Essay Question

Compare Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline in Act 1 Scene 1 and for Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2.


• She doesn’t love Romeo back - .

• The effect that Romeo’s love for Rosaline • • has is negative - he is so upset that he walks around in the woods at night and shuts himself away in the daytime.

He is described and crying and sighing.

Montague says that no good will come of it.

• Rosaline brings darkness - sad mood, night time, Romeo shutting sunlight out and making ‘an artificial night’ • •


She returns Romeo’s love – ‘purged’ They get married - are committed to one • another.

Romeo’s love for Juliet overcomes many • • obstacles.

• He is willing to give up his life for her - this is more than just money or sex.

• He praises her beauty - ‘I never saw true beauty til this night’ • Juliet brings light - she is ‘the sun’ and a ‘bright angel’ – in contrast to Rosaline who brings darkness.

He speaks as if they’re already married.

He’s in love with Juliet, rather than the idea of being in love.

• Willing to change his identity and sacrifice his family ties for Juliet.

• • Romeo thinks it’s too good to be true – he thinks it could all be a dream.

• He says he would travel the widest sea for Juliet.

A deeper love – FIND THE EVIDENCE!

Compare Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline in Act 1 Scene 1 and for Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2.

• • • Use your notes on Romeo to make a


open each paragraph with. to Use a quotation (


) for each.


it in detail for L6 and 7 • • • •

Basic plan

Introduction Romeo’s love for Rosaline – Act 1 Scene 1 Romeo’s love for Juliet – Act 2 Scene 2 Conclusion

• • • •

Remember! To reach Level 7/8 you must: Refer to cultural context – comment upon social/cultural attitudes of the time.

Make links (thematic?) with other texts Explain the effect upon the audience Keep a firm focus on the question that you are answering

• • • •


This essay compares how… What is Romeo like at the beginning of the play in Act 1 Scene 1?

How does he change – how does he feel about Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2?

Refer to Cultural Context (Level 7) e.g. beliefs and practices of the time, such as marriage and relationships, gender roles, wealth and family, fate and destiny, magic and superstition, religion …

Act 1 Scene 1 - Rosaline • • • •

Make points about…

Romeo avoiding his friends The metaphor about the bud and the worm The oxymorons Romeo says that show his mixed emotions Romeo’s emotions – darkness, feeling ‘sick’, mad, grief, death …

In order to reach Level 7 you must EXPLAIN IN DETAIL



In Act 1, scene 1, Romeo thinks that he’s in love with Rosaline, a girl who has sworn to stay chaste.


This is evident when he says to Benvolio: ‘out of her favour where I am in love.’


Romeo feels very frustrated that he can’t have Rosaline and this is making him feel ill and very miserable. It could be argued that it is actually lust that Romeo feels, rather than love because he tells Benvolio that she will not ‘ope’ her lap’ for him.


The word ‘love’ suggests that Romeo thinks that it is the real thing, true love, yet it could be a more sexual love, especially when we know that he forgets Rosaline so quickly.

Analyse language for Level 7

• • • • Why does Romeo use the words ‘purged’ and ‘vexed’ to describe love? Explain the ‘bud bit with an envious worm’ image. Contrast with what Juliet says about their love.

What references to darkness can you find in lines 125-137 – what does this tell you about the effect of Romeo’s love for Rosaline on Romeo? Analyse the celestial references (hyperboles?) in Act 2 Scene 2 – what do they reveal about Juliet (links to light and heaven).

Act 2 Scene 2 - Juliet Remember, you’re comparing – so lots of comparative connectives in contrast, on the other hand, however. Can you think of any more?

• • • • • Make points about … Celestial Imagery Romeo being ‘high’ on love – aroused, enthusiastic … Risk-taking, reckless – Romeo personifies Love Juliet’s concerns – she worries he may think her easy, she fears he may be ‘inconstant like the moon’ Marriage proposal Romeo also takes serious risks to see Juliet… He uses celestial imagery to describe Juliet… He says love helped him climb over the wall… AND LOTS MORE THINGS - LOOK FOR THEM!!

‘Romeo & Juliet’ Essay

Learning Outcome

• • By the end of this lesson I will be able to write a conclusion for my essay that: links the play to the culture at its time makes links with other texts

Key words

Cultural context Textual links


In conclusion, there are many differences between Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline and Juliet… • • Summarise how Romeo’s feelings/mood and behaviour changes from one key scene to the next.

Include your own personal opinion about Romeo.