ANSWER KEY: SHORT ANSWER STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS - Romeo and Juliet
1. Why do Sampson and Gregory fight with Montague's men?
Sampson and Gregory are servants of the Capulet family, which has been feuding with
the Montague family for quite some time. The feud has reached proportions involving all
members and servants of both households.
2. Benvolio and Tybalt come upon the servants fighting. Contrast their reactions to the fight.
Benvolio tries to break up the fight, but Tybalt wants to join in and kill all the
3. When Montague and Capulet enter and see the disturbance, they want to fight, too. What do their wives say?
Lady Capulet tells Capulet he'd better have a crutch instead of a sword, and Lady
Montague tells her husband that he "shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe." The wives have
had enough of the feud and wish their husbands, now old men, would stop fighting.
4. What ended the opening skirmish?
The Prince threatened death to Capulet and Montague for disturbing the peace.
5. Why is Romeo so sad?
He is love-sick, hopelessly in love with a girl who "hath sworn that she will still live
6. In Act I Scene ii, Paris asks Capulet for Juliet's hand in marriage. What is Capulet's reply?
He says Juliet is too young (not yet fourteen), and Paris should wait two more years.
7. Why is Capulet giving a feast?
He wants to bring out suitable bachelors for Juliet to meet so she may begin to choose
a husband. Should Paris seem suitable to her after she has seen other men, Capulet would
consent to the marriage.
8. How does Romeo find out about the feast, and why does he decide to go even though (being a Montague) he is not invited?
Capulet's servant, unaware of Romeo's identity and unable to read, asks for help reading
the invitation list Capulet has given him. Romeo wants to go because Rosaline will be
9. Describe Juliet's relationship with her family in Act I.
She is a respectful young lady who obviously tries to please her parents if possible. They
have a good family relationship.
10. At the end of Act I Scene iv, what does Romeo tell Benvolio, foreshadowing future action in the play?
"For my mind misgives/ Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,/ Shall bitterly begin his fearful date/ With this night's revels, and expire the term/ Of a despised life closed in my breast/ By some vile forfeit of untimely death. . . ." (I.v,106-111)
11. What does Romeo mean when he says, "Oh, dear account! My life is my foe's debt"?
He has learned that Juliet is a Capulet. His love for Juliet has brought him out of his
depression, and for that he owes his enemy, a Capulet.
1. In Act II Scene ii, Romeo and Juliet profess their love for one another. Juliet is to contact Romeo (through a servant) the next day. Why?
She will get information about where and when they will be married.
2. Why does Friar Laurence agree to marry Romeo and Juliet?
He hopes that it will help to end the feud between the families.
3. What message does Nurse take to Juliet?
She tells her to go to Friar Laurence's cell that afternoon to be married to Romeo.
4. What warning does Friar Laurence give Romeo, foreshadowing future events of the play?
"These violent delights have violent ends,/ And in their triumph die, like fire and powder/
Which as they kiss consume." He foreshadows the death of Romeo and Juliet.
1. In Act III, Mercutio and Benvolio get into a conflict with Tybalt. What does Romeo do when he comes upon them? Why?
He tries to defuse the situation and to get Tybalt to put his sword away. Tybalt is now his
cousin by marriage, and Romeo does not wish to fight with him.
2. How do Mercutio and Tybalt die?
Mercutio is slain by Tybalt (under Romeo's arm), and Tybalt is slain by Romeo
(avenging his friend's death).
3. What punishment did the Prince give Romeo for fighting?
The penalty was supposed to be death,...
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