo? Romeo dreamed that he was going to die young because of the party; he believes we are powerless when it comes to fate
When Romeo first sees Juliet, what terms does he use to describe her? a glowing jewel in a dark-skinned ear, a snowy dove among black crows
How does Tybalt recognize Romeo? his voice
When Tybalt is ready to seize Romeo and throw him out of the party, what does Capulet say to Tybalt? Why? What is Tybalt’s reaction to this? Capulet tells Tybalt to leave Romeo alone because he doesn’t want to cause a scene; Tybalt is a hothead and is angry
How does Romeo find out Juliet’s last name? How does Juliet find out Romeo’s last name? The nurse tells each of them
What does the Act 2 Prologue say happened to Romeo’s love for Rosaline? How is an this example of foreshadowing? love is dead and buried; that is exactly what happens to Romeo and Juliet
What does Romeo mean by “dull earth” in Scene 1, line 2? He sounds literal; his heart is with Juliet
Who does Mercutio think that Romeo is in love with in his speech in Scene 1, lines 6-21? What’s funny about these lines? Rosaline; Mercutio is teasing him
When Romeo says, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound,” what does he mean? He means that Mercutio jokes about Romeo’s loving feelings because Mercutio himself has never been in love.
What does Romeo compare Juliet to in his first speech in Sc. 2, lines 2-3? Just as he did in 1.5, Romeo refers to Juliet as a brilliant luminous light thing in the dark. This time she is the sun in the nighttime sky. She’s so bright and pretty that she makes the moon jealous, he says.
In your own words, rewrite Juliet’s speech in Scene 2, lines 33-36. Go line-by-line as you restate her meaning. Oh, Romeo, why do you have to be a Montague? You should turn your back on your family and change your name. Or, if you can’t do that, then tell me you love me and I’ll change my name/leave my family.
When Juliet says, “That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet,” what does she mean? Do names matter in our lives? If you had a different first name, do you think you might have grown up to be a slightly different person? She means that Romeo would be wonderful, no matter what name he was called.
In your own words, translate Juliet’s meaning in lines 95-101. Why do other young lovers, both then and now, play such games? Since Romeo already heard Juliet admit that she loves him when she thought she was talking to herself, she is embarrassed. She says that, if Romeo thinks she’s too quick to fall in love with him, she can pretend not to really like him and play hard-to-get, so that Romeo will have to do more to woo her. Then she again admits to his face that she is very much into him and says that, in time, she’ll prove to him to be truer, better partner than any of the silly girls who play such games.
Why does Juliet ask Romeo not to swear his love’s allegiance by the moon? The moon is not constant; it’s always changing in a cycle from full to a barely there crescent. She says she doesn’t want to think that his love will be similar to such a here- today-gone-tomorrow cycle.
Which one is the first to mention marriage? What does this show us about this character? Juliet mentions marriage first. This shows us that she is traditional and if he really loves her, he will be willing to marry her.
What does Juliet instruct Romeo to send her the next day? She wants him to send a message of when and where she needs to go to get married to him. He says he’ll have the info. by 9 a.m.
Look at lines 182-184. What do these lines literally mean? Then, explain how this bit of text is an example of foreshadowing. Then, explain how this bit of text is an example of foreshadowing. Literally, Romeo means that he wishes he was Juliet’s pet bird, so that she could keep him near her all the time. Juliet agrees that would be wonderful, but she admits she would love him so much, squeeze him so tightly that she might kill her little bird. This passage, specifically the “I should kill thee with much cherishing” bit, foreshadows the death of Romeo, in that he will die because she loves him so much.
At the beginning of Scene 3, what is Friar Laurence doing? He’s gathering herbs and flowers in a basket. His hobby is herbology, and he likes to investigate the medicinal and poisonous qualities of the plants and flowers he’s gathering.
According to the Friar, how are humans like plants? Inside both plants and human lies goodness and darkness/medicine and poison. We all have both qualities within us, but it is how we use those things given to us from Mother Earth that determines the health and happiness of our lives.
With whom does Friar Laurence assume Romeo has spent the night? The Friar thinks Romeo was with Rosaline, his old crush.
In lines 87-88, the Friar says, “O, she knew well / Thy love did read by rote and could not spell.” Explain what he means here. He’s saying that Rosaline didn’t return Romeo’s love because she knew it wasn’t real love. It’s as if Romeo has memorized the rules of love, but can’t actually read from the book of love.
Why does the Friar begrudgingly agree to marry Romeo and Juliet? He hopes the marriage will stop some of the fighting between the warring families. He sees that good things could come out of this union.
Who are Laura, Dido, Cleopatra, Helen, and Hero? What does Mercutio say about them? These women are all famous beautiful women from history and literature. Mercutio is saying that Romeo thinks all of these gorgeous ladies are nothing more than kitchen wenches and prostitutes when you compare them to the glorious Rosaline. Obviously, Mercutio doesn’t yet know that Romeo has moved on to a new love.
Write down three subjects Mercutio and Romeo make puns about in Scene 4, lines 44-70. slip/slip (counterfeit coin); courtesy/curtsy; sole (of shoe)/sole (alone); goose (to eat)/goose (pinch bottom)
How does Mercutio treat the Nurse? He makes rude jokes about her.
What instructions does Romeo tell the Nurse to pass on to Juliet? He says that Juliet should make up an excuse that she needs to go to confession at the church this afternoon. When she gets to the church, Romeo will be there waiting with the Friar to marry them.
Who does the Nurse say also wants to marry Juliet? What does she say Juliet’s feelings are for this other suitor? She mentions that Paris is also interesting in winning Juliet’s hand in marriage, but that Juliet’s not interested in him at all. Juliet, the Nurse says, looks sick and pale whenever the subject of Paris arises.
What time of day is it? Noon
How long has the Nurse been gone on her errand to find Romeo? She has been gone for nearly three hours and the delay is driving Juliet crazy because the Nurse said she’d only be gone for half an hour.
What’s humorous about the way the Nurse treats Juliet in this scene? The Nurse is deliberately stalling because she knows how anxious Juliet is to hear the news from Romeo. This is a cute scene and should be played for laughs.
Is Romeo fearful of the future? Write down the lines that support your answer. Romeo is not afraid of the premonition he had in the dream mentioned at the end of 1.4. These are the lines that prove this: “Then love-devouring death do what he dare/It is enough I may but call her mine.”
In your own words, explain the Friar’s warning in these lines:”These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die like fire and powder,Which, as they kiss, consume.” The Friar is saying that loving quickly and sharply like this means that your love will end quickly and sharply, too. This intense-type of love consumes itself with its heat, like gunpowder is burned up by fire when they touch. The Friar is trying to warn Romeo here to slow down and contain his passion.
In your own words, explain the Friar’s message in these lines:”Therefore love moderately; long love doth so:Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.” Again, he wants Romeo to slow down a little bit so that his love with Juliet can be a lasting love. When it comes to love, falling too quickly in love is just as bad as being too slow to act on your loving feelings. You have to time these things just right, if you want to build a love that will last a long time.
What happens at the very end of thisscene? Romeo and Juliet get married, but it happens off-stage. The audience knows, though, that they are now officially, if not publicly, Mr. and Mrs. Romeo Montague.
What reason does Paris give for not having spent much time courting Juliet? She has been grieving over Tybalt
Name three of the horrible things Juliet says she would find preferable to marrying Paris. kill herself, be chained to a bear, be locked in a tomb with dead people
Describe the Friar’s plan in your own words. He will have Juliet drink potion that makes her appear dead. Juliet will be placed in the tomb. He will send a message to Romeo to tell him of the plan. Romeo will be there when she wakes up. They will run away.
How do you know if you’re hiring a good cook? a good cook will lick his fingers
Juliet was supposed to marry Paris on Thursday, but what has her father decided? to move the wedding to Wednesday
Who will stay up all night to make sure the wedding party preparations are complete? Capulet
In case the potion doesn’t work, what item does Juliet keep with her in the bed? a dagger
Describe three things Juliet thinks might go wrong if she takes the potion. die, suffocate, go insane
Write down six words from Juliet’s speech (Scene 3, lines 30-58) that show her feelings about death. hideous, mangled, loathsome, terror, horrible, distraught
What time in the morning is it? 3AM
In the midst of all the cooking and prepping, Paris arrives for his wedding date. Given the answer to the previous question, what does this arrival show us about Paris? Paris is excited
What does Capulet mean when he says the Nurse should “go and trim her up” in Scene 4, line 27? make her look good
Who is the first to find Juliet’s body and think that she’s dead in Scene 5? the Nurse
In what three ways does Capulet say he can tell Juliet is dead? stiff joints, cold body, settled blood
What does the Friar advise Juliet’s parents to do with her body? to put the body in the tomb
In a sly way, the Friar actually blames Juliet’s parents for her lifelessness. Write the lines in which he says they are being punished by God. line 100 pg 205
Why does Shakespeare end this heavy, emotionally wrenching scene with the odd exchange between Peter and the musicians? Shakespeare wants to lighten the mood and remind us that Juliet is not dead
Describe the dream that Romeo has just had at the beginning of Scene 1? Romeo thinks he is dead and Juliet kissed him. He came back to life and became emperor
Who brings news from Verona? What is the news? Balthasaar comes to tell Romeo of Juliet’s “death”
Write down three odd things Romeo noticed in the apothecary shop. the old man was frail, a stuffed alligator, and dusty seeds
Why is it difficult to get poison in Mantua? Why does Romeo believe this apothecary will sell him some despite this? selling poison is illegal; the man is poor
In Scene 2, what is Friar John’s excuse for not having delivered the letter to Romeo? The guards would not let him in because they thought that he was infectednwith the plague
What is Friar Laurence’s plan of action once he realizes Romeo hasn’t received his letter? He will send Romeo another letter and wake Juliet
Who is the first person to arrive at Juliet’s tomb in Scene 3? Why is he there? Paris; to mourn and lay flowers
Explain Paris’ logic in thinking that Romeo is responsible for Juliet killing herself. He thinks Juliet died from grieving over Tybalt
Did Paris love Juliet? Give evidence to support your answer. No, he was not interested before
Romeo comments that Juliet looks just as beautiful in death as she did in life, with roses in her cheeks and lips. He doesn’t realize that the “death” is just a potion that’s wearing off. Instead, why does he figure Juliet is still so beautiful? He said that death wants to be Juliet’s lover
Does Juliet wake up just before Romeo dies or just after? just after
Who is present when Juliet awakens? Why doesn’t this person stay? Friar Lawrence; he thinks he will get in trouble
Why does Juliet kiss Romeo’s lips even after he already died? She wanted to get some of the poison off his lips
Juliet says, “Thy lips are warm!” This is, quite arguably, one of the saddest lines in the entire play. Why are these four little words so meaningful? They missed each other by minutes. They were so close.
How does Juliet kill herself? by stabbing herself with a dagger
Which two characters are detained by the watchmen after Juliet’s death? Friar Lawrence and Balthasaar
Who else died tonight? How do we find out? Lady Montague; Montague says that she died of the thought of Romeo being banished
How many people died in this play? List their names in order of their deaths. Mercutio, Tybalt, Lady Montague, Paris, Romeo, Juliet
“There’s no trust,No faith, no honesty in men; all are perjuredAll forsworn, all naught; dissemblers all!” Nurse
“Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.” Friar Lawrence
“No less? Nay, bigger! Women grow by men.” Nurse
“What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?” Juliet
“If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully. Or if thou thinkest I am too quickly won, I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee naySo thou wilt woo.” Juliet
“Where is my mother? Why, she is within. Where should she be? How oddly thou repliest!” Juliet
“He is a kinsman to the Montagues;Affection makes him false, he speaks not true.” Lady Capulet
“I can tell you, but young Romeo will be older when you have found him than he was when you sought him.” Romeo
“These times of woe afford no times to woo. Madam, good night, commend me to your daughter.” Paris
“But come, young waverer, come, go with me,In one respect I’ll thy assistant be,For this alliance may so happy proveTo turn your households’ rancor to pure love.” Friar Lawrence
“Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,Who is already sick and pale with grief,That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.” Romeo
“That which we call a roseBy any other word would smell as sweet.” Juliet
“I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes,By her high forehead and her scarlet lip.” Mercutio
“Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!” Romeo
“When I have fought with the men, I will be civil with the maids. I will cut off their heads.” Sampson
“Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane, and, as thou loves me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.—Antony and Potpan!” Peter
”I’ll look to like if looking liking move.But no more deep will I endart mine eyeThan your consent gives strength to make it fly.” Juliet
”You men, you beasts,That quench the fire of your pernicious rageWith purple fountains issuing from your veins.” Prince
”A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?” Lady Capulet
”I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown,But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.” Romeo
”Prodigious birth of love it is to me,That I must love a loathèd enemy.” Juliet
”I tell you, he that can lay hold of herShall have the chinks.” Nurse
”But I can give thee more,For I will raise her statue in pure gold” Montague
”O, that deceit should dwellIn such a gorgeous palace!” Juliet
”Susan and she—God rest all Christian souls!—Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God.She was too good for me.” Nurse
”The earth, that’s nature’s mother, is her tomb.What is her burying, grave that is her womb.” Friar Lawrence
”My only love sprung from my only hate!Too early seen unknown, and known too late!” Juliet
”Death lies on her like an untimely frostUpon the sweetest flower of all the field.” Capulet
At the beginning of Act 3, who says the following lines? What do these lines foreshadow?”I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire.The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,And, if we meet, we shall not ‘scape a brawl,For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.” Benvolio; a fight
What does Mercutio tell us about Benvolio in lines 15-27? Is this true? Explain what’s happening here. Benvolio is a hothead; yes
Examine Mercutio’s “grave man” line. What figure of speech is used? What is the meaning? pun; he’s saying who’s dead
Explain the following lines (104-110):”This gentlemen, the Prince’s near ally,My very friend, hath got his mortal hurtIn my behalf – my reputation stainedWith Tybalt’s slander – Tybalt, that an hourHath been my cousin. O sweet Juliet,Thy beauty hath made me effeminateAnd in my temper soft’ned valor’s steel!” Mercutio is related to the Prince; Romeo feels guilty
Explain the Prince’s judgment and why he makes this ruling. He was within his rights and relatives
In her speech at the beginning of Scene 2, what is Juliet looking forward to that night? being with her true love- Romeo
Give two examples from lines 26-31 that Juliet uses to explain the agony of expectation that she’s feeling.
Write down three of the oxymorons Juliet uses to describe Romeo and explain why she uses this literary technique to describe her young husband. beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical, a dove feathered raven
The Nurse says, “Shame come to Romeo!” How does Juliet react to the Nurse? She became upset with the Nurse
Where is Romeo hiding? Friar Lawrence’s chamber
What is Friar Laurence’s opinion of Romeo’s punishment in Scene 3, lines 25-28? He thinks that Romeo got lucky
In Scene 3, lines 33-39, why does Romeo say that is is less honored than carrion-flies? He is jealous he can’t be with Juliet while carrion flies could.
What three reasons does Friar Laurence give Romeo to show that he should be happy? He is alive, Juliet loves him, and he got a lighter sentence than usual
In Scene 3, the Nurse gives Romeo a gift from Juliet. What is the gift? her ring
Capulet explains to Paris that Juliet is upstairs crying about Tybalt. He says, “Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly, And so did I. Well, we were born to die.” From this passage, explain how Capulet felt about his nephew. Why, do you suppose, he felt this way? Tybalt wasn’t Capulet’s favorite person
What decision does Capulet make, thinking that it will cheer up Juliet? He makes her marry Paris
What is Paris’ reply when Capulet makes his announcement? He is happy and excited
Why does Juliet want to believe the songbird she can hear is a nightingale, not a lark? The nightingale sings at night when Romeo and her can be together. The lark sings at daybreak when Romeo has to leave
What does Juliet mean by an “ill-divining soul” in Scene 5, line 54? Her soul predicts evil things (Romeo’s death)
Why do Juliet’s parents believe she is upset? What is their plan to help cheer her? They think she is sad because of Tybalt’s death so they plan her wedding
Earlier in the play, Capulet said Juliet will get to have a voice in whom she marries. Now, he’s raging at his daughter for speaking up against his choice. Explain why Capulet has changed his mind about listening to his daughter’s opinion about her future spouse. Capulet is shocked and does not want to be humiliated
How does the Nurse describe Paris in Sc. 5, lines 218-223? She says that Paris is better than Romeo

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