Romeo and Juliet Revision

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Short Summary of the Book

Romeo and Juliet

  • boy (Romeo) & girl (Juliet) fall in love.
  • come from families that hate each other - not allowed to marry.
  • so much in love that they marry in secret instead.
  • before wedding night, Romeo kill Juliet's cousin in duel & in morning forced to leave her.
  • if he ever returns to city, will be put to death.
  • Juliet then told she has to marry Paris, who has been chosen by her parents.
  • parents do not know she is already married.
  • she refuses, then agrees as she plans to fake her death & escape to be with Romeo.
  • she takes sleeping potion & appears dead, so parents lay her in tomb.
  • Romeo does not know about plan, visits grave, finds her 'dead' & kills himself.
  • Juliet finally wakes up, finds Romeo dead & then kills herself.
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Key Quotes

'A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life' - Prologue, line 6

'O brawling love, O loving hate' - Act 1, Scene 1, line 170

'My lips, two blushing pilgrims' - Act 1, Scene 5, line 94

'It is the east, and Juliet is the sun' - Act 2, Scene 2, line 3

'Deny thy father and refuse thy name' - Act 2, Scene 2, line 34

'With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls' - Act 2, Scene 2, line 66

'A plague a'both houses!' - Act 3, Scene 1, line 86

'Then I defy you, stars' - Act 5, Scene 1. line 24

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Role of Women

  • possessions, financially dependent on fathers, had to be obedient.
  • when married, handed over to rule of husband.
  • not desirable for women to remarry at any age.


  • encouraged to marry someone of similar social class.
  • father would negotiate marriage contract for her - arranged marriage.
  • secret marriages (as in Romeo & Juliet) seen as shocking - against law.

Romantic Love

  • encouraged to love husband/wife.
  • loving too much seen as illness.
  • unrequited love (one-sided) or desire - seen as disease, sometimes called lovesickness (Romeo felt this at beginning of play).
  • Ideal marriage - companionship & compatibility more important than passion/romance.
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Courtly Love

  • set of rules & expectations about way lovers should behave.
  • woman must reject his advances to preserve honour & good name.
  • coldness inflames his passion, consumed with sadness - makes up verses about his love.

Petrarchan Lovers

  • sonnets - often used to address subject of love in conflict (like prologue in Romeo & Juliet).
  • young man falls in love at first sight, woman resists love to extend courtship & test his devotion.
  • results in lover becoming melancholy (sad), avoiding friends & family.
  • uses poetry to express feelings of rejection.

Chain of being

  • believed in the position of ladder descending from God - angel, king, man & woman.
  • man higher than woman on hierarchical chain of being.
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  • belief of Fall of Man - Adam allowed love for Eve to overrule judgement & obedience to God.
  • dangerous to ket reason be dominated by passion, too uncontrollably emotional - heading for fall.

The Seven Deadly Sins

  • pride, envy, gluttony (greed for food), lechery (lust), avarice (greed for money), wrath (anger) & sloth (laziness).


  • believed to be of 'unsound mind' & proved victim had fallen into sin of despair.
  • against God's will so seen as a criminal offence & sin.


  • strong beliefs about God and so many people were religious.
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Protagonist - leading/major character in play.

Sonnet - poem of 14 lines with number of rhyme schemes.  Typically 10 syllables per line.

Hyperbole - exaggerated statements.

Patheic Fallacy - gives the environment & nature/inanimate objects human emotions/feelings.

Rhetorical Questions - question asked where an answer is not expected.

Soliloquy - speaking thoughts out loud.

Stichomythia - dialogue where characters speak alternate lines.

Oxymorons - contradictory terms.

Tragedy Genre - main character/s brought to ruin or experience great sorrow.

Syntax - arrangement of words & phrases to create well-formed sentences.

Lexis - words/language used. (lexical choice - individual words)

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Foreshadowing - warning/indication of future events.

Figurative Language - words/expressions with a meaning different from literal interpretation.

Imagery - visually descriptive/figurative language.

Juxtaposition - two things being seen/placed close together with contrasting effect.

Monologue - long speech by one actor in play.

Personification - giving something non-human human characteristics.

Theme - subject/topic of text.

Tone - the mood.  General character/attitude of a place or piece of writing.

Verbal Irony - when a character uses a statement with underlying meanings contrasting with its literal meanings.

Metaphor - figure of speech, word/phrase applied to object/action, not literally applicable.



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Simile - figure of speech involving comparison of 1 thing with another of different kind, used to make description more vivid.

Repetition - repeating something said/written.

Dramatic Irony - full significance of character's words/actions is clear to audience/reader although unknown to character.

Iambic Pentameter - line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable.  10 syllables in total.

Rhyming Couplet - two lines of poetry that rhyme.

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