ROMEO AND JULIET. REVISION Main themes Key scenes Character Possible essay questions. In a nutshell.
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Possible essay questions
“Oh, I am fortune’s fool!” “then I defy you stars!”
I fear, too early: for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date With this night's revels and expire the term
Of a despised life closed in my breast By some vile forfeit of untimely death. But He, that hath the steerage of my course, Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen.
BENVOLIO O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio's dead! That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds, Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. ROMEO This day's black fate on more days doth depend; this but begins the woe, others must end.
SCENE I. Mantua. A street. Enter ROMEO ROMEO If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep, My dreams presage some joyful news at hand: My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne; And all this day an unaccustom'd spirit Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts. I dreamt my lady came and found me dead-- Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think!-- And breathed such life with kisses in my lips, That I revived, and was an emperor. Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess'd, When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!
“As A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy darkened by something of the night, so Romeo is a tragedy that keeps surprising us with flashes of comedy.”
Answers to questions on drama should address relevantly the central concern(s)/theme(s) of
the text and be supported by reference to appropriate dramatic techniques such as: conflict,
characterisation, keyscene(s), dialogue, climax, exposition, dénouement, structure, plot,
setting, aspects of staging (such as lighting, music, stage set, stage directions . . .), soliloquy,
monologue . . .
Choose from a play a scene in which manipulation, temptation or humiliation is an
Explain what happens in the scene and go on to show how the outcome of the
manipulation, temptation or humiliation adds to your appreciation of the play as a
Choose a play in which the dramatist creates tension at the beginning or at the end.
Explain how the tension is created and discuss how it contributes to an effective
introduction or conclusion to the play.
Explain briefly the circumstances of the power struggle and discuss the extent to which it contributes to your appreciation of theme and/or character in the play as a whole.
Explain how the dramatist creates and develops this tension, and discuss the extent to
which the scene has thematic as well as dramatic significance.
Choose a play in which a central character behaves in an obsessive manner.
Describe the nature of the character’s obsessive behaviour and discuss the influence
this behaviour has on your understanding of the character in the play as a whole.
Choose a play which you feel is made particularly effective by features of structure
such as: dramatic opening, exposition, flashback, contrast, turning-point, climax,
anticlimax, dénouement . . .
Show how one or more than one structural feature employed by the dramatist adds to
the impact of the play.
Choose from a play a scene which significantly changes your view of a character.
Explain how the scene prompts this reappraisal and discuss how important it is to
your understanding of the character in the play as a whole.