Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Characters and Terms

Romeo The son of Lord and Lady Montague and Juliet’s lover.
Juliet The daughter of Lord and Lady Capulet and Romeo’s lover.
Benvolio Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend
Mercutio Talks of Queen Mab when Romeo mentions a dream he had.
Lady Montague The wife of Lord Montague and mother of Romeo.
Lord Montague The head of the Montague family and father of Romeo.
Lady Capulet The wife of Lord Capulet and mother of Juliet.
Lord Capulet The head of the Capulet family and father of Juliet.
Prince Escalus The prince of Verona.
Tybalt Juliet’s hot-headed cousin
Nurse Caretaker for Juliet, confidante
Balthasar Servant to Romeo, carries letter
Abraham Servant of Montague
Peter Servant to the Nurse
Sampson Servant of Capulet
Gregory Servant of Capulet
Paris A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet.
Friar Laurence A Franciscm friar and Romeo’s confidant
Verona, Italy The city in which the Montagues and Capulets live
Tragedy Genre of the play Romeo and Juliet
Pun A play on words involving the use of words with similar sounds but different meanings (collar, color), words with 2+ meanings (plain), or words with the same sound but different meanings (sun/son)
Character Foil A character that by contrast highlights or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another character
Rosaline The woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play.
Dramatic Irony Occurs when another character(s) and/or the audience know more than one or more characters on stage about what is happening
Soliloquy A speech given by a character alone on stage
Couplet Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme
Alliteration Use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse
Oxymoron A figure of speech consisting of two apparently contradictory terms
Iambic Pentameter A metrical pattern in poetry which consists of five iambic feet per line. (an iamb, or iambic foot, consists of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.)
Sonnet A verse form consisting of 14 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme
Protagonist The main character in a literary work
Monologue A long speech made by one performer or by one person in a group
Friar John The man who was to deliver the letter of Juliet’s “death”, was trapped in a town with a disease, never got the letter to Romeo
Allusion A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art. Can be historical, literary, religious, topical, or mythical.
Tragic Hero A protagonist with a fatal flaw which eventually leads to his/her demise
Mantua The city Romeo goes to after being exiled from Verona.
Extended Metaphor A comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem.
Aside A short speech directed to the audience or another character that is not heard by the other characters on stage.

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