Romeo and Juliet Study Guide

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Romeo and Juliet: Act 1 Reading and Study Guide

I. Literary Terms

Aside- away from one's thoughts or consideration.

Conflict- to come into a collision or disagreement with an opposite force.

*external conflict- struggle between a literary or dramatic character and an outside force such as nature or another character. Ex: Outbreaks between the Montagues and the Capulets in Verona, Italy.

*internal conflict- psychological struggle within the mind of a literary or dramatic character. Ex: Romeo’s heartbrokenness and depression over Rosaline and her chasteness.

Dialogue- conversation between two or more persons.

*Dramatic Foil- a foil is a character who contrasts with another character. Ex: The character Tybalt can be refered to as a dramatic foil for Benvolio. Through Tybalt’s pugnacious attitude, we see the peaceful manner of Benvolio.

*Foreshadowing- to show or indicate beforehand; prefigure. Ex: In the first scene, the prince warns of the future consequences of starting anymore trouble in the city streets… “ Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” 1:1:84

Hyperbole- obvious and intentional exaggeration.

Sonnet- A poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment, of 14 lines, with rhyming patterns. •Quatrain- a stanza or poem of four lines, usually with alternate rhymes. •Couplet- a pair of successive lines of verse, especially a pair that rhyme and are of the same length. •Iambic Pentameter- a common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable.

Monologue- a form of dramatic entertainment, comedic solo, or the like by a single speaker.

*Oxymoron- a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect. Ex: “ Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!” 1:1:167-168

Prologue- an introductory speech, often in verse, calling attention to the theme of a play.

*Pun- the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphaxize or suggest its different meaning or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words. Ex: Mercutio says “ nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.” Romeo says “ Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes with nimble soles, I have a soul of lead, so stake me to the ground I cannot move.” 1:4:13-16

II. Reading Questions


1.In what city does this play take place?

Verona, Italy. Ex: “In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.” Prologue line 2

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

Star-cross’d means opposed by the star, which were believed to control fate and Romeo and Juliet are star-cross’d lovers because they are not supposed to be in love because of their heritage. Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet and Montagues and Capulets do not get along. Ex: “A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.” Prologue line 6

Scene 1

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

Sampson and Gregory. Ex: “Do you quarrel, sir?” 1:1:42

4.Who tries to break up the fighting?

Benvolio. Ex: “Part fools! Put up your swords, you know not what you do.” 1:1:51-52

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

The Prince threatens to kill them if a fight breaks out again. Ex: “ If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit.” 1:1:83-84

6. Benvolio and Montague describe the way Romeo has been acting.

What do they have to say about him? That he is depressed and unconditionally in love with Rosaline and he stays in room with no light and sulks by himself. Ex: “ And private in his chamber pens himself, shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight outs, and makes himself an artificial night.” 1:1:125-127

7. Why is Romeo so sad? Explain....
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