I. The Plot: Type: Romantic Tragedy ( 浪漫悲劇 ) 或 Comic Tragedy ( 喜感悲劇 ) Time: 15th Century Locale: Verona ( 維洛那 ), Italy First presented: c. 1595
II. Principal Characters: Montague & Lady Montague Capulet & Lady Capulet Romeo Juliet Benvolio & Mercutio Tybalt Balthasar Samson, Gregory, Peter Friar Laurence & Friar John The Nurse Escalus : Duke of Verona Balthasar : an apothecary ( 藥商 )
III. The Story: 第一幕 : A street brawl reveals the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets. Escalus orders for peace. Benvolio consoles Romeo, who is sad for unrequited love for Rosaline. Paris asks for Juliet’s hand. Capulet sends Peter to invite guests to the party. Romeo decides to go to it. Lady Capulet urges Juliet to accept Paris. Mercutio teases Romeo but goes to the party with him. Romeo is struck with Juliet’s beauty, he approaches her, and a brief conversation kindles their mutual love.
III. The Story: 第二幕 : Romeo gets rid of his friends and comes to hear Juliet declare her love for him at her bedroom window. They arrange for their marriage. Romeo hastens to the cell of Friar Laurence, who is troubled at Romeo’s rapid change of heart but agrees to marry him with Juliet so as to bring peace to the two families. Mercutio and Benvolio meet Romeo in the street and find him a changed man with wit and good spirits. Juliet gives out that she has gone to confession at Friar Laurence’s cell, but there she and Romeo are married.
III. The Story: 第三幕 : Tybalt insults Romeo on the street. Mercutio challenges Tybalt to a duel and is given a death wound. Romeo engages with Tybalt and kills him. The Prince orders Romeo’s banishment. Juliet learns the news and is grief- stricken. The Nurse bids Romeo hasten to Juliet and comfort her. Friar Laurence promises to convey news to Romeo when he lives in Mantua. Meanwhile, Capulet consents that Paris marry Juliet in three days. Juliet speaks against the plan and infuriates her father.
III. The Story: 第四幕 : Paris arranges with Friar Laurence for his wedding. The Friar gives Juliet a drug to take the night before the wedding. The night comes. Juliet takes the drug and falls into a trance. The next morning the Nurse finds Juliet “dead.” The household breaks into lamentation.
III. The Story: 第五幕 : Balthasar brings Romeo word that Juliet is dead and buried in the Capulet vault. Romeo buys poison from an apothecary and sets out for Verona to join Juliet in death. Friar John reports to Friar Laurence that he has failed to inform Romeo of the ruse for the lovers. Romeo finds Paris at the tomb and kills him. Friar Laurence arrives too late. Romeo had drunk the poison. The watch comes and frightens the Friar away. Juliet revives, sees Romeo dead, and stabs herself with his dagger. The tragedy is found and the two families agree to end their feud.
IV. Famous Lines: “Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate, O anything of nothing first create! O heavy lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still waking sleep that is not what it is! This love feel I that feel no love in this.” --Romeo
“If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” --Romeo “Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss” --Juliet “Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?” --Romeo “Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.” --Juliet “O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do: They pray: grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.” --Romeo “Saints do not move, though grant for prayer’s sake.” --Juliet “Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.” --Romeo
“See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. O that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek.” --Romeo “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet.” --Juliet “Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.” --Romeo “The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb: What is her burying grave, that is her womb.” --Friar Laurence “Virtue itself turns vice being misapplied, And vice sometime’s by action dignified.” --Friar Laurence “Young men’s love then lies Not truly in their hearts but in their eyes.” --Friar Laurence
“O, he is even in my mistress’ case,... Stand, and you be a man. For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand. Why should you fall into so deep an O?” --the Nurse “Madam, if you could find out but a man To bear a poison, I would temper it— That Romeo should upon receipt thereof Soon sleep in quiet.” --Juliet to her mother “... O happy dagger. This is thy sheath. There rusts, and let me die.” --Juliet
v. Discussion: –What is said or suggested in the play about young lovers’ love? –What view of life is suggested in the play’s mingling of comic and tragic elements? –What is meant by each of the names, “Romeo,” “Juliet,” and “Rosaline”? –What do the poison and the dagger respectively stand for?