Romeo and Juliet Response Journal Directions: Choose seven prompts to respond to in a journal format. Please find this document on the S: drive under Carroll Lit Comp. Save it to your home directory, delete the questions you are not responding to, and type thoughtful, well supported responses to the seven prompts you choose. Include at least one line (note location) from the play for each of your responses. Act I Choose one of the following to answer. 1. The Prologue to Act I suggests that the relationship of Romeo and Juliet is doomed from the start. Some people believe that things are fated to happen, no matter what. Others believe that your actions can change the course of your life. Explain your own beliefs about fate. 2. Good drama has conflict (struggle between opposing forces). What conflicts are set in motion by events in Act I, sc. v? 3. Choose a quotation from any of the scenes in Act I that you feel best characterizes that scene. In a paragraph, discuss why you think this quotation is significant and effective at conveying the events or emotions of this scene. Act II Choose one of the following to answer. 4. Compare Juliet’s relationship with the Nurse to her relationship with her mother. Does Juliet seem closer to one than the other? Think about the ways she talks and acts around each. Use evidence from the play to support your ideas. 5. How do the attitudes and concerns of women in the play compare with those of the men regarding women’s roles, love, and marriage? Act III Choose two of the following to answer. 6. How does the mood of the play change in Act III? 7. Which character strikes you as more vivid and compelling, Romeo or Juliet? Why? 8. Judging from the play, how were gender roles in the Renaissance defined? 9. A theme is the underlying meaning or message of a work of literature. How does Mercutio’s speech in Act III (“a plague o’ both your houses”) reflect a major theme of the play? 10. Shakespeare uses repetition to increase the tension and emotional impact of a speech or scene. Review the Friar’s speech in Act III, sc. iii. What does this technique add to the scene? 11. A malapropism is a comical mistake uttered by certain characters. How are malapropisms used to characterize the Nurse? How does this add to her characterization? 12. What factor is most responsible for the difficulties facing the two lovers and their families? 13. Do you think Romeo takes responsibility for his own actions in Act III? Use examples or quotations to help support your idea. Act IV Choose one of the following to answer. 14. From Act I to Act IV, how has Juliet’s relationship with her Nurse changed? 15. How has Juliet changed from Act I to Act IV? Act V and Reflection Choose two of the following to answer. 16. A tragedy tells of the defeat of a tragic hero. His or her downfall is a result of a tragic flaw or fatal character weakness. Decide who is the tragic hero of Romeo and Juliet. What is the person’s tragic flaw? 17. Why do you think Shakespeare includes the deaths of Paris and Lady Montague in Act V? 18. Do you think that fate or the characters themselves are most responsible for the outcome of the play? 19. Name some of the themes addressed by events in the last act of the play. From reading Romeo and Juliet, what would you say Shakespeare believes about family conflicts and the courtship of young people? 20. Before Act V, Paris has been a minor character, needed mainly to advance the plot. Explain what we learn about Paris in Act V and how you feel about him by the end of the play. 21. In the original source material for Romeo and Juliet, the action of the drama took place over 9 months, whereas in Shakespeare’s play, less than 5 days elapse. What do you think is Shakespeare’s purpose in compressing time so intensely? Discuss how he manages to “squeeze” time and why he would want to do so. 22. Love and hate exist side by side in the play. Explain the many ways in which one affects the other. 23. Several characters express their philosophy of life in the play. Whom would you choose for an adviser: the nurse, Juliet, Mercutio, or Friar Laurence? Comment on how that character influences others in the play and why that character’s philosophy appeals to you.
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