- Slides: 13
Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet Journal Warm-Up’s
1. At the Theater • In Shakespeare’s day, going to see a play was not a sober cultural event. Calling out to the actors onstage was common, as was talking to your friends during the performance and buying beer and nuts from vendors. • Prompt: Write for FIVE minutes! Describe your last experience at the movies. Where was it at and what did you see? What did you wear and do? What was the mood of the audience? What are your impressions of moviegoing?
2. Coined Phrases • We can thank Shakespeare for “knock, knock” jokes! • In this scene from Macbeth, the porter jokes around by pretending he’s standing at the gates of hell and welcoming in a succession of unsavory characters – among them a tailor who skimps on the fabric for his customers’ clothes. • PORTER: Knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither for stealing out of a French hose. • Write down ONE of your favorite “knock” jokes and TWO other jokes– or think of some new ones!
3. Act I – Quarrelling • In the first scene of Romeo and Juliet, we learn of the hatred between the Capulets and the Montagues when Sampson and Gregory, servants of the Capulets, start a fight with servants of the Montagues. To provoke the Montague men, Sampson bites his thumb at them in a gesture of disrespect. • Prompt: The way in which people starting fights in Shakespeare’s time sounds strikingly similar to how people start fights in our time. Write for FIVE minutes about how or why fights start between people. Feel free to describe a verbal/physical fight you’ve witnessed or been a part of. What happened? What was the cause? What was the result or consequence?
4. Act I – Romeo’s Mood • We learn that Romeo, a Montague, is depressed. He takes walks late at night and comes home just before sunrise. He goes to his room, “shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out” (I. i. 132), and won’t tell anyone what’s wrong. • Prompt: Write for FIVE minutes about how you behave when you’re depressed or sad. Do you keep to yourself, as Romeo does? Do you prefer company? Do you try to distract yourself or take your mind off the problem? Explain.
5. Marriage • Juliet’s mother, Lady Capulet, announces that a man named Paris wants to marry Juliet, who is thirteen years old. Paris will attend a party that Juliet’s father is throwing that night. Lady Capulet says that when she was thirteen, she was already mother to Juliet. • Prompt: Write for FIVE minutes. Imagine that you’d gotten married at age thirteen. Write a paragraph about how your life might be different or what type of person you would want to marry.
6. Act II • Act II, scene ii of Romeo and Juliet contains a line that is often misinterpreted. The line is bolded below: • JULIET: O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. (II. ii. 33 -36) PROMPT: Try to determine the common misinterpretation of the line and the actual meaning of the line. Cite specific words and phrases as evidence.
7. Balcony Scene • Romeo calls up to Juliet, who is on her balcony. They talk, and Juliet begs Romeo to profess his love for her: • JULIET: O gentle Romeo, if thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully. Or if though think’st I am too quickly won, I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay, So thou wilt woo. (II. ii. 94 -98) • How do you act when you like someone? Do you play games or play hard to get in order to capture the interest of the person you like, or do you try to be honest? Write about your romantic tactics – or tactics tried on you or your friends! Perhaps you can think of a story of young love – elementary school crushes?
8. Act III • In Act III we see a fight between the Capulets and the Montagues. As the fight continues, it is almost as if a domino effect takes place. One word or one action, leads to another. In the end, emotions run high and characters are left dead. PROMPT: Write about revenge. Is it ever justified? Think on a large scale and/or a small scale. Have you ever looked to avenge or commit revenge in a certain situation? Describe the emotions one might feel when considering revenge.
9. Act III – Scene 5 • At the end of Act III, we see Juliet interact and argue with her parents. Why are they arguing? PROMPT: Why do parents/guardians and their children sometimes not see eye-to-eye? Have you ever disagreed with your parents? How did it work out…or maybe it didn’t? If you were a parent, what would you expect of your children?
10. Act IV • In Act IV Juliet does not know what to do to fix her complex situation. She decides to ask Friar Laurence to help. What is his suggestion? PROMPT: Have you ever played “hooky” before or feigned something else? Have your friends done anything like this? Feel free to talk about a movie you’ve seen or a book you’ve read where something like this happened. Why do people do these things?
11. Act V • Shakespeare’s 38 plays have been performed before live audiences for centuries, made into movies over and over again, and read in school since Harvard first used one of Shakespeare’s plays as reading material for the rigorous college entrance exam. Many love Shakespeare. Many hate Shakespeare. PROMPT: Why does society still value the words of Shakespeare? How is the work of Romeo and Juliet relative to teenagers today (think about themes or events that happen in the play)? What is your personal opinion of Shakespeare and his famous tragedy surrounding young love? Give examples!
12. Act V – The End! • The story of Romeo and Juliet begins with the chorus’ famous lines: “Two households, both alike in dignity… A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death buy their parents’ strife. PROMPT: Are the two teenagers truly “star- crossed” lovers? Do you believe fate controls our future or is it up to you and your free will? Is it something else entirely? OR: What do you think Shakespeare thinks about suicide? Think about the events in the play dealing with the taking of one’s own life…What is said/happens before or after?