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Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare TABLE OF CONTENTS A. Summaries 1. Act I 2. Act II 3. Act III 4. Act IV 5. Act V B. Essays 1. In an essay of 1000 words trace how Juliet changes from a girl to a woman and how Romeo changes from a boy to a man. Comment on the differences in their personalities as revealed, for example, in the balcony scene and how they respond to crises later in the play. 2. How does Shakespeare use language to tell us about people's personalities? How do different characters talk, what can we tell about them from the way they talk, how does Romeo's language change as he changes, how does it change according to his mood? 3. What aspects of love does Shakespeare explore in Romeo and Juliet? C. Notes A. Summaries 1. Act I Prologue: The Chorus explains the scenery, of two rivaling households in Verona, and lays out the plot for the audience, announcing that two lovers, one from each house have to die to end the feud between both houses. Scene 1: Sampson and Gregory, servants to the house of Capulet, start a quarrel with Abraham and Balthasar servants to the house of Montague. Benvolio a kinsman of the house of Capulet tries to part the quarreling groups but Tybalt tells him to fight. Both Capulet and Montague try to join in the fighting but are held back by their wives. Prince Escalus arrives at the scenery stops the feud and warns the two houses that if they were ever to break the peace again the punishment would be death. The Prince leaves, accompanied by Capulet, leaving Benvolio with Montague and Lady Montague behind. To the question of the whereabouts of Romeo, Benvolio answers that he has been wandering in the woods early in the morning. The Montagues tell him that he has been in sorrow for some time. ...read more.


Scene 3: Paris comes to Juliet's grave to strew flowers and weep. As Romeo enters Paris hides into the darkness. As Romeo tries to open the tomb, Paris comes forward and tries to arrest Romeo. They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. Romeo settles down next to Juliet, pledges his love to her, takes the poison, and dies. Friar Laurence comes and finds Romeo and Paris dead. Juliet awakes and Friar Laurence tries to persuade her to come out of the grave, but being afraid of being found there by the watchmen, he runs away. Juliet kills herself with Romeo's dagger. Soon Prince Escalus arrives, then Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Montague. Friar Laurence tells his story, which is confirmed by Balthasar, Paris' Page, and the letter from Romeo to his father. Montague promises to build a golden statue of Juliet, and Capulet promises to build one of Romeo. Act 5: The fifth Act starts of with bad news for Romeo - the news of Juliet's death. He buys poison and makes his way to Verona to join Juliet in her death. Friar Lawrence finds out that Romeo has not received the letter explaining what has actually happened to Juliet. He plans to write another letter and hide Juliet in his cell until Romeo arrives. His plan however does not turn out the way he wants it to and it comes to a dramatic showdown. Romeo finds Paris at the tomb of Juliet and kills him. He settles down next to her drinks the poison, when Juliet awakes she finds the dead Romeo next to her and stabs herself with his dagger. Prince Escalus and the two families arrive and Friar Lawrence tells the whole story. The two families Capulet and Montague at last settle their feud. B. Essays 1. In an essay of 1000 words trace how Juliet changes from a girl to a woman and how Romeo changes from a boy to a man. ...read more.


The main love that is explored in the play is of course the true love between Romeo and Juliet. The first time they meet they instantly fall in love. After they have met only twice they decide to marry. Their love is so strong that Friar Lawrence predicts a bad ending and warns them with the words"These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder" (Act 2, Scene 6). In the balcony scene Juliet also seems to see this as she says "It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; too like lightning, which doth cease to cease to be ere one can say it lightens" (Act 2, Scene 2). The love however is so strong that it even survives them being split. Even though Romeo kills Juliet's cousin Tybalt she continues loving him, even defending him for his actions. She is willing to leave her family for this love and takes the drug to make her fall asleep. At last when they both think they have lost their love and no longer see a point in living. They sacrifice their life for their love. The love between Romeo and Juliet is the true and supposedly only love all the other aspects of love only show that this love is the only real one. All the different aspects of love explored in this play are only weak shadows of the true love between Romeo and Juliet. The false love that Romeo feels or rather does not feel for Rosaline and how instantly he forgets it when he sees Juliet shows the purity of the true love. The view of love as a simply practical or physical thing shows how superior and elevated the true love is over the distorted image. The non-existent love in the family of the Capulets only once more emphasizes the strength of the bond that exists between Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet have become a symbol for true and pure love. English Philipp R�diger Romeo and Juliet 13.02.2005 ...read more.

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