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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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1 The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
Reading notes

2 Prologue Background given before the opening of a piece of literature . Its bookend is called a/an…. An actor (“Chorus”) would deliver this speech to the audience before the play began Look at it. What do you notice about its form? WHY would Shakespeare use this form here?

3 Prologue Let’s paraphrase it. Paraphrase=translate by changing diction (words) and syntax (order of words) to reflect modern-day language. TIPS: Translate any words you think you can. Use the left-side of the page and a dictionary to help you. Find verbs and figure out who or what is doing the verbs. Pay attention to punctuation—make sure the lines translate into complete thoughts.

4 Prologue--translated
In the beautiful city of Verona, where our story takes place, a long-standing hatred between two families erupts into new violence, and citizens stain their hands with the blood of their fellow citizens. Two unlucky children of these enemy families become lovers and commit suicide. Their unfortunate deaths put an end to their parents' feud. For the next two hours, we will watch the story of their doomed love and their parents' anger, which nothing but the children's deaths could stop. If you listen to us patiently, we'll make up for everything we've left out in this prologue onstage.

5 ACT I Terms to know: Exposition: opening of a drama in which setting, character, and conflict are “exposed” to the audience Tragedy: a serious work of drama that ends with the demise of its protagonist Tragic hero: protagonist of a tragedy whose own actions or undesirable character traits (tragic flaw) lead to his demise

6 ACT I Foils: a character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character; mirror images/opposites Blank verse: unrhyming iambic pentameter Aside: lines spoken to the audience or another character that are NOT heard by all characters on stage

7 ACT 1.1 Readers: CAPULETS MONTAGUES Neutral Gregory Abram Prince
Sampson Benvolio Citizens Tybalt Romeo Lord Capulet Lord Montague Lady Capulet Lady Montague Read through to the punctuation. Try to read with some emotion Do the best you can. Fluency is the goal! “èd" is pronounced “ED” (like the name) So temperèd would have three syllables: TEM-per-ED

8 ACT 1.1 PLOT: Sampson and Gregory (affiliated with Capulets) try to indirectly start a fight with some Montagues, Abram and others. A fight breaks out and results in a new threat from the Prince. Benvolio and Romeo have a heart-to-heart. Main characters Benvolio (a Montague, Romeo’s cousin) Tybalt (a Capulet, Juliet’s cousin) Prince Lord and Lady Capulet and Montague

9 Act 1.1 Questions How does Shakespeare make the feud look foolish ?
How are Benvolio and Tybalt different? (FOILS) What is the Prince’s threat? Why are Lord and Lady Montague concerned about their son? What is Romeo’s reaction to the fight? Why is Romeo upset? What is Benvolio’s advice to Romeo When does Shakespeare use blank verse in this scene?

10 ACT 1.1 Paraphrase passages
Prince’s speech: (pick 6 lines) Montague: Romeo:

11 ACT 1.2 Terms to know Malapropism: misused or mispronounced word; Shakespearean plays often include lower class characters who misspeak (comic relief) Dramatic Irony: the audience is aware of something which some or all of the characters are unaware of

12 ACT 1.2 Questions: What does Paris want? What does Lord Capulet think?
What is your first impression of Capulet as a father? Explain how the term malapropism and dramatic irony apply to the scene. What does Benvolio plan to do at the party to help cheer up Romeo?

13 ACT 1.2 paraphrase Lord Capulet: 1.2.14-19 And one of the following:
Benvolio: Romeo: Benvolio:

14 1.3 Some background: The character “Nurse” is a woman who raised Juliet. At this time in history, “nurses” were women who worked for rich ladies, actually nursing (breast feeding) their children. “Nurses” had their own children about the same age as the babies they worked with.

15 ACT 1.3 answer on post-its or notebook paper
List three humorous or inappropriate things said by the Nurse (use the side notes to help you): What do the Nurse and Lady Capulet think of Paris? How does Shakespeare characterize Juliet in this scene—what is your first impression of her? (What are the two possible interpretations of line 71?) Lines are an example of what poetic device? Paraphrase:

16 1.4 Queen Mab Speech Look for …
Punning (play on similar sounding words) Romeo’s mood at beginning of scene and lines foreshadowing future disaster (“stars”) Mercutio: his characters, his thoughts on love and dreams (see handout) Important lines: Mercutio (to who woos) Romeo

17 1.5-Love at first sight Highlight as you read:
How does Tybalt recognize Romeo and react to his presence? How does Lord Capulet react to Romeo’s party crashing? Identify lines that foreshadow future conflict Analyze the lovers’ reactions to one another Note at least three compliments Romeo gives Juliet Juliet’s lines that show a different side than the one we saw in 1.3

18 Love at first sight Let’s examine their first conversation ( ) Let’s figure out what they’re talking about: Romeo compares Juliet’s hands to ______________, his lips to _______________________ and their first kiss to ________________________. How do you picture the two? What are the actors who are portraying them doing in the scene? What do you notice about the structure of the lines?

19 1.5.11 Love at first sight Choose three to paraphrase 1.5.51-55
Pick your own set of lines that are interesting, important, or memorable (4 line minimum)

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