The tragedy of romeo and juliet
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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Act I Notes. Act I. scene i. Setting: Verona, Italy Sunday Morning Conflict: House of Capulet & House of Montague are fighting for little reason Characters: Benvolio -tries to keep the peace friend to Romeo

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Act i scene i
Act I. scene i

  • Setting: Verona, Italy

    • Sunday Morning

  • Conflict: House of Capulet & House of Montague are fighting for little reason

  • Characters:

  • Benvolio -tries to keep the peace

    • friend to Romeo

    • tries to lift his spirits by pushing him to look at others

  • Tybalt –doesn’t believe in peace

    • “What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word/ as I hate hell, all Montagues and thee. / Have thee, coward!” 58-59

  • Prince – rules over the town. He’s tired of their fighting.

    • Warning: “If ever you disturb our streets again/ Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” 84-85

Act i scene ii
Act I. scene ii

  • Setting

    • Streets of Verona

  • Conflict

    • Paris wants to marry Juliet, Capulet’s beautiful and young, not yet 14 year-old, daughter.

  • Characters

    • Paris: he has asked Capulet for Juliet’s hand many times- the answer has always been no

    • Capulet believes Paris should wait until she is 15 turning 16 to marry Juliet or Paris needs to win her heart

    • Romeo: we learn that his love is Rosaline

      • She will be invited to the party at the Capulets

    • Benvolio: Thinks going to the party will show Romeo there are others to love:

      • “Compare her face with some that I shall show/ And I will make thee think thy swan a crow” (81-82).

  • Style

    • Servants do not speak in the same rhyming pattern of the “elite” characters.

Act i scene iii
Act I. scene iii

  • Setting

    • Capulet’s house

  • Conflict

    • Juliet learns of the continued interest from Paris and feels pressure from her mom and nurse.

  • Characters

    • Juliet

      • surprised by all talk of marriage

      • agrees to look at Paris, but she’d only act if moved by looking at him

    • Lady Capulet

      • believes Juliet, who turns 14 on August 1st, will be ready to consider marriage.

    • Nurse

      • has extreme love for Juliet- treats her as her own daughter

      • she hopes to see Juliet married

      • she believes Paris would be a good match

Act i scene iv
Act I. scene iv

  • Setting

    • Capulet’s House

  • Conflict

    • Romeo’s depression continues and he has to be pushed to celebrate

  • Characters

    • Romeo

      • Continues with his negative views of love

      • “Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,/ Too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn” (25-26)

    • Mercutio

      • wants to inspire Romeo to party and dance

      • believes Romeo hides his true emotions

      • Queen Mab Speech

Queen mab speech
Queen Mab Speech

  • Queen Mab was a historic Celtic (Irish) folklore fairy

  • In Shakespeare’s time, Mab=Prostitute

  • Mab’s description:

    • Small- the size of a rock in a ring

    • Rides in a carriage= like the wealthy

    • Carriage is made up of natural things (spider webs, grasshopper legs, etc.)

    • Her driver is a gnat in a hazelnut shell

  • Mab’s Power:

    • She brings dreams over the heads of men while they sleep

    • She is able to give men lustful dreams

    • Her dreams give men their wishes

    • She has a role in making maids pregnant

Importance of mab speech
Importance of Mab speech

  • In this scene, Mercuito steals center stage from Romeo

  • While Romeo is passing time in self-pity, Mercutio shows him how stupid he is acting

  • Mercutio is able to out-talk Romeo here and convince him to go to the party

  • This speech inspired many songs and poems:

    • “Nimphidia” by Michael Drayton

    • “Queen Mab” by Percy Shelley

    • “Queen Mab” by Sarah C. Hanson

Act i scene v
Act I. scene v

  • Setting

    • Capulet’s house

    • Sunday evening, the night of the party

  • Characters

    • Capulet

      • Welcomes all his guests

      • Invites everyone to dance…if not, then his assumes they have corns on their feet

    • Tybalt

      • Recognizes Romeo and wants to fight (he sees his presence as an insult)

      • Is scolded by Capulet and sent away- he vows for revenge

    • Romeo

      • Sees Juliet across the crowed room; falls madly in love with her

      • Is smooth enough to get two kisses from her

      • Believes his life is in the hands of his enemy

    • Juliet

      • Falls for Romeo’s smooth talking

      • Wishes she had known he was a Montague before she fell in love

      • Can’t believe fate would have her fall for an enemy