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Romeo and Juliet. By William Shakespeare. Literary Analysis. Dialogue  conversation between characters. In drama, it generally follows the name of the speaker. ex.) BENVOLIO. My noble uncle, do you know the cause? MONTAGUE. I neither know it nor can learn of him.

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Romeo and juliet

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare


Literary analysis
Literary Analysis

Dialogue conversation between characters. In drama, it generally follows the name of the speaker.

ex.) BENVOLIO. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?

MONTAGUE. I neither know it nor can learn of him.

Dialogue reveals the personalities and relationships of

the characters and advances the action of the play.


Stage Directions

  • notes in the text of the play that describe how the work should be performed, or staged.

  • These instructions are usually printed in italics and are sometimes set in brackets or parentheses.

  • They describe scenes, lighting, and sound effects, as well as the appearance and physical actions of characters, as in this example:

    Scene iii. FRIAR LAWRENCE’S cell.

    [Enter FRIAR LAWRENCE alone, with a basket.]


Act i vocabulary
Act I Vocabulary

pernicious (adj.) – causing great injury or ruin

augmenting (v.) – increasing; enlarging

grievance (n.) – complaint

transgression (n.) – wrong doing; sin


Elizabethan language
Elizabethan Language

against – for; in preparation for

alack – alas (an exclamation of sorrow)

anon – soon

aye – yes

but – only; except

e’en – even

e’er – ever

haply – perhaps

happy – fortunate


hence – away; from here

hie – hurry

hither – here

marry – indeed

whence – where

wherefore – why

wilt – will

withal – in addition; not withstanding

would - wish


Reading writing connection
Reading/Writing Connection

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was inspired by tales of ill-fated love that came before it. In turn, the play has inspired countless other interpretations.

In a paragraph, explain why a romantic tragedy is an inspiring subject for writers, painters, and composers alike.

Use at least three of these words:illustrate, contrast, emphasize, reinforce, adapt.


Romeo and juliet personality quiz
Romeo and Juliet Personality Quiz

On a sheet of paper, write down which phrase best matches your personality.

1. If there was a party, you are most likely to a. Start a fight at the party with people you don’t get along with.

b. Go to the party reluctantly, you are kind of shy.

c. Go to the party because all of your friends are dragging you along.

d. Umm…. You don’t really go to parties.

e. You go to all parties, even if you aren’t directly invited!


2. Your best friend is:

a. A family friend that you’ve known forever, you like to get into trouble with them.

b. A parent, older sibling, or mentor. Someone who takes care of you

c. A kind of “class clown.” Someone who is boisterous and loud.

d. No one. You are very spiritual and go to God for friendship.

e. Someone a little shyer than you- you like to be in the spotlight!


3. Your philosophy on love is that:

a. Love and peace is for losers.

b. Although you claim to not be ready for love; you tend to unexpectedly fall for people.

c. You are a hopeless romantic and fall easily in and out of love.

d. Love is a sacred and beautiful thing to be shared; it can bring people together.

e. Love is not worth your time, you are not even sure if it is real.


4. How far would you go to get what you want?

a. I would have no problem doing what I was told not to do.

b. If the cause was really important, I would do anything, even fake my own death.

c. I tend to act before I think, and often go to extremes for immediate gratification.

d. It is not about what I want, but what I can do for others.

e. I would talk someone’s head off to get my point across, but that’s about it.


5. Where are you most likely to be found on a typical day?

a. You can find me cruising the streets with my cousins, looking for trouble, or something to do.

b. I’m usually hanging out at home, and don’t go too many places.

c. I would probably be in a crowded coffee house, writing poetry or contemplating life.

d. You can find me at church, or problem solving other people’s problems.

e. You can find me at a local hangout; I’m generally friends with everyone.


How did you score
How did you score?

  • Mostly A’s: You are Tybalt!

  • Mostly B’s: You are Juliet!

  • Mostly C’s: You are Romeo!

  • Mostly D’s: You are Friar Lawrence!

  • Mostly E’s: You are Mercutio!


Mostly A’s: You are Tybalt!

A Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured. Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared. He loathes Montagues.

Mostly B’s: You are Juliet!

The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city, climb over walls in the middle of the night, or get into swordfights. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Juliet’s closest friend and confidant is her Nurse, though she’s willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the Nurse turns against Romeo.

Mostly C’s: You are Romeo!

The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Though impulsive and immature, his idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love. At the beginning of the play he is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. Thus, Shakespeare gives us every reason to question how real Romeo’s new love is, but Romeo goes to extremes to prove the seriousness of his feelings. He secretly marries Juliet, the daughter of his father’s worst enemy; he happily takes abuse from Tybalt; and he would rather die than live without his beloved. Romeo is also an affectionate and devoted friend to his relative Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence.

Mostly D’s: You are Friar Lawrence!

A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs.

Mostly E’s: You are Mercutio!

A kinsman to the Prince (the prince is kind of like the Chief of Police), and Romeo’s close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays, Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions. He finds Romeo’s romanticized ideas about love tiresome, and tries to convince Romeo to view love as a simple matter of sexual appetite.


Romeo and juliet characters
Romeo and Juliet Characters

Escalus – Prince of Verona

Paris – a young count, kinsman to the Prince

Montague – Romeo’s father

Capulet – Juliet’s father

Romeo – son of Montague

Mercutio – kinsman to the Prince and friend to Romeo

Benvolio – nephew to Montague and friend to Romeo

Tybalt – nephew to Lady Capulet

Friar Lawrence – Franciscan

Friar John – Franciscan

Balthasar – servant to Romeo


Sampson – servant to Capulet

Gregory – servant to Capulet

Peter – servant to Juliet’s nurse

Abram – servant to Montague

Lady Montague – wife to Montague

Lady Capulet – wife to Capulet

Juliet – daughter to Capulet

Citizens of Verona – gentlemen and gentlewomen of both houses, Maskers, Torchbearers, Pages, Guards, Watchmen, Servants, and Attendants


The prologue
The Prologue

Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal lions of these two foes

A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;

Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows

Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.

The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love.

And the continuance of their parents’ rage,

Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,

Is now the two hours’ traffick of our stage;

The which if you with patient ears attend,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


Sonneta short poem with 14 lines, usually ten-syllable rhyming lines, divided into two, three, or four sections; usually written in iambic pentameter.

Iambic pentameter: The metrical pattern in a line of verse in which five unaccented syllables alternate with five accented syllables: puh-POM puh-POM puh-POM puh-POM puh-POM.

  • The pattern is most compatible with the normal rhythms of English speech, and was a fixture of Elizabethan verse.

  • Shakespeare's plays were written mostly in iambic pentameter, which is the most common type of meter in English poetry.

  • An example of an iambic pentameter line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is:

    ex.) “But soft!/ What light/ through yon/der win/dow breaks?”