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  • Created on: 28-02-18 22:12


The scene is set (Act 1 Scene 1)
Montague and Capulet servants clash in the street, the Prince threatens dire punishment if another such brawl should take place, and Romeo tells his friend, Benvolio, of his obsession with Rosaline.

The lovers meet for the first time (Act 1 Scene 4)
Romeo is persuaded to attend a masked party at the Capulet household. Not knowing who she is, he falls in love with Juliet the moment he sees her, and she, equally ignorant that he is a Montague, falls just as instantly for him.

'Here's much to do with hate, but more with love' (Romeo, Act 1 Scene 1)

'But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart: My will to her consent is but a part' (Lord Capulet, Act 1 Scene 1)

'I'll look to like, if looking liking move' (Juliet, Act 1 Scene 3)

'Is she a Capulet? O, dear account! My life is my foe's debt' (Romeo, Act 1 Scene 4)

'My only love sprung from my only hate' (Juliet, Act 1 Scene 4)

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Romeo risks death to meet his loveJuliet again (Act 2 Scene 1)
When everyone has left the party, Romeo creeps into the Capulet garden and sees Juliet on her balcony. They reveal their mutual love and Romeo leaves, promising to arrange a secret marriage and let Juliet's messenger, her old Nurse, have the details the following morning.

The wedding is held in secret (Act 2 Scene 5)
Juliet tells her parents she is going to make her confession to Friar Laurence, meets Romeo there and, despite some personal misgivings, the friar marries them immediately.

'But soft, what light through yonder window breaks' (Romeo, Act 2 Scene 1)

'O, Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?' (Juliet, Act 2 Scene 1)

'That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet' (Juliet, Act 2 Scene 1)

'Parting is such sweet sorrow' (Juliet, Act 2 Scene 1)

'For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households' rancour to true love' (Friar Lawrence, Act 2 Scene 2)

'These violent delights have violent ends' (Friar Lawrence, Act 2 Scene 5)

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Romeo angrily kills Juliet's cousin, Tybalt (Act 3 Scene 1)
Romeo meets Tybalt in street, challenged to a duel he refuses to fight, Mercutio is so disgusted by this 'cowardice' that he takes up the challenge instead. Romeo tries to break up fight, Tybalt kills Mercutio, enraged, Romeo kills Tybalt. Prince arrives, banishes Romeo.

The unhappy couple are parted (Act 3 Scene 5)
Arranged by Friar and Nurse, Romeo and Juliet have spent their wedding night together. immediately parted as Romeo must leave for banishment in Mantua or die if he is found in Verona. Believing her grief to be for the death of her cousin, Juliet's father tries to cheer Juliet by arranging her immediate marriage to Paris, threatens to disown her when she asks for marriage to be postponed and runs to the Friar for advice and help.

'A plague o' both your houses' (Mercutio, Act 3 Scene 1)

'Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill' (Prince, Act 3 Scene 1)

'Get these to Church o' Thursday, or never after look me in the face' (Lord Capulet, Act 3 Scene 5)

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The Friar suggests a dangerous solution to the problem (Act 4 Scene 1)
Juliet arrives at the Friar's to be met by Paris, who is busy discussing their wedding plans. She is so desperate that she threatens suicide, and the Friar instead suggests that she takes a potion that will make her appear to be dead. He promises to send a message to Romeo, asking him to return secretly and be with Juliet when she wakes, once her 'body' has been taken to the family crypt.

Juliet is found 'dead' (Act 4 Scene 4)
The Nurse discovers Juliet 's 'body' dead' when she goes to wake her for her marriage Paris. Friar Laurence is called, counsels the family to accept their grief, and arranges for Juliet to be 'buried' immediately.

'Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here's drink: I drink to thee' (Juliet, Act 4 Scene 3)

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Romeo learns of the tragedy and plans his own suicide (Act 5 Scene 1)
Romeo's servant, Balthasar, reaches Mantua before the Friar's messenger and tells Romeo that Juliet is dead. Romeo buys poison and leaves for Verona, planning to die alongside Juliet's body.

The tragic conclusion (Act 5 Scene 3)
Trying to break into the Capulet crypt, Romeo is disturbed by Paris, they fight. Romeo kills Paris and reaches Juliet's body. He drinks the poison,  kisses Juliet, and dies. Having learned that Romeo never received his message, the Friar comes to the crypt to be with Juliet when she wakes, finds Paris's body and reaches Juliet just as she revives. He cannot persuade her to leave Romeo and runs away in fear. Juliet realizes what has happened, takes Romeo's knife and stabs herself to death with it. The watchmen discover the gruesome sight and call the Prince, to whom the Friar confesses everything. Having heard the full story, the Montagues and Capulets are reconciled. Peace has been achieved, but the price has been the lives of two innocent young lovers.

'O true apothecary. Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die' (Romeo, Act 5 Scene 3)

'O happy dagger. This is thy sheath: there rust and let me die' (Juliet, Act 5 Scene 3)

'For never was a story of more woe, Than this is Juliet and her Romeo' (Prince, Act 5 Scene 3)

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The many forms love takes; its power to challenge hate; the impetuosity of young love; the irrationality of hate and its capacity to destroy love.

Some related scenes:

  • Act 1 Scene 1: The Capulets and Montagues fight in Verona's market-place; Romeo tells Benvolio of his unrequited love for Rosaline.
  • Act 1 Scene 5: Forgetting Rosaline, Romeo falls in love with Juliet at first sight.
  • Act 2 Scene 2: In Juliet's orchard the two lovers agree to marry.
  • Act 3 Scene 1: Tybalt fatally wounds Mercutio under the newly-wed Romeo's arm.
  • Act 3 Scene 5: Romeo and Juliet prepare to part after their wedding night.
  • Act 5 Scene 3: Romeo and Juliet commit suicide; the Prince asks the two families to reconcile.
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The struggle of young people to make their own choices in the face of parents' vested interests.

Some related scenes:

  • The Prologue: The Chorus describes the parents' 'ancient grudge' which is the catalyst for the death of their children.
  • Act 1 Scene 1: Lord Capulet approves Paris's request to ask Juliet to marry him.
  • Act 3 Scene 5: Lord and Lady Capulet tell Juliet of their arrangements for her to marry Paris.
  • Act 5 Scene 3: Romeo and Juliet commit suicide; the parents are faced with the consequences of their ancient feud.
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the inevitability and the fickleness of fate; the mixture of chance and choice in determining outcomes.

Some related scenes:

  • The Prologue: The Chorus describes the lovers as 'star-crossed'.
  • Act 1 Scene 4: As he goes to the Capulets' ball, Romeo tells of a dream he has had.
  • Act 3 Scene 3: Romeo happens upon the sword fight between Tybalt and Mercutio; his intervention results in Mercutio's death for which he kills Tybalt and calls himself 'fortune's fool'.
  • Act 5 Scene 1: Balthasar tells Romeo of Juliet's death and Friar Laurence learns that Brother John has been unable to travel to Mantua to tell Romeo that Juliet still lives.
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Light representing the lovers as they see one another in the darkness of their troubles; darkness also as the shroud of secrecy; also light as lightning and therefore transitory and easily burnt out.

For example:

  • 'But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? / It is the east, and Juliet is the sun' (Act 2 Scene 2)
  • 'The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, / As daylight doth a lamp' (Act 2 Scene 2)
  • 'It is too rash, too unadivsed, too sudden; / Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be / Ere one can say 'It lightens'' (Act 2 Scene 3)
  • 'Take him and cut him out in little stars, / And he will make the face of heaven so fine/That all the world will be in love with night/And pay no worship to the garish sun' (Act 3 Scene 2)
  • 'More light and light; more dark and dark our woes!' (Act 3 Scene 5)
  • 'For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes / This vault a feasting presence full of light' (Act 5 Scene 3)
  • 'A glooming peace this morning with it brings. / The sun for sorrow will not show his head' (Act 5 Scene 3)
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Representing the power of fate; also heaven and heavenly as descriptive of the lovers' view of one another.

For example:

  • 'A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life' (The Prologue)
  • 'my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars' (Act 1 Scene 4)
  • 'so smile the heavens upon this holy act, / That after hours with sorrow chide us not!' (Act 2 Scene 6)
  • 'Can heaven be so envious' (Act 3 Scene 2)
  • 'The heavens do lour upon you for some ill' (Act 4 Scene 5)
  • 'Is it even so? then I defy you, stars!' (Act 5 Scene 1)
  • 'See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,/That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love' (Act 5 Scene 3)
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Representing beauty, value, youth and potential.

For example:

  • 'fresh female buds shall you see this night' (Act 1 Scene 2)
  • 'Verona's summer hath not such a flower' (Act 1 Scene 3)
  • 'So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows' (Act 1 Scene 5)
  • 'This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, / May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet' (Act 2 Scene 2)
  • 'O mickle is the powerful grace that lies / In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities. / For naught so vile that on the earth doth live / But to the earth some special good doth give' (Act 2 Scene 2)
  • 'An eagle, madam, / Hath not so green, so quick, so far an eye / As Paris hath (Act 3 Scene 6)
  • 'sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew' (Act 5 Scene 3)
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  • Act 1 - the battle between the two families. The Prince declares the next battle will result in exile. Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love.
  • Act 2 - Romeo and Juliet decide to marry. Friar Laurence organises and blesses the wedding.
  • Act 3 - Tybalt kills Mercutio. Romeo avenges Mercutio's death by killing Tybalt. Romeo is banished but manages to spend the night with Juliet, consummating their marriage. Capulet decides Juliet must marry Paris and she refuses.
  • Act 4 - Juliet goes to Friar Laurence's where they come up with a plan and Juliet fakes her death so she can be with Romeo.
  • Act 5 - Romeo receives the message that Juliet has died and goes to the Capulet vault. Upon seeing her there, he kills himself with poison; Juliet awakens and kills herself with his dagger. The play ends with the two families reunited.
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