Romeo and Juliet: Grade 9 and Grade 7 model responses to AQA …



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Romeo and Juliet


by:
William Shakespeare

Study Questions

1

What effect
does the accelerated time scheme have on
the play’s development? Is it plausible that a love story of this
magnitude could take place so quickly? Does the
play seem to take place over as little time as it
actually occupies?

Because of the intensity of the relationship
between Romeo and Juliet and the complex development of events during
the few days of the play’s action, the story can certainly seem
to take place over a time span much longer than the one it actually
occupies. By compressing all the events of the love story into just
a few days, Shakespeare adds weight to every moment, and gives the
sense that the action is happening so quickly that characters barely
have time to react, and, by the end, that matters are careening
out of control. This rush heightens the sense of pressure that hangs
in the atmosphere of the play. While it may not seem plausible for
a story such as Romeo and Juliet to take place over a span of only
four days in the real world, this abbreviated time scheme makes
sense in the universe of the play.

2

Compare and
contrast the characters of Romeo and Juliet. How do they develop
throughout the play? What makes them fall in love with one another?

Romeo is a passionate, extreme, excitable,
intelligent, and moody young man, well-liked and admired throughout
Verona. He is loyal to his friends, but his behavior is somewhat
unpredictable. At the beginning of the play, he mopes over his hopeless
unrequited love for Rosaline. In Juliet, Romeo finds a legitimate
object for the extraordinary passion that he is capable of feeling,
and his unyielding love for her takes control of him.

Juliet, on the other hand, is an innocent girl, a child
at the beginning of the play, and is startled by the sudden power
of her love for Romeo. Guided by her feelings for him, she develops
very quickly into a determined, capable, mature, and loyal woman
who tempers her extreme feelings of love with sober-mindedness.

The attraction between Romeo and Juliet is immediate and
overwhelming, and neither of the young lovers comments on or pretends to
understand its cause. Each mentions the other’s beauty, but it seems
that destiny, rather than any particular character trait, has drawn
them together. Their love for one another is so undeniable that
neither they nor the audience feels the need to question or explain
it.

3

Compare and
contrast the characters of Tybalt and Mercutio. Why does Mercutio
hate Tybalt?

As Mercutio tells Benvolio, he hates Tybalt
for being a slave to fashion and vanity, one of “such antic, lisping,
affecting phantas- / ims, these new tuners of accent! . . . these
fashionmongers, these ‘pardon-me’s’ ” (2.3.25–29).
Mercutio is so insistent that the reader feels compelled to accept
this description of Tybalt’s character as definitive. Tybalt does
prove Mercutio’s words true: he demonstrates himself to be as witty,
vain, and prone to violence as he is fashionable, easily insulted,
and defensive. To the self-possessed Mercutio, Tybalt seems a caricature;
to Tybalt, the brilliant, earthy, and unconventional Mercutio is
probably incomprehensible. (It might be interesting to compare Mercutio’s
comments about Tybalt to Hamlet’s description of the foppish Osric
in Act 5, scene 2 of Hamlet, lines 140–146.)


Previous

Themes Motifs and Symbols Quick Quiz
Next

Suggestions for Further Reading

More Help

  • No Fear Romeo and Juliet

    NO FEAR
  • Character List

    CHARACTERS
  • Romeo: Character Analysis

    CHARACTERS
  • Plot Analysis

    MAIN IDEAS
  • Are Romeo and Juliet really in love?

    MAIN IDEAS
  • Quotes by Theme

    QUOTES
  • Themes

    MAIN IDEAS
  • Review Quiz

    FURTHER STUDY

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Close Welcome Banner

Welcome to the new SparkNotes!

Your book-smartest friend just got a makeover. Our most popular lit guides now have twice as much
helpful stuff, including writing guides, expanded quotes, and updated quick quizzes. Tell us what you think!
Your book-smartest friend just got a makeover.
Tell us what you think!

  • Home

  • Shakespeare

  • Romeo and Juliet

  • Study Questions

Romeo and Juliet


by:
William Shakespeare

Study Questions

1

What effect
does the accelerated time scheme have on
the play’s development? Is it plausible that a love story of this
magnitude could take place so quickly? Does the
play seem to take place over as little time as it
actually occupies?

Because of the intensity of the relationship
between Romeo and Juliet and the complex development of events during
the few days of the play’s action, the story can certainly seem
to take place over a time span much longer than the one it actually
occupies. By compressing all the events of the love story into just
a few days, Shakespeare adds weight to every moment, and gives the
sense that the action is happening so quickly that characters barely
have time to react, and, by the end, that matters are careening
out of control. This rush heightens the sense of pressure that hangs
in the atmosphere of the play. While it may not seem plausible for
a story such as Romeo and Juliet to take place over a span of only
four days in the real world, this abbreviated time scheme makes
sense in the universe of the play.

2

Compare and
contrast the characters of Romeo and Juliet. How do they develop
throughout the play? What makes them fall in love with one another?

Romeo is a passionate, extreme, excitable,
intelligent, and moody young man, well-liked and admired throughout
Verona. He is loyal to his friends, but his behavior is somewhat
unpredictable. At the beginning of the play, he mopes over his hopeless
unrequited love for Rosaline. In Juliet, Romeo finds a legitimate
object for the extraordinary passion that he is capable of feeling,
and his unyielding love for her takes control of him.

Juliet, on the other hand, is an innocent girl, a child
at the beginning of the play, and is startled by the sudden power
of her love for Romeo. Guided by her feelings for him, she develops
very quickly into a determined, capable, mature, and loyal woman
who tempers her extreme feelings of love with sober-mindedness.

The attraction between Romeo and Juliet is immediate and
overwhelming, and neither of the young lovers comments on or pretends to
understand its cause. Each mentions the other’s beauty, but it seems
that destiny, rather than any particular character trait, has drawn
them together. Their love for one another is so undeniable that
neither they nor the audience feels the need to question or explain
it.

3

Compare and
contrast the characters of Tybalt and Mercutio. Why does Mercutio
hate Tybalt?

As Mercutio tells Benvolio, he hates Tybalt
for being a slave to fashion and vanity, one of “such antic, lisping,
affecting phantas- / ims, these new tuners of accent! . . . these
fashionmongers, these ‘pardon-me’s’ ” (2.3.25–29).
Mercutio is so insistent that the reader feels compelled to accept
this description of Tybalt’s character as definitive. Tybalt does
prove Mercutio’s words true: he demonstrates himself to be as witty,
vain, and prone to violence as he is fashionable, easily insulted,
and defensive. To the self-possessed Mercutio, Tybalt seems a caricature;
to Tybalt, the brilliant, earthy, and unconventional Mercutio is
probably incomprehensible. (It might be interesting to compare Mercutio’s
comments about Tybalt to Hamlet’s description of the foppish Osric
in Act 5, scene 2 of Hamlet, lines 140–146.)


Previous

Themes Motifs and Symbols Quick Quiz
Next

Suggestions for Further Reading

More Help

  • No Fear Romeo and Juliet

    NO FEAR
  • Character List

    CHARACTERS
  • Romeo: Character Analysis

    CHARACTERS
  • Plot Analysis

    MAIN IDEAS
  • Are Romeo and Juliet really in love?

    MAIN IDEAS
  • Quotes by Theme

    QUOTES
  • Themes

    MAIN IDEAS
  • Review Quiz

    FURTHER STUDY

From the SparkNotes Blog

Every Literary Movement in History, Summed Up in a Single Sentence
By

Elodie

September 5, 2018

Every Shakespeare Play Summed Up in a Single Sentence
By

Elodie

August 23, 2018

Harry Potter Characters That Would’ve Made Way Better Couples
By

Elodie

September 5, 2018

If the Greek Gods Had Tinder
By

Elodie

August 30, 2018

60 Young Adult Movie Adaptations, Ranked
By

Elodie

August 23, 2018