Shortly after the scene opens, a fight breaks out in the streets of Verona. Samson and Gregory, two Capulet servants full of bravado, speak in vulgar manner. Why does Shakespeare begin his play this way? to show the enmity between the rich families, Montague and Capulet
A foil is a character who provides contrast to another character. Explain how Benvolio and Tybalt are foil characters. Benvolio is very kind and peace loving whereas Tybalt has bad temper and is very violent
When the fray begins, how do Capulet and Montague respond, and what does this say about them? Capulet and Montague fight on the street disrupting the peace
What type of speech does the Prince deliver in lines 72 – 94? What does he state in this speech? The Prince delivers a threatening speech saying that if another fight breaks out, then Lord Montague and Lord Capulet will be executed.
Montague, when speaking of Romeo, states the following: …But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the farthest East begin to draw The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed, Away from the light steals home my heavy son, And private in his chamber pens himself… Aurora is the goddess of dawn; what literary device is used here? What is Montague saying about his son? Montague is saying that he does not have access to his own son, since his son stays in his chamber and goes out without saying a word to anyone.
What is Romeo saying? Well, in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit With Cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit, And, in strong proof of chastity well armed, From Love’s weak childish bow she lives uncharmed. She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Nor bide th’ encounter of assailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold. O, she is rich in beauty; only poor That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store. She hath, and in that sparing make huge waste; For beauty, starved with her severity, Cuts beauty off from all posterity. She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair To merit bliss by making me despair. She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow Do I live dead that live to tell it now. Romeo fell in love with a girl named Rosaline, but he is unable to talk to her. He is suffering depression
Benvolio gives Romeo advice when he says, “By giving liberty unto thine eyes. Examine other beauties.” What does this mean? Benvolio is telling Romeo that Rosaline is not the only beautiful girl in the world. Benvolio is advising Romeo to keep an open mind and look at the other girls, because someday, Romeo will find a girl who loves him.
As Romeo continues on, what is he saying? ‘Tis the wayTo call hers, exquisite, in question more.These happy masks that kiss fair ladies brows,Being black puts us in mind they hide the fair.He that is strucken blind cannot forgetThe precious treasure of his eyesight lost.Show me a mistress that is passing fair:What doth her beauty serve but as a noteWhere I may read who passed that passing fair?Farewell. Thou canst not teach me to forget. Romeo is refusing to listen to his friend’s advice and feels that there is no way he can forget about Rosaline.
What does Paris ask Capulet? How does Capulet respond? Explain. Paris asks to Capulet if he can marry Juliet. Capulet is reluctant, but then he said he will agree if Paris can win Juliet’s heart.
Benvolio persuades Romeo to “crash” a Capulet party. Benvolio’s rationale is as follows: “Compare her face with some that I shall show,And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.” What is this an example of? What does Benvolio mean by this? This is an example of rhyming couplet. Benvolio means that Romeo should not be focused or obsessed with Rosaline, but keep an open mind for other ladies.
Romeo replies, “One fairer than my love? The all-seeing sun, Ne’er saw her match since first the world begun.” What does he mean by this? Romeo is close-minded thinking there is no one more beautiful than Rosaline.
Why does Romeo agree to “crash” the Capulet party? Romeo agrees to “crash” the party since he knows that Rosaline will be attending the party too.
Lady Capulet seeks Juliet’s opinion on the marriage proposal of Paris. How does Juliet feel about this? Lady Capulet describes Paris as such in the following metaphor. What is Lady Capulet saying about Paris? Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face,And find the delight writ there with beauty’s pen;Examine every married lineament,And see how one another lends content;And what obscured in this fair volume liesFind written in the margent of his eyes.This precious book of love, this unbound lover,To beautify him only lacks a cover. Juliet feels a bit nervous about the marriage. Lady Capulet is advising Juliet to accept the marriage proposal of Paris.
Romeo has misgivings about going to the Capulet party. Discuss the significance of the following quotation: “Some consequences yet hanging in the starsShall bitterly begin in his fearful date” Romeo knows that he’s not supposed to go to the Capulet party, but he still goes since Rosaline is going there. Romeo fears that he will be caught at the Capulet party and he will be killed.
What is the reaction of both Capulet and Tybalt when Romeo’s presence is known? Tybalt, wanted to kill Romeo since Romeo is a Montague, but Capulet simply forbids Tybalt from drawing his sword and killing Romeo.
What is meant by Juliet’s comment? “My only love, sprung from my only hate!Too early seen unknown, and known too late!Prodigious birth of love it is to meThat I must love a loathed enemy.” Juliet loves Romeo but they are both in different classes, who are enemies. Instead of hating Romeo, Juliet falls in love with Romeo.
What’s the purpose of the Prologue? The prologue is delivered by one actor. It’s in the form of a sonnet–three quatrains and a couplet. The Prologue serves several purposes. It introduces the play and provides some general information, such as the location of the play (“fair Verona”) and the length of the play (“two hours”). It also provides the dramatist’s view of the tragedy that is about to be performed, citing two causes of disaster–fate (“star-crossed lovers”) and the feud between the families (“parents rage”). The tone of the Prologue is serious and formal, as befits tragedy.
Which Montague tried to stop the fight in Scene 1, and which Capulet challenges him to a fight? Benvolio, a Montague, tries to stop the fight, but he is attacked by Tybalt, a Capulet, who mocks him for claiming to keep the peace while his sword is drawn.
dignity high social rank
mutiny violence
Where…unclean in which the blood of citizens stains citizens’ hands
star-crossed ill-fated by the unfavorable positions of the stars
Whose…overthrows whose unfortunate, sorrowful destruction
but except
two hours’ traffic two hours’ business
What…mend What is not clear in this prologue we actors shall try to clarify in the course of the play
bucklers small shields
carry coals endure insults
colliers sellers of coal
an…draw if we are angered, we’ll draw our swords
collar hangman’s noose
take the wall assert superiority by walking nearer the houses and therefore farther from the gutter
What does the conversation reveal about Capulets and Montagues? It shows the hatred Capulets and Montagues have towards each other
tool weapon
take…sides make sure the law is on our side
list please
bite…thumb make an insulting gesture
How does footnote 8 help understand Sampson’s logic in line 34? Footnote 8 shows that Sampson plans to fight the Montagues, but make sure Montagues start, then according to the law, Montagues will be punished.
How would Gregory and Sampson best be described in this scene? Sampson is very aggressive, and ready to fight Montagues where as Gregory is not really up to it. He will only fight when there is a need.
swashing hard downward stroke
heartless hinds cowardly servants. hind also means “female deer”
Which contrasting traits do Benvolio and Tybalt reveal in their brief conversation? Benvolio is not a fighter, rather a peacemaker, whereas Tybalt is a fighter who will fight when there is one.
partisans spearlike weapons with broad blades
bills weapons consisting of hook-shaped blades with long handles
spite defiance
Whom does Tybalt fight? Benvolio
Train attendants
Profaners those who show disrespect or contempt
pernicious causing great injury or ruin
mistempered hardened for a wrong purpose; bad-tempered
Cast…ornaments put aside their dignified and appropriate clothing
Who…abroach? Who reopened this old fight?
on…part on one side and the others
What can be inferred about Benvolio based on his interaction with Romeo’s parents? Benvolio is a very good friend of Romeo and is trusted by Romeo’s parents.
ware aware; wary
covert hidden place
measuring…affections judging his feelings
Which…found which wanted to be where there was no one else.
Pursued…his followed my own mind by not following after Romeo
augmenting increasing; enlarging
heavy sad, moody
portentous promising bad fortune
importuned questioned deeply
sounding understanding
How does the Prince respond to the fight between Benvolio and Tybalt? The Prince takes no one’s side and poses a threat saying that if there is another fight, death will be the punishment of the next Montague or Capulet that disrupts the peace.
grievance injustice; complaint
I…shrift I hope you are lucky enough to hear him confess the truth
Which personality traits are revealed by Benvolio’s concern for Romeo? Depression, loneliness
view appearance
in proof when experienced
whose…still Cupid is traditionally represented as blindfolded
but…love loyalty to family and love of fighting. In the following lines, Romeo speaks of love as a series of contradictions–a union of opposites.
What do Romeo’s words in lines 171-174 reveal about his personality? Romeo is saying that he has fallen in love but no love is being returned to him. He finds it strange, and embarrassing. It explains the depression and loneliness Romeo endures
coz cousin
transgression wrongdoing; sin
Which…thine Which griefs you will increase by adding your own sorrow to them
discreet intelligently sensitive
gall a bitter liquid
Soft! Hold on a minute
Why is footnote 41 helpful here? Usually the word soft is used as an adjective, not for saying wait or hold on, footnote clarifies the word soft here.
in sadness seriously
Which details in line 195 indicate that Romeo is a round character? Before Romeo was depressed and never wanted to tell what was bothering him. But now after talking to his friend, Romeo was finally able to admit that he likes some one.
Dian’s wit the mind of Diana, goddess of chastity
proof armor
That…store in that her beauty will die with her if she does not marry and have children
What reason for his sadness does Romeo give Benvolio? Romeo’s reason is that he is in love with a woman, but the woman doesn’t love Romeo
in…posterity By denying herself love and marriage, she wastes her beauty, which will not live on in future generations
She…despair She being too good–she’ll earn happiness in heaven by dooming me to live without her love
forsworn to sworn not to
‘Tis…more That way will only make her beauty more strongly present inmmy mind
What contrasting attitudes are revealed in this exchange between Romeo and Benvolio? Benvolio is trying to get Romeo to look at other girls, and forget the girl who Romeo likes whereas Romeo thinks that looking at other girls will only remind Romeo of the beautiful girl he likes.
who…fair who surpassed in beauty that very beautiful woman
I’ll…debt I’ll teach you to forget, or else die trying
reckoning reputation
What can you tell about Lord Capulet’s character traits based on his talk with Paris? Lord Capulet is not commanding, but he will agree if his daughter agrees to marriage proposal from Paris.
hopes children
She…earth My hopes for future rest in her; she will inherit all that is mine
and…voice If she agrees, I will consent to and agree with her choice
Earth-treading stars young ladies
Which…none If you look at all the young girls, you may see her as merely one among many, and not worth special admiration.
Using footnote 6, explain the main idea of Capulet’s proposal to Paris Capulet is saying that if Paris compares Juliet with the other girls, she will be no different than the others.
stay await
shoemaker…nets the servant is confusing workers and their tools. He intends to say that people should stick with what they know
In good time! Just in time! The servant has seen Benvolio and Romeo, who can read
Turn…turning If you are dizzy from turning one way, turn the other way
plantain leaf leaf used to stop bleeding
God-den good afternoon; good evening
What does Capulet tell Paris he wishes for his daughter? Capulet wants his daughter to get a glimpse of the outside world before she can marry, and that she marries a person by her free will
Rest you merry May God keep you happy–a way of saying farewell
Is the servant a round or flat character? Why? Servant is a flat character since he has always been illiterate, and is still unable to read
ancient long-established; traditional
unattained unprejudiced
heretics those who hold to a belief opposed to established teachings of a church
When…liars! When I see Rosaline as just a plain-looking girl, may my tears turn to fire and burn my eyes out
How does footnote 16 convey Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline? It shows Romeo’s anger, and how shame of what he was thinking when he fell in love with Rosaline
Herself…eye Rosaline compared with no one else
crystal scales your eyes
mine own my own love
give leave leave us alone
thou’s…counsel you shall hear our confidence
Based on footnotes 1 and 2 what facial expression might the Nurse have during Lady Capulet’s speech? The nurse is a bit nervous and scared for Juliet when asked to leave Lady Capulet and Juliet alone but then when she is called back in, she feels relief.
teen sorrow
Lammastide August 1, a holiday celebrating the summer harvest
A fortnight and odd days two weeks plus a few days
What does Romeo agree to do with Benvolio? Romeo agrees to crash the Capulet party with Benvolio
Susan…age Susan, the Nurse’s child, was the same age as Juliet
How does the information from footnote 6 help understand the Nurse’s devotion to Juliet? The Nurse saw Juliet as her own child since Susan was the same age as Juliet.
Which character traits does the Nurse reveal in her speech The Nurse reveals the sadness, the happiness, she felt when Susan and her husband was there
In what ways does the Nurse’s character contrast with those of Lady Capulet and Juliet? Unlike Lady Capulet and Juliet, the Nurse always remembers her daughter, Susan, when seeing Juliet happy, or when Lammas Eve comes, since Juliet and Susan were the same age.
I…maid I was your mother when I was as old as you are now.
he’s…wax he’s a model of man
Why is footnote 8 essential for your understanding? Footnote 8 is essentially important because it shows the trouble Juliet will face later when she falls in love with Romeo
Examine…content Examine every harmonious feature of his face and see how each one enhances every other . Throughout this speech Lady Capulet compares Paris to a book
margent margin. Paris’s eyes are compared to the margin of a book, where whatever is not clear in the text (the rest of his face) can be explained by notes
cover metaphor for wife
I’ll…move If looking favorably at someone leads to liking him, I’ll look at Paris in a way that will lead to liking him
But…fly But I won’t look harder than you want me to
the County stays The Count, Paris, is waiting
Why has Lady Capulet come to talk to Juliet? Lady Capulet, wanted to talk to Juliet about marriage, and the marriage proposal from Paris.
this speech Romeo asks whether he and his companions, being uninvited guests, should follow the custom by announcing their arrival in a speech
The…prolixity such wordiness is outdated. In the following lines, Benvolio says, in sum: “Let’s forget about announcing our entrance with a show. The other guests can look over and see if they fit. We’ll dance a while, then leave.
heavy (feelings) weighed down with sadness
visage mask
A visor…visor A mask for a mask–which is what my real face is like
quote deformities notice my ugly features
betake…legs start dancing
Let…rushes Let fun-loving people dance on the floor coverings
proverbed…phrase directed by an old saying
The game…done No matter how much enjoyment may be had, I won’t have any
Dun’s…word Lie low like a mouse–that’s what a constable waiting to make an arrest might say
Dun proverbial name for a horse
Take…wits Understand my intended meaning. That shows more intelligence than merely following what your senses perceive
Queen Mab the queen of fairyland
In what way is Mercutio a foil for Romeo? Mercutio is energetic and full of excitement whereas Romeo is down, and wants to leave
atomies creatures
What advice about love does Mercutio give Romeo about love? Mercutio advises Romeo to endure love and its full weight. What love gives, return the exact same favor
spinners spiders
film spider’s thread
old grub an insect that bores holes in nuts
Which character trait does Mercutio reveal in his Queen Mab speech? Mercutio reveals a comedic type character trait when telling the tale of Queen Mab
sweetmeats candy
smelling…suit finding someone who has a petition (suit) for the King and who will pay the courtier to gain the king’s favor for the petition.
tithe pig a pig donated to a parson
benefice a church appointment that included a guaranteed income
ambuscadoes ambushes
healths toasts (“To your health!”)
plats tangles
elflocks tangled hair
carriage posture
How do lines 95-96 emphasize the contrast between Romeo and Mercutio Unlike Mercutio, Romeo doesn’t talk about anything whereas Mercutio talks about dreams.
my mind…death My mind is fearful that some future event fated by stars shall start to run its course tonight and cut my life short.
Using note 28, as a text aid, restate Romeo’s words in lines 109-111 in modern English I fear that starting from this night there is a fate that will lead to my death.
trencher a wooden platter
marchpane marzipan, a confection made of sugar and almonds
How do flat characters like the servingmen add to the play? They are the indirect cause of major events such as Romeo sneaking into the party after an illiterate servant approached for help reading the list. Or Gregory and Sampson starting a fight on street of Verona.
walk a bout dance a turn
makes dainty hesitates, acts shy
hall clear the floor, make room for dancing
What does Romeo fear might happen in the future? Romeo fears that death might await him in the future.
ward minor
Forswear deny
antic face strange, fantastic mask
fleer mock
What does Tybalt mean by saying that Romeo has come to the party with an “antic face,/To fleer and scorn at our solemnity”? Tybalt is saying that it is a dishonor to let a Montague enter a Capulet party.
‘A…gentleman He behaves like a dignified gentleman
disparagement insult
ill-beseeming semblance inappropriate appearance
goodman term of address for someone below the rank of gentleman
Go to expression of angry impatience
God…soul! expression of impatience, equivalent to, “God save me!”
You will set cock-a-hoop you want to swagger like a barnyard rooster
This…you This trait of yours may turn to hurt you
princox rude youngster; wise guy
Patience…meeting enforced self-control mixing with strong anger
Which character traits do Romeo and Juliet reveal in their words to each other? Romeo and Juliet both reveal love to each other
shrine Juliet’s hand
palmers pilgrims who at one time carried palm branches from the Holy Land.
move initiate involvement in earthly affairs
How does Capulet respond when Tybalt says he will not tolerate Romeo’s presence at the party? Capulet says that Romeo’s presence will be tolerated since Romeo is not doing anything.
O…urged! Romeo is saying, in substance, that he is happy. Julie calls his kiss a sin, for now he can take it back–by another kiss
by th’book as if you were following a manual of courtly love
chinks cash
My life…debt Since Juliet is a Capulet, Romeo’s life is at the mercy of the enemies of his family
towards being prepared
Is…so? Is it the case that you really must leave?
fay faith
Prodigious monstrous; foretelling misfortune

You Might Also Like