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"Romeo and Juliet" Summary and Reading Guide

Prologue
General overview of the play by the Chorus.
1. How do Romeo and Juliet bury their parents strife (8).

Act I: When Eyes Meet Eyes In Verona


Scene 1: Servants of Capulets are in town looking for trouble. They find and start trouble with
servants of the Montagues. A riot breaks out. The Prince has to come and restore order. Romeo's
parents discuss Romeo with his friend Benvolio. Benvolio tries to find out what is bothering Romeo.
2. In your own words, what does Sampson say he and Gregory won't do (1)?
3. What are Sampson and Gregory really debating (6-9)?
4. Why does Sampson bite his thumb (43-44)?
5. Who attempts to make peace between the feuding servants (66).
6. Who's side are the citizens of Verona on (74-5)?
7. Is Lady Capulet supportive of her husband’s military virtue (77)?
8. How many times has the Capulets and Montague's fighting disturbed Verona's peace (91)?
9. What does the Prince warn will be the consequence of another brawl (98-9)?
10. According to Benvolio who started the fight (110-2)?
11. What does Benvolio say Romeo did when he tried to talk with Romeo earlier that morning (126-33)?
12. How does Montague characterize his son Romeo's behavior (144)?
13. Why can't Montague find out exactly what is wrong with Romeo (150-2)?
14. In your own words, what is Romeo's explanation for his sadness (173)?
15. How does Romeo characterize love (197-202)?
16. What specifically wont the woman Romeo is in love with do (220-6)?
17. What does Benvolio offer as a solution for Romeo's lovesick plight (235-6 & I:2 52-2)?
Scene 2: Paris is asking Capulet for Juliet's hand. Benvolio and Romeo are still talking of love when
invited to Capulet's party.
18. Why does Capulet think it should be easy for Montague and himself to keep the peace (1-3)?
19. How long does Capulet want to wait before giving his daughter's hand in marriage (10-11)?
20. Why is Juliet so important to Capulet (14-5)?
21 What specifically does Capulet invite Paris to, what does he want Paris to do there (20-30)?
22. On what condition does Capulet 's servant invite Romeo and Benvolio to the party (85-8)?
23. Why does Benvolio think Romeo and their friends would crash Capulet's party (89-94)?
Scene 3: Lady Capulet discusses marriage with Juliet and Nurse. Servant comes to get Nurse's help for party.
24. Who does Lady Cap tell to leave, why does she ask to come back (8-11)?
25. What is Juliet's astrological sign (16)?
26. Whose birth does the Nurse relate Juliet's to (19-21)?
27. What has Lady Capulet come to talk with Juliet and the Nurse about (68-70)?
28. What is Juliet's original concept about marriage (71)?
29. What image do both the Nurse and Lady Capulet. use to describe Paris (83-4)?
30. What metaphor does Lady Capulet shift to in her description of Paris (87-100)?
Scene 4: Romeo and his drunken pals are on the way to crash Capulet’s party. They discuss sex and
dreams on the way. Mercutio goes too deep.
31. Why is Romeo in no mood to dance (15-16)?
32. How does Mercutio think people should deal with the pain of love (27-8)?
33. What does Romeo plan to do at the dance/party (38)?
34. Why is Romeo fearful about going to the party (53 & 113-120)?
35. What sorts of things does Mercutio say the queen of dreams do to people (49-100)?
Scene 5: Servants prepare for the party. Capulet tries to get it going. Romeo sees and falls in love
with Juliet. Tybalt sees and falls in hate with Romeo. Romeo and Juliet meet: eyes, hands, lips, and
hearts. Romeo and Juliet find out they are "enemies."
36. How does Capulet try to get the women at his party to dance (18-24)?
37. How long has it been since Capulet or his cousin have danced (43)?
38. What does Romeo question after seeing Juliet for the first time (59-60)?
39. When Tybalt sees Romeo what does he want to do (65-7)?
40. When Tybalt tells Capulet about Romeo how does Capulet react (74-80)?
41. What specifically about Tybalt is angering Capulet. (86-89)?
42. What metaphor do Romeo and Juliet use to describe their flirting (110-6)?
43. Who tells Romeo that Juliet is a Capulet, and Juliet that Romeo is a Montague (125-6 & 150)?
44. In your own words, what does the Nurse tell Romeo the person who marries Juliet will get (130)?

Act II: Love and Marriage


45. What shift does the Chorus tell us about (1-4)?
Scene 1: Romeo's friends try to find him after the party.
46. Was Benvolio right about what would happen if Romeo went to the party and saw other girls (1-4)?
47. How does Mercutio try to "conjure" Romeo (20-4 & 30-2)?
48. Why does Benvolio conclude that they wont find Romeo (45-6)?
Scene 2: The famous balcony scene; Romeo and Juliet express their love and make a commitment.
49. What does Romeo equate Juliet with, what place does this give her in his life (1-2)?
50. When Juliet is talking to herself, what is she asking Romeo to do (36-9)?
51. Why does Juliet think Romeo's name is not important (46-50)?
52. What does Juliet offer to Romeo in exchange for the disavowment of his name (50-2)?
53. How does Juliet know that it is Romeo who has overheard her (63-65)?
54. What does Juliet say Romeo risks by coming to her (69-70 & 75)?
55. Is the risk worth it to Romeo (82-3)?
56. What is Juliet worried about concerning Romeo's overhearing of her soliloquy (100-3)?
57. What does Juliet say her forwardness/fastness is superior to (105-111)?
58. Who actually proposes marriage, Romeo or Juliet (150-3)?
Scene 3: Friar Lawrence is collecting herbs. Romeo asks Friar Lawrence to marry Juliet and himself.
59. In your own words, what according to F.L.. what is the earth's relationship to nature/the living (9)?
60. Who does F.L. think Romeo was up all night with (47)?
61. What does Romeo want F.L. to do for him (60-5)?
62. Why does F.L. not trust Romeo's change (69-73)?
63. Why does F.L. agree to help Romeo even though he doesn't trust Romeo's feelings (96-9)?
Scene 4: Mercutio and Benvolio discuss Romeo's whereabouts and Tybalt's challenge to Romeo.
Romeo tries to smooth over Mercutio's hurt feelings. The Nurse comes to set up the wedding with
Romeo and is made fun of. Romeo smoothes over the Nurse's hurt feelings and they make the plan.
64. At the beginning of the scene what are Mercutio and Benvolio worrying about (1)?
65. What has Tybalt sent to Romeo's father and why (7-9)?
66. Why does Mercutio think Romeo is not ready for Tybalt (14-8 & 24-7)?
67. When Romeo says "a sail, a sail!" what large thing is he comparing the Nurse to (104)?
68. When Mercutio and Benvolio leave, where are they going and why (142-3)?
69. What does the Nurse warn Romeo about (167-74)?
70. What does Romeo say Juliet should use as an excuse to see and marry him at Friar Lawrence (184-6)?
Scene 5: The Nurse tells Juliet the wedding plan.
71. How would you characterize the Nurse's compliments about Romeo (42-8)?
72. What waits for Juliet at Friar Lawrence cell (73-4)?
Scene 6: Romeo and Juliet marry.
73. Would it be worth it to Romeo if he married Juliet only to die the very next minute (3-8)?
74. What is Friar Lawrence advice to Romeo about going forward so fast with his love for Juliet (9-15)?
75. What can't Juliet sum up (33-4).

Act III: Honeymoon in Verona


Scene 1: Benvolio and Mercutio fight the heat. Tybalt and Mercutio fight with words. Tybalt
challenges a loving Romeo to a fight. Mercutio and Tybalt fight with swords. Mercutio is killed.
Romeo's love turns to hate, Romeo kills Tybalt. The prince banishes Romeo.
76. Why does Benvolio think there might be a fight (1-4)?
77. What does Mercutio assert Benvolio's piece loving will bring (7-10)?
78. Why does Mercutio reject Benvolio's admonishment not to quarrel (24-7)?
79. As Mercutio and Tybalt square off who tries to stop a fight before it starts (51- 4)?
80. Is Mercutio saying Romeo is worthy to be Tybalt's servant or master (58-60)?
81. Having become a cousin by marriage does Romeo want to fight Tybalt (62-6)?
82. How does Mercutio react to Romeo's refusal to fight (74-6)?
83. What does Romeo do to try to stop the fight (87-91)?
Act III scene 1 continued.
84. What does Mercutio curse as he dies (100-4)?
85. How does Mercutio say he was wounded (106-8)?
86. What has Juliet's beauty done to Romeo (118-20)?
87. Who does Romeo say will die with Mercutio (132-4)?
88. What does Benvolio think will happen if Romeo is taken (140-1)?
89. What does Lady Capulet think of Benvolio's testimony, what verdict does she call for (185-6 & 190)?
90. What is the Prince's decision? is it harsh or lenient (196-8)?

Scene 2: Juliet waits for Romeo. The Nurse brings tidings of the fight and Tybalt's death.
91. Why does Juliet want the night to come (6-9)?
92. What does Juliet say would happen if Romeo were stars (25-7)?
93. When the Nurse says, "he's killed" who does Juliet, think she's talking about (45 & 51)?
94. How does Juliet react to the Nurse's call for shame to come to Romeo (91-102)?
95. Why is Juliet speaking well if him who has killed her cousin (105-6)?
96. Why is Juliet happy that Romeo has killed Tybalt, is this mature attitude (115-7)?
97. What is worse than Juliet's father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo and Juliet being dead (134-5)?
98. What does Juliet say will take her maidenhood and Romeo's stead (148-50)?
Scene 3: F.L. and the Nurse put Romeo's head on straight.
99. How does Romeo react to Friar Lawrence news that he has been banished (13-15 & 18-21)?
100. Why is Romeo so sad about being banished (37-44)?
101. What does F.L. say he will give to Romeo to comfort him (57-9)?
102. Why does Romeo think F.L. can't understand his situation (67-72)?
103. Why does the Nurse say Romeo should "rise and be a man" (96-7)?
104. What does F.L. think of Romeo's contemplation of suicide (120-4)?
105. What does F.L. think come together in Romeo's life (129-31)?
106. Why does F.L. think Romeo should be happy (147-50)?
107. What is the Friar's plan (159-64)?
Scene 4: Lord and Lady Capulet talk with Paris about marrying Juliet, and the circumstances
surrounding such an event.
108. What day does Capulet decide Paris will wed Juliet, why does he think the wedding should be small (20-30)?
Scene 5: Romeo and Juliet awake after their first night together and they must immediately part.
Juliet argues with her parents and the Nurse about marrying Paris. Juliet goes it alone.
109. What time is it when Romeo and Juliet awake at the scene's beginning (1-10)?
110. Why are Romeo and Juliet hearing different birds (1-2 & 6-7 & 10)?
111. Why can't Romeo stay with Juliet (11 & 17-8)?
112. Why does Romeo change his mind about going (17-8)?
113. Why does Juliet change her mind about Romeo leaving (117 & 27-9)?
114. How pale does Romeo look to Juliet (54-7)?
115. Why does L. Cap think Juliet is upset after Romeo has left (70-5)?
116. What is L. Capulet's plan to get back at Romeo (92-7)?
117. Is Juliet honest with her mother about what she wants to happen to Romeo (98-103)?
118. What is Lady Capulet’s good news for Juliet (119-20)?
119. Does Juliet agree with her mother, who does she say she will marry (125-8)?
120. What does Capulet compare Juliet's crying to (134-41)?
121. How does Capulet react to Juliet's refusal to marry Paris (155-68)?
122. What does Capulet threaten to do if Juliet does not follow his command (161-3 & 167-207)?
123. Who does Juliet turn to fro help (218-20)?
124. What is the Nurse's advice to Juliet, what is her rationale (230-8)?
125. What will Juliet do having "taken" the Nurse's advice (252-55)?

Act IV: Juliet's Wedding


Scene 1: Friar Lawrence and Paris discuss Juliet & Paris's wedding to her. Juliet comes and avoids Paris as
best she an. Friar Lawrence and Juliet form a plan to reunite her with her real husband Romeo.
126. Why hasn't Paris been able to talk love with Juliet (6-8)?
127. Why does Paris think Capulet wants to hurry a marriage between himself and Juliet (9-15)?
128. According to Paris, who owns Juliet's face (36)?
129. What does Juliet threaten to do if F.L. can't help her (53-65)?
130. What does F.L. give to Juliet to solve the problem, what will it do (95-110)?
Act IV scene 1 continued.
131. When Juliet is found "dead," what will be done with her body (111-4)?
132. How will Romeo know what is going on, what will he do knowing that (116-119)?
133. Who will deliver message of the plan to Romeo in Mantua (125-6)?
Scene 2: Capulet, Nurse, and servants prepare for Paris and Juliet's wedding. Juliet "submits to
the will of her father. Lord and Lady Capulet discuss Juliet's change of heart."
134. What does Juliet tell Capulet she wants when returning from Friar Lawrence (18-32)?
135. Did Juliet really do what she tells her father she did (26-8)?
136. What is doubly ironic about what Capulet says about F.L. (32-3)?
137. Why is Cap happy at the end of scene 4 (48-9)?

Scene 3: Juliet gets rid of the Nurse and takes the sleeping potion.
138. What is Juliet scared of when her mother leaves (15 & 18-20)?
139. Why does Juliet wonder if the Friar can be trusted (25-30)?
140. What are Juliet's fears about the plan (30-60)?
Scene 4: The Caps and their servants get ready to begin the wedding.
141. What doer Capulet order the Nurse to do at the end of the scene (29-32)?
Scene 5: Juliet is found dead. Both main and minor characters react to the death.
142. According to Capulet, why has Juliet died (37-8 & 42-4)?
143. Who has deflowered Juliet according to Capulet (42-4)?
144. How does Paris react to Juliet's death (61-64)?
145. How does F.L. react to Juliet's death (73-83)?
146. Who does Peter almost get in a fight with at the end of the scene and why (106-125)?

Act V: Together For Eternity


Scene 1: Balthazar brings news of Juliet's "death" to Romeo. Romeo turns to drugs.
147. What happened in the dream Romeo is contemplating (5-10)?
148. After finding out that Juliet is "dead," what does he say to her (37-8)?
149. Why does Romeo seek out the poor Apothecary he saw earlier (53-55)?
150. What is Mantua's law about suicide potions (70-71)?
151. How does Romeo convince the Apothecary to sell him poison (75-80)?
152. In your own words, what does Romeo say about money at the end of the scene (84-6)?
Scene 2: Friar Lawrence finds out that the plague has struck both their houses as the message never made it.
153. How come Friar John didn't deliver Friar Lawrence message to Romeo (9-12)?
154. What must F.L. do now (24-26)?
Scene 3: Paris visits Juliet and finds Romeo. Romeo gets another notch on his sword and tries to
join his love. Juliet comes to life and adds yet another notch to Romeo's sword. The Friar comes
clean. The families come together and statues are erected.
155. What has Paris come to Juliet's grave for (14-7)?
156. What doer Romeo tell Balthasar he is going into Juliet's grave to do (31-2)?
157. Who tries to stop Romeo (53-5)?
158. What does Paris's page do when Paris and Romeo fight (71)?
159. What does Romeo do with Paris's body (82-3)?
160. Does Romeo think death has made Juliet ugly (92-5)?
161. What does Juliet ask when she awakens (155)?
162. What does Juliet discover in Romeo's hand, what does she do (166-72)?
163. When poison on Romeo's lips doesn't work, what does Juliet do (174-5)?
164. Where is Lady Montague (218-20)?
165. Does the Prince think F.L. should be put to death for his part in the tragedy (279)?
166. Who does Paris's page say drew first (291-5)?
167. Who's letter confirms Friar Lawrence story (298-305)?
168. Who does the Prince say have been punished by the feud (305)?
169. What statues will Montague and Capulet erect respectively (310-6)?