Romeo and Juliet Questions

Act I, Scene 1:

1.) Why do you think Shakespeare begins his plays with minor characters (servants, not Romeo and Juliet)?
2.) What are the servants (Sampson and Gregory) discussing in the opening scene and why do you believe it's important to the rest of the play?
3.) Why do you think Shakespeare begins his tragedies (like Romeo and Juliet) with a humorous scene?
4.) What is the tension in the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet? How do you know there's tension?
5.) The Capulet servants (Sampson and Gregory) insult the Montague servants. What rude gesture do they use as an insult? What does that rude gesture compare to today?
6.) Which character has a monologue in the opening scene and tries to keep the peace? What does he threaten the people if they disturb the peace again?
7.) Who is a character that instigates (starts fights)?
8.) How do the citizens react to the fighting in the streets?
9.) Where's Romeo? Why is his absence important? Why is Romeo filled with sorrow and despair?
10.) What is Shakespeare's purpose in writing that Romeo is sad about a girl who doesn't return his love (she's not Juliet)?
11.) How can you contrast Benvolio (from the Montague Family) and Tybalt (from the Capulet Family)?
12.) What does Benvolio recommend to Romeo in his depressed state?

Act I, Scene 2:

1.) What does Paris want from Capulet?
2.) Why is Capulet in conflict with Paris?
3.) What is Romeo's opinion about romantic love?
4.) How does Romeo learn that his beloved Rosaline (the girl who does not return his love) will be attending the Capulets' party?
5.) Why does Benvolio believe it's a good idea that Romeo go see Rosaline at the Capulets' party?

Act I, Scene 3:

1.) Who's closer with Juliet--Nurse or Lady Capulet? Explain.
2.) Describe the depiction (portrayal) of Paris, according to Lady Capulet and Nurse.
3.) How does Juliet feel about Paris as a potential husband?

Act I, Scene 4:

1.) What type of party are Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio going to attend at the Capulet's home?
2.) What is Romeo's mood during this scene?
3.) What is Mercutio's love advice to Romeo?
4.) Why do Romeo and Mercutio speak of dreams and fate during this scene?

Act I, Scene 5:

1.) What causes Romeo's mood during scene 4 to change in scene 5?
2.) How does Romeo describe Juliet in his first impressions?
3.) When Tybalt recognizes Romeo, how does Tybalt react?
4.) What does Mr. Capulet tell Tybalt about Romeo?
5.) Why does Shakespeare use religious metaphors in lines 99-108 (on pp. 203-204)?
6.) Why might the audience feel a sense of tension when Romeo and Juliet kiss each other?
7.) How does Romeo learn that Juliet is a Capulet?
8.) What literary technique does Shakespeare use when Juliet says: "If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed" (Lines 132-133, p. 204)?
9.) Where is the sonnet in this scene and why is it significant?
10.) How do Romeo and Juliet reveal their personalities in this scene?

Prologue and Act II, Scene 1:

1.) How does Rosaline contrast to Juliet?
2.) What does the prologue predict about Romeo and Juliet's future?
3.) What poetic form do the prologues follow?
4.) Why are Mercutio and Benvolio searching for Romeo?
5.) With whom do Mercutio and Benvolio believe Romeo is in love?

Act II, Scene 2:

1.) Where is Romeo at the beginning of the scene and why?
2.) Identify an example of a metaphor and personification in lines 3-6. What is Shakespeare's purpose for each example.
3.) How does Romeo describe Juliet's physical appearance in the beginning of the scene (use specific lines to support your answer)?
4.) What is the meaning of "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" (2.2.33)? Why is this quote important to the storyline?
5.) How does Romeo claim to have entered into Juliet's courtyard? Refer to line 66.
6.) What would the consequence be if Romeo where caught in Juliet's courtyard? Support your answer with evidence (specific line/lines).
7.) Why does Juliet believe she's too accessible (easily available) to Romeo? Find evidence in lines 95-105.
8.) How does the audience know that Romeo and Juliet have strong feelings for each other?
9.) What is a religious allusion (reference) in this scene and why is it important?
10.) What plans do the young lovers make at the end of the scene?

Act II, Scene 3:

1.) Why is Romeo seeking Friar Laurence's attention?
2.) What is the purpose of Friar Laurence's soliloquy (a speech where one character shares his/her inner thoughts with the audience and no other characters can hear)?
3.) What is an example of foreshadowing in Friar Laurence's soliloquy?
4.) What wisdom does Friar speak about young people in love? (Refer to Romeo's recent love for Rosaline)
5.) Why does Friar agree to marry Romeo and Juliet?

Act II, Scene 4:

1.) How does Act II, Scene 4 begin? Romeo and Mercutio trying to prove who's smarter, and newly confident Romeo wins the battle of intelligence.
2.) What advice does the Nurse tell Romeo?
3.) Why does the Nurse talk to Romeo?
4.) What does Romeo say will be Juliet's excuse to meet Romeo?

Act II, Scenes 5 and 6:

1.) What is the Nurse's flaw?
2.) What important information does the Nurse communicate to Juliet?
3.) How are the Friar and the Nurse comparable and contrasting in Act II, Scenes 5 and 6?

Act III, Scene 1 Questions:

1.) How is Mercutio characterized (described by his personality, speech, thoughts, feelings, and actions)?
2.) How can you describe the dialogue between Tybalt and Romeo? How can you contrast these two characters?
3.) How does Romeo react when Tybalt and Mercutio are fighting?
4.) What happens to Mercutio as a consequence of his fighting with Tybalt? What curse does he repeat on the Montagues and Capulets?
5.) How does Romeo react after Mercutio has died?
6.) Who is trusted to tell the Prince about the fight and the consequences?
7.) What does Lady Capulet want as Romeo’s punishment? How does that contrast to the Prince’s punishment for Romeo?

Act III, Scene 2 Questions:

1.) As Scene 2 opens, Juliet is sharing a soliloquy (a speech that shares her innermost thoughts with the audience and no other characters). What does she reveal?
2.) What tragic event does Nurse reveal to Juliet and how does Juliet react?
3.) What does Juliet mean when she says "that one word banished hath slain ten thousand Tybalts" (3.2.113-114)?
4.) What does Nurse agree to do in order to make Juliet happy?

Act III, Scene 3 Questions:

1.) Who tells Romeo that the Prince has banished him and how does Romeo react to this revelation?
2.) How does Friar Laurence disparage (put down) Romeo for his reaction to the banishment?
3.) How does Friar Laurence compliment and encourage Romeo?
4.) What does the Nurse give to Romeo and why is it important?
5.) Where is Romeo instructed to go before daybreak (the new day)?
6.) How do Friar Laurence and the Nurse develop (or advance) the plot in this scene?

Act III, Scenes 4 and 5 Questions:

1.) What do Juliet's parents plan for Juliet's immediate future and why?
2.) What foreshadowing is revealed when Romeo and Juliet have intimate time together?
3.) How does Shakespeare use the light/dark or day/night contrasts? Why does Juliet want the darkness to continue?
4.) Who does Lady Capulet believe Juliet is weeping for and who is Juliet actually weeping for and why?
5.) How does Juliet react to Lady Capulet's demand to marry Paris?
6.) How does Capulet respond to Juliet's reaction from question #4?
7.) How and why does Juliet's relationship with the Nurse change? Do you believe Juliet is justified in her feelings toward the Nurse?
8.) What is Juliet's resolution at the end of the scene (in her soliloquy)?

Act IV, Scene 1 Questions:

1.) How would you characterize (describe in appearance, personality, points of view) Paris?
2.) What are Paris' expectations?
3.) What is Friar's advice to Juliet?
4.) How would you characterize Juliet in this state of anxiety?
5.) What's the resolution (final decision) at the end of this scene and why?

Act IV, Scenes 2, 3 and 4 Questions:

1.) How does Juliet interact with her parents? Why have her interactions changed?
2.) Why doesn't Juliet confide in Nurse about her plans?
3.) What are Juliet's fears and concerns before drinking the sleeping potion (in her soliloquy)?

Act IV, Scene 5 Questions:

1.) How does Shakespeare build suspense in this scene?
2.) How can you describe Mr. Capulet's response to Juliet's fake death?
3.) How does Shakespeare use dramatic irony and personification in this scene and why?
4.) How does Friar Lawrence respond to Juliet's fake death?
5.) What is the resolution (end) of the scene and why?

Act V, Scenes 1 and 2 Questions:

1.) What does Romeo dream and why is it foreshadowing (predicting the future)?
2.) What news does Balthasar provide Romeo and why is it an example of dramatic irony?
3.) What does Romeo reveal about his plans in his soliloquy?
4.) What is our assumption about Romeo's achievement of his plans?
5.) Why does the apothecary sell Romeo poison?
6.) What prevented Friar John from giving a letter to Romeo about Juliet's fake death?
7.) What does Friar Laurence plan to do to rectify (fix) this situation?

Act V, Scene 3 Questions:

1.) What does Romeo pretend is the reason for him visiting Juliet's dead body?
2.) How does Shakespeare incorporate metaphor and personification in this final scene?
3.) Why does Paris want to fight Romeo at the Capulets' tomb?
4.) How does Paris die?
5.) What does Romeo say in his final soliloquy?
6.) How does Romeo die?
7.) What are examples of foreshadowing?
8.) What does Juliet learn from Friar Lawrence when she awakens from her long sleep?
9.) What solution does Friar Lawrence offer Juliet?
10.) How does Juliet die?
11.) What is the purpose of the watchmen in this play?
12.) What do Mr. Capulet and Lady Capulet discover and what is their reaction?
13.) Who reveals all the details of Romeo and Juliet's relationship and why they died and why does this person reveal all of these details?
14.) Why is the Prince's role important in this final scene of the play?
15.) Why does the Prince say that "All are punished"?
16.) What are the interactions and gifts exchanged between Mr. Capulet and Mr. Montague?
17.) What are the final lines of the play and why are they significant (important)?