Romeo and Juliet - Study Notes!

NOTES : * indicates personal opinion.

Romeo and Juliet

The prologue is written in the form of a sonnet. A sonnet is a 14 line lyric poem with an iambic pentameter rhythm and a set rhyme scheme.

U / iamb U / U / U / U / U /
pentameter - 5 feet

The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet divides the poem into 3 quatrains and a rhyming couplet. The thought of the poem follows this division.

Quatrain 1
dignity - A
scene - B
mutiny - A
unclean - A
Quatrain 2
foes - C
life - D
over throw - C
strife - D
Quatrain 3
love - E
rage - F
remove - E
stage - F
Rhyming couplet
attend - G
mend - G

Act One
Scene One

1) What should be achieved by the opening scene of the play? Give examples from this scene to illustrate your answer.

In the opening scene, several things should be established. The setting, scene, mood, and the conflict must be introduced. But, first, we must grab the audiences attention. There are many things that draw the audiences attention, including : Fighting, sex, loud shouts, many actors moving about, and jokes. In the first scene in Romeo and Juliet, the two characters Sampson and Gregory were joking around.

Scene Two

1) *What do you think Paris’s later role will be?

I think that Paris will add conflict later on, and he will be against Juliet and Romeo. He will become quite jealous, and probably try to get revenge on Romeo.

2) What is Capulet’s attitude to his wife and daughter?

Capulet loves and respects his wife and daughter. He seems protective of Juliet, which is understandable considering she is his only daughter. He wants her to be happily wed to Paris, and he wants her to support his decision about Paris.

3) What use is made of coincidence?

Romeo and Benevolio just happen to meet the servant, who tells them about the party. Had they not run into him, Romeo would of never been able to meet Juliet.

4) What is the dramatic purpose of Capulet’s party?

Capulet’s party gives Romeo a chance to meet Juliet, but more importantly, being a masked party, his identity can remain anonymous.

Scene Three

1) What is the attitude of
a) Lady Capulet
b) Juliet
c) The nurse
… To Paris’s proposal.

a) Lady Capulet was happy to hear his proposal, as she thinks her daughter is old enough, and Paris is a good man for her.
b) Juliet, although not in love with anyone else, objects to being forcefully married by her father. But, being obedient she must obey her father.
c) The nurse is very happy about the proposal. She thinks he is perfect, he is young and good looking, and a good mate.

2) Write a brief character sketch of the nurse.

The nurse is very talkative. She cares deeply for Juliet, and treats her like her own daughter; probably because she lost her husband and daughter. She is supportive of Juliet’s ideas. She is also quite blunt, or coarse and talks about things that most wouldn’t talk about in public.

Scene Four

1) Find an example of foreshadowing.

‘I fear too early; for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin this fearful date
With this night’s revels, and expire the term
Of a despised life clos’d in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
But He that hath the steerage of my course
Direct my sail! On listy gentleman!’

Scene Five

1) How is a masked ball good theatre?

The masked ball is good theater because the guys don’t have to dress as girls, as no one knows their real identity.

2) What contribution do the serving men make?

The Serving men let us know that we are at the party.

3) Why does Rosaline never appear on stage?

She never appears on stage so that people can’t compare between her and Juliet’s looks, as some might say Rosaline is fairer than Juliet.

4) Why does Shakespeare avoid a clash between Tybalt and Romeo on stage?

If Romeo and Tybalt fought on stage, then Romeo would not of had a chance to talk to Juliet.

5) Select speeches which keep the feud complication before the audience.

‘This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy. What, dares the slave
Come hither cover’d with an antic face,
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?
Now, by the stock and honor of my kin,
To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.’

‘Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe.
A villain that is hither come in spite
To scorn at our solemnity this