An Introduction
 While no one is sure when Romeo
and Juliet was first performed, it is
believed that it was 1594 or 1595.
 Romeo and Juliet was first printed
around 1597.
 The story of Romeo and Juliet was
based on real lovers from Verona
who died for each other in the year
1303.
 The Capulets and Montagues
really did live in Verona.
 The main character (tragic hero)
suffers great sorrow or is brought to
ruin or death.
 A tragedy is usually the consequence
of a person’s tragic flaw, moral
weakness, or an inability to cope
with a bad situation.
 In a tragedy, the ending is unhappy,
yet has purpose or meaning. There
is a lesson to learn from the events
in the story.
 Who do you think is the tragic hero
in Romeo & Juliet?
Romeo & Juliet
The Age of Shakespeare(1558-1603)
Language changes throughout
time. English of the 16th century
sounds quite foreign to us.
Here are some common terms:
 "Hello" is an exclamation of
surprise, not greeting.
 “Good morrow” and “How now?”
are the basic hello greetings.
 “Anon” and “God save you” are
ways of saying goodbye.
 It's "Aye" or "Yay" not "Yes”
 "Nay" or "Indeed Not" for "No”
 "You" can be either "thee/thou" or
even "you/ye” (plural)
 "You would" or "You should" best
heard as "Thou would'st" or
"Thou should'st”
 “Hence” means “here”
 Anon: soon
 Aye: yes
 Betimes: right now!
 E’en: even
 E’er: ever
 Ere: before
 Hence: away from here
 Hie: hurry
 Hither: here
 Marry: indeed!
 Hark: listen
 Prithee: please (pray thee)
 Sooth: truly
 Thither: there
 Withal: in addition; moreover
 Wont: used to; accustomed
 Wherefore: why or therefore
 Art: are
“Wherefore art thou Romeo?”
means what?
Questions and negatives can be
formed without using do or did.
 A crutch, a crutch! Why call you
for a sword? (Ii63)
 Put up your swords, you know not
what you do (Ii52)
 What say you?
 She loves me not.
You is used if more than one person
is being addressed: “If ever you
disturb our streets again your lives
shall pay the forfeit of peace.”
You also indicates respect.
Whenever characters are of the
same status and have the same
esteem for each other, they use
you.
Thou is often used by a person in
power to a child or to an adult as
an insult.
Example: When Tybalt speaks to
Romeo in (IIIi62-63): “Boy, this
shall not excuse the injuries that
thou hast done to me, therefore
turn and draw.”
 Elizabethan English is a colorful
language full of evocative words
and phrases.
 Elizabethans used colorful and
unique insults.
 Combine two colorful adjectives
with one colorful noun.
 Example:
Thou art an unmuzzled, onion-eyed
footlicker!
In order to use this insult generator choose one word from each column and
combine them using "Thou art a(n)..."
Column 1
Column 2
Column 3
Artless
Bawdy
Beslubbering
Bootless
Churlish
Cockered
Clouted
Craven
Currish
Dankish
Base-court
Bat-fowling
Beef-witted
Beetle-headed
Boil-brained
Clapper-clawed
Clay-brained
Common-kissing
Crook-pated
Dismal-dreaming
Apple-john
Baggage
Barnacle
Bladder
Boar-pig
Bugbear
Bum-bailey
Canker-blossom
Clack-dish
Clot-pole
 Blank verse is poetry that doesn’t
rhyme, but is written in iambic
pentameter.
 Iambic pentameter is when an
unstressed syllable is followed by
a stressed syllable. 5 per line
 Pentameter means the iambic
pattern is repeated five times in
the line.
 Example: A las that love, whose
view is muf fled still
 And if you leave me so, you do me





wrong.
A word ill urg’d to one that is so ill.
A right good markman. And she’s fair
I love.
O Lord, I could have stay’d here all
the night.
Go hence; good night; and here
stands all your state.
That may be, sir, when I may be a
wife.
Romeo & Juliet
 Time period: 13th or 14th century
•Verona
 Place: in Verona and Mantua,
northern Italy.
 Many of the characters in the play
fight in the streets of Verona.
 In fact, a lot of fighting takes
place there.
 Today, because of the popularity of
Romeo and Juliet, many tourists
come to Verona to see the Casa di
Giulietta or The House of Juliet.
 A lot of action takes place inside
Juliet’s home.
 The masquerade ball (at the
beginning of the play) is in Juliet’s
home.
 The famous balcony scene takes
place outside Juliet’s bedroom.
The House of Juliet
 Shakespeare borrowed the story
V is for Vendetta
from an old tale of two feuding
families – the Montagues and the
Capulets.
 In the 1300’s such family feuds
were common. Italian families
were extended to include cousins
and even servants.
 The families became involved in a
vendetta, a feud between two
families often ignited by a murder
and perpetuated by acts of
revenge.
 Lord and Lady Capulet are
Juliet’s parents.
 They were a noble family, which
meant they were wealthy and
important in Verona’s society.
 The Capulets were ruthless and
liked things to be done their
way.
 Characters: Lord and Lady
Capulet, Juliet, Tybalt, Nurse,
Peter, Sampson, Gregory
Lord Capulet
 Lord and Lady Montague are
Romeo’s parents.
 They were a noble family, and
one of the richest and most
powerful families in Verona’s
society.
 The Montagues were nice, but
looked down on the Capulets.
 Characters: Lord and Lady
Montague, Romeo, Benvolio,
Balthasar, and Abram
Lady Montague
Romeo & Juliet
 Most importantly: Read it out loud
 Do a different voice for each character
 Look up definitions for unknown words
 Write summaries of what you have read
 Get family and friends to read with you
 Use play summaries (with the original text –
No Fear Shakespeare)
 Make a list of the characters with a
description of each
 Assign a unique color to each character
 Example: Romeo is blue, Mercutio is red,
Benvolio is white, Tybalt is black, etc.
 Read some passages more than once
Da-DUM
Da-DUM
Da-DUM
Da-DUM
Da-DUM
Romeo & Juliet
ACT I PROLOGUE – Sonnet form (page 698)
Reading to the line
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could
remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to
mend.
ACT I PROLOGUE – p. 698
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could
remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
ACT I PROLOGUE – p. 698
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could
remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to
mend.
ACT I PROLOGUE – p. 698
households = families
dignity = worthiness, merit
fair = beautiful
ancient = longstanding
mutiny = public fight
civil = relating to the
community
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
Two families of equal worthiness
In beautiful Verona, where our play is set,
From a longstanding grudge open up a new fight
That spills the blood of some citizens, making the
other citizens’ hands dirty.
ACT I PROLOGUE – (page 698)
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could
remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to
mend.
Memorization & Recitation Project – Romeo & Juliet
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Introduction to Romeo & Juliet