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Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary

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1 Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary

2 Tragedy A drama that ends in catastrophe—most often death— for the main characters.

3 Tragic Hero The protagonist, or central character— the one with whom audiences identify Usually falls or dies because of a character flaw or a cruel twist of fate Often has a high rank or status; shows strength while facing his or her destiny

4 Foil Is a character whose personality and attitude contrast sharply with those of another character Highlights both characters’ traits—for example, a timid character can make a talkative one seem even chattier

5 Soliloquy Is a speech given by a character alone on stage
Lets the audience know what the character is thinking or feeling

6 Aside Is a character’s remark, either to the audience or to another character, that others on stage do not hear Reveals the character’s private thoughts

7 Dramatic Irony Is when the audience knows more than the characters—for example, the audience is aware of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic demise long before characters face it Helps build suspense

8 Comic Relief Is a humorous scene or speech intended to lighten the mood Serves to heighten the seriousness of the main action by contrast

9 Allusion An indirect reference to a famous person, place, event, or literary work.

10 Stage Directions Instructions that are usually printed in italic type
Serve as a guide to directors, set and lighting designers, performers, and readers

11 Pun A joke that comes from a play on words

12 Insult A disrespectful or scornfully abusive remark or action.
Shakespearean examples: biting one’s thumb at another is like flipping someone off

13 Oxymoron A special kind of concise paradox that brings together two contradictory terms (i.e. “loving hate”).

14 Sonnet A lyric poem of 14 lines, commonly written in iambic pentameter
The Shakespearean, or Elizabethan, sonnet consists of three quatrains, or four-line units, and a final couplet.

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