First opinion and be prepared to discuss. Statement

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Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare


Answer the following statements with your first opinion and be prepared to discuss.




  1. Love at first sight does exist.

  1. Love at first sight is very common.

  1. It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

  1. Age, race, socio-economic status, family differences, and the like should not matter when it comes to true love.

  1. Teenagers are impulsive and do not think through their decisions.

  1. Young people can be in love despite age and life experience; this love can last a lifetime.

  1. Parents have their children’s best interests in mind and, therefore, parents should be obeyed.

  1. Older people are more prejudiced than younger people and give their prejudices to young people.

  1. Killing is always wrong.

  1. Revenge is justifiable—an eye for an eye.

  1. Friends should support each other, but not fight each other’s fights.

  1. Friends have common enemies and friends. For example, if one person in the group

  1. Couples should know each other a long time before marriage.

  1. Arranged marriages are better and have the potential to last longer than non-arranged marriages.

  1. The end justifies the means. Meaning, it is “okay” to do something unethical as long as there were good intentions and the end result is positive.

  1. Fate is the development of events beyond a person's control, usually by a stronger power. Fate does exist and is in control of our lives.

  1. Define the word tragedy and provide an example of tragedy (taken from your life or news).

  1. Imagine your first instance with real love. Describe your feelings and the person.

  1. What would you do if your parents disagreed with your choice from above (number 3)?

  1. Overall, do you feel parents understand their teenagers’ feelings and needs? Why is it assumed that teenagers and parents are not supposed to get along?

Gender Differences in the 1200-1400s

From Romeo and Juliet,
part of the series Shakespeare: Latitudes.
© Perfection Learning, Publisher.
Although Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters, their lives reflect the customs and norms of Italy in the 1200-1400s. The following is a comparison of how a female, we'll call her Juliet, and a male, we'll call him Romeo, differ in equality and treatment.



A typical woman in Juliet's time would likely be married at age 15.

A typical man in Romeo's time would marry no sooner than age 21.

Juliet would be escorted watched at social events.

Romeo would be allowed freedom to drink and carouse as he please.

It was expected that Juliet's family would provide a dowry (money and material items) to her groom.

Romeo would control his wife's possessions, money, property.

Juliet was expected to be chaste until her wedding night, and from then on to be completely faithful to her husband.

Romeo would have been allowed to visit prostitutes, even after he was married.

It was not acceptable for Juliet to handle weapons, play tennis, wrestle, or do other things that involved physical exercise.

Romeo was expected to learn how to fence fight, play athletic games, and do other physical activities.

Juliet may have had a tutor come to her home, but she would never be allowed into a university. Instead, she would spend her day spinning, weaving, embroidering, and learning social graces, such as dancing.

Romeo would have attended school with other young, men in a student's home. He could have gone to a university.

A servant would spend hours each day helping Juliet fix her hair, get dressed, and put on makeup.

Romeo dressed and groomed himself. Servants would do the laundry, put clothes away and make the bed.

The only option to marriage would have been the convent. Juliet was expected to marry and bear children, to run a household, and to graciously entertain guests.

Romeo could have been a politician, merchant, soldier, sea captain, artist, doctor, banker, scholar, or religious man.

It would not be typical for a woman like Juliet to participate in city or political affairs.

It would have been advantageous for Romeo to hold public office.

Juliet would be advised to obey and honor her husband.

It was acceptable, and almost recommended, for Romeo beat his wife if she were not submissive.

Juliet would have had very little say in decisions concerning her children.

Romeo would have had complete control over his children.


These terms have been taken directly from the Keystone Assessment System, which provides information on what students need to know for their Keystone Literature Test. You will take this test in 10th grade and must pass it to graduate. Keep this list and refer to it while you read throughout the semester. Also, keep these terms in mind as you read your SSR choice books.

General Terms

  1. Allusion An implied or indirect reference in literature to a familiar person, place, or event.

  1. Author’s Purpose The author’s intent either to inform or teach someone about something, to entertain people or to persuade or convince his/her audience to do or not do something.

  1. Drama The genre of literature represented by works intended for the stage; a work to be performed by actors on stage, radio, or television; play.

  1. Irony – A key element in literature, irony can be broken down into three categories:

    • Verbal Irony – When what is said is the opposite of what is meant. Similar to sarcasm.

    • Situational Irony – When what happens is the opposite of what is expected.

    • Dramatic Irony – When the audience knows something that a character doesn’t.

  1. Symbolism A device in literature where an object represents an idea.

  1. Theme A topic of discussion or work; a major idea broad enough to cover the entire scope of a literary work. A theme may be stated or implied. Clues to the theme may be found in the prominent and/or reoccurring ideas in a work.

Story Terms

  1. Foil Any character who contrasts the distinctive characteristics of another character, particularly the protagonist.

  1. Climax The turning point in a narrative; the moment when the conflict is at its most intense. Typically, the structure of stories, novels, and plays is one of rising action, in which tension builds to the climax.

  1. Conflict/Problem A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotions.

  1. Foreshadowing An organizational device used in literature to create expectation or to set up an explanation of later developments.

  1. Irony The use of a word or phrase to mean the exact opposite of its literal or usual meaning; incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected result.

  1. Motif A recurring subject, theme, or idea in a literary work.

Poetry Terms

  1. Figurative Language Language that cannot be taken literally since it was written to create a special effect or feeling.

  1. Hyperbole An exaggeration or overstatement (e.g., I had to wait forever.)

  1. Imagery Descriptive or figurative language in a literary work; the use of language to create sensory impressions.

  1. Metaphor The comparison of two unlike things in which no words of comparison (like or as) are used (e.g., The speech gave me food for thought.)

  1. Personification An object or abstract idea given human qualities or human form (e.g., Flowers danced about the lawn.)

Drama/Play Terms

  1. Aside A remark by a character in a play intended to be heard by the audience but not by the other characters.

  1. Dialogue In its widest sense, dialogue is simply conversation between characters or speakers in a literary work; in its most restricted sense, it refers specifically to the speech of characters in a drama.

  1. Dramatic Script The written text of a play, which includes the dialogue between characters, stage directions and often other expository information.

  1. Monologue An extended speech spoken by one speaker, either to others or as if alone.

  1. Soliloquy A dramatic speech, revealing inner thoughts and feelings, spoken aloud by one character while alone on the stage.

  1. Stage Direction A playwright’s written instructions provided in the text of a play about the setting or how the actors are to move and behave in a play.



  • The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague.

  • A young man of about sixteen.

  • Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive.


  • The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet.

  • A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl.

  • Juliet begins the play as a naïve child.

Friar Laurence:

  • A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet.

  • Kind, civic-minded, believer in moderation, and always ready with a plan.


  • A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend.

  • Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit.

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 Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side.

  • Vain, fashionable, aggressive


  • The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague.

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).


  • Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet.

Lady Montague:

  • Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife.


  • A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet.


  • Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend.

Prince Escalus:

  • The Prince of Verona. A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris.

Friar John:

  • A Franciscan friar.


  • Romeo’s dedicated servant.

Sampson & Gregory:


  • Montague’s servant.


  • The woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play.

The Chorus:

  • The Chorus is a single character, developed in Greek drama.

  • Functions as a narrator offering commentary on the play’s plot and themes.

Act I Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary

Column A contains words Shakespeare used in R + J
Column B contains synonyms for the words in column A.

Column A

Column B






high rank




long or pine for




heavy weight on mind




going beyond certain limits


enter without permission




to increase or intensify


virtuous, decent, pure in style or manner, virginal


Miraculous, marvelous


Small, unimportant


to give adequate reasons for; to state with conviction


cleanse, forgive, absolve


being formal, dignified

Close Reading of The Prologue To Act One

1st Read – Details about the likeness of the two families

2nd Read – What can you say about the lovers

3rd Read – What is your interpretation of what happens to the children?

4th Read – Write a thesis about what happens as a result of your answer from the 3rd read?

Questions for the Prologue before Act I
Answer the following questions after reading the Prologue:

  1. Why are the two families fighting?

  1. Who is involved in the fight besides the two families?

3. What will this be a sad story of? A young couple’s…

  1. How will the parents’ anger finally end?

  1. How many hours will it take for this story to be acted on the stage?

Questions for Act I, Scene i:

  1. Scene i opens in the streets of ________________________, which is a city in


  1. Two families in the play hate one another. These families are the

______________________________ and the ____________________________.

  1. Prince Escalus breaks up a fight caused by the feud between the two families. He says that if a fight happens again, those involved will ______________________.

  1. Benvolio, Lord Montague, and Lady Montague discuss Romeo’s mood. List three things they say about Romeo that show he is depressed.

b. _______________________________________________________________
c. _______________________________________________________________

  1. Why does Romeo confess that he is sad and depressed?

Response Log: This activity will help you think about what you have read
What might have caused the feud between the Capulets and Montagues? How long do you think it has been going on?

Think of a modern conflict or feud like the one in the play. It could be one from a book, TV show, movie, or current events. Or you could choose a conflict that involves people you know. Describe this conflict and explain how it has affected the people involved.

Questions for Act I, Scene ii:

  1. What does Paris ask Capulet for permission to do?

  1. What are two reasons that Capulet hesitates to give his permission to Paris?

  1. Benvolio tells Romeo, “Take thou some new infection to thy eye, and the rank poison of the old will die.” The “infection” Benvolio refers to is love.

    1. In this quotation, Benvolio is urging Romeo to …

    1. How do you think Benvolio feels about love?

Response Log:
Juliet is only thirteen years old. Yet her father is already planning her marriage.

How do you feel about people marrying young today? What might be the positive and negative points of marrying in your early teens?

In the columns below, list the advantages and disadvantages of an early marriage. You will share and compare your list with a partner and possibly have a class discussion on this topic.

Advantages (+)

Disadvantages (-)

Questions for Act I, Scenes iii-iv:

  1. In scene iii, the Nurse talks about Juliet’s childhood. Write two phrases below that show the Nurse is fond of Juliet.

  1. Why is the Nurse impressed with Paris?

  1. Why does Lady Capulet say that Paris would make a fine husband?

  1. What does Juliet promise her mother?

5. Describe the difference between how Juliet’s mother and father feel about Paris…

  1. Why is Romeo afraid to go to the banquet?

Response Log:
Think about the most important qualities that you would look for in a person you might want to marry. On the diagram below, write phrases that describe your ideal mate.

Review the qualities above and determine the qualities that your parents/guardians want you to find in a relationship:

  1. __________________________ 6. ____________________________

  2. __________________________ 7. ____________________________

  3. __________________________ 8. ____________________________
  4. __________________________ 9. ____________________________

  5. __________________________ 10. ___________________________

Questions for Act I, Scene v:

  1. When Romeo first sees Juliet, his sad mood suddenly changes. Romeo describes Juliet’s beauty. In the space below, write two phrases that Romeo uses to describe Juliet. An example has been completed for you.

Example: “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!”


  1. Which of the descriptions above do you think describes Juliet most clearly and why?

  1. Capulet forbids Tybalt to fight with Romeo at the banquet. From Capulet’s words, find two lines that show how he feels about Romeo. Write what he says below.

  1. When Romeo and Juliet first meet, they refer to each other in religious terms. He speaks as though she is a saint and she calls him a pilgrim. In your own words, explain why they would speak to each other in such terms.

  1. Describe Romeo’s reaction when he learns that Juliet is a Capulet. Explain why he feels this way.

  1. What does Juliet say when she learns who Romeo is? Write her words and explain what she means.

Romeo and Juliet’s Text Message Session
If Romeo met Juliet at the mall, a dance, or in school today, how would he approach her for her number? Explain what their first encounter would have looked like in the Hatboro-Horsham area.


In text dialogue, write out what Romeo and Juliet’s first texting session would be like the night that they met and found out that their families hate one another.

R to J

J to R

R to J

J to R

R to J

J to R

R to J

J to R

Act 1, scene 5: Poetic Language and Foreshadowing
Part 1: Pair Work

When Romeo sees Juliet for the first time, he uses beautiful imagery to describe her appearance. Review these lines and on a separate sheet of paper, with a partner at your group, draw the images he describes as he gazes at her. Use color and label each drawing with direct quotes from the play.

Part 2: Foreshadowing

Because Shakespeare tells the reader in the Prologue what happens at the end of the play, he uses many examples of foreshadowing to help remind the reader of the couple’s demise (sad ending). In the chart below, track the events of foreshadowing from this scene and others.

  • If you have time, record the example from 1.4

Examples of Foreshadowing from 1.5

Spoken by Lord Capulet to Tybalt

Spoken by Romeo after his encounter with Juliet

Spoken by Juliet after her encounter with Romeo

Examples of Foreshadowing from 1.4

Spoken by Romeo towards the end of the scene

Act II Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary

Column A contains words Shakespeare used in R + J
Column B contains synonyms for the words in column A.

Column A

Column B


bring to mind






false testimony






reckless or sexual




To scold, reprimand


Same kind


Feelings of ill will, hatred, animosity


Sleep, time when one can relax

Act II, Prologue – Scene i questions:

  1. What have Romeo and Juliet have been bewitched by?

  1. List two difficulties that the lovers face.

  1. According to the chorus, what will help Romeo and Juliet overcome their problems?

  1. What is the dramatic irony at this point of the play?

  1. What did Romeo do to avoid his friends?

Act II, Scene ii questions:

  1. Write three examples in which Romeo compares Juliet’s beauty to something that is light or produces light.

  1. Who does Juliet claim is her enemy?

  1. When Romeo calls out to Juliet from the orchard, she is worried about him. Why?

  1. Juliet admits that her behavior towards Romeo is “immodest.” Explain what Juliet does and says that embarrasses her.

  1. Juliet says to Romeo that she is “not delighted by our pledges tonight.” What does she fear about their love?

  1. What will the messenger find out for Juliet tomorrow?

Writing a Personal Letter

We have just finished reading Act II, Scene ii of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet have made a rash decision to get married after only knowing one another for a few hours. Romeo and Juliet are sure about the power of their love, but their families will feel differently.

You are Romeo or Juliet. Write a letter to your parents explaining why you think getting married as a teenager is a “plus.” You will also need to defend why you are choosing to marry someone whose family is an enemy of yours.


You are Juliet or Romeo’s parents. Write a letter to your child describing why getting married as a teenager is not a good idea and how you feel about them wanting to marry an enemy of yours.




If you need more space, feel free to attach a sheet of paper to this ditto 

Act II, Scene iii questions:

  1. Friar compares the earth to a mother and the plants to her children. Explain why the earth and plants could be described in this way.

  1. What is the Friar saying about the powers of natural plants and herbs?

  1. What does Romeo ask the Friar to do?

  1. Friar Laurence disapproves of Romeo’s behavior. Explain why he scolds Romeo.

  1. The Friar finally agrees to Romeo’s request for one reason. What does he hope for?

Act II, Scene iv questions:

  1. Tybalt has sent a letter to Romeo. What does Mercutio believe that the letter contains?

  1. Describe one example of how Benvolio and Mercutio are rude to the Nurse. After writing the example, explain what they mean.

  1. What two instructions does Romeo give the Nurse?

Act II, scene v-vi questions:

  1. Juliet begs the Nurse to report what Romeo said. As the Nurse rambles on and complains about her rough day, she also speaks of Romeo’s good traits. List three of Romeo’s qualities that the Nurse admires:

  1. What does Romeo confess that he is willing to risk for Juliet?

  1. Friar Laurence gives Romeo more advice. Paraphrase the Friar’s words below:

Violent ______________ have violent ends,

and in triumph they __________, like fire and


So love ___________________. Love that _______________

a long time is moderate.

To push love too ______________ can be as bad as being

too ___________ to love.

With these words, what is the Friar warning Romeo of?

  1. Romeo and Juliet have let their emotions guide their actions without thinking about the consequences or results.

List at least three consequences (good or bad) that might result from Romeo and

Juliet’s actions.

Act III Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary

Column A contains words Shakespeare used in R + J
Column B contains synonyms for the words in column A.

Column A

Column B














Deceive, cheat


a mediation, a plea on another’s behalf


Merry, cheerful

Act III, Scene i questions:

  1. Who is Tybalt looking for when he meets Benvolio and Mercutio?

  1. How does Mercutio treat Tybalt when they meet?

  1. Why does Romeo refuse to fight Tybalt?

  1. Briefly explain what happens when Romeo tries to stop the fight.

  1. After Mercutio is wounded, he twice cries out, “A plague o’ both your houses!” What does Mercutio mean when he curses both their houses?

  1. The Prince sets Romeo’s punishment. Romeo must leave _______________ in exile or _________________ within the hour.

Response Log:
Mercutio is killed when Romeo tries to stop the fight. If Romeo had not become involved, Mercutio might not have died.
Think of a time when you tried to help a friend, but the situation only got worse. First explain the conflict. Then tell why you became involved and what you would do differently if you could.

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