- Slides: 30
Romeo & Juliet Act Four Discussion
Scene One Q: Juliet threatens to stab herself while talking to the Friar at his cell. What’s compelling about the knife she grabs? A: It’s likely the same knife that Romeo used as he threatened to take his live in the Friar’s cell the day before.
Scene One Q: Juliet says she’s willing to anything – anything! – to avoid marrying Paris. Name one of the horrible tasks she says she’s willing to undertake. A: 1. Leap from a tower. 2. Walk in the bad part of town. 3. Hang out where there are snakes. 4. Be chained to bears. 5. Lay next to dead bodies.
Scene One Q: How long with the Friar’s magic potion work? A: 42 hours
Scene One Q: What reason does Paris give for not having spent much time courting Juliet? A: She has been too filled with grief over Tybalt’s death, so Paris hasn’t had an opportunity to really get to talk with Juliet about his interest in marrying her.
Scene One Q: Name three of the horrible things Juliet says she would nd preferable to marrying Paris. A: She tells the Friar she would rather leap off a tower and kill herself. She would rather be chained to a roaring bear. She would rather be locked in a tomb and covered with dead men’s bones.
Scene One Q: Describe the Friar’s plan in your own words. A: He has a potion that will make her appear to be dead. If she drinks the potion, her family will grieve over her “dead” body and take her to their tomb. While she’s in the deep, coma-like sleep, the Friar will send a message to Romeo in Mantua telling him of their plan to trick her family and orchestrate her escape. Romeo will sneak back to Verona and be there at the tomb when Juliet awakens. The potion lasts about 42 hours, so in less than two days the young lovers can be reunited and run away together without fear of being following/chased by the Capulet family.
Scenes Two & Three
Scenes Two & Three Q: How will Capulet’s servant know which cooks are the best cooks to hire for the wedding reception? A: He’ll only hire the ones who lick their fingers while they cook. They’re the ones willing to taste/eat their own food.
Scenes Two & Three Q: Right before she swallows the magic potion, what item does Juliet lie on the pillow beside her? A: A daggar/knife so she can kill herself in the morning if the potion doesn’t work.
Scenes Two & Three Q: Right before she swallows the magic potion, Juliet gets herself so upset that she thinks she sees what in her bedroom? A: Tybalt’s ghost
Scenes Two & Three Q: How do you know if you’re hiring a good cook? A: A good cook will lick his fingers as he’s cooking to check for the quality/taste. A bad cook won’t want to lick his own fingers because he food he makes doesn’t taste good. This, obviously, is not a sanitary food service practice. Ew. They couldn’t use a spoon?
Scenes Two & Three Q: Juliet was supposed to marry Paris on Thursday, but what has her father decided? A: He’s so happy that Juliet is polite and respectful again that he moves up the wedding date by a day. Instead of Thursday, they’ll now be married on Wednesday.
Scenes Two & Three Q: Who will stay up all night to make sure the wedding party preparations are complete A: Lord Capulet says he will oversee everything himself. He says he’ll “play the housewife for this once. ”
Scenes Two & Three Q: In case the potion doesn’t work, what item does Juliet keep with her in the bed? A: She places a daggar next to her in the bed. (Interestingly, none of the other characters notice this when they find her body in the morning. )
Scenes Two & Three Q: Describe three things Juliet thinks might go wrong if she takes the potion. A: Before she finally drinks the potion, she freaks herself out a bit as she wonders if the Friar might have given her a poison instead of a potion to cover up the fact that he married them without their parents’ approval. She also worries that she’ll wake up in the Capulet’s tomb/vault before Romeo arrives and that she’ll suffocate because there won’t be any “healthsome air. ” Finally, she fears that she’ll awaken alone and might go insane, surrounded by the dead and decaying bodies of Tybalt and her ancestors. She gets so worked up she thinks she sees Tybalt’s ghost right before she drinks the potion.
Scenes Two & Three Q: Write down six words from Juliet’s speech (Scene 3, lines 30 -58) that show her feelings about death. A: hideous; mangled; shrieks; fest’ring (festering); terror; horrible.
Scenes Four & Five
Scene Four & Five Q: Who is the first person to discover that Juliet is “dead? ” A: The Nurse
Scene Four & Five Q: Which character repeatedly refers to Juliet as a “flower” after she’s discovered seemingly dead? A: Lord Capulet, her father
Scene Four & Five Q: Who does Peter, the Nurse’s servant, argue with at the end of Act 4, Sc. 5? A: The musicians hired for the wedding
Scene Four & Five Q: What time in the morning is it? A: It is 3 a. m. and the Capulet household is buzzing with wedding preparations.
Scene Four & Five Q: In the midst of all the cooking and prepping, Paris arrives for his wedding date. Given the answer to the previous question, what does this arrival show us about Paris? A: He’s arrived before sunrise, so he’s very excited to be marrying Juliet. Students often want to hate Paris because he’s a rival for Juliet’s love, but there’s plenty of evidence to show that he honestly was a loving man who might have been a good match for Juliet if her heart hadn’t guided her elsewhere.
Scene Four & Five Q: What does Capulet mean when he says the Nurse should “go and trim her up” in Scene 4, line 27? A: He says that the Nurse should help Juliet get dolled up in her wedding dress.
Scene Four & Five Q: Who is the first to find Juliet’s body and think that she’s dead in Scene 5? A: The Nurse is the first one to find Juliet’s body.
Scene Four & Five Q: In what three ways does Capulet say he can tell Juliet is dead? A: Her body is cold, her blood is “settled, ” and her limbs are stiff, as if rigor mortis has set in.
Scene Four & Five Q: What does the Friar advise Juliet’s parents to do with her body? A: He tells them to get her dressed in her best apparel and have her body taken to the church. The Friar is anxious to get Juliet’s body sequestered in case the potion wears off early.
Scene Four & Five Q: In a sly way, the Friar actually blames Juliet’s parents for her lifelessness. Write the lines in which he says they are being punished by God. A: In lines 95 -96, he says, “The heavens do low’r upon you for some ill; Move them no more by crossing their high will. ”
Scene Four & Five Q: Why does Shakespeare end this heavy, emotionally wrenching scene with the odd exchange between Peter and the musicians? A: He wants to lighten the mood here for two reasons. First, the light tone helps remind the audience not to really feel sad even in the face of all of this woe. Juliet’s not really dead, so the audience shouldn’t end the act feeling grief. Also, the musicians help us remember that the problems of the elite are not the problems of the working class. This whole situation is only a problem because of the ridiculous family rivalry. Other real-life, practical concerns, such as the musicians wondering whether they’ll still get to have a free meal as they were likely promised, ll their minds instead. This is something to which the Groundlings in the audience could de nitely relate.