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Taylor Lincoln
Image from
Many of Shakespeare’s plays contained
characters who face problems with
• Romeo and Juliet
• Hamlet and Ophelia
• Lysander and Hermia &
Demetrius and Helena
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Romeo & Juliet
Problem: Romeo and Juliet
fall in love despite their
families’ ongoing feud.
Eventually, they die in the
name of love.
“Romeo and Juliet are caught in a
world that rips apart their souls in its
assault against the only thing they
think worth living for.”
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"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."
- Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2
"What's in a name? That which we call a
rose by any other name would smell as
- Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2
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Problem: Hamlet begins to treat
Ophelia terribly after he sees the
ghost of his father, but Ophelia
clings to the memories she has with
the old Hamlet. Even though her love
for Hamlet is strong, she obeys her
father and brother when they tell her
not to see Hamlet again or accept any
letters he writes to her.
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For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more.
- Laertes, Act 1 Scene 3
I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
-Ophelia, Act 1 Scene 3
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Problem: Hermia’s father has
forbidden her and Lysander to
marry and Theseus has
threatened Hermia with death if
she disobeys her father. In
addition, Demetrius and
Lysander love Hermia, but
Helena loves Demetrius. When
Puck puts the love potion on the
wrong Athenian’s eyes,
Lysander falls in love with
Helena, causing great drama
between the four characters.
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To live a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
-Theseus, Act 1 Scene 1
But earthlier happy is the rose distilled
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.
-Theseus, Act 1 Scene 1
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Ay me, for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run
-Lysander, Act 1 scene 1
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so.
He will not know what all but he do know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
-Helena, Act 1 Scene
Images from and
Works Cited
"Forbidden Love of Romeo and Juliet." Virtual Museum Canada. 27 May 2009
Lombardi, Esther. "Romeo and Juliet Quotes." 27 May 2009
Mabillard, Amanda. "Shakespeare's Ophelia." Shakespeare Online. 10 Dec. 2000. 27
May 2009 <>.
Hylton, Jeremy. "The Tradgedy of Hamlet." The Complete Works of Shakespeare. 28
May 2009 <>.
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Important Quotations Explained ." SparkNotes. 28
May 2009 <>.