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Romeo and Juliet
Act I Packet
Due Dates:
Prologue: Wednesday, April 10
Scene 1: Thursday, April 11
Scene 2: Friday, April 12
Scene 3: Monday, April 15
Scene 4: Tuesday, April 16
Scene 5: Wednesday, April 17
Quotations, Literary Devices, and Character Chart: Monday, April 22
If you lose this packet, there is a copy you may print out on Miss Reese’s teacher page on
the Exeter Township Senior High School web page. Losing your packet, forgetting to
bring it with you to class, or being absent from school does not make you exempt from
any of the activities/assignments in this packet.
Name ________________
Act I Quotations
Locate the following quotations in Act I. Then identify the speaker, the context (what is
happening in the play at the time of this quote), and paraphrase the quote. Then, in at least one
full sentence, say why that quotation is significant (What impact does it have on the play?).
Scene 1
“What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word/As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee./Have
at thee, coward!”
Scene 4
“True, I talk of dreams;/Which are the children of an idle brain,/Begot of nothing but vain
fantasy;/Which is as thin of substance as the air,/and more inconstant than the wind”
Scene 5
“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!/For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”
“My only love, sprung from my only hate!/Too early seen unknown, and known too late!”
Act I Literary Devices
Name ________________
Find the definitions and two examples for the following literary devices. Then find two
examples of each literary device in Act I. Copy the full line of the example and its page number.
Examples with Page #
Name ________________
Act I Character Chart
Most of the characters in Romeo and Juliet are involved in a bitter conflict between two families.
As you meet each character listed in the box below, place each character’s name in the column
that shows which side that person supports. A person who supports neither side should be
placed in the neutral column. Also, identify what that character’s role is; for example, “servant
of the ______ family,” “head of the ______ family,” etc.
Lord Montague
Lady Capulet
Prince Escalus
Lord Capulet
Lord Montague
Lady Montague
Head of the Montague
Name ________________
Prologue Activity
The prologue to Romeo and Juliet is read by a “character” called the chorus. The purpose of the
prologue is to introduce the play, and it often gives away the play’s general storyline. This
prologue is written as a sonnet, and uses Shakespearean English that may be difficult for us to
understand today. Using your textbook, a dictionary, and a partner, “translate” the prologue
by putting it into your own words. Then answer the questions at the bottom of the page.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
1. The two families are fighting because ______________________________________________.
2. Who is involved in the fighting besides the two families? ______________________________
3. This is a sad story of a young couple’s _____________________________________________.
4. The parents’ anger is finally ended by _____________________________________________.
5. How long does the chorus say it will take for this story to be acted out onstage? ___________
Name ________________
Act I, Scene 1
Setting the Scene
In Italian city-states, noble families often feuded. Fights might be caused by an insult, or
families might disagree over land ownership. Other feuds might be caused by struggles for
political power or religious loyalties. Whatever the cause, the feuds proved dangerous and
destructive. As you read the first scene, notice how the characters are affected by a family feud.
Reading Questions
Romeo and Juliet takes place in northern Italy in the early 1300s. The play opens on a Sunday
on the streets of the city. Two Capulet servants, Sampson and Gregory, come onstage. They
boast of their bravery and what they will do to their enemies. Soon their bragging will lead to
1. Scene 1 opens on the streets of ________________, which is a city in ________________.
2. Two families in the play hate each other. These families are the _____________________
and the ______________________.
3. Prince Escalus breaks up a fight caused by the feud between the two families. He says
that if a fight happens again, those involved will _________________________________.
4. Benvolio, Lord Montague, and Lady Montague discuss Romeo’s mood. List three things
they say about Romeo that show he is depressed. Write the page and line numbers where
you found your responses.
1. ________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________________________
5. Romeo confesses that he is sad and depressed because _____________________________.
Response Questions
Answer the following questions in at least 3 full sentences.
1. What do you think may have caused the conflict between the two families? How long do
you think it has been going on? What might end the feud?
2. Think of a modern conflict or feud like the one in the play. It could be from a book, TV
show, movie, history, current events, or one you have experienced yourself. Describe this
conflict and explain how it has affected the people involved.
Name ________________
Act I, Scene 2
Setting the Scene
During the Middle Ages, girls from noble families were generally expected to marry
young. A family was embarrassed if a daughter wasn’t married by the time she was fifteen.
Unmarried girls might be sent away to a convent to receive further training to be proper wives.
Marriages were usually arranged by the families of young people. Most of the time, the
engaged couple didn’t complain about the arrangements. Some engagements were made when
the children were as young as three (but they didn’t marry until they were teenagers).
In this scene, notice how a marriage proposal is made.
Reading Questions
Lord Capulet and young Paris, a wealthy young man, talk on a street in Verona. Paris makes an
important request of Capulet.
1. What does Capulet think about the Prince’s orders after the fight? ___________________
2. Paris asks Capulet for permission to ____________________________________________.
3. What are two reasons that Capulet hesitates to give his permission to Paris?
1) ________________________________________________________________________
2) ________________________________________________________________________
4. Benvolio urges Romeo to ____________________________________________________.
Response Questions
Answer the following in at least 3 full sentences.
1. Juliet is only thirteen years old, yet her father is already planning her marriage. How do
you feel about people marrying young today? What are some advantages and
disadvantages of an early marriage?
2. Juliet’s father and Paris are arranging Juliet’s marriage, but Juliet herself is not included
in the conversation at all. What is your opinion on arranged marriages in this time
period? Do you think an arranged marriage could work today? Why or why not?
Name ________________
Act I, Scene 3
Setting the Scene
In Shakespeare’s time, mothers from noble families commonly turned over the care of their
infants to other women. These women, called “wet nurses,” were usually young peasant
mothers. Often the children felt closer to their nurses than their own mothers.
Reading Questions
In this scene, the audience meets Juliet’s mother and her talkative nurse. The three women talk
of marriage and children, and Juliet’s mother brings up Juliet’s possible engagement to Paris.
Note the three women’s different opinions about the engagement.
1. Juliet is ____________ years old and her birthday is ______________________________.
2. The Nurse is impressed with Paris because _______________________________________
3. Lady Capulet says that Paris will make a fine husband because ______________________
4. Juliet promises her mother that she will _________________________________________
Response Questions
Answer the following in at least 3 full sentences.
1. In this scene, the Nurse and Lady Capulet share what they think are the most important
qualities in a husband. What are the top ten qualities you would look for in a potential
husband or wife? (you do not have to write in complete sentences for this question)
2. How are the qualities you chose similar to or different from those that the Nurse and
Lady Capulet seem to value? (you do have to write in complete sentences for this
Name ________________
Act I, Scene 4
Setting the Scene
People have long believed that dreams have significant meaning and messages that can be
decoded. For Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare invented Queen Mab, a fairy who drives her
chariots into people’s heads while they sleep and plants good or bad dreams. In Scene 4, the
characters talk about the dreams Queen Mab has brought Romeo.
Reading Questions
Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio are on their way to sneak into the banquet being held by the
Capulets. On the way, Romeo’s friends—especially the jovial Mercutio—tease him about his
feelings for Rosaline. Romeo is nervous because of a dream he had about the party.
1. The Montagues plan to get into the Capulets’ feast by _____________________________.
2. Mercutio and Benvolio’s mood is very _________________, while Romeo’s mood is
3. Mercutio gives a long speech about _____________________________________________.
4. Romeo believes that his dream means that ______________________________________.
Response Questions
Answer the following in at least 3 full sentences.
1. In this scene, Romeo is nervous and thinks the party will turn out badly, while his friends
are excited and carefree. Who do you agree with? Should Romeo lighten up and have fun
with Mercutio and Benvolio, or should Mercutio and Benvolio pay more attention to
Romeo’s warnings? Why?
2. Have you or someone you know ever experienced a dream that seemed like a message or
warning? What was it about? Do you think that our dreams can be analyzed for deeper
meaning, or do you think they are just nonsense our brains come up with while we sleep?
Name ________________
Act I, Scene 5
Setting the Scene
The ways that a person “wins the heart” of another person in Romeo and Juliet are
different from today. In the world of Romeo and Juliet, young women from noble families were
kept away from boys. When a teenaged couple spent time together, they were carefully
chaperoned. The meeting usually occurred in the young woman’s home.
Also, the language of young noble lovers was very formal. Love and marriage were
considered holy, and therefore lovers used words similar to those in a religious ceremony.
Reading Questions
Wearing masks, Romeo and his friends sneak into the Capulet banquet. Romeo has come to the
party to find Rosaline. Juliet is there to get better acquainted with Paris. However, when
Romeo and Juliet see each other, it is love at first sight.
1. When Romeo first sees Juliet, his sad mood suddenly changes. Write two phrases that
Romeo uses to describe Juliet’s beauty.
1) ________________________________________________________________________
2) ________________________________________________________________________
2. Tybalt wants to fight Romeo because __________________________________________.
3. From Tybalt’s words in this scene, what are two personality traits he shows? Explain
what in the play made you choose the traits you chose.
1) Trait: _____________ Explanation: __________________________________________
2) Trait: _____________ Explanation: __________________________________________
4. Capulet refuses to let Tybalt fight Romeo because ________________________________.
5. When Romeo and Juliet speak, they refer to each other using religious terms. Juliet calls
Romeo a good __________ and Romeo calls Juliet a dear __________. Also, they talk
about passing back and forth a __________ when they kiss.
6. Describe Romeo’s reaction when he learns Juliet is a Capulet.
7. Describe Juliet’s reaction when she learns Romeo is a Montague.
Response Question
Answer the following in at least 3 full sentences.
1. If you were in the same situation as Romeo or Juliet, how would you feel at this point?
How would you react? What would you do?