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Romeo & Juliet Timeline - Year 8

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Simon McInerney

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Romeo & Juliet Timeline - Year 8

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(Circus Tent!)






Cacophony - A series of loud noises
Malicious - Deliberately bad / evil
Pugnacious - Inclined to quarrel
Augmenting - Adding to
Colliers - Carriers of coal
Choler - Anger
Collar - Hangman's noose
Stand - Stay & defend one's ground
Pernicious - Causing insidious harm / ruin
Vexed - Made angry / frustrated
Purged - Cleared away
Transgression - Sin
Gall - Bitterness
Pressed - Burdened
Propagate - Increase
Grievance - Trouble
Ere - Before
In question more - By comparison

Samson - Servant
Gregory - Servant

Tybalt - 'Prince of Cats'
- Juliet's Cousin

Capulet & Lady Capulet


Abram - Servant

Benvolio - Romeo's Cousin

Montague & Lady Montague


It is early Sunday morning. Servants of the two feuding families confront each other and a street fight starts. It is the 3rd such 'civil brawl'.

The Prince puts an end to the brawl and declares that any further violation of the peace by the two families will be punished by death.

Romeo, meanwhile, has been spending much of his time alone. His cousin, Benvolio, tries to discover the reason for his unhappiness. Romeo admits he is in love with Rosaline, but that she is not returning his love and has chosen to remain chaste. Benvolio's advice is for Romeo to turn his attentions to other ladies.

Streets of Verona

Sycamore Grove

Violence - The pugnaciousness of the servants of the two houses, Montague & Capulet, and the fact that this is their 3rd civil brawl are evidence of the central theme of violence

Light & Dark - The contrasting of light and dark is used to symbolise the contrast between GOOD & EVIL and LOVE & HATRED in the play.


Of honourable reckoning are you both -
You both have honourable reputations

Languish - Become weak or depressed / Live in miserable condition

Anguish - Severe suffering, great sorrow / pain



Capulet's Servant



Street in Verona

Capulet returns from his meeting with The Prince. Paris approaches him. Paris is eager to marry Juliet but Capulet is reluctant to allow him to marry his daughter. He thinks women married as young as Juliet (not yet 14) are 'too soon marr'd'.

Capulet is having a party that night and asks his servant to give out invitations. The servant cannot read, however, and he seeks out some 'learned' men. He comes across Romeo and Benvolio who read the list and see that Mercutio (Romeo's friend) is invited. Rosaline will also be there. Benvolio tells Romeo it will be a good opportunity to compare Rosaline to other women.

MARRIAGE - Capulet & Paris speak about the appropriate age for marriage & offer their views on the subject.

Paris - 'Younger than she are happy mothers made'

LOVE - Capulet & Paris discuss love, as do Romeo & Benvolio. So far we are offered a fairly unimaginative version of love.

Maidenhead - Virginity
Counsel - Advice
Lammas-tide - Anglo-Saxon harvest festival held on 1st August
Wean - To move a baby onto food other than its mother's milk
Wormwood - A bitter herbal preparation
Tetchy - Irritable
Holidam - Holiness
Jest - Joke
Warrant - To be sure
Stinted - To have stopped crying
Valiant - Brave
Endart - To shoot as a dart

LADY CAPULET - The mother of Juliet. She is married to Capulet. Capulet is the head of the household.

"Thou knowest my daughter's of a pretty age"
"Marry, that 'marry' is the very theme I came to talk of"
"And find delight writ there with beauty's pen"

NURSE - Juliet's carer since birth. She is Juliet's personal servant & guardian.

"Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to an age"
"Peace, I have done. God mark thee to His grace, Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd"
"And I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish" (If I should live to see you married I should have all I wish for)

JULIET - The only daughter of Capulet.

"It is an honour that I dream not of" (Response to the question 'How do you feel about being married?')
I'll look to like, if looking liking move; But no more deep will I endart mine eyes Than your consent gives strength to make it fly" (I'll expect to like him, if seeing him is enough to make me like him. I won't give him any more encouragement than you will allow)

SERVINGMAN - The servant of the Capulet household. In this scene he is working busily to prepare the supper and prepare for the guests.

This scene gives us a clear idea of an important discussion between Juliet, her mother and the Nurse. Juliet's mother complains that she [Juliet] is beginning to get too old for marriage (she is 13). The nurse talks a lot in the scene. We learn that the nurse has one deceased child and that she has been like a second mother to Juliet.

The Nurse claims that she would be very happy if Juliet were to get married. The Nurse talks about 'flashbacks' of young Juliet. Both the Nurse and Juliet's mother are trying to convince Juliet to consider marriage to Paris. Juliet claims that she will try to like Paris, but will do what her mother asks of her.

The scene is set on a Sunday afternoon in Capulet's house in Verona.

Prolixity - Range
Wantons - Promiscuous women
Ambuscadoes - Ambushes (noun)
Revels - Celebrations
Steerage - Directing

Romeo - "Give me a torch, I am not for this ambling, Being but heavy, I will bear the light" (Line 11-12)
Romeo is unenthusiastic about going to the party at Capulet's.

Mercutio's 'Queen Mab' speech is a speech all about creation/origin of dreams. (Lines 52-95)

Romeo's & Mercutio's conversation is about whether or not dreams are real or merely flights of fancy. Romeo believes there is truth in dreams. Mercutio does not - "Dreamers often lie"

Romeo, Benvolio & Mercutio are all disguised in fancy dress and masks to hide their faces in order to attend the ball at Capulet's mansion.

Benvolio & Mercutio are full of enthusiasm for the masquerade, but Romeo is reluctant to join them and would rather be alone because he is lovesick.

DREAMS & SUPERSTITION - Romeo is worried his dark dreams will come true in reality. He and Mercutio debate whether dreams carry any truth.


FACTS - Juliet's father. He doesn't want to ruin his reputation by allowing a fight at his party.
"I would not for all the wealth of all this town Here in my house do him disparagement"
"You'll make a mutiny among my guests. You will set cock-a-hoop! you'll be the man!"


FACTS - Capulet's nephew. Juliet's cousin. 'Prince of Cats'. He is a hot head. He hates Romeo and 'all Montagues'
"Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe"
"That's him, that villain Romeo"
"Now, by the honour of our family, I do not consider it a crime to kill them"


FACTS - Capulet's daughter, Romeo's lover, Tybalt's cousin. Paris wants her hand in marriage.
"Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer" (Juliet to Romeo)
"My only love sprung from my only hate!"

Capulet's house in Verona. The party is on!

There's a huge party at Capulet's house. This is where Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time. They fall instantly in love and kiss. Tybalt sees Romeo and wants to start a fight with Romeo to protect the honour of the Capulet family. Capulet restrains him, since nearly all of Verona is present.

Juliet asks the Nurse about Romeo and his background and finds out he is a Montague,
"The only son of your great enemy" (Nurse)

Trencher - Plate
Nuptials - Wedding
Do him disparagment - Dishonour him
Prodigious - Ominous, foretelling evil

ROMANCE - When Romeo and Juliet meet at the party their very first conversation forms a perfect sonnet

"Did my heart love till now?" (Romeo)

HATRED - Tybalt wants to start a fight with Romeo because he is a Montague and a sworn enemy of the Capulets.

"This by his voice should be a Montague"
"It fits when such a villain is a guest; I'll not endure him" (Tybalt)


Venus - Goddess of Love (Ancient Rome)

Purblind - Completely Blind

Demesnes (pr. 'Domains') - Parklands
Plot & Setting

Late Sunday night

Outside Lord Capulet's orchard

Romeo sneaks off as his friends leave Capulet's Masquerade Ball

Mercutio & Benvolio notice

They try to coax him out of his hiding spot in the orchard

Mercutio 'conjures' Romeo by the fair Rosaline
Characters & What they say!

Romeo - "Can I go forward when my heart is here?" (referring to Juliet)

Mercutio - "If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark" (responding to Romeo's thoughts about Love)

Benvolio - "Blind is his love, and best befits the dark" (referring to Romeo's attraction to Rosaline)



Plot & Setting

*Capulet's Orchard, beneath Juliet's bedroom balcony*

Romeo, hiding in Capulet's orchard, overhears Juliet talking about him.

He makes his presence known to her and in no time they exchange vows of love. Juliet tells Romeo that if his intentions are serious, and 'his purpose marriage', that she will send someone to visit him the next day to make the wedding arrangements.

Romeo reveals the he will go to Friar Lawrence to seek his help and guidance.

Love - Juliet & Romeo are in love. Juliet proclaims her love to Romeo and Romeo makes a promise to her

Discourses - Speaks eloquently
Henceforth - From now on
Bescreen'd - Hidden
Counsel - Private Meditation
O'erperch - Flyover
Prorogued - Postponed
Perjuries - Broken Vows
Anon - Soon ('Anon, I come' = I'm coming soon)
Procure - Get, Obtain
By and by - In a second, Immediately
Wonton - Pampered Child
Gyves - Shackles

Characters & What they say!

Juliet Capulet:
'O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?' (referring to Romeo being a Montague)

'Deny thy father and refuse thy name' (wishing their families were not an issue)

'What's in a name?' (why should their names make any difference - Their name do not need to define them)

Romeo Montague
'Call me but love and I'll be new baptis'd; henceforth I never will be Romeo' (willing to give up his name for Juliet)

Nurse (Juliet's Nurse)
'Madam! . . . Madam!' (impatient character)


Friar Lawrence

Romeo Montague

Friar Lawrence's cell, Monday morning

Love & Marriage - Romeo asks Friar Lawrence to marry him and Juliet

'Then plainly know my heart's dear love is set On the fair daughter of rich Capulet' (Romeo)

'But this I pray, That thou consent to marry us today' (Romeo)

It is Monday morning and Romeo has gone to Friar Lawrence's cell to ask him if he will consent to marry him [Romeo] and Juliet that very day.

Romeo confesses everything about the events of the night before (at the Capulet Ball).

Friar Lawrence wonders at how quickly Romeo has dropped his affection for Rosaline.

'Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes' (F. Lawrence)

But, he also says that if he marries Romeo and Juliet it may bring an end to the ongoing Montague - Capulet feud.

'For this alliance may so happy prove, To turn your households' rancour to pure love' (F. Lawrence)

Baleful - Harmful, Poisonous
Mickle - Great

Blind bow boy - Cupid
The very pin - The pin marking the centre of the target
Butt-shaft - The thick end of the arrow
Prince of Cats - Tybalt
Captain of compliments - Expert in the art of duelling
Prick song - Printed music (sung with greater accuracy than remembered tunes)
House - School of fencing
Immortal - Famous, death-dealing
Pox of - Plague on
Antic - Mad, Absurd
Affecting phantasimes - Would-be gallant gentlemen
Grandsire - Grandfather
Strange flies - Queer parasites
Fashion-mongers - Followers of the latest fashion
Laura - Petrarch's mistress
Berhyme - Write verses to her
French slop - Loose-fitting, short breeches
Cry a match - Claim the victory
My whole five - All my five wits
Sweeting-apple - Used for making the traditional sauce for roast goose
Against the hair - Unnaturally, against my desires
Anon - Soon (I'm coming)
Good den - Good even (afternoon/evening)
Mar - Spoil
Indite - Invite
Ropery - Roguery
Stand to - Perform
Shrift - Confession
Clout - Washed-out rag
Apace - Quickly

Mercutio - Romeo's friend, kinsman
He uses very descriptive language and has a foul mouth -
'Without his roe, like a dried herring: O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified. . . . '

Benvolio - Montague's nephew, Romeo's cousin & friend
He is the serious one, compared to Mercutio. He calls a halt to the dirty conversation.

Romeo - Only son of Montague. Romantically inclined young man, desperately in love with
Rosaline, until he meets Juliet Capulet. He is charming and well-spoken.
'I can tell you, but young Romeo will be older when you have found him than he was when sought him: I am youngest of that name, for fault of a worse'

Romeo speaks about Mercutio -
'A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk, and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month'

Nurse - An affectionate, simple minded woman who has cared for Juliet since she was a small baby

Peter - A servant of Capulet

A street in Verona

The whole scene gives the reader a detailed insight into the discussion between Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo, as well as Peter and the Nurse.

In the beginning, Mercutio and Benvolio discuss the fact that Tybalt has sent a challenge to Romeo's father's house -
'Tybalt, the kinsman to old Capulet, hath sent a letter to his [Romeo's] father's house' (Benvolio)

Romeo arrives late. He apologises and gives his reasons -
'My business was great, and in such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy' (Romeo)

Romeo engages in a battle of wits with Mercutio. Each of them is joking around and trying to impress the other with his knowledge. Juliet's nurse comes to talk to Romeo. Together they establish that Juliet will go to Friar Lawrence's cell later that afternoon, where she and Romeo will be married.

The Nurse warns Romeo not to trifle with Juliet's emotions:
'But first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her in a fool's paradise, as they say, it were a very gross kind of behaviour, as they say. For the gentlewoman is young, and therefore, if you should deal double with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing' (Nurse)

Friendship: The friendship between Mercutio and Romeo is evident as they finish each other's sentences and talk jokingly about inappropriate topics

Marriage: Romeo tells the Nurse that he intends to marry Juliet at Friar Lawrence's cell that day

Death: 'Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead'

Perchance - Perhaps
Low'ring - Gloomy
Highmost hill - At its height
Affections - Desires
Bandy her - Strike her like a tennis ball (back & forth)
Many feign as they were dead - Many of them act as though they were already dead
Hast thou - Have you
Jaunt - Uncomfortable, jolting trip
Stay awhile - Wait a moment
Simple - Foolish
Flower - Model
A't'other side - On the other side
Beshrew - Curse
Jaunting - Tripping
Honest - Honourable
God's lady - The Virgin Mary
Hot - Impatient
Coil - Fuss
Shrift - Confession
Hie - Go
Wanton - Uncontrolled
Be in scarlet - Blush
Toil in your delight - Labour for your happiness

Suspense - Juliet awaiting news from the Nurse

Impatience - When the Nurse delays telling Juliet the news about Romeo

Love - Juliet thinking about Romeo

Juliet waits impatiently for the Nurse in her room. She sent the Nurse to meet Romeo 3 hours ago. The Nurse returns and Juliet anxiously presses her for news. The Nurse claims that she is tired and too out of breath to tell Juliet what Romeo said. Juliet grows frantic and the Nurse gives in and tells her that Romeo is waiting at Friar Lawrence's cell to marry her. The Nurse waits for Romeo's servant to bring a ladder for Romeo to use to climb into Juliet's bedroom to make the marriage official.

Juliet's bedroom at the Capulet mansion

Juliet - The Capulet's only child. She is almost 14 years old. She is Tybalt's cousin. She is expected to marry Paris, but is about to marry Romeo

Nurse - She is like a mother to Juliet and is eager to assist Juliet in her secret marriage

Juliet (see info in Act 2 Sc 05)

Romeo - Only son of Montague. He was in love with Rosaline, but falls for Juliet and marries her. He is banished from Verona for killing Tybalt after Tybalt killed his best friend, Mercutio. He has an explosive and passionate character.

Friar Lawrence - A Friar of the Order of St Francis. He is very close to Romeo.

Romeo and Friar Lawrence wait for Juliet to arrive at the cell (in the church). Romeo doesn't care what misfortune might come - all he feels is joy. Friar Lawrence advises Romeo to 'love moderately', saying, 'these violent delights have violent ends'.

Juliet enters and Romeo asks her to speak poetically of her love. Juliet responds that those who can easily describe their 'worth' are beggars; her love is far too great to be so easily described. Romeo and Juliet exit the cell with Friar Lawrence after they are married.

But - Only
Powder - Gunpowder
Tardy - Late
Bestride - Ride upon
Gossamers - Spiders' webs
Idles - Floats, Lingers
Wanton - Playful
Measure - Measuring cup
Blazon - Describe
Unfold - Express
In either - In each other
Conceit - Imagination
By your leave - If you'll excuse me

Love & Marriage - Romeo and Juliet get married

Secrecy - The marriage is done in secret

Montagues & Friends:



Lady Capulet



It is a hot day and the hot blood is stirring. In a series of sword fights, Mercutio is killed by Tybalt and Tybalt is killed in revenge by Romeo.

The Prince appears and banishes Romeo for his part in the fray. This scene marks the climax of the play, the point at which the fortunes of the tragic heroes begin to decline. It is still Monday afternoon.

Passado - Thrust (fencing)
Forebear - Put an end to
Devise - Imagine (come up with)
Addle - Rotten
Capels - Capulets

A street in Verona

Courage - Romeo needed courage to stand up to Tybalt and to kill him

Tragedy - Romeo's best friend Mercutio died and so did Tybalt
"Which way ran he that killed Tybalt, that murderer, which way he ran?" (Prince)

Friendship & Duty - Romeo is expected to answer Tybalt's challenge, Mercutio feels a duty to fight on Romeo's behalf, and after Mercutio's death, Romeo is compelled to take revenge and kill Tybalt.
"Either thou, or I or both must go with him" (Romeo)

The Friar is trying to calm Romeo, pointing out that things might be worse and that Romeo is condemned to banishment, not death. But Romeo is overwhelmed because banishment means separation from Juliet.

The Nurse tells of Juliet's grief and Romeo is ready to kill himself. Friar Lawrence has a plan; the Nurse will prepare a rope ladder so Romeo is able to consummate their marriage before he leaves for Mantua in the morning.

Friar Lawrence tells Romeo to go to Mantua and await news so they can figure out a way to beg the Prince's forgiveness and welcome him [Romeo] back.

Friar Lawrence's Cell

Dank - Damp & Chilly
From forth - Out of the way of
Osier Cage - Willow Basket
Baleful - Harmful, Poisonous
Divers - Various (Diverse)
Mickle - Great
Vice - Evil, Wickedness
Distemper'd - Disturbed
Intercession - Prayer, Petition
Riddling - Ambiguous
Sallow - Sickly
Chid'st - Scolded

Friar Lawrence - "Let me dispute with thee of thy estate"
The Friar wants to calm Romeo and discuss with him his dilemma

Romeo - "What less than Doomsday is the Prince's doom?"
"Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say 'death': for exile hath more terror in his look, much more than death. Do not say 'banishment'"
Romeo would much rather die than be banished

Nurse - "Let me come in and you shall know my errand: I come from Lady Juliet"
The Nurse is eager to deliver news of Juliet's situation

Love - Romeo would rather die than be sent away from the woman he loves



The Nurse

Lady Capulet


It is dawn and Romeo must leave Juliet's bedroom after spending the night. He has been banished from Verona on pain of death for killing Tybalt.

Romeo and Juliet's parting is interrupted by the Nurse who warns them that Juliet's mother is approaching to tell her about her father's plan to marry her off to Paris.

Romeo makes a quick exit.

Juliet tells her father that she does not want to marry Paris. Capulet flies into a rage and threatens to disown her if she doesn't comply with his wishes.
Key Quotations:

Juliet (on not wanting to marry Paris)
"I pray you tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet, and when I do, I swear it shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, rather than Paris" (3, 5, 120 - )

Romeo (stating that he doesn't mind if he dies, because he is content that he has finally tied the knot with Juliet)
"Let me be tame, let me be put to death, I am content, so thou wilt have it so" (3, 5, 17 - )

Capulet (expressing his rage at Juliet's defiance of him, and showing that he cares only about her obedience, not her opinions)
"Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch! I tell thee what: get thee to church o'Thursday, or never after look me in the face. Speak not, reply not, do not answer me! . . . . And that we have a curse in having her. Out on her hiding!" (3, 5, 160 - )

Lady Capulet (has no say in the Capulet household and does not care to explore what Juliet wants. She is obedient to Capulet)
"Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word. Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee" (3, 5, 203 - )

The Nurse (doesn't support Juliet's marriage to Romeo anymore. She tells her to forget him and move on, which contradicts the lovely words she spoke about him earlier in the play)
"It think it best you married with the County. O, he's a lovely gentleman. Romeo's a dishclout to him. An eagle, madam, as Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart, I think you are happy in this second match" (3, 5, 217)

Juliet's and the Nurse's friendship is over after Juliet finds out that the Nurse no longer supports her marriage to Romeo.
"Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend! Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn, Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue Which she prais'd him with above compare So many thousand times? Go, counsellor, Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain" (3, 5, 235 - )


Family & Obedience


Twain - Two, Separated
Smatter - Chatter
Hilding - Worthless creature
Rate - Berate, Scold
Vaulty - Over-arching
Severing - Parting
Tane - Taken, Caught

Paris and Friar Lawrence discuss the reasons for the hasty wedding. Juliet arrives, desperate to talk with the Friar. Once Paris leaves, Friar Lawrence suggests a plan that involves Juliet taking a potion that will make it seem as if she is dead.

Friar Lawrence explains the effects of taking the drug: it will last for forty two (42) hours. The family, believing Juliet to be dead, will take her to the Capulet burial vault. Friar Lawrence tells Juliet that he will inform Romeo of the plan by letter and will he [Romeo] will arrive just before she awakes. Then the two of them will escape to Mantua together.

Friar Lawrence's Cell

Desperation - Juliet is desperate to be with Romeo and to not marry Paris.
"O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris." (J)

Love - Juliet's love for Romeo pulls her through.
"Love, give me strength, and strength shall help afford. Farewell, dear father" (J)

Inundation - Flooding
Immoderately - Not moderately
Pensive - Sad, Thoughtful
Shield - Forbid
Prorogue - Postpone
Chide - Drive
Chapless - Jawless
Reeky - Stinking
Abate - Weaken
Harlotry - Actions of a silly little hussy

Friar Lawrence - He wants to avoid Juliet's marriage to Paris.
"On Thursday, sir? The time is very short"

Paris - Very much wants to marry Juliet and is confident that she will be his wife, because her father has made the promise.
"Happily met, my lady and my wife!"

Juliet - Values her freedom and speaks cryptically to Paris about not being a wife YET...
"That may be, sir, when I may be a wife"



Lady Capulet




Tuesday afternoon at Capulet's mansion

Juliet pretends to be obedient after 'confession' and asks her father for forgiveness. Capulet is still planning the wedding.

DRAMATIC IRONY - The audience is aware of Juliet's real plans; Capulet is not.

Unfurnish'd - Unprepared
Harlotry - Actions of a silly little hussy
Shrift - Confession
Behests - Demands
Enjoin'd - Instructed

Love & Marriage - Juliet is being forced to marry Paris, but Romeo is her true love.

Deception - Juliet tricks her father into thinking she has 'come to her senses' and is okay with marrying Paris; in fact she is actually plotting to fake her own death in order to escape the wedding and run away with Romeo
"I met the youthful lord at Lawrence's cell, and gave him what becomed love I might, not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty" (4, 2, 25 - )
Characters & Quotations

Lady Capulet - She is deceived by Juliet into thinking that her daughter wants to marry Paris.
"Good-night. Get thee to bed and rest, for thou hast need" (4, 3, 12 - )
She acts in a caring way toward Juliet after Juliet becomes 'obedient', unlike earlier, when she shows her disregard for the disobedient Juliet.

Juliet - She deceives her mother and the Nurse by acting happy.
"For I have need of many orisons To move the heaven to smile upon my state, Which, well thou knowest, is cross and full of sin" (4, 3, 3 - )
Juliet is scared and wonders if the drug might kill her. She is having an internal conflict about the outcomes of the plan.
"What if it be a poison, which the Friar Subtly hath minister'd to have me dead" (4, 3, 24 - )
She rambles on, and starts to feel anxious about meeting Tybalt when she is dead, since she has married his enemy, Romeo. This reminds the audience of the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets that has forced Juliet to take such desperate measures.
"And pluck this mangl'd Tybalt from his shroud, And in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone, As with a club, dash out my desp'rate brains? O look! Methinks I see my cousin's ghost Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body Upon a rapier's point. Stay, Tybalt, stay! (4, 3, 51 - )
But she drinks to Romeo and their future together.
"Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here's drink - I drink to thee!" (4, 3, 58 - )

Plot & Setting

Juliet takes the drug that Friar Lawrence gave her, although she debates it first, scared and troubled about its potential to kill her and the prospect of meeting Tybalt in the afterlife.

The scene takes place in her bedroom on Tuesday night
Themes & Devices

Dramatic Irony - The audience knows that Juliet is faking her death, but no one else in the scene is aware of it.

Death - Juliet ponders whether the drug will kill her or not.
"The horrible cause of death and night, Together with the terror of the place - As in a vault, on ancient receptacle, Where for these many hundred years the bones of all my buried ancestors are pack'd (4, 3, 30)

Orisons - Prayers
Cross - Contrary to my desires
Spit - Pierce

Slug-a-bed - Lazy person
Set up his rest - Made up his mind
Untimely - Early
Pilgrimage - Progress (from year to year)
Solemnity - Ceremony
Cheer - Banquet
Contrary - Opposite
Dump - Sad tune
Soundly - Thoroughly
Pate - Head
Catling - The string of a small lute
Sound post - Wooden peg fixed below the bridge of a violin
Redress - Comport
Tarry - Wait
Jack - Scoundrel

Sadness - The death of Juliet causes great sadness in the Capulet household. Juliet is found 'dead' in her bed by the Nurse, who then calls Lady Capulet. The mourning begins

Death - Juliet's 'death' foreshadows hers and Romeo's death in Act 5

It is Wednesday morning and the Nurse is sent to go and wake Juliet to prepare for the wedding. She finds Juliet 'dead' and starts to wail. Soon Capulet and Lady Capulet join her and they all mourn the death of Juliet.

Paris and Friar Lawrence arrive with the musicians for the wedding. When Paris finds out Juliet is dead he mourns with the Nurse, Capulet and Lady Capulet. Friar Lawrence tells them that she [Juliet] is in a better place and urges them to prepare the funeral.

The musicians begin to pack up. Peter asks them to play a happy tune to ease his sorrowful heart, but they refuse because they do not think it is appropriate. Peter gets angry and insults them, but they respond kindly. After insulting them musicians one last time, Peter leaves. The musicians decide to wait for the mourners so they can eat the lunch that will be served.
Characters & Quotations

Nurse - She goes into Juliet's room to wake her up for the big day, but realises Juliet is 'dead'.
"Lady! Lady! Lady! Alas, Alas! Help! Help! My lady is dead!"

Lady Capulet - She goes up to Juliet's room because she hears the Nurse screaming and asks what's going on. She then sees that Juliet is 'dead'.
"O me, O me! My child, my only life!"

Capulet - Tells Juliet to hurry up
"For shame, bring Juliet forth. The lord is come!"

Friar - The only one who knows that Juliet is faking

Paris - Upset at the loss of his marriage

Musicians - Opportunists

Wednesday morning in Mantua

Romeo is given news that Juliet is dead. The Priest's message has not reached him in time and Balthasar has seen Juliet's body lying in a coffin in the church. Distraught, Romeo leaves Mantua immediately, headed for Verona. He plans to lie with Juliet that night - meaning he will take his own life beside her.

Romeo goes to an apothecary before he leaves Mantua. He buys a 'dram' (small drink) of poison so powerful that had he 'the strength of twenty men' it would 'dispatch you straight'.

The dramatic irony is almost at its highest and most tragic as Romeo heads for Verona, intent on doing himself harm without realising what we know, Juliet is not dead!


Lodging - A place to stay/live in
Import - Importance
Bladders - Used for storing liquids
Caitiff - Miserable
Forerun - Anticipate
Characters & Quotations

He rails against the unfairness of his situation:
"Is it e'en so? Then I defy you, stars!"
He acts rashly, without thinking:
"No matter, get thee gone, And hire those horses; I'll be with thee straight"
(also see lines 80-86)

He tries to calm Romeo down:
"I do beseech you, Sir, have patience: Your looks are pale and wild, and do import some misadventure."

Apothecary (chemist)
He is desperately poor. His poverty takes precedence over his morals:
"My poverty, not my will, consents."


Juliet's 'death' leaves Romeo reeling and feeling hopeless. He decides to seek death himself, suggesting that death can only lead to more death.

"Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness, And fearest to die? Famine is in thy cheeks, Need and opposition starveth in thy eyes"

"Come, cordial and not poison, go with me to Juliet's grave, for there I must use thee"

Romeo loves Juliet so much that he is willing to die, for without her he sees no purpose in living. So great is their love that he feels nothing will ever come close to it.

"Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight"

Friar Lawrence's cell, Verona

Friar Lawrence is visited by Friar John, whom he entrusted to bring the letter to Romeo. Friar John reveals that he had been visiting a house with sick people in it and so when he attempted to leave Verona for Mantua he was refused permission in case he was infected with sickness. Romeo, therefore, has no knowledge of the letter, which is still in Friar John's possession.

Friar Lawrence is worried that Romeo knows nothing of Juliet's false death. He hurries to the Capulet tomb.

Unfortunate coincidences vs Fate

This scene causes us to pause and consider the roles of Unfortunate Coincidence and Fate in the play in general. Are the lovers truly 'star-cross'd', or is it the hatred that their family feud has created that ultimately dooms their relationship?

Friar Lawrence
Had entrusted the letter to Friar John. This is all his plan and he is terribly worried now that it is starting to fall apart.

Friar John
Was meant to bring the letter to Romeo. He didn't realise that the contents of the letter were of 'dear import'.

Pestilence - Sickness, Disease
Iron Crow - Crowbar (to be used to open the tomb)

The Churchyard in Verona / Juliet's grave

Paris comes to visit Juliet in her tomb and he is interrupted by the arrival of Romeo. Romeo demands Paris leave but Paris refuses and demands Romeo leave. The two fight and Paris is killed.

Romeo carries Paris' body and lays him in Juliet's tomb. Seeing Juliet, he wonders how she can look so beautiful when she is dead. He speaks to her of his intention to be with her for eternity. The dramatic irony is at its peak here, as Romeo holds and kisses Juliet for the last time before drinking the poison.

Friar Lawrence enters the churchyard just as Romeo dies. He sees Balthasar who tells him that Romeo is in the tomb. He also tells of a dream he had wherein Romeo fought and killed someone. The Friar enters the tomb and finds Paris' and Romeo's bodies.

Just then, Juliet awakens. She asks where Romeo is. The Friar tells her he is dead. He begs her to leave. She refuses. He leaves without her. Juliet kisses Romeo's lips, hoping for some trace of poison to help her die. She hears someone coming so she quickly unsheathes Romeo's dagger and stabs herself.

The Watchmen discover bloodstains and inform the Friar and Balthasar who are nearby. The Prince and the Capulets enter to discover the scene. Montague arrives to find his only son dead. He reveals that his wife has died of heartbreak at Romeo's banishment.

The Friar explains everything.

The Prince announces that the feud has cost too many lives, including some dear to him. He announces it must end.

He says 'All are punished'
Characters & Quotations

He seems arrogant when he speaks.
He dies at the hands of Romeo.
- "I do defy thy conjurations, and apprehend thee for a felon (criminal) here."
- "O, I am slain! If thou be merciful, Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet."

He is suicidal after seeing Juliet 'dead'.
- "Here's to my love o true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die."

She is frantic and then suicidal (and resolved)
- "Go get thee hence, for I will not away. What's here? a cup clos'd in my true love's hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end."
- " Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger, this is thy sheath; there rust and let me die."

Friar Lawrence
He is worried about the outcome of his plans falling apart.
- "Stay then, I'll go alone. Fear comes upon me. O; much I fear some ill unthrifty thing."

He is a commanding figure and has had enough of the feud. He speaks for and to the community as a moral voice.
- "Then say at once what thou dost know in this"
- "Search, seek, and know how this foul murder comes"
- "All are punished"

Lady Capulet
She is dramatic - distraught at her daughter's death.
- "O me, this sight of death is as a bell that warns my age to a sepulchre."

Completely obedient to Romeo (and a little afraid of him)
- "I dare not, sir (Friar Lawrence) My master knows not but I am gone hence, and fearfully did menace me with death if I did stay to look upon his intents."

Capulet & Montague
- "O brother Montague, give me thy hand"

Keepers - Prison Wardens
Ensign - Flag
Unsubstantial - Bodiless
Shake the yolk - Resist domination
Inauspicious stars - Unfavourable fortune
Seal - a) Close up b) Make official
Conduct - Guide
Bark - Small ship
Speed - Haste
Vainly - In vain (without hope of success)
Masterless - Without owners
Discolour'd - Unnaturally stained
Unnatural sleep - The sleep of death
Churl - Unmannerly peasant
Untaught - Montague's own death should have taught Romeo how to die
Impeach - Accuse
Perforce - By force
Purge - Clear of guilt
Is privy - Shared the secret
Anon - Presently
Jointure - Dowry (all that Capulet can offer now is to join hands with Montague)

Death and Peace
Death can bring peace even after years of hatred
"O brother Montague, give me thy hand"

Violence and Punishment
The feud has caused much bloodshed and let only to sorrow for both families concerned. As the Prince says, "All are punished"

The Capulet house

The Capulet household is excited as they prepare for the wedding.

The Nurse is sent to wake Juliet.

The dramatic irony begins to build as the audience awaits the discovery of the 'dead' Juliet.


Lady Capulet

The Nurse

2 Servants
Themes & Devices

Dramatic Irony - The audience is aware of something that the characters on stage are not

Pastry - Room where pastry is made
Curfew Bell - The bell that rang at night to start the watch and in the morning to end it.
Spare not for the cost - Don't worry about the cost
Spits - Iron bars for roasting meat over the fire
Whoreson - Bastard
Loggerhead - Blockhead
Trim - Dress

Capulet's House, Verona

Juliet is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her new husband, Romeo.

The Nurse arrives bearing bad news. In her usual fashion, the Nurse is not forthcoming with details and, initially, Juliet thinks Romeo is dead, perhaps by his own hand. She soon learns that Romeo has killed her cousin, Tybalt, and has been banished by the Prince as punishment.

Juliet will not condemn Romeo, however, despite the Nurse praying that 'Shame come to Romeo!'. Juliet realises that Tybalt would have killed Romeo if he had the chance. Even so, she laments her cousin's death as well as her husband's exile.

Juliet longs to die 'I'll to my wedding-bed; And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!". But the Nurse promises to go and find Romeo and bring him somehow to Juliet's bedroom to consummate the marriage.

Juliet gives the Nurse a ring to give to Romeo.

Love & Death
Romeo's and Juliet's love is again bound up with or affected by death. It seems they are fated to be dogged by death due to the ongoing feud.

Tybalt is (was!) Juliet's cousin - his death at the hands of Romeo, and his initial challenge to a duel and attempt to kill Romeo, bring home to the audience (and to Juliet) just how difficult this marriage will prove in the face of the ongoing feud.a
Characters & Quotations

The picture of excitement - Juliet is a new bride awaiting the arrival of her groom. She is nervous and giddy and head over heals in love with Romeo and cannot wait for him to get there.
- "Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-brow'd night, Give me my Romeo..." (Lines 20 - 31)

She is completely in love with Romeo and cannot conceive of the idea of life without him. Romeo's banishment is like death to her.
- " 'Romeo is banished!' To speak that word Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet, All slain, all dead: 'Romeo is banished'! There is no end, no limit, measure, bound In that word's death; no words can that woe sound."

She loves him so much she will not allow the Nurse to curse him for killing Tybalt.
- "Blister'd be thy tongue For such a wish!"

She shows her fickle nature and her limited emotional maturity. She follows tradition without using her head. She laments and speaks in mixed up language that confuses Juliet as to who is dead. She curses Romeo without thinking about how Juliet might be feeling. She shows herself to be shallow and incapable of feeling as deeply as Juliet, or at least of taking those feelings into account.

"Will you speak well of him that kill'd your cousin?"

Steeds - Horses
Wink - Close, Become blind
Cords - Rope-ladder
Well-a-day - Alas
Undone - Ruined
Cockatrice - Famous serpent whose looks could kill
Gore - Clotted
Swounded - Fainted
Aqua Vitae - 'Water of Life' (Brandy)
Rank'd - Joined
Beguil'd - Cheated


Capulet's House, Verona

Capulet makes plans for Juliet's wedding to Paris.

He speaks to Paris about the death of Tybalt and explains that Juliet will not see him because she is so upset at the death of her cousin.

The dramatic irony is that the audience knows she is distraught not because of Tybalt, but because of Romeo's banishment.

Capulet decides that the wedding will be brought forward to Thursday. He instructs his wife (who is also grieving for Tybalt) to tell Juliet of his new plans for her.


Lady Capulet


Fall'n out - Happened
Move - Persuade
Tender - Offer


The Chorus sets the scene for us - telling briefly of the feud between "two households, both alike in dignity" and gives us the setting as "Fair Verona".

We are given a summary of events of the play and told that if anything has been left out or missed, the two hours of the play will fill in the gaps for the audience.

The Prologue is told in the form of a Shakespearean Sonnet
(14 lines, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG)
Full transcript