TSS Snaith// Romeo and Juliet Character Cards

Romeo

The son of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man, about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and romantic. His idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He lives, a dissident, in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love. At the beginning of the play he is deeply in love with a woman named Rosaline, but when he meets Juliet at a party he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. Thus, Shakespeare gives us every reason to question how real Romeo’s new love is, but Romeo goes to extremes to prove the seriousness of his feelings. He secretly marries Juliet, the daughter of his father’s worst enemy, he happily takes abuse from Tybalt, and he would rather die than live without his beloved.

Key Quotes include:

"Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon" - Chain of Being

"Romeo, Romeo ... be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet." - Marriage / The feud

"But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!" - Light v Dark

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Juliet

The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, let alone as soon as it turns out, especially at such a tender age, but she grows up quickly after falling in love with Romeo, her 'star-crossed lover' and the son of her family’s great enemy. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Juliet’s closest friend is her nurse, although she’s willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the Nurse turns against Romeo.

Key Quotes include: 

'All my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay' - Love

'Parting is such sweet sorrow' - Love

'But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun' - Light

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Mercutio

A relative to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays, Mercutio overflows with imagination and wit. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual innuendo. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions. He finds Romeo’s romanticized ideas about love tiresome, and tries to convince Romeo to view love as a simple matter of sexual appetite.

Key Quotes include:

"Here's my fiddle-stick" - innuendo

"Tybalt you rat catcher" - insult

“A gentlemen who loves to hear himself talk, will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month” - Romeo on Mercutio

“If love be rough with you, be rough with love." - Sexual relations

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Benvolio

Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and friend, he makes an effort to rid of violent scenes in public places, though Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private. He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet.

Key Quotes:

  "Thy Swan a Crow" - Rosaline

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Friar Lawrence/ Nurse

Lawrence is a friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civil-minded, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the star-crossed lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs.

Juliet’s nurse is the woman who breast-fed Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life. A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches. But, until a disagreement near the play’s end, the Nurse is Juliet’s faithful confidante and loyal intermediary in Juliet’s affair with Romeo. She provides a contrast with Juliet, given that her view of love is earthy and sexual, whereas Juliet is idealistic and intense. The Nurse believes in love and wants Juliet to have a handsome husband, but the idea that Juliet would want to sacrifice herself for love is incomprehensible to her.

Key Quotes for the Friar include:

"For this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your houses' rancour into love" - on Romeo and Juliet's Wedding

Key Quotes for the nurse include:

"I would say thou hadst ****'d wisdom from thy teat." - on nursing Juliet

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Tybalt/ Paris

Tybalt is a Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side. Egotistical and supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been questioned. He loathes Montagues.

Paris a kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet. Once Capulet has promised him he can marry Juliet, he behaves very presumptuous toward her, acting as if they are already married.

Key Quotes for Tybalt include:

"This, by his voice, should be a Montague" - on Romeo

"To scorn at our solemnity" - on the Montagues

 

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Lord and Lady Capulet

Capulet -  The head of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague. He truly loves his daughter, though he is not  aware Juliet’s thoughts or feelings, and seems to think that what is best for her is a “good” match with Paris. Often prudent, he commands respect and propriety, but he is liable to become agitated when either is lacking.

Lady Capulet -  Juliet’s mother, Capulet’s wife. A woman who herself married young ( she gave birth to Juliet close to the age of fourteen), she is eager to see her daughter marry Paris. She is an ineffective mother, relying on the Nurse for support.

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Lord and Lady Montague

Montague -  Romeo’s father, the head of the Montague family and bitter enemy of Capulet. At the beginning of the play, he is chiefly concerned about Romeo’s depression.

Lady Montague -  Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife. She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona.

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