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Study Guide
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Pre-Reading Activities

Activity 1 - This unit organizer outlines the general topics that will be covered in this unit. To access, click here:

Activity 2 - Complete the anticipation guide by ranking the various social offenses and determining which offenses are most and least serious. We will see many of these same offenses in the play. To access form, click here:

Activity 3 - Describe your perfect mate. Describe what you believe your parents think is your perfect mate. Now go home and have your parents do some homework! To access form, click here:

Activity 4 - Read about Elizabethan England, London theater, and William Shakespeare's life. Read pages 574 to 577 in the green Glencoe Literature Course 4 textbook and then answer the provided questions. To access the questions, click here:

Quiz 1 - An online quiz to check your knowledge of Act I and the beginning of Act II. To access, click here:

Resource 1 - An interactive website with the full text of Romeo and Juliet and audio clips. To access, click here:

Resource 2 - A simpler to read online full text version of Romeo and Juliet. To access, click here:

Resource 3 - Information and diagram on Shakespeare's Globe Theater. To access, click here:

 

ROMEO AND JULIET: Act I Reading and Study Guide 1 

I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear. 
      

    adversary
    boisterous
    nuptial

II. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the play. 

      aside

                  Example: ____________________________________________________ 
      blank verse
      characterization
      conflict  

            External:  1. _______________ vs. ________________

                      2.  _______________ vs. ________________

                      3.  _______________ vs. ________________

            Internal:   4. ________________ vs. ________________ 

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 
      couplet
      epithet

      figurative language  

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 

      foil  

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 

      foreshadowing  

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 
      iambic meter  
      iambic pentameter  
      metaphor  

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 
      simile  

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 
      pun  

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 

III.  Questions: answer the following questions.

Prologue:

1.  In what city does this play take place? 
 
 

2.  Why are Romeo and Juliet called “star-cross’d lovers”? 
 
 

Scene 1:

3.  Who is fighting at the beginning of the first scene? 
 
 

4.  Who tries to break up the fighting? 
 
 

5.  What threat does the Prince make to Lord Montague and Lord Capulet? 
 
 

6.  Benvolio and Montague describe the way Romeo has been acting.  What do they have to say about

     him? 
 
 

7.  Why is Romeo so sad?  Explain. 
 
 

8.  What is Benvolio’s advice to Romeo? 
 


ROMEO AND JULIET: Act I Reading and Study Guide 2

Scene 2:

9.  Why does Capulet think it will be easy for Montague and him to keep the peace? 
 
 

10.  What does Paris ask about Capulet? 
 
 

11.  What is Capulet’s first answer? 
 
 

12.  A bit later Capulet appears to change his mind about Paris’ question.  What does he then tell Paris? 
 
 

13.  What problem does the servant have? 
 
 

14.  What is the name of the woman Romeo loves? 
 
 

15.  What do Romeo and Benvolio decide to do? 
 
 

Scene 3:

16.  How old is Juliet? 
 
 

17.  When Lady Capulet asks Juliet how she feels about marriage, what is Juliet’s answer? 
 
 

18.  Following Juliet’s answer, what does Lady Capulet then tell Juliet? 
 
 
 
 
 

Scene 4:

19.  According to Mercutio, who or what is Queen Mab, and what does she or it do? 
 
 

20.  What does Mercutio say about dreams? 
 
 

21.  What is Romeo’s mood at the end of this scene?  Explain. 
 
 

Scene 5:

22.  What does Romeo think of Juliet the first time he sees her? 
 
 

23.  How does Tybalt recognize Romeo? 
 
 

24.  When Tybaltt is ready to seize Romeo and throw him out of the party, what does Capulet say to

       Tybalt? 
 
 

25.  Explain what the conversation is between Romeo and Juliet. 
 
 

26.  How does Romeo find out Juliet’s last name? 
 
 

27.  How does Juliet find out Romeo’s last name? 
 
 



ROMEO AND JULIET: Act II Reading and Study Guide 3 

I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear. 

          cunning _______________________________________________________________ 

          vile  __________________________________________________________________ 

          predominant ____________________________________________________________ 

            unwieldy ______________________________________________________________ 

II. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the play. 

      analogy: ____________________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ____________________________________________________ 

      imagery: _____________________________________________________________________ 

      irony:________________________________________________________________________ 

              Example: ________________________________________________________ 

            I.  dramatic irony ________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 

            II. situational irony ______________________________________________________ 

                  Example: _______________________________________________________ 

            III. verbal irony: ________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: _______________________________________________________ 

      monologue: __________________________________________________________________ 

      oxymoron:____________________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 

      personification:  ______________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 

      soliloquy: ____________________________________________________________________ 

III.  Questions: answer the following questions.

Scene 1:

1.  What does Mercutio say about “blind love”? 
 
 
 

Scene 2:

2.  When Juliet appears on her balcony, what does Romeo compare her to? 
 
 
 

3.  How does Juliet “speak, yet . . . [say] nothing”? 
 
 
 

4.  When Juliet leans her cheek on her hand, what does Romeo say? 
 
 
 

5.  Unaware of his presence, what does Juliet ask Romeo to say? 
 
 
 

6.  In a sentence or two, explain what Juliet says about names. 
 
 
 

7.  Juliet asks how Romeo got into her place.  The orchard walls are high, and Romeo’s life would be in danger if her relatives were to find him there.  What is Romeo’s response to these questions? 
 
 
 

8.  Why is Juliet embarrassed? 
 
 
 

9.  Juliet is going to send someone to Romeo on the following day for what purpose? 

 
 
 


 

ROMEO AND JULIET: Act II Reading and Study Guide 4

Scene 3:

10.  What has friar Laurence been out gathering in his basket? 
 
 
 
 

11.  Explain lines 21-22: “Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,/And vice sometime by action dignified”? 
 
 
 
 

12.  When Friar Laurence sees Romeo, what comment does Friar Laurence make about seeing Romeo so early in the morning? 
 
 
 
 

13.  What does Friar Laurence mean when he says to Romeo, “Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes? 
 
 
 
 

14.  Friar Laurence agrees to perform the marriage ceremony for Romeo and Juliet for what reason? 
 
 
 
 

Scene 4:

15.  According to Mercutio, what kind of man is Tybalt? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

16.  What is the nurse saying to Romeo in lines 157 – 163? 
 
 
 
 

17.  How is Juliet to arrange to meet Romeo? 
 
 
 
 

Scene 5:

18.  The nurse is supposed to be gone only a half hour, but she is actually gone for how long? 
 
 
 
 
 

19.  How is the nurse behaving that is frustrating to Juliet? 
 
 
 
 
 

Scene 6:

20.  What does Friar Laurence mean when he says, “Therefore, love moderately; long love doth so”? 
 

 


 

ROMEO AND JULIET: Act III Reading and Study Guide 5 

I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear. 

          banishment _______________________________________________________________ 

          dexterity _________________________________________________________________ 

          idolatry __________________________________________________________________ 

            reconcile _________________________________________________________________ 

            exile ____________________________________________________________________ 

            fickle ____________________________________________________________________ 

            gallant ___________________________________________________________________ 

II. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the play. 

      allusion: ____________________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ____________________________________________________ 

      climax: ________________________________________________________________________ 

      dramatic structure: _______________________________________________________________ 

      symbol: ________________________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ________________________________________________________ 

III.  Questions: answer the following questions.

Scene 1:

1.  At the beginning of the scene, why does Benvolio think that there will be a fight? 
 
 
 

2.  What does Mercutio accuse Benvolio of in lines 15-30? 
 
 
 

3.  When Tybalt and Mercutio first begin arguing, what does Benvolio try to them to do?

 

4.  What does Tybalt call Romeo? 
 
 
 

5.  Why won’t Romeo fight Tybalt? 
 
 
 

6.  What does Mercutio think is the reason Romeo refuses to fight? 
 
 
 

7.  Why does Mercutio keep repeating, “A plague o’ both your houses”? 
 
 
 

8.  What does Romeo say that Juliet’s love has done to him? 
 
 
 

9.  Why does Romeo call himself “fortune’s fool”? 
 
 
 

10.  When Benvolio relates to the Prince what happened, what does he say Romeo tried to before Mercutio was killed? 
 
 
 

11.  What does Lady Capulet accuse Benvolio of?  Why? 
 
 
 

12.  What is Romeo’s punishment for killing Tybalt? 
 
 
 

 


 

ROMEO AND JULIET: Act III Reading and Study Guide 6

Scene 2:

13.  Why is Juliet so impatient for the nurse to return? 
 
 
 

14.  Describe Juliet’s rapidly changing attitudes toward Romeo in this scene. 
 
 
 

15.  What piece of news has upset Juliet the most? 
 
 
 

16.  What does the nurse promise to do? 
 
 
 

Scene 3:

17.  Explain Romeo’s reaction to the news of his banishment. 
 
 
 

18.  Romeo tells Friar Laurence that the priest cannot know or understand how Romeo feels.  Why? 
 
 
 

19.  What argument does Friar Laurence use to prevent Romeo from killing himself? 
 
 
 

20.  What does the nurse give to Romeo? 
 
 
 

Scene 4:

21.  What does Capulet tell his wife to say to Juliet? 

Scene 5:

22.  As Romeo is preparing to leave Juliet, what argument does she use to convince him to stay? 
 
 
 

23.  Later, why does Juliet think Romeo should leave? 
 
 
 

24.  Just as Romeo is about to descend the rope ladder and leave Juliet, what does Juliet say about the way Romeo looks? 
 
 
 

25.  Why does Lady Capulet think Juliet is crying? 
 
 
 

26.  When Lady Capulet threatens to send someone to Mantua to poison Romeo, what does Juliet say? 
 
 
 

27.  After Lady Capulet breaks the news about Paris, what is Juliet’s response? 
 
 

28.  If Juliet’s mother does not arrange to delay the marriage, what will Juliet do? 
 
 

29.  What is Capulet’s reaction to Juliet’s threats? 
 
 

30.  What is the nurse’s advice to Juliet? 
 
 

31.  How does Juliet’s attitude toward the nurse change? 
 
 

32.  What “scheme” does Juliet devise to get rid of the nurse and to get out of the house? 
 
 


ROMEO AND JULIET: Act IV Reading and Study Guide 7 

I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear. 

      lament ________________________________________________________________________ 

      shroud _________________________________________________________________________ 

      dismal _________________________________________________________________________ 

      vial ___________________________________________________________________________ 

      loathsome ______________________________________________________________________ 

II. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the play. 

      protagonist: _____________________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ___________________________________________________________ 

      antagonist: _____________________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ___________________________________________________________ 

III. QUESTIONS: answer the following questions.

Scene 1:

1.  Why is Friar Laurence reluctant to marry Paris to Juliet? 
 
 

2.  How does Paris explain the sudden haste of the marriage plans? 
 
 

3.  What is ironic about the conversation between Juliet and Paris? 
 
 

4.  If Friar Laurence cannot help her, what does Juliet threaten to do? 
 
 

5.  Why does Friar Laurence think that Juliet will accept his plan? 
 
 

6.  Describe the friar’s plan for Juliet. 
 
 

Scene 2:

7.  What does Juliet say that makes her father happy? 
 
 

8.  How does Capulet change the wedding plans?  What implication does this have? 
 
 

Scene 3:

9.  How does Juliet show her maturity and independence in this scene? 
 
 

10.  If the potion does not work, what will Juliet do? 
 
 

11.  What are some of the fears Juliet has about the potion? 
 
 

Scene 4:

12.  What is happening in this brief scene? 
 
 

Scene 5:

1.  Describe the imagery Shakespeare uses in describing Juliet’s “death”? 
 
 

2.  What does Friar Laurence say to comfort the Capulet family? 
 
 

3.  What even are the Capulets now preparing for? 
 
 
 

 


 

ROMEO AND JULIET: Act V Reading and Study Guide 8 

I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear. 

            ambiguity_______________________________________________________________________ 

      peruse _________________________________________________________________________ 

      remnants _______________________________________________________________________ 

      haughty ________________________________________________________________________ 

II. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the play. 

      motivation: _____________________________________________________________________ 

      theme: _________________________________________________________________________ 

                  Example: ___________________________________________________________ 

III. QUESTIONS: answer the following questions.

Scene 1:

1.  What news does Balthasar bring Romeo? 
 
 

2.  What does Romeo mean when he says, “Then I defy you, stars!”? 
 
 

3.  What actions does Balthasar’s news prompt Romeo to do? 
 
 

Scene 2:

4.  What does Friar John tell Friar Laurence? 
 
 
 

5.  After hearing this news from Friar John, what does Friar Laurence intend to do? 
 
 
 

Scene 3:

6.  Why is Paris at Juliet’s tomb? 
 
 
 

7.  Romeo gives Balthasar two reasons for entering the Capulet’s tomb.  What are those two reasons? 
 
 
 

8.  Why does Paris think that Romeo has come to the tomb? 
 
 
 

9.  What is it about Juliet that should have told Romeo that she was not dead? 
 
 
 

10.  Why doesn’t Friar Laurence stay in the tomb with Juliet after she awakens? 
 
 
 

11.  Why does Juliet kiss Romeo after he is dead? 
 
 
 

12.  When Montague first arrives on the scene, what does he tell those gathered? 
 
 
 

13.  Relate the events that lead to Romeo and Juliet’s death as they are told by Friar Laurence near the play’s end. 
 
 
 

14.  What information does Romeo’s letter give? 
 
 
 

15.  How do Montague and Capulet plan to honor the memories of their children? 


 



Social Offenses

Consider the following social offenses. Rank each offense between 1 and 4 in the degree of seriousness, with 1 being the most serious and 4 being the least serious. When everyone in the group has completed their rankings, compare your answers with each other. Why does one person rank an offense with a 1, while another person ranks the same offense as a 3? Discuss your differences in opinion and support/defend your rankings.

____ Planning to trick/deceive someone

____ Lying to parents

____ Killing someone for revenge

____ Advising someone to marry for money.

____ Marrying someone for money.

____ Continuing a feud that your family has had for generations.

____ Selling drugs

____ killing someone by mistake while fighting with that person

____ suicide

____ crashing a party

____ marrying against parents’ wishes

____ giving the finger or another vulgar gesture

____ picking a fight

 

Results

  1. Which offense(s) did most group members agrees was the most serious? ____________________________________________________________________________
  2. Explain why the offense(s) were considered the most serious. ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
  3. Which offense(s) did most group members agrees was the least serious? ____________________________________________________________________________
  4. Explain why the offense(s) were considered the least serious. ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Directions: Read pages 574 to 577 in the green Glencoe Literature Course 4 textbook (located at the back of the room) and then answer the following questions. These questions will be graded by your teacher. Please hold on to these sheets and return them directly to Ms. Fischer.

  1. How would the audience know that the play to be shown that day was a tragedy?
  2. What were the people who stood in the pit of the audience called?
  3. Who ruled England from 1558 to 1603?
  4. What was Shakespeare’s acting company called?
  5. Who was Shakespeare’s patron [sponsor]?
  6. What was Shakespeare’s playhouse called?
  7. What year was the playhouse built?
  8. How many audience members could fit inside the playhouse?
  9. What time of day did performances take place?
  10. Why were plays performed at this time?
  11. How was scenery established?
  12. What role did boys have in the theatre?
  13. When was William Shakespeare born?
  14. Where was William Shakespeare born?
  15. When did William Shakespeare die?
  16. How many plays did he write?

Directions: Read “Building Background” on page 579 of the text book, and then answer these questions.

  1. What is the setting [time and place] of Romeo and Juliet?
  2. How old did a woman have to be in order to marry in Renaissance England?
  3. What is a feud?
  4. How old was a typical young woman when she married in Renaissance England?