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Romeo and Juliet

Shakepeare chose Verona as the setting of his plays because Italians were considered violent and passionate. The two families Capulets and Montagues wanted to gain the political control of Verona.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragicomedy, because it begins like a comedy (masked balls, young lovers, comic servants), however it ends badly. Few minutes of hesitation could have saved each others. It is also a tragedy because they have to fight for their love against their families. Like Greek heroes they don’t have inner struggles.
Romeo represents the “courtly love convention” because his adoration for an impossible lady. Firstly he compares Juliet to light that frees him from the darkness. This love makes him a brave character, because he risks his life more than once and at least he suicides himself.
Juliet was an obedient child before meeting Romeo. Her first meeting with her lover causes her to move towards maturity. She’s a real woman and she’s a more concrete character than Romeo. She shows more determination than Romeo ‘cause she kills herself with a dagger. The dagger is a “white weapon”.
The themes are:
a) The power of love, their love becomes more powerful than the love of their families.
b) Passion and violence, which will lead them to suicide.
c) Individual against society
d) The power of fate, they’re considered star-cross’d lovers, which means that their love will end tragically.
Rhythm is regular and rhymes are common. Sometimes Shakespeare inserts a sonnet in dialogues. He uses a lot of oxymora (love and hate, dark and light, death and life)

First act

Romeo Montague is in love with Rosaline, but his love is not returned. He learns she would be at Capulet’s mask party that evening and his cousin persuades him to attend in disguise. That night Romeo meets Juliet and it’s love at first sight. They later discover that their families are enemies.
Second act.
Romeo asks Juliet to get married. This act ends with the marriage of the two in the chapel of Friar Laurence.

Third Act

Mercutio is killed by Tybalt, of a consequence Romeo kills Tybalt and gets banished from Verona. This act ends with a Romeo and Juliet night together.

Fourth act

To avoid the marriage with Count Paris, Juliet drinks a potion. Thanks to it she will appear dead, but she actually isn’t. When Romeo hears that Juliet is dead, he comes back to Verona.

Fifth act

Romeo arrives at Juliet’s tomb and takes the poison to kill himself, dying while kissing her lips. When Romeo dies Juliet wakes up and she figure it out what has just happened. She stabbed herself with a dagger. They will never know the truth of their deaths.


Es. 1
1) The first act end when Romeo and Juliet figure it out that their families are enemies.
2) In the dialogue they express their love and they want to be married.
3) Friar Laurence.
4) Mercutio is Romeo’s friend killed by Tybalt.
5) He goes to Mantua.
6) Friar Laurence.
7) He drinks a poison, dying while kissing her lips.
8) She stabbed herself with a dagger.

Es. 2
1) In Verona.
2) Romeo becomes a dynamic character thanks to Juliet’s love for which we would risk his life. Juliet from an obedient child becomes a real woman. She becomes more mature and she shows determination even when she suicides, she uses a weapon and not a poison as Romeo does.
3) Romeo compares Juliet to the light of torches which illuminates Capulet’s hall, light who frees him from the darkness, daylight, sunlight and light emanating by angels.
4) Power of love, passion and violence, Individual against society, power of fate.
5) Rhythms are regular, rhymes are common, there are lots of oxymora.
6) It has elements of both tragedy and comedy.
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