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- Provide examples of Romeo being unfit for adulthood and all that it encompasses (for example, getting married). Answer: In addition to being too young for marriage, Romeo makes rash decisions and is carried too much by emotions. Examples include the quick switch from Rosaline to Juliet, the only difference being his feelings for Juliet do not go unrequited (I, i, 176-96 and II, iv, 65-80), his inexcusable behavior at the cell of Friar Lawrence (III, iii, 103-09 and III, iii, 108-113), and the ultimate decision to kill himself.
Provide examples that display Juliet's strength.
- Answer: She is abandoned by her family, beaten by her father (III, v, 161-8), betrayed by the Nurse (III, v, 215-227), led into folly by a fool Friar (IV, i, 68-76), and married to a sissy (see above). She forges ahead, faces fears, defies social customs, and goes against the words of her parents.
In what way is Friar Lawrence responsible for the young lovers' deaths?
- Answer: He marries Romeo and Juliet. He concocts a ridiculous plan that fakes Juliet's death. He delegates the delivery of a critically important letter to an underling (V, iii, 5-16). And he abandons Juliet immediately after she finds a dead Romeo (V, iii, 150-9)
What is Mercutio's role in the play?
- Answer: Mercutio's bawdiness and irreverence for love makes him a foil to Romeo. Mercutio's wit also provides comic relief. Mercutio's actions cause his own death, Tybalt's death, and ultimately, Romeo and Juliet's death, although he blames Romeo. His treatise on Queen Mab borders on genius.
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Explain how the following individuals contributed to the tragic ending.
- Lord Capulet and Lord Montague - These individuals allow a conflict to continue and escalate, establishing a culture of hatred among the two families.
- Tybalt - Quick to strike and slow to think--Tybalt's temper costs him his life and gets Romeo banished.
- Paris - Paris' determined effort to marry a young girl who wants nothing to do with him is pathetic and causes Juliet to fake her death.
- Escalus - The Prince of Verona sets forth a zero tolerance policy and exacts it without giving the offenders due process.
- Fate - Although poor choices ultimately doom the young lovers, there are a series of coincidences and bad timing that dooms them.
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Test Questions for Romeo and Juliet
- In the Prologue, the ______________(Chorus)____________________ is the voice that gives us the background for the play.
- When Juliet finds out about Romeo’s last name, she says: ("My only love sprung from my only hate.")
- What is the name of the woman (girl) who just broke Romeo’s heart at the beginning of the play? (Rosaline)
- When Romeo meets Juliet for the first time, to what does he compare her indirectly? (A jewel)
- This is an example of what literary device? (simile)
- In the famous "balcony" scene, when Juliet says "Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?" (Act II, Sc. 2, line 33), what is she really saying? (Why are you a Montague?)
- Why does the Friar agree to marry Romeo and Juliet? (He believes it will end the family feud)
- Choose the best set of words that fit into the blanks respectively. "What’s in a ____(name)_________? That which we call a _____(rose)_______ by any other word would smell as ____(sweet)________.
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Does Romeo's love for Rosaline diminish his love for Juliet?
- Evidence For: (1) The only difference between the two is that Juliet returns his love. (2) Romeo's strength of feeling remains constant; the object of those feelings does not.
- Evidence Against: Romeo proves himself a dedicated lover, risking life and citizenship to win Juliet's hand.
Who's to blame for the lovers' deaths?
- See above.
What role does fate play in the tragic ending?
- See above.
How do you think the marriage turns out if the Friar's plan would have succeeded?
- The answer should take into account the lovers' lack of status, their immaturity, their families, and the rushed nature of the ceremony.
What should be done with Friar Lawrence?
- Evidence Against: Friar Lawrence is an ecclesiastical leader and should, therefore, be held to a higher standard. He is directly responsible for marrying the two in secret, for Juliet's fake death, for not notifying Romeo (Don't blame Friar John. You don't send an underling to carry out something this important.), and for leaving Juliet unattended in the tomb.
- Evidence For: Friar Lawrence has good motives: (1) His desire is to end the feud between the two families; (2) He cares for both Romeo and Juliet; (3) It's obvious he will burn in the fiery pits of hell, so why punish him further (OK, that answer's a bit harsh). Being able to intelligently discuss these Romeo and Juliet questions and others like it will prepare you to do well on any Romeo and Juliet quiz.
- Does Romeo's love for Rosaline diminish his love for Juliet?
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