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Romeo and Juliet Study Guide

Here are some study questions to help undertand the play, Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.

Romeo and Juliet

Study Guide

Act I

Scene i

1.  Summarize what the play is about by the prologue.

2.   Which characters pick a fight in scene one?

3.   Tvbalts name comes from a word that means bold. Benvolio is from Latin words that mean 1 wish. From what you know about them so far, how appropriate are their names?

4.   Why is the prince so upset with the two families?

5.   What metaphor does Romeo use for love (line 17!)? How do these images reflect his agitated state?

Scene ii

1.    What reservation does Capulet have about Pariss request to marry Juliet?

2.   How old is Juliet?

3.   How do Romeo and Benvolio find out about the Capulet party?

      4.   Who does Romeo want to see at this party?

5.   According to Benvolio how will attending the party help Romeo get over his love?


Scene iii

1.   What do Lady Capulet, Juliet and the nurse discuss in the beginning of the scene?

          2.   How does Juliet feel about marriage (line 30)?       

3.   Explain Juliets response to her mothers question in lines 57-61.


Scene iv

1.  Mercutios name comes from the Roman god Mercury, who was known for eloquence, and cleverness. In lines 11-26 what is Mercutio teasing Romeo about? What advice does he have for Romeo?

2.   In the end of this scene why does Romeo fear going to the party?


Scene v

1.    When Romeo sees Juliet for the first time what are three things he says about her beauty?

2.   What do Tybalt and Capulet argue about?

3.  Paraphrase the exchange between Romeo and Juliet in lines 94-112.

4.   What is Rome&s response when he finds out Juliet is a Capulet?

5.   What is Juliets response when she finds out Romeo is a Montague?


Act II


Scene I

1.   Summarize the prologue in Act II

         2. Why are Benvolio and Mercutio calling for Romeo?

3.   Where do they believe he has gone?


Scene ii

1.   Explain the metaphor Romeo uses for Juliet in lines 2-10.

2.   What solution does Juliet suggest to deal with the problem of their families enmity in lines 34-3 7?

3.   What Does Juliet mean by Whats in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.?

4.   What have the two lovers decided to do at the end of the scene? Explain.


Scene iii

1.   What is Friar Lawrence doing when Romeo enters? What is the importance of herbs and plants?

2.   Who does Friar Lawrence believe Romeo was out with all night?

3.   What does Friar Lawrence think of Romeos love for Juliet? Why does he mistrust it?

4.   Why does Friar Lawrence decide to marry Romeo and Juliet?

5.   Compare the personalities of the friar and Romeo.


Scene iv

1.   Why does Mercutio believe Romeo is not up to Tybalts challenge?

2.   According to Mercutio what kind of man is Tybalt (lines 19-35)?

3.   Compare Romeos mood in this scene to the scene in the beginning of the play.

4.   Why is Mercutio so happy with Romeo (line 86-90)?

      5.   What message does Romeo give the nurse for Juliet?


Scene v

1.   How is Juliet acting while she is waiting for the nurse?

      2.   How is the Nurse teasing Juliet when she comes home?

      3.   What is the plan for marriage revealed by the Nurse?


Scene vi

1.   How does Friar Lawrence serve as a dramatic foil to Romeo in this scene?

2.   Summarize this short scene.



Scene i       

      1.   What is the mood in the beginning of scene one?

2.    What is Tybalts tone with Mercutio?

3.    Who is Tvbalt looking for it scene i?

4.    Mercutio is trying to protect Romeo from Tybalt in Scene i. Explain how he dies.

5.    Mercutio repeats a plague a both your houses. What do you think this means?

6.    What happens to Tybalt?

7.    What does Romeo mean when he says I am fortunes fool?

8.    Is Benvolios account of what happened accurate (lines 152-174)? Why or why not?

9.    What is the princes punishment for Romeo?

10.  Why do you think the prince does not impose the death penalty, as he threatened in

Act I?


Scene ii

I.    Describe Juliets mood according to her soliloquy in the beginning of this scene.

2.    When the nurse enters she says hes gone, hes killed, hes dead. Who does Juliet think is dead?

3.    How do Juliets words reflect her divided feelings in lines 71-75?

4.    What is Juliets plan at the end of Scene ii?


Scene iii

1.    Where does Romeo go after he kills Tybalt?

2.    Why does Romeo think banishment is worse than death?

3.    What description does the nurse give of Juliet? Why does he try to kill himself?

4.    Explain Friar Lawrences plan for Romeo and Juliet to be together?


Scene iv

1.    Why does Capulet think Juliet weeps?

2.    Why does he change his mind about Juliet being married? What is a marriage supposed comfort?

3.    How do you think Juliet will react to this news?

4.    Do you believe there is a communication problem with some characters? Why or why not?


Scent v

1.    In the beginning of this scene Romeo has come to visit Juliets bedchamber. How do they feel about each other now?

       2.    Juliet foreshadows their deaths in this scene. What are her exact  


3.    What news does Juliets mother bring Juliet?

4.    What is Juliets reaction?

5.    What does Juliets father think of her refusal of marriage?

6.    What is the nurses advice for Juliet?

7.    Juliet decides that she can no longer confide in the nurse. Where is she going to seek comfort and advice at the end of this scene?


Act IV

Scene i

1.   What are Friar Lawrence and Paris discussing in the beginning of this scene? Why is this ironic? 

2.   Compare Paris and Juliets feelings about marrying each other.

3.   Explain in detail Friar Lawrence and Juliets plan for her wedding day.


Scene ii

1.   What does Juliet tell her father when she returns from Friar Lawrences cell?

2.   What is her fathers reaction?

3.   What is the change in the wedding date?


Scene iii

1.   Where does this scene take place?

2.   Is Juliets speech a soliloquy or a monologue?

3.   What are some things she worries about before taking the mixture?

4.   Does she take Friar Lawrences mixture?


Scene iv

1.   Who does Capulet send to wake Juliet? 


Scene v

1.    How do the nurse, Capulet, and Lady Capulet react to Juliets death?

2.   Why is Friar Lawrences question, Come, is the bride ready to go to church?


3.   How have the plans for this festive day changed?



Scene i

1.   How does Romeos dream relate to events that have just occurred?

2.   Balthasar is Romeos servant, not the Friars. What news does he have for Romeo?

3.   What is Romeos reaction?

4.   Romeo asks Balthasar if he has any news from the Friar. Balthasar says no. How would this story have changed if he had had news from Friar Lawrence?

5.   What is Romeos plan? How is he going to be with Juliet?

6.   What does Romeo ask the apothecary?

7.   How does he talk the apothecary into giving Romeo what he wants?


Scene ii

1.   John is Friar Lawrences servant. Why could he not get Friar Lawrences message to Romeo?

2.   Where does Friar Lawrence go? Why?


Scene iii

1.   Who is at the churchyard first? What disrupts him? Where does he go?

2.   What does Romeo tell Balthasar? Does Balthasar listen? What does Balthasar fear?

3.   Describe the exchange between Paris and Romeo.

4.   Who was Paris related to?

5.   If Romeo had been thinking more calmly, what would he have realized from Juliets appearance (lines 90-96)?

6.   How does Romeo kill himself?

7.   Who enters soon after Romeo kills himself?

8.   What does Friar Lawrence find in the tomb?

9.   What is Friar Lawrences final solution for Juliet?

10. Why do you think Friar Lawrence leaves so quickly?

11. How do Juliets words in lines 160-170 echo Romeos lines 85-100?

12. How does Juliet kill herself?

13. 1-low does Romeos mother die?

14. Summarize Friars speech. Is he an innocent bystander? Why or why not?

15. By the words of the prince (lines 292-295) how does this play affect more than just Romeo and Juliet?

16. What do the parents say to each other to prove their arguing is over?17. Who would you pardon, and who would you punish if you were the prince?

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