Study Guide: Romeo and Juliet: Answer the following questions.  If you are printing this up off the class web page, you may need to copy and paste it to as a Word Document and add additional spaces in order to complete all responses.  Remember, on occasion, you may be allowed to use study guides on quizzes; it would behoove you to stay on top of responses as we read and discuss the play rather than waiting and vomiting it all up at the end.

Act One: Scene One 

  1. Who are the two feuding families?
  2. Why is Romeo upset?
  3. What does Benvolio vow to do?
  4. What suggests that Romeo is a man looking for someone to love?
  5. The quarrel of the servants renews the feud.  What does this show about the two families?
  6. Describe Benvolio.
  7. Describe Tybalt.
  8. What is Romeo’s obsession?

Scene Two: 

       9.            How old is Juliet?

  1. Who is in love with her?
  2. What does Capulet tell Paris ?
  3. Where do Romeo and Benvolio decide to go at the end of the scene?
  4. Why is Capulet not eager to renew a feud?
  5. What is the main conflict of the play at this point?

Scene Three 

  1. What does Lady Capulet ask Juliet?
  2. What is Juliet’s response to this question? What does her response tell you about her relationship with her parents?
  1. Now that you’ve met Juliet do you think she and Romeo will make a good pair? How do their attitudes about love compare?
  1. To what extent do you believe that Juliet is capable of making mature decisions about love and marriage at this point in the play?

Scenes Four and Five 

  1. What happens at the party that causes Romeo to forget Rosaline?
  2. What do Romeo and Juliet realize about one another at the end of Act One?
  3. Why wouldn’t Capulet let Tybalt attack Romeo at the ball?
  4. What does Romeo call Juliet just prior to kissing her?

Act Two: Scene Two

  1. What does Juliet mean when she says, "Deny thy father and refuse they name?"
  2. What plans do Romeo and Juliet make at the end of this scene?
  3. What is a soliloquy?
  4. Why does she tell Romeo not to swear by the moon?

Scene Three

  1. Why does Friar Laurence at first question Romeo’s love for Juliet?
  2. Why does Friar Laurence agree to marry Romeo and Juliet?

Scene Four 

  1. What news does Benvolio have about Tybalt?
  2. What message does Romeo want the nurse to tell Juliet?
  3. Do you think the nurse is wise to act as a middle-man between Romeo and Juliet? Why or why not?

Scenes Five and Six

  1. Explain the misunderstanding between the Nurse and Juliet?
  2. Where does Juliet go at the end of this act? Why?
  3. What creates the tremendous tension in scene five?
  4. At this point in the relationship between Romeo and Juliet, which of the two do you believe is really in control of the wedding plans?
  1. Explain “Violent passions have violent ends.”

Act Three: Scene One 

  1. How does Romeo respond to Tybalt’s insults?
  2. What happens to Mercutio?
  3. What happens to Tybalt?
  4. What is the Prince’s response to this?
  5. Where is Romeo banished?
  6. What is the climax of this scene?
  7. When Mercutio says "a curse o’ both your houses," he is really voicing one of the central themes of the play. Why is it ironic that he says this?
  1. Why does the prince question Benvolio about the fight?
  2. What is the main conflict of the play now?

Scene Two 

  1. What is Juliet’s first response to hearing the news of Tybalt’s death?
  2. What is her second response to this news?
  3. What does the serpent represent?

Scenes Three and Four

  1. Why does Romeo have to ask what his sentence is?
  2. What is the Friar’s plan?
  3. What agreement does Paris make with Capulet?
  4. Why do you think the Nurse wants to assist Romeo and Juliet?
  5. Why does Friar Laurence repeat the phrase, “You are fortunate?”

Scene Five 

  1. What news does Lady Capulet give to Juliet?
  2. What is Juliet’s response?  How does this compare with her initial response to her mother’s question regarding Paris in Act I, scene III?
  3. How does Capulet’s respond to Juliet’s hysteria?
  4. What advice does the nurse give Juliet regarding Romeo?  How is this different from earlier advice?
  1. Whose advice does Juliet decide to take?
  2. Why does Juliet agree to do that which her father has asked?
  3. Romeo and Juliet talk about their relationship and again use night and day images. Why do they seem to prefer darkness over light?


Act Four: Scenes One & Two 

  1. Describe Friar Laurence’s plan in detail.
  2. What lie does Juliet tell her father when he asks where she has been?
  3. Does Juliet tell the nurse of her plan?  Why not?
  4. Why do you think the wedding day is pushed ahead from Thursday to Wednesday?

Scene Three

  1. What does Juliet plan to do if the potion doesn’t work?
  2. What are some of Juliet’s gruesome concerns prior to drinking the potion?  Describe them in detail.

Scene Five

  1. Who discovers Juliet’s “body?”
  2. What does Friar Laurence encourage Capulet to do after discovering Juliet’s death?
  3. Based on previous evidence, do you believe that Capulet is sincere when he says, "And with my child my joys are buried?"
  1. Why did it take him so long to realize how much his daughter meant to him?
  2. How is Friar Laurence’s remark “The woman is best married who dies a young bride” an ironic one?

Act Five: Scene One

  1. What news does Balthasar bring to Romeo?
  2. What does Romeo decide to do immediately after hearing the news?
  3. Who is Romeo going to see?

Scenes Two and Three

  1. What does Friar Lawrence discover in this scene?
  2. What happens to Paris ?
  3. What does Romeo do when he sees Juliet’s “body?”
  4. How does Juliet try to kill herself?
  5. How does she successfully do it?
  6. Explain the line, “Dead man, lie there, buried by a dead man.”
  7. Why is it ironic that Juliet calls the Friar, “O comforting friar”?
  8. Who does the prince say is to blame?