Questions for Romeo and Juliet


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RL.1 What information about the play’s story does the Prologue convey?  


ACT I. Scene I

RL.4 What effect does Gregory and Sampson’s crass joking have on the mood of the scene?

RL.6 How does the Prince characterize Capulet and Montague?

RL.3 What does Romeo’s speaking in paradoxes suggest about his current state of mind?                

RL.3 How would you characterize Romeo from this first introduction?


ACT I. Scene II                                  

RL.6 How does the Prince characterize Capulet and Montague?


ACT I. Scene III                          

RL.4 How does the Nurse’s rambling provide comic relief in this scene?

RL.4 What extended metaphor does Shakespeare use here, and to what effect?


ACT I. Scene IV

RL.3 What do you learn about the rights of young women in this society through this negotiation between Paris and Capulet?


ACT I. Scene V

RL.1 What about Juliet initially appeals to Romeo?

RL.5 Romeo and Juliet's meeting is bookended by Tybalt's aggression and the Nurse's interruption. What do you think this implies about their relationship?

EXTRA HELP Consider what Tybalt and the Nurse represent: the social forces that act upon the two lovers.

ACT II. Scene II

RL.2 Mercutio offers his view of dreams and illusions in this impassioned speech. What is he saying about dreams, and how does his worldview conflict with that of the romantic Romeo?

RL.1 Why does Juliet wish that Romeo had another name?

EXTRA HELP It's not really his name that she objects to, but rather the identity (family ties) that goes along with it.


ACT II. Scene II

RL.7 Compare your impressions of the balcony scene with this interpretation in the 1968 movie version. How does this scene differ from how you imagined it?

EXTRA HELP Pay attention to how the actors deliver the lines. Did they give off the same emotion that you imagined in the text?


ACT II. Scene IV

RL.3 The Nurse and Friar enable Romeo and Juliet to be married. Are they acting irresponsibly in not stopping the two lovers, slowing them down, or at least checking in with their parents? Explain your reasoning.


ACT II. Scene V

RL.1 Describe Juliet’s emotions in this moment.


ACT III. Scene I

RL.2 Friar Lawrence is accusing Romeo of being fickle. Do you think he is right to question Romeo's love of Juliet, or are you convinced that Romeo and Juliet are truly in love? Support your reasoning with evidence.



RL.1 How does the Friar reinterpret what has happened to Romeo?



RL.3 In what ways is Capulet’s behavior here a sharp contrast to his behavior with Paris in Act 1, Scene 2?


ACT III. Scene V

RL.4 Mercutio repeatedly cries out, "A plague o' both your houses!" To what does he attribute his death?

RL.3 Why do you think Capulet is so outraged at Juliet's response to the wedding proposal?


ACT IV. Scene I

RL.1 What reason does Capulet give to Paris for rushing the wedding? Do you think Capulet is telling Paris the truth?

RL.3 Juliet's behavior has changed now that she has become a married woman. What changes do you note in her attitude?

EXTRA HELP Look back on the way Juliet addresses her parents in Act I.


ACT IV. Scene II

RL.2 What is Capulet's expectation for the dynamic between a parent and child?



RL.1 List the various concerns Juliet has while she prepares to drink Friar Laurence’s elixir.


ACT IV. Scene V

RL.3 Compare the banter between Juliet and Paris to that of Juliet and Romeo.

EXTRA HELP Look back at Act 1 Scene 5 to see an example of the banter between Romeo and Juliet. Note the length of their responses to one another and how Juliet plays with Romeo's words.


ACT V. Scene I

RL.2 How might this scene serve as a commentary on society and poverty?


ACT V. Scene II

RL.2 There is a sense in this play that fate will not allow Romeo and Juliet to be together. How does destiny break down Friar Laurence's plan?

EXTRA HELP Think of the Friar's message not getting delivered to Romeo and the presence of the destitute apothecary who will sell Romeo poison.


ACT V. Scene II

RL.6 How does Capulet personify death?

RL.3 Compare Romeo’s speech here to his speech to Tybalt in Act 3, Scene 1. What do these speeches reveal about Romeo?

RL.7 Compare the death scene in the text to this interpretation from the 1968 movie version. How did the movie portray it differently than you imagined from reading the text?

EXTRA HELP Note the absence of the Friar in the movie version. How does this change the feel of the scene?

RL.5 What is the great irony in the end of the feud between the two families?

EXTRA HELP Consider how the events of the play might have turned out differently had the two families reconciled earlier.


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