Romeo and Juliet


Character - Romeo


At the start of the play he is in love with Rosaline

Then after meeting Juliet he falls in love with her

He is sad and lonely

He will do anything for Juliet

Can be immature


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Character - Juliet


Has to marry Paris

Controlled by her parents

is close with the Nurse - Lady Capulet is not like a mother to her

disobeys her mother

marries for social class

Friar Lawrence helps her

She is brave and inderpendant

She is not shy

Character is used as a vehicle for shakespeare to distroy gender stereotypes

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  • Morality
  • Family
  • Class
  • Love
  • Secrecy
  • Chance
  • Choice
  • Hate
  • Violence
  • War
  • Suicide
  • Fate
  • The role of women 
  • Death
  • Youth
  • Marriage
  • Free will
  • Gender roles
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Fate and Death

Juliet fakes her death

- Romeo kills himself - love

- Juliet kills herself - love

- This ends the war betweent the Capulets and the Montagues 

"Apair of star cross'd lovers take their life"

- Prologue

- Foreshadows death at the very beginning

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Imagery throughout the play

One of the play’s most consistent visual motifs is the contrast between light and dark, often in terms of night/day imagery.

This contrast is not given a particular metaphoric meaning—light is not always good, and dark is not always evil. On the contrary, light and dark are generally used to provide a sensory contrast and to hint at opposed alternatives.

One of the more important instances of this motif is Romeo’s lengthy meditation on the sun and the moon during the balcony scene, in which Juliet, metaphorically described as the sun, is seen as banishing the “envious moon” and transforming the night into day.  

A similar blurring of night and day occurs in the early morning hours after the lovers’ only night together. Romeo, forced to leave for exile in the morning, and Juliet, not wanting him to leave her room, both try to pretend that it is still night, and that the light is actually darkness:

“More light and light, more dark and dark our woes” 

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Key Quotes

"For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo." 

In the last two lines of the play, Prince Escalus remarks on the lives of Juliet and Romeo. He's saying that no other tale has been this sad. While Escalus is right, his words also allow for the enduring quality of Romeo and Juliet's love. Their classic love story has been told and retold to every generation since first hitting the stage in 1594.

This lexis itself is a statement that proclaims that Romeo and Juliet’s love is the ultimate destruction. Shakespeare has chosen to juxtapose the views of society in this time by ending the play with Juliet taking possession of “her Romeo”, where in Elizabethan times women were property of men. The death of the two characters is a reflection of just how destructive the relationship is.

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Key Quotes

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"Some consequences yet hanging in the stars" - Romeo

"Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven" - Romeo - This is a beautiful way of saying that Juliet's eyes are like stars. He had thought that her eyes spoke, and he is now sayng that they are speaking to the stars, and that the stars are speaking to them. According to the astronomy of the time, each of the planets and all of the stars were embedded in transparent spheres which revolved around the earth. It seems to Romeo that two of the biggest stars have decided that they need to leave their spheres for a while, and that they are sking her eyes to twinkle in their places while hey are gone.

"Star-crossed lovers" - is a phrase describing a pair of lovers whose relationship is often thwarted by outside forces. The term encompasses other meanings, but originally means the pairing is being "thwarted by a malign star" or that the stars are working against the relationship. Astrological in origin, the phrase stems from the belief that the positions of the stars ruled over people's fates

The lexis ‘star’ is interesting because stars that you can see shining are technically already dead – this almost foreshadows Romeo and Juliet’s death because it is showing that their loving (‘shining’) relationship has ended before it really started. 

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Theme - Love

Love as the cause of rebellion - JULIET

Matures after leaving 'love' for Rosaline behind - ROMEO

Venue for definitive character developmets caused by love

True love is presented as irreplaceable and a rare occurence 

Love is portrayed to be intense passion which is controlling and can lead to irrational decisions 

They discuss denouncing their names

Romeo climbs over a wall and endangers himself to see Juliet

Leads to impulsive decisions being made - such as Romeo attacking Tybalt - leadingt to a tragic conclusion.

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