BC: For the rest of my interpretaion, follow this link: http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/education/romeo-and-juliet-notes-continued-4291916
FC: Romeo & Juliet Novel Study
2: In the prologue, the whole idea of the feud between the two families was introduced. It tells us how both families are of the same social status, and have been fighting for ages, but the reason is unknown. New fights keep breaking out among the everyday people of Verona. The only way to end the feud was by the death of their children. The children of these two families fell in love, and if you listen carefully, you will see what happened. I think that Shakespeare chose to use this as a prologue because it gives you the background of the play. Without this, the play might have to be a bit longer in order to show the history and such. It helps us to understand what is about to happen.
3: By the clues in the prologue, we know that the story takes place in Verona, which is a self-governed region. “Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean” tells us that it is just the common people, it wouldn’t be government figures in the fighting. It doesn’t tell us if the two families are wealthy or poor, but either way, they are of the same social status. | Three of the phrases in the prologue that I found confusing were: “Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” Which means the civilians are the ones doing the fighting, killing each other in the streets. “Whose misadventured piteous overthrows” means that their pitiful attempts to stop the feud did not work. “What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.” Is trying to say that they will work to show us what happened.
5: Act 1, Scene 1
6: The fight between the servants lets us know that this feud is deeper than just the Capulet and Montague families. They have probably brain washed the servants into this hatred. | Back in the day of Shakespeare, the streets had a gutter in the middle. Everyone dumped their waste out the window, so if you chose the side closest to the wall, it would not get dumped on you.
7: Benvolio doesn’t like fighting. He thinks there should be peace among everyone. He thinks that the feud between the families should be put to an end. He is very open and honest. Tybalt on the other hand loves fighting. He is very violent and usually one of the first ones in on a fight. When Benvolio asked him to help create peace he informed Benvolio that he hated the word peace. They are basically polar opposites.
8: Biting your thumb is the old way for giving someone the “finger”. It is one of the highest insults. | According to the Prince, if there was anymore fighting in the streets they people involved in the fighting would be killed. That is kind of ironic because he is stopping people killing each other by killing them himself. It’s kind of a double standard.
9: My first impression of Romeo is that he is a wimp. He is acting the way he is because he claims he is in love. But the only reason he talks about loving her is her beauty. It’s kind of creepy, he doesn’t even know her, he’s really shallow. He takes things to extremes, because every time he sees a pretty girl he “falls in love” with her and gets really intense. So we know that when he sees Juliet that it’s not just going to be a casual relationship, it’s going to be full throttle. | The prince wants peace and no one is listening. He takes it as a personal insult. He is at his wits end.
11: Act 1, Scene 2
12: Paris is the rich old man that wants to marry Juliet. | In this scene we get the feeling that Lord Capulet wants what is best for Juliet. He thinks that Juliet is too young for marriage, and in two years she will be ready. He doesn’t want Juliet to be forced into marriage; he feels she should fall in love with the man she marries.
13: Peter provides comic relief by his inability to read. He is quite high-strung and freaks out easily. Unknowingly he tells Romeo that unless he is a Montague he may come to the party being held at the Capulet’s.
14: Juliet doesn’t have much power over her own life. She is expected to just do whatever she is told.
15: Romeo decides to come to the party because he read that Rosaline would be attending. He wants to see her because he is “in love” with her. Benvolio insists that he will point out a different girl for Romeo to swoon over. Shakespeare gave us some foreshadowing because we know that Romeo falls for pretty girls, and we know that Juliet is considered pretty.
17: Act 1, Scene 3
18: Juliet is not interested in marriage. She doesn’t want to marry Paris, she will look at him, but not marry him unless her father tells her she has to.
19: The nurse is a slightly perverted character. She is an older woman that is constantly providing dirty jokes and rambling on for what seems like hours. She really knows how to lighten up a serious situation.
21: Act 1, Scene 4
22: In this scene, Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio are on their way to the crash the Capulet’s masquerade party. Bevolio and Mercutio are trying to make Romeo forget about Rosaline because he’s kind of putting a damper on their fun. | Romeo feels really jumpy because he had a dream that something bad was going to happen that might even lead up to his death that night.
23: Mercutio is a really goofy, long-winded person. He likes to keep things casual, but when he is trying to get his point across, he can get a bit more serious. From some hints in his speech, we can assume that he may be of the homosexual variety; depending on how you interpret it he was hitting on Romeo. He is one of Romeo’s best friends, and is related to the prince.
25: Act 1, Scene 5
26: There wasn’t really significance to the servants whining about the work they have to do in the beginning, it was just to introduce the party scene and give the actors time to change into their party clothes. It was also just for a bit of comic relief.
27: It’s kind of ironic when Romeo gets to the party. You would assume that when Romeo gets to the party he would make a beeline to Rosaline and convince her to love him, but as soon as he walks in he sees Juliet. He instantly falls in love with her and forgets about Rosaline.
28: When Tybalt hears Romeo’s voice, he knows that it is the voice of a Montague. He wants to start a fight, but Capulet gets angry at Tybalt and tells him to let it be, Romeo hasn’t caused any trouble and a fight would ruin the party. Tybalt and Capulet get into a quarrel over the matter for quite some time.
29: Romeo kind of butters Juliet up and uses really cheesy flattery. He tells her that her hands are a holy shrine. Juliet tells him that holding hands is the same as kissing, so that will be good enough. He plays a bit of a mind game with her and ends up kissing her without consent. He does it again and she comments on how good of a kisser Romeo is.
30: This last scene gives us quite a bit of foreshadowing. Tybalt was enraged at Romeo coming to the party and took it as a great insult and wants to get back at him. This gives us the foreshadowing of a brutal fight.
31: Juliet talks about marriage, so we know that she has started to dream of marriage.We can also assume that the play will end with Juliet's death, as she states that is she can't marry Romeo then "my grave shall be my wedding bed".
33: Act 2, Scene 1
34: Benvolio thinks that Romeo is probably crying in the bushes, but then Mercutio proposes the idea Romeo and Rosaline are fooling around ;) in the bushes. | Romeo compares Juliet to many things in the balcony scene among these things are the sun in the east, the stars, and the envious moon.
35: In reality, Romeo had climbed over the Capulet’s orchard wall and into their backyard. He was hiding underneath Juliet’s balcony. He talked about how much he “loves” Juliet. Then she appears on the balcony and starts talking about how much she “loves” Romeo. He spies on her for some time before revealing himself.
37: Act 2, Scene 2
38: Shakespeare makes Mercutio and Benvolio talk about physical love in the scene right before Romeo and Juliet talk about emotional love. This shows that Romeo and Mercutio are total opposites in the manner of their meanings of love. Mercutio assumes that love is all about the physical bond, whereas Romeo seems a bit more serious about it. Even though he has only known Juliet for a short time, he is very committed to her emotionally, and she to him as well.
39: The line “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” means that your name does not make you who you are. It is saying that Romeo could have a different name, but it doesn’t matter because he is the man that Juliet loves.
40: Romeo swears his love by the moon, but Juliet doesn’t like this because the moon is always changing and she will always be the same.
41: Juliet is the one that actually proposes, but she does it in such a way that Romeo believes it was his idea. (Sneaky, Sneaky, Sneaky!!!!) Romeo plans to go meet with the friar that day and the two lovers will meet later on. The wedding will be secret from their families.
43: Act 2, Scene 3
44: Immediately after Romeo leaves Juliet he head over to talk to Friar Lawrence about marrying him and Juliet. | When Romeo first proposes the idea of his marriage to Juliet, the Friar is taken aback. He wants to make sure that Romeo is not just lusting, because it wasn’t too long ago that he was completely in love with Rosaline, and now he is in love with Juliet.
45: Friar Lawrence agrees to marry the two lovers because he thinks that it might help to stop the fighting between the Capulets and the Montagues.
47: Act 2, Scene 4
48: Tybalt sends Romeo a letter challenging him to a duel after the crashing of the party. | Mercutio calls Tybalt the Prince of Cats because he is a good fighter.
49: Mercutio is very crude when describing Romeo’s night because he believes that love is physical. We also assume that he is jealous because he likes Romeo. | Mercutio is quite rude to the nurse. He doesn’t treat her with respect.
50: The nurse and Peter don’t talk in Iambic pentameter. This hints that they have very low education. | In an hour the nurse will bring Juliet, and Romeo will bring a ladder and they shall meet behind the church.
51: The mood of this scene was kind of happy and peaceful. Romeo and Juliet are in love so it is kind of sweet.
53: Act 2, Scene 5
54: In this Scene, the nurse comes back from meeting with Romeo. Juliet is very impatient to learn how it went and what he said. The nurse tantalizes her before finally saying that it turned out fine.
55: The nurse is kind of a kooky character. She knew how much Juliet was looking forward to marrying Romeo, so she probably just wanted to get some twisted amusement out of torturing her.
57: Act 2, Scene 6
58: In this scene, Romeo and Juliet meet up with Friar Lawrence and are married. The speech that the Friar gives isn't your typical romantic, wedding speech though.
59: Friar Lawrence's speech to Romeo is kind of a foreshadowing. It kind of leads on that the story will end with a tradgedy. He basically says that he hopes everything goes well right now, before something goes wrong.
61: Act 3, Scene 1
62: Tybalt and Mercutio get into a fight in this scene. Originally Tybalt wanted to fight Romeo to get revenge for crashing the Capulet party, but Romeo refused to fight him. Mercutio gladly jumped into the combat instead. Romeo tries to break it up, but Tybalt maneuvers his sword around Romeo and stabs Mercutio right in the heart. Only minutes later, Mercutio is dead. | In retaliation, Romeo kills Tybalt.
63: Romeo has made many choices that contribute to his downfall. He impulsively fell in love with Rosaline, And impulsively went to the Capulet party, which made him fall in love with Juliet. He impulsively gets married to “the enemy”, he impulsively kills Tybalt, and later on in the story he impulsively drinks poison. If he had fully thought all these ideas through, he could have lived a lot longer, and possibly prevented Mercutio’s and Tybalt’s deaths (not to mention Juliet’s life later on).
64: A tragic hero is someone who has a fatal flaw, and that fatal flaw makes the tragic hero’s ending…well…tragic. They can’t blame any ne but themselves and their own actions and choices. | Romeo’s fatal flaw is his impulsiveness. Almost all of the decisions he makes in this story are impulsive.
65: After the fateful fight between Tybalt and Romeo, Romeo flees. Benvolio stays behind. The Capulet and Montague familes and the Prince then enter. They had come to punish Tybalt for killing Mercutio. Then they realize Tybalt, too, is dead. Benvolio (the tattletale) accounts the whole story for everyone, making sure that he sounds basically like the best guy around. He makes sure that it is clear the only reason Romeo killed Tybalt is because Tybalt killed Mercutio first. The Prince thinks that instead of having Romeo killed for his deed, that he might just ban him from Verona.
66: Up until this point, everything seems to be going according to plan, and working out quite nicely. Romeo and Juliet are married and in love. No one knows of their plans except the nurse and the Friar. Then all of a sudden things take a turn for the worse. Romeo kills his Juliet’s cousin and is going to be banned from the city. This could put a damper on the honeymoon. And from this point forward, everything goes downhill.
67: Act 3, Scene 2
68: In this scene there was a bit of confusion between Juliet and the Nurse. When the Nurse tried to tell Juliet about Tybalt’s death and Romeo’s banishment, she made it sound like Romeo killed himself. Juliet was very upset, and rambles on about ‘ay’ and ‘I’. Finally the Nurse tells her that Romeo has killed Tybalt and is now banished from Verona. However, Juliet seems to think that Romeo being banished is even worse than him being dead.
69: Juliet uses quite a bit of antithesis in this scene when she is talking about Romeo. Here are four examples: Fiend angelical, wolvish-ravening lamb, honorable villain, and damned saint.
70: Juliet was sad that her cousin Tybalt is dead, but she would rather it be him than Romeo. She was devastated about his banishment though. She got a little dramatic, saying that Romeo being banished was worse than all her relatives being dead.
71: Juliet is furious with the nurse when she scolds Romeo. Juliet feels shameful for being the slightest bit angry at him. She believes he should be honored. Juliet wants to be loyal to Romeo.
72: Juliet has been whining about how she is going to die a virgin and how her wedding night is ruined. The nurse decides to go find Romeo and tell him to come visit Juliet.
73: Act 3, Scene 3
74: Romeo and Friar Lawrence are friends. The Friar knows everything about him, and tries to help Romeo with his problems. The Friar is kind of like Romeo's mentor, he gives him advice.
75: Romeo always puts his emotions before logic. He wants the Friar to just kill him. He would rather die than be banished and unable to see his lover: Juliet.
76: The Friar suggests that Romeo goes to see Juliet before he is banished. | The scene ends after the nurse comes to fetch Romeo. The nurse flirted with the Friar a little.
77: Act 3, Scene 4
78: In this scene Capulet and Paris decide that Juliet will wed Paris on Thursday.
79: The only thing that Capulet was concerned about was how long Juliet and the rest of the family would be mourning Tybalt’s death. He didn’t want the sadness of Tybalt’s death to put a damper on the wedding party. He wasn’t the least bit concerned about whether or not Juliet wanted to marry Paris or not. If Capulet paid attention to his daughter he would know she didn’t want to marry him. They have a very distant relationship.
81: Act 3, Scene 5
82: This scene started with the sounds of birds chirping outside. Romeo said he heard the lark; a bird that chirps in the morning. Juliet argued and said it was a nightingale; a bird that chips at night. If it had been the lark, Romeo would have to leave before he was discovered, but if it was the nightingale, he would be fine for a while longer. Juliet didn’t want Romeo to leave.
83: As Romeo is leaving Juliet’s balcony, there is s bit of foreshadowing that they will die. When Romeo climbs down the ladder, Juliet tells him that he looks like someone dead in the bottom of a tomb. She tells him that he looks pale, and Romeo responds by telling Juliet that she looks pale as well.
84: Not seconds after Romeo leaves, Juliet’s mother walks in and tells her of the wedding arrangements. She claims it is the perfect way to cheer her up after Tybalt’s death. Juliet actually reacted quite calmly to the news. Juliet told her mother that she would rather marry her “enemy” Romeo than Count Paris. She used her skilled way of lying without really lying.
85: Capulet is all but happy to find that Juliet doesn’t want to marry Paris. He says that his hand is itching to hit Juliet. He can’t believe how ungrateful she is. If she doesn’t marry Paris, she will be kicked out of the house.
86: Quoted right from the text, this excerpt from Capulet proves he isn’t the greatest father. “Out, you green sickness, carrion! Out, you baggage! You tallow face!”
87: Juliet tells the Nurse that she is going to confession. This is a lie. Juliet always says she is going to confession when she needs to do something she doesn’t want her family to know. I think that she is going to get the fake poison that will make her seem dead.
89: Act 4, Scene 1
90: Paris is at the church to convince the Friar to marry him and Juliet on Thursday. The Friar tries to tell Paris he is moving too fast, but Paris tells him that the reason for them moving so fast is for Juliet’s health. She is crying an unnatural amount and Paris and Capulet think that them being married will cheer her up.
91: Juliet uses double entendres in this scene to fool Paris into thinking she likes him and is looking forward to the marriage. For example; she says that she loves “him” but the “him” is not Paris.
92: Juliet practically reenacts how Romeo acted when he came to the Friar the day before. She lies on the floor crying and moaning, being a drama queen. She also threatens to kill herself with a dagger. Apparently everyone in these days carried around a dagger in case they felt like killing themselves.
93: Friar Lawrence has a plan to get Juliet out of marrying Paris though. He tells Juliet to go home and try to be cheerful, pretend everything is fine and that she wants to marry Paris. Then on Wednesday night, Juliet must make sure she is alone in her bedroom; with not even the nurse by her side. Once in bed, Juliet is to drink from the vial Friar Lawrence gives her. The vial contains poison, a poison which will make it appear that Juliet is dead. Meanwhile the Friar will send word to Romeo of their plan, and he and Friar Lawrence will wait with Juliet in the family tomb until she awakes. Then Romeo and Juliet will sneak off to live a secret life together.
95: Act 4, Scene 2
96: In this scene, one of the servants blabs on about cooks licking their fingers. He is talking about this to prove that a good cook would be one that licks his fingers. If their food was good the cooks would want to lick their fingers to get a taste of it. If they wouldn’t lick their fingers, then their food would most likely not be the greatest. It is a good point; he just kind of drug it on for a while.
97: When Juliet gets back from Friar Lawrence’s, she pleads forgiveness to her father and tells him that she will marry Paris. In doing this though, Capulet decides to move the wedding date up to the next day. Oh dear.
99: Act 4, Scene 3