romeo and juliet

shakespeares background

  • Born in 1564, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18
  • Shakespeare wrote more than 30 plays for 'The King's Men', making it the most important theatre company in the country
  • He was very successful and wealthy in his time, and his work has remained very popular ever since.
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romeo and juliet: plot

  • Romeo and Juliet is a play written by Shakespeare. It is a tragic love story where the two main characters, Romeo and Juliet, are supposed to be sworn enemies but fall in love. Due to their families' ongoing conflict, they cannot be together, so they kill themselves because they cannot cope with being separated from one another. Romeo and Juliet is a Shakespearean tragedy.
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romeo and juliet: story line

  • a brawl takes place in the city of verona- Prince has had enough so tells them that the next person to break the eace will be killed
  • romeo and friends gatecrash the Capulet party, romeo meets juliet, fall in love, then fid out they are sworn enemies
  • friar marries Romeo and Juliet
  • romeo goes to celebrate with his friends, gets into a fight with Tybalt, Juiet's cousin. Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo kills Tybalt as revenge
  • Prince banishes Romeo for killing Tybalt, Romeo and Juliet heartbroken
  • Capulet arranges for Juliet to marry Paris- Juliet refuses and goes to the frair where they come up with a pan for them to be together
  • Juliet fakes her death lies in tomb waiting for Romeo. Romeo doesnt recieve the message about the plan, so believes she is actually dead- goes to Verona and sees her in the tomb-dead
  • Romeo drinks poison so he can be with Juliet- Juliet wkes up and finds him dead next to her- kills herself with Romeo's dagger
  • Capulet and Montague families vow never to argue again
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romeo and juliet: marriage

In Elizabethan times, people got married much earlier than they do today. It would be common practice to get married at 13 years of age. Normally, parents chose their child's partner and this would be based on wealth, potential titles and family ties.

Romeo and Juliet both decide who they are going to marry - this would have been highly disrespectful to their families, particularly as they both decided to marry their family's sworn enemy.

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romeo and juliet: histoical

  • everybody had to go to church on sunday or had to pay a fine
  • had to get married at chuch and couples could only live or sleep together if they were married
  • divorce was impossible
  • religion more powerful than law
  • once Juliet has married Romeo she cannot marry Paris- breaking the law of the church and would go to hell
  • however Romeo and Juliet commit suicide which is also commiting a sin
  • most of the time marriage was fo money/ inheritance not love- philosphy of the age of reason
  • when Juliet refuses to marry Paris and Capulet is furious- she is his property and should do what he says, he believes he has done his duty as a father
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Romeo

  • 'yet tell me not, for i have heard it all' - he is not interested in the fued
  • 'O brawling love! O loving hate!'  /   'O heavy lightness, serious vanity'   /   'feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health' - oxymorons, Romeo thinks he is in love, in a poetic fantasy and love hurts, the ong series of oxymorons is showing how he feels about love
  • 'she'll not be hit/ With Cupid's arrow' - Rosaline is unlikely to fall in love with him
  • 'what lady's that which doth enrich the hand' - by holding Juliets hand is making him riche/lucky, it suggests he admires Juliet greatly
  • 'she hangs upon the cheek of night/ As a rich jewel in an ethiop's ear'- simile, contrast- her face sparkles like a diamond/ruby against dark skin/ the darkness of night- she is precious,radient
  • 'if i prefane with my unworthiest hand' - if romeo spoils, hurts, or disrespects Juliet's hand then he will kiss it better.
  • 'this holy shrine' - shrine is a place of worship- he is saying that juliet is special, pecious and rare- a compliment to Juliet
  • 'have not saints lips and holy palmer too?' - Romeo keeps pushing to kiss Juliet
  • 'Odear account! My life is my foe's debt' - emphasising his horror, Capulets will own him, have power of his life/death if he marries Juliet, gramatic irony- they are going to die
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romeo and juliet: quotes: capulet

  • 'Welcome gentlemen' - repeated 3 times, he is hospitable, enthusiastic host, flirt and welcoming his guests- he welcomes Romeo and his friend not knowing that hey are Montagues because they are wearing masks
  • 'i have worn a visor.../ A wisperig tale in a fair lady's ear' - happy to see the young men because it reminds him of his youth/ flirting with ladies
  • 'I would not for the wealth of all this town/ Here in my housedo him disparagement' - Capulets tolerance of Romeo i not unlimited- he is thinking more of his owm reputation than of how much he likes/hates Romeo
  • 'boy'   /   'am i the master here, or you? Go to!' - when Capulet is telling Tybalt to leave Romeo alone at the party and not start a fight- accusation of immaturity, to belittle Tybalt. showing that Capulet has all the authority
  •  'It rains downright./ How now, a conduit, girl? What, still in tears? - comparing Juliet's tears to rain
  • 'a bark, a sea, a wind' - extended simile, comparing Juliet to a ship, the sea and the wind, The sea is her tears, the ship is her body and thw wind is her sighs
  • 'decree' - Capulet believes he is totally in control of Juliet by the law/order
  • 'My fingers itch' - threat of violence, he is itching to hit her
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romeo and juliet: quotes: structure

  • 'forswear it sight/ For i ne'er saw beauty till this night' (Romeo) - rhyming couplet- summarises romeo emotions, his infatuaion with Rosaline is over, his feeling for Juliet begin
  • Romeo and Juliet speak in  sonnet when they first meet which i traditionally known as a love poem
  • Friar Lawrences speechh at the start of Act 2 sc 3 - iambic pentameter, 10 beats per line, rhyming couplets, purpose- to set the scenefor the audience as it is a change of time and place
  • when Romeo leaves Juliet in the morning to go to Mantua, there is a rhyming couplet split between them, because the lighter it gets, the darer thr future becomes because Romeo is more likely to be found
  • Capulet begins to get annoyed and lose his temer with Juliet when she refuses to marry Paris. Juliet then treis to calm hi down and wants to show him how grateful she is but she does not want to marry Paris
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Tybalt

  • 'what dares the slave'   /   'with an antic face'   /   'villain' (repeated)   /   'to fleer and scorn at our solemnity?'(onomatopoeia/ sibilance to emphasise anger)  - strong insults to Romeo, calling him a slave, low class, ugly
  • 'now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall.' - gall=stomack acid, everything may be fine now but the future will be violent and horrific.
  • 'mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo' - he is saying that they hang around together but he is also suggestingg that Mercutio is in a sexual relationship with Romeo
  • 'boy' - Tybalt thins Romeo is being sarcastic and gets even more annoyed.
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Juliet

  • 'Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in pray'r' - Juliet is trying to prevent Romeo from kissing her so tries to persuade him that lips are used for praying not kissing
  • 'Come hither Nurse. Wha is yond gentleman?' - Juliet is clever, she pretends to be interested in several young men to disguise her interest in Romeo
  • 'My grave like to be my wedding-bed' Juliet shows her powerful sttraction to Rpmeo- if he is married, she wont get married, die unmarried
  • 'My only love sprung from my ony hate'  /  'Prodigious birth of love it is to me/ That i must love a loathed enemy' - a metaphor for love, it is like the birth of a monster , frightening, deformed- birth and ove should normlly e happy and beautiful, she loves Romeo but hates the Montagues, an oxymoron/ example of ambivilance, it is now too late as she already loves him
  • 'O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?' - why is he called Romeo Montague
  • 'if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love' - if you wont give up your name, promise me you love me then i will stop being a Capulet
  • 'that which we call a rose/ By any other word would smell as sweet' - names are not important, the fact that he is a Montague doent matter or make him any different, a roe would sstill smell as sweet, whatever it was called
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romeo and juliet: quotes: nurse

  • 'lay hold of her' -the nurse is talking about Juliet and whoever marries her/ sleeps wih her
  • 'chinks' - onomatopoeiac- she is suggesting that Juiet will inheri all the Capulet's wealth.
  • ''Romeo's a dishclout to him' - Juliet turnes to the Nurse for advice and comfort, but she advices Juliet to enter into a bigimous marriage (marries to more than one person, illegal), the Nurse is tryin g to persuade Juliet that Paris is better than Romeo
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Friar Lawrence

  • 'Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart'- foreshadowing, smelling the flower will kill you, we know that the Friar will provide Juliet with a potion which will make her appear dead.
  • 'not in a grave' - metaphor/ damatic irony for relationships and death
  • 'for this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households' rancor to pure love' - Friar Lawrences motivation is good and the marriage between the families will end fued
  • 'wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast' - haste = danger/death and thinks tha Romeo should slow down, dramatic irony that they will stumble and die
  • 'so smile the heavens upon this holy act'- dramatic irony, audience knows there will be no blessing from heaven and it will all go wrong as they die
  • 'like fire and powder' - simile, comparing their love to an explosion as it is also quick, violent and sudden, hints of doom and the younger are too fast and dangerous like fire and powder
  • 'you shall not stay alone/ Till Holy Church incorporate two in one' - they must be married before they are allowed to sleep together
  • 'Which craves as desperate an execution/ As that is desperate that we would prevent' - the plan is nearly as dangerous as the plan to kill herself
  • 'No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest' - there will  be nothing to prove she is alive
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Mercutio

  • 'Good King of Cats' - metaphor for a skilled sword fighter, Tybalt believes that he is the 'King of Cats'
  • 'tomorrow, you shall find me a grave man' - even though he is dying, he uses intesteting and emotive language and still makes jokes
  • 'A plague a' both you houses!' - repeated, propesy - predicting the future thet disaster will fall between both the families. he is desperate, angry, bitter, devistated, he curses the fued and the two families
  • 'worms' meat' - graphic emotive language to show what the two families have done to him
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Lady Capulet

  • 'Evermore eeping for your cousin's death?' - she thinks Juliet is upset about Tybalt- the ausience knows that she is crying over Romeo leaving
  • 'what, wilt thou wash him from his gravewith tears?' - insensitive, she says that tears wont bring him back to life or out of his grave
  • 'But much of grief shows still some want of wit' - there is too much crying which just makes he look stupid
  • 'careful father, child' - Capulet takes care of Juliet by arranging a good marriage for her
  • 'gallant, young, and noble gentleman' - emphasises he has good qualities to try to persuade Juliet
  • 'i would the fool wee married to her grave!' - calls Juliets silly and wishes her dead if she doesnt marry him, dramatic irony, she doesnt marry Paris and dies
  • 'I have done with thee' - her own mother is disowning her for not marrying Paris
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Paris

  • 'Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death' - Paris also assumes that Julie is still upset about Tybalt's death, dramatic irony, the ausience knows that he is wrong
  • 'sweet flower' - he sees her as a child, young, girlish, not as a women, he is acting like a respectable citizen, not as a lover, he doing and saying the right things
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Prince Escalus

  • 'If ever you disturb our streets again/ Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace' - if there is ever a fight in the steets of verona then the price will be paid in death
  • 'a glooming peace' - oxymoron, unhappy peace, gloomy, peace should be happy
  • 'For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo' - rhyming coupet, it signals the end of the play and emphasises the tragedy, 'woe', sorro and misery
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Romeo

  • 'Juliet is the sun' - Juliet is like a sunrise and blocks out the moon(Rosaline) with her brightness
  • 'moon' / 'sun' - metaphors for Juliet and Rosaline, sun=radient, passionate, sensual, dazzling,   moon=plae,chaste,dead
  • 'Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon' - make him forget Rosaline
  • 'bright angel' - she is an angel which is dramatic irony as she will die and become an angel
  • 'hath wounded me' - he has been shot by cupids arrrow and i now in love with Juliet
  • 'rich Capulet' - ambiguous - he is rich because he has a lot of monet but he also has Juliet
  • 'marry us today' - haste/speed- they met yesterday and want to get married today- the young are much quicker
  • 'i stand on sudden haste' - yung generation, rushing, quick
  • 'it is enough i may but call he mine' - he doesnt care if he dies as long as he can marry Juliet- he does marry Juliet but he also dies
  • 'Tybalt, the reason that i have to love thee' - Romeo is refusing to get angry as he loves Tybalt as he is Juliet's cousin
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Romeo

  • 'O' i am fortune's fool' - romeo finally realises that fate is not on his side
  • 'away to heaven, respective lenity,/ And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now!' - Romeo will stop being patient and start being violent, angry, furious and aggressive
  • 'Romeo steps between them''(stage direction) - romeo does everything eh can to stop the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio
  • 'envious streaks' - shafts of sunlight coming through the clouds in the east
  • 'i have more care to stay than will to go./ Come, death, and welcome!' - he'd rather stay than go if Juliet wants him to die, he's ahppy to do so.
  • 'For sweet discourses in out time to come' - dramatic irony as the audience know that there are no nice conversations to come as they'll be dead
  • 'good gentle youth, tempt not a desp'rate man' - he adresses Paris as if he is younger than Romeo, Romeo has matured, grown up, become a man, Paris is older , richer and has a higher status.
  • 'boy' - implies he is younger and not older
  • 'O ,my love, my wife' - Romeo adresses Juliet in a loving, cinseer and heartfelt way, 'my' is repeated shows that he feels she belongs to him
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Romeo

  • 'Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain' - Romeo says that the biggest favour he can do for Tybalt is kill himself
  • 'Bloody sheet?' - emotive language, emphasises the tragedy of Tbalt's early death, Romeo feels guilty
  • 'thou art not conquer'd, beauty's ensign yet' - extended etaphor, death is ike an army with it's pag but i has failed to conquer Juliet
  • 'death, that ****'d the honey of thy breath' - personifiation to describe ewhat death has don eto Juliet, which has stopped her breathing, but has not stopped her being beautiful
  • 'forgive me, cousin!' - he calls Tybalt his cousin and asks fr forgiveness
  • 'palace of dim light' - metaphor, comparing the tomb to the palace because Juliet is there
  • 'world-wearied flesh' - alliteration, emphasises he is tired of living and fighting
  • 'Eyes, look you last!/ Arms, take your last embrace!' - ambiguous, refers to Juliet, also tragedy, the last time he will see or embrace any women
  • 'Here's to my love' - an ironic toast to Juliet
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romeo and juliet: quotes: capulet

  • 'hang, beg, starve, die in the streets/ For, by my soul, i'll ne'er acknowledge thee' - if she agrees to marry Paris, that ok, but is she doesnt , he doesn't care if she starved or died. he'll never admit that she is his daughter again, he is treatening to disown her
  • 'O brother Montague' - tries to be friends after he finds out what happened between his daughter and Romeo
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Juliet

  • 'swear not my the moon, th'e inconstant moon' - Juliet suggests hat the moon is not a ood thing to swear by as the moon always changes, it can be full or half
  • 'which is the god of my idolatry' - she woships him like a god
  • 'but my true ove is grown to such excess' - hyperbole, her love is so great that it is impossible to measure
  • 'It wasthe nightingale, and not the lark' - the lark sings in the morning, Juliet id trying to persuade Romeo to stay by saying thatthat it is still night as the nightingale sings in the night
  • 'It is some meteor' - Juliet is still trying to persuade Romeo to stay, by saying that it isnt the sun but a meator that is making the light
  • 'It is the lark that sings so out of tune' - Juliet realises that if he stays then he will be killed because he is banashed so now tries to make him go
  • 'Ill-divining' - she is predicting that something terrible will happen
  • 'as one dead in the bottom of a tomb' - she is predicting what will happen when she next sees him, dramatic irony as he will be dead in the bottom of a tomb
  • 'fickle' - if fortunes can take Romeo away from her, then fortunes can bring him back
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Juliet

  • 'If all else fail, myself have power to die' - dramatic irony she is threatening to commit suicide if she has to marry Paris
  • 'now, by Saint Peter's Church and Peter too,/ He shall not make me there a joyful bride' - she is swearing on the church and a saint that she will not marry Paris and he will not make her a joyful bride as she loves Romeo - dramatic irony as the audience knows why she is objecting so violently
  • 'that may be, sir, when i may be a wife' - Juliet is careful with her replies to Paris as they all have an ambiguous meaning
  • 'come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help! - repitition of the word 'past' which emphasises her grief and despiration
  • 'and with this knife I'll help it presently' - she threatens to kill herself, which forces the Frair to come up with and extremey dangerous and desperate plan
  • 'O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris' - desperate, she'll jump off a tower to kill hirself
  • 'with a dead man in his shroud' - Tybalt, dramatic irony as she will be lying with him
  • 'Give me, give me! O, tell not me to fear!' - she is strong, brave and desperate
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Juliet

  • 'O comfortable Friar! Where is my lord?' - she is strong and brave and refers to Romeo as her Lord
  • 'my true love's' - eal love/passionate , not superficial
  • 'restorative' - ironic, is meant as a cure, poison would kill her
  • 'Thy lips are warm' - tragic, she realises she has woken up just too late
  • 'O happy dagger' - oxyoron, ironically, Juliet sees the dagger as a positive thing
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romeo and juliet: quotes: Friar Lawrence

  • 'thou shalt not continue two and forty hours' - the potion works for 42 hours
  • 'Have my old feet stumbled at grave!' - old/slow, always too late like the messenger was
  • 'exit' - she's deserted agsin
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