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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Act II Study Guide
Directions: Answer each question on separate paper, using complete sentences and proof from the story.
In some of your answers, you may need to explain your answer, be sure to do so thoroughly.
When you hand in your work, staple this page to the top.
Grading: all questions answered, but some incorrect = 10pts, passed back and corrected=12pts, obviously
incorrect or incomplete answers -1 each Total possible=14pts Act II Scene I
1. According to the Chorus, what has happened to Romeo’s old love? What is his new problem?
What line suggests that these young people fell in love at first sight?
Act II Scene II
1. When Romeo is first outside of Juliet’s balcony watching and listening, he is speaking not to
Juliet, but to whom? What is this called?
2. Translate Juliet’s famous speech into your own words.
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. ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy. Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face. O, be some other name Belonging to a man. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name; Ad for thy name, which is no part of thee, Take all my life.
3. What plans do the two lovers make in Scene 2?
Act II Scene III
1. As Scene III opens, Romeo enters quietly, unseen by the friar. As the friar explains that his
flower contains the power to heal as well as kill, why might the audience fear for Romeo and Juliet?
2. What fault does Friar Laurence find in Romeo in Scene III? 3. In line 61 Romeo asks Friar Laurence to do what? Friar Laurence states later in lines 90-93 why
he has agreed to help, what is his reason?
Act III Scene IV
TIP FOR THIS SCENE:
When Mercutio speaks, it is usually more important to understand the tone, tempo, and rhythm of
his language than to worry about the meaning of every word. Mercutio uses a humorous and mocking tone in the speech that begins on line 19.
1. Now that the play’s love story seems to be heading toward a marriage, Shakespeare turns again to
the feuding families. Why is Tybalt looking for Romeo?
2. How has Romeo’s demeanor (his appearance, actions, speech, etc) changed since Act I? What
has caused this change? How do you see this change clearly when Romeo meets with Mercutio and Benvolio?
3. What news does the Nurse bring Romeo? What have they arranged?
Act III Scene V
1. Why does Juliet become frustrated with the Nurse? 2. In what way might Romeo and Juliet’s marriage be a turning point?
Act IV Scene VI
1. Re-read lines 9-15. What warning does Friar Lawrence give about passionate love? What effect
do you think the warning will have? Why?
What do YOU Think?
Do you think Romeo and Juliet are taking a reasonable risk in deciding to get married without getting
their parents’ permission? Why or why not? What proof from the text supports your opinion?
EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY – 5PTS Science: Medicinal Plants
Using plants or mineral derivatives as medication dates as far back as the twenty-eighth century BC. Some
of the remedies used by the ancients are still in use today, including castor oil, opium derivatives, and ma huang or ephedrine.
Many people view herbal medicines as safer than chemically engineered drugs. Some of the most popular
alternative medications include Echinacea to relieve cold symptoms, gingko and gingseng to aid memory and improve alertness, St. John’s wort to help alleviate mild depression, and garlic to help prevent heart disease.
Today, nearly twenty-five percent of prescription drugs are derived from plant materials. Research the medicinal uses of specific plants or modern medicines derived from plants. You might explore, for example, the discovery of penicillin, or the development of digitalis, a heart stimulant from foxglove and a kind of antiseptic derived from camphor. EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY – 2PTS Read “No Female Actors” on page 859. What does the exclusion of women from the Shakespearean stage suggest about their place in Elizabethan society? Please answer in at least one paragraph, and be willing to share your discovery with the class. EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY – 5PTS Consult sources in local libraries or find recording of humorous madrigals (an Italian lyric poem set to music) and other Renaissance songs that Mercutio may have enjoyed. The setting is a public street, so Mercutio’s song may attract the attention of passerby. Perhaps some of them even join him in song. Use the recordings to prepare a performance of Mercutio’s song, beginning at line 126. Choreograph your performance. Perform the song for the class.
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