Short Answer Study Guide Questions~ Romeo and Juliet Act I

Why do Sampson and Gregory fight with Montague’s men? They fight because Sampson and Gregory were making crude comments and rude gestures at the Montagues, however, in reality, it is to show that the feud between the two families is so deep that even the servants despise each other.
Benvolio and Tybalt come upon the servants fighting, contrast their reactions to the fight. Benvolio discovers the fight before Tybalt and puts up his sword, to keep the peace. He then tells them off for fighting and Tybalt appears. Tybalt challenges Benvolio, however, Benvolio refuses to fight and tells him to either put away his sword or help keep the peace. This scene depicts how Benvolio is peaceful and how Tybalt is hot headed.
When Montague and Capulet enter and see the disturbance, they want to fight too. What do their wives say? The wives are tired of the feud and try to prevent their husbands from fighting. Lady Capulet tells her husband that he is more fit for a crutch (emphasizing his age) rather than a sword. Lady Montague tells her husband that he will not step one foot towards the enemy.
What ended the opening skirmish? The Prince ended the fight and threatened that they will be killed if they disturb the streets of Verona a fourth time.
Why is Romeo so sad? He is in love with Rosaline, however his love is unrequitted. Rosaline has sworn off men and has decided to remain celibate.
In Act I ii, Paris asks Capulet for Juliet’s hand in marriage. What’s Capulet’s reply? Juliet is his only child, she is his pride. She is too young to marry, he should wait another two summers (when she is 16). Even though he may approve, the final decision lies in Juliet’s hands, so he should take the time to get to know her, have her fall in love with him.
Why is Capulet having a feast? Capulet is having a feast that he always throws for his close friends and family, however, this year Paris is invited in order for him to meet Juliet and get to know her.
How does Romeo find out about the feast, and why does he decide to go, even though he is a Montague and isn’t invited? Capulet sends an illiterate servant to invite the guests, the servant asks for help from Romeo and Benvolio, not knowing that they’re Montagues. He then tells them that they’re welcome to come as long as they’re not Montagues. Benvolio persuades Romeo to go so that he can compare Rosaline’s beauty with other girls and fall in love with someone else.
Describe Juliet’s relationship with her family in Act I. Juliet is shown to be an obedient, well-mannered daughter. She tries to please her parents and follows what they say.
At the end of Act I iv, what does Romeo tell Benvolio, foreshadowing future action in the play? Romeo tells Benvolio that he has a bad feeling about going to the party; he sensed it was the start of a problem that will lead to his death.
What does Romeo mean when he says, “O, dear account! My life is my foe’s debt.”? He loves Juliet, who is a Capulet, who is his enemy. Because he loves his enemy and his love has brought him out of his depression, his life is now indebted to Capulet.

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