Romeo and Juliet

William shakespeare.


Romeo and Juliet

73 pages • 2 hours read

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Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the below bulleted outlines. Cite details from the play over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Mercutio has many clever and joking lines. He often wants to cheer up Romeo and make others laugh.

  • How does the tone of the play change when Mercutio is killed? ( topic sentence )
  • How do events in the rest of the play show that Mercutio’s death is an important turning point in the plot? Name at least three events and use details from the text to support your ideas.
  • Finally, discuss in your concluding sentence or sentences how Mercutio’s death connects to the theme of feuds and rivalry .

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2. Consider the setting of the famous balcony scene and the placement and movement of the characters throughout it.

  • What might Shakespeare have been suggesting with the use of the balcony, symbolically? ( topic sentence )

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Romeo and Juliet Themes

This page discusses the Romeo and Juliet themes that are evident in the play.

Whilst the play features the meeting and falling in love of the two main protagonists, to say that love is a theme of Romeo and Juliet is an oversimplification. Rather, Shakespeare structures Romeo and Juliet around several contrasting ideas, with a number of themes expressed as opposites. To say that the tension between love and hate is a major theme in Romeo and Juliet gets us closer to what the play is about.  These – and other –  opposing ideas reverberate with each other and are intertwined through the text.

7 Key Themes In Romeo and Juliet:

Historical time vs the present.

The first thing that strikes one is the feud , mentioned in the Prologue as ‘ancient grudge.’ Here we have a story about happy carefree young people, living in the modern world and enjoying it. The action moves very fast. All that is set against something that happened in the far distant past – an ancient grudge – and, on that level, time is moving very slowly. There is constant mention of time in the text. The nurse recalls Juliet’s early childhood, contrasting it with her young adulthood, using a crude reference to her current sexual maturity. Romeo imagines his life as a long sea voyage that ends in a shipwreck, in contrast to the pace of the life he is living in the present. So the fast-moving, optimistic life of the moment against the power of a toxic history and how it affects the present is a major theme.

Light and Dark

The interplay of images of light and darkness, often placed together, bring the text to life with illumination and shadows. Flashing and sparkling eyes, jewels fire, lightning, stars, exploding gunpowder, torches, the sun and the moon, are set against images of night, smoke, clouds, and a pitch-black tomb. The images, many of them of celestial bodies, connect with the  prologue’s assertion that these are star-crossed lovers . The struggle of bright young hopes against the inevitability of the dark tomb is an important theme. In the midst of the brightness of youth, we are constantly reminded, in the way that Shakespeare juxtaposes those images with images of darkness, of the closeness death.

Fate and Free Will

The Prologue refers to the protagonists as ‘star-crossed lovers.’ The belief that Fate determines human life reverberates through the play. Fate versus free will is the theme here. Romeo and Juliet struggle to break free of the threats that Fate represents, expressed in their dreams and premonitions, and the imagery, throughout the text. Romeo is frustrated by the intervention of Fate at every move he makes to assert his will. ‘O I am fortune’s fool,’ he cries when he realises that he has killed Tybalt . When he hears of the death of Juliet, he shouts up to the heavens, ‘Then I defy you, stars!’

Love and Hate

The intensity of the love between Romeo and Juliet is pitched against the hate-ridden society in which they live. In  the balcony scene , Juliet tells Romeo that if her kinsmen find him in the orchard they will murder him. It is that hatred that is going to destroy them. Not only them but  Mercutio , Tybalt and Paris as well. The hatred generated by the ancient feud is just as intense, as we see from the emotional behaviour of Tybalt, as the intensity of the love between Romeo and Juliet.

Death and Hate

Death is ever-present in Verona. The old folk mutter about it all the time: ‘we were born to die,’ ‘death’s the end of all,’ and young lives are abruptly cut short – so abruptly that the speed of it is a shock in itself. The word ‘death’ pervades the text. Death is even personified: we see him shutting up the doors of life, eating the living, fighting on the battlefield. Most horrifying is that he is Juliet’s bridegroom. ‘Death is my son-in-law/Death is my heir/My daughter he hath wedded,’ wails Capulet as he weeps over Juliet’s body. Against all that are the hopes of the lovers for a life together doomed by the stars.

Youth Against Age

The youthful impetuous emotion of the lovers bumps up against the cautious, mature wisdom of the older people.  Friar Lawrence cautions Romeo ‘love moderately, long love doth so.’ Tybalt’s rage at finding Romeo at the Capulet party and wanting to fight him there and then is put down by the older Capulet. This contrast is far more complex, however, when one thinks about the folly of Friar Lawrence in his support for the young lovers’ marriage, and also Capulet’s mood swings and outbursts of violence in his efforts to deal with his daughter. Such things throw doubt on the wisdom they proclaim, against the go-for-it approach of the younger generation. This is a major exploration of the relationships between the generations and feeds strongly into the time theme.

Language vs Reality

This is one of Shakespeare’s main thematic interests in all of his plays. He was intensely interested in the uneasy relationships between the words we use to describe things and what those things actually are in reality. In  Romeo and Juliet  Romeo is described as ‘Montague.’ The word creates prejudice and hatred, the impetus for revenge and violence. Tybald is blinded by malice at the very sound of Romeo’s voice. The word ‘Montague’ has nothing to do with what Romeo is in actuality: if he had been described as ‘Capulet’ the tragedy would not have happened. The text is full of sentiments that express this theme. ‘ What’s in a name? ’ Juliet says. ‘ A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ’ That completely encapsulates this theme. This play emphasises the tension between words and action, language and life, that we find in all Shakespeare’s plays.

Shakespeare Themes by Play

Hamlet themes , Macbeth themes , Romeo and Juliet themes

Shakespeare Themes by Topic

Ambition, Appearance & Reality , Betrayal , Conflict , Corruption , Death , Deception , Good & Evil , Hatred , Order & Disorder , Revenge , Suffering , Transformation

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What do you think of these Romeo and Juliet themes – any that you don’t agree with, or would add? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Cool to be dead.

THanks TYbalt.


Why do you family’s have to be fighting all the time?


Cause they assholes

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35 Romeo and Juliet Essay Topics


Essays are essential writing piece that constitutes the educational lives of students. There’s no doubt that as a student, you’ll come across an article requiring your attention to write. Some of the most common of them that you may encounter as a student pursuing a literature course or any other subject are the Romeo and Juliet papers. Do you know how to select appropriate topics for this writing task? We have prepared an excellent guide to assist you in choosing immaculate topics.

Table of Contents

How to Select the Best Romeo and Juliet Essay Topic?

Selecting a topic is the preliminary process in the composition of an essay. However, do you know how to choose the most suitable topic manageable for you to write? Begin by formulating a research question regarding the theme of the article you are about to write. Identify whether the topic you are about to write has sufficient information to aid you in the required standard length composition.

What’s more, figure out whether the topic interests you. If the answer is yes, go ahead and make the topic selection and begin writing the essay.

List of Romeo and Juliet Essay Topics

Essays require selecting appropriate topics that will do your reading and writing easy, and in the end, you will present a top-class essay. Thus, students have urged to counter-check the essay topics about Romeo and Juliet. They are about to select and identify whether they are conversant with writing elements required before choosing. Below are the topics you can use for your essay.

  • The death of Juliet and her lover
  • Justify whether the death of Romeo was avoidable
  • The implications of Romeo’s love and affection
  • Significance of Queen Mab’s speech
  • Role of destiny in the drama
  • The antagonist side of Romeo and Juliet’s love
  • The similarities between Juliet and Romeo in today’s context
  • Effects of the accelerated time-scheme in the drama
  • The antagonistic character of Romeo in the comedy
  • The impacts of Romeo’s expectations on the play
  • Implications of Rosaline’s infatuation towards the love of Juliet
  • Discuss Friar Laurence role in the play
  • Significance of women in the play
  • Consequences of Mercutio’s death in the tragedy
  • Reasons why Romeo and his Juliet are considered “star-crossed lovers”
  • Poetic advantage of the play
  • Importance of Shakespeare throughout the piece
  • Reasons for Juliet’s soliloquy in Act 3
  • Roles of Romeo and his Juliet in the general plot of the comedy
  • The function of Wittism from Romeo’s point of view
  • Evaluate the passing of time in the whole drama
  • Discuss how Shakespeare managed to bring out the love theme
  • Discuss the possible savior of Romeo and his love from imminent tragedies
  • Compare and contrast this play to other Shakespearian writings
  • Roles of Mercutio in the play
  • Implications of Mercutio’s speech to the general play
  • Discuss the relationship between Mercutio and Queen Mab
  • Role of Paris in bringing out the love theme in the piece
  • Discuss why Romeo is compared to Paris throughout the play
  • The significance of Rosaline in the play
  • Discuss the major themes in the play
  • The relevant stages in the plot development of the play
  • The relevance of Juliet in bringing out the love theme
  • The revelation of Romeo’s love in the play
  • Identify how Shakespeare brings out the theme of fate

Romeo and Juliet Essay Ideas

Below are significant essay ideas to guide you into selecting the most appropriate and topics easy to write.

  • What caused tragedies in the drama
  • Why did Mercutio die?
  • What’s the comedy based on?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • The manifestation of the theme of love
  • Contributions of Shakespeare in the drama
  • How’s Paris compared to Romeo
  • What keeps Romeo and Juliet together
  • Implications of Rosaline to Juliet’s love
  • Poetic benefits of the drama

Stuck with Your Romeo and Juliet Essay? Request Help Here

Writing an essay on Romeo and Juliet topics shouldn’t be bothersome anymore. We’ll help you choose topics that are exciting and manageable for you to write. Hire us today and expect quality custom essay service delivery.

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111 Romeo and Juliet Essay Titles & Examples

Looking for Romeo and Juliet essay titles? The world’s most tragic story is worth writing about!

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🎭 easy titles for romeo and juliet essays, 👍 exciting romeo and juliet title ideas, ❓ romeo and juliet essay questions, 💯 free romeo and juliet essay topic generator.

Romeo and Juliet is probably the most famous tragedy by William Shakespeare. It is a story of two young lovers whose deaths reconcile their feuding families. Whether you are assigned an argumentative, persuasive, or analytical essay on this piece of literature, this article will answer all your questions. Below you’ll find Romeo and Juliet essay examples, thesis ideas, and paper topics.

  • Romeo and Juliet: character analysis
  • What role does the setting play in Romeo and Juliet?
  • Romeo and Juliet and antique tradition of tragic love stories
  • Theme of love in Romeo and Juliet
  • What role does the theme of fate play in Romeo and Juliet?
  • Romeo and Juliet: dramatic structure analysis
  • Analyze the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet
  • Romeo and Juliet: feminist criticism
  • The most famous adaptations of Romeo and Juliet
  • Romeo and Juliet in the world culture

Keep reading to learn the key points you can use to write a successful paper.

  • Original Italian Tale vs. Shakespeare’s Tragedy

The story described in Shakespeare’s tragedy is based on the Italian tale that was translated into English in the sixteenth century. Original version represents situations and lines from Romeo and Juliet lives.

Shakespeare added a few more main characters: Mercutio, Paris, and Tybalt. Numerous researches state that Shakespeare used three sources to write his tragedy: a novella Giulietta e Romeo by Matteo Bandello, written in 1554; a story Il Novellio, by Masuccio Salernitano; and the Historia Novellamente Ritrovata di Due Nobili Amanti, written by Luigi Da Porto.

You can learn more about these novels to find out similarities and differences between primary sources and Shakespeare’s work

  • Love and Fate in Romeo and Juliet

If you’re going to write Romeo and Juliet essay on fate, read this paragraph. Fate is the fundamental concept of the plot. It makes us look at Romeo and Juliet affair as a single tragedy.

At the same time, another core element of the story is love. From the very beginning of the drama, you will clearly understand that the story will end in tragedy.

Shakespeare shows us the value of fate events.

However, love remains a crucial thematic element. The roles of Nurse, Paris, and Romeo show us a physical attraction, sympathy, and romantic affection while being the embodiment of love. Analyze what type of love is represented by each character in your essay. Explain, what do you think real love is.

  • Value and Duality in Romeo and Juliet

Among the central idea to consider for your Romeo and Juliet essay titles is an issue of value and duality. Shakespeare actively uses duality in his tragedy by representing the deaths of Romeo and Juliet as reasons of tragedy in Verona, which brought new order to the city.

Friar Laurence also reveals ambiguity when he helped Romeo and thus forced young lovers to suffer in the end. The decision to marry couple had a reason to end the conflict between Montague and Capulets.

Romeo and Juliet’s example discloses happiness and blame brought by key episodes and change in society. In your writing, you may analyze how the effect of adoration had influenced Romeo, Juliet, and other people lives.

  • Masculinity in Romeo and Juliet

A lot of Romeo and Juliet essay examples analyze the role of gender and masculinity in the tragedy. Mercutio is shown as a classic example of a real man: active, brave citizen.

He is a person of action. On the other hand, Romeo is described as a boy who seeks for love. Romeo and Juliet love thrown into quarreling world.

You can analyze the reasons why Romeo fights and kills Paris when finding him near Juliet body.

Covering all of the points mentioned above will help you to produce an outstanding Romeo and Juliet essay. Check the samples below to get inspiration and more ideas that you can use in your own paper.

🏆 Best Romeo and Juliet Topic Ideas & Essay Examples

  • Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” Adaptation As the plot of the play develops and the reader gets more involved in the reading of the play, the constant need to read the stage directions has a disruptive effect on the reader’s interaction […]
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  • Analysis of the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Another interesting scene of the production that makes it real understanding of the authors work is the casting of the romantic love between Romeo and Juliet, the physical love of the nurse and the contractual […]
  • “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare: Play’s Concept In Romeo and Juliet, the development of characters eventually led to the tragedy of the main characters. The love of Romeo and Juliet is a remarkable love as they have to undergo many obstacles to […]
  • Relationships Among Individuals in Shakespeare’s Plays The events that take place in Athens are symbolic in the sense that they represent the sequence of events during the day whereas the events in the forest represent the dream like circumstances.
  • The Life And Work Of William Shakespeare: His Contribution To The Contemporary Theater In addition, the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare continue to set the standard for the study of the English language in its dramatic context in institutes of higher learning and performance training.
  • Breaking the rules: Romeo and Juliet’s quest for independence Finally, the death of Romeo and Juliet puts an end to their love and is powerful enough to reconcile their feuding families.
  • William Shakespeare “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” This paper examines romantic love as the source of joy and fulfillment in “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Love is the source of pain and suffering in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
  • Teaching Middle- and High-School Students Using Literature Evaluation of Students’ Skills while Writing at Middle- and High-Schools Gathering of works; structure of a work; explanation of a topic; evaluation of the approaches, which are used to cover a topic; student’s attitude to […]
  • Different Types of Love Portrayed in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Term Paper In regards to this communication, the issue of romantic love between Romeo and Juliet is highlighted7. The concept of true love is no where to be seen in Romeo and Juliet’s relationship.
  • Romeo and Juliet: The Twentieth Century This is the first scene of the play. In the mean time, Capulet learns that Juliet has fallen in love with Romeo, and he is infuriated with the behavior of her daughter.
  • “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Winter’s Tale” Comparison Because of the importance of the role of plants and trees in the two abovementioned plays, it would be reasonable to consider each of the plays in detail.
  • “Romeo and Juliet”: Play and Film Preminger et al.claim that poetry is to be educative and pleasurable and both versions of “Romeo and Juliet” meet this criterion regardless of the fact that they had to appeal to the audience of a […]
  • Symbolism and Foreshadowing in “Romeo and Juliet” The love of Juliet to Romeo at the early stages is described as the “bud love, expected to grow into a beauteous flower” when the two meet later.
  • “Analysis of Causes of Tragic Fate in Romeo and Juliet Based on Shakespeare’s View of Fate” by Jie Li The article is easy to read and makes a compelling case for the reasons that precipitated the tragedy in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
  • Character Analysis of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” The Renaissance in Italy was a time in which historians and writers were most active, sparking a new wave of literacy in the Italian world, said to be the father of Renaissance Europe.
  • Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: Act 1 Scene 4 Review In this speech alone we see Mercutio in direct opposition to all of the characters in Romeo and Juliet while at the same time we are provided an alternate point of view to the ideals […]
  • Nurse and Friar Laurence in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” The way Friar Laurence supported Romeo and Juliet to get Married, The way the Nurse is opposing in her regards of Romeo and Paris, When Friar Laurence clandestinely married them, the way the Nurse is […]
  • Friar Lawrence in “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare The strengths of such friendships can be seen in the way Friar Laurence accepts and anticipates Romeo’s actions, showing that he is ready to hear him as a friend not as a priest, “Doth couch […]
  • The Renaissance Time During Romeo and Juliet Men and women performed different roles in the household; the man was responsible for farming while the woman took care of the poultry and dairy. In the upper-class, marriages were arranged and the parents chose […]
  • What Shapes More Lovers’ “Story of Romeo and Juliet?” In Romeo and Juliet, love is the central theme of the tragedy, and the images of the protagonists are mostly shaped by the relationships and challenges they had to face.
  • Oh Tae-Suk’s Romeo and Juliet Oh Tae-suk is a South-Korean playwright and director, well-known for his masterful portrayal of modern Korean life and the use of the elements of the traditional Korean theater in his plays.
  • “Romeo and Juliet” Play by W. Shakespeare While this idea is not always true in specific cases, it can be assumed to be true in the case of Romeo and Juliet because of the ways in which they act.
  • “Romeo and Juliet” Staged in Greek Style According to the analysis, it is evident that even though the story, plot, and characters stay the same, the change in the style of “Romeo and Juliet” will have a significant difference from the original […]
  • Analysis of “Romeo and Juliet” Directed by Simon Godwin The actors played in the theater without an audience, and the shooting itself took two and a half weeks, but also due to the director’s attempt to combine the action on the theater stage and […]
  • Romeo and Juliet’s Analysis and Comparison With the Film Romeo Must Die It can be concluded that, in the case of the original Romeo and Juliet, the main heroes are dying, but their families reconcile.
  • Carlo Carlea’s Film “Romeo and Juliet” The new adaptation of my play generally made a controversial impression: the actors look suitable for their roles, but the internal theme of the play seems to be not so profoundly got.
  • The Interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli
  • The Irresponsibility of Friar Laurence in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The Key Elements of Aristotle’s Unity of Action Theory in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare
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  • The Origins of the Archetypal Themes Present in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The Passionate Hatred of Tybalt and the Theme of Revenge in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare
  • The Perceptions of Love and the Use of Language and Structure in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare
  • The Relationship Between Parents and Children Presented in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The Responsible for the Deaths of the Lovers in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare
  • The Role And Representation Of The Nurse In William Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet
  • The Role of Fate and Coincidence in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The Role of The Nurse in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The Significance Of Mercutio In William Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet
  • The Theme of People Being in Unusual Circumstances in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The Tragic Ending Of A Pair Of Star Crossed Lovers In Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet
  • The True Meaning and Experience of Love in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare
  • The Underlying Theme and Message in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
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  • The Use of Language to Convey Strong Emotion in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The Use of Oppositions to Create Conflict in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare
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  • The Use of Verbal, Situational, and Dramatic Irony in William Shakespeare’s Play Romeo and Juliet
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  • Timeless Appeal of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story
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  • How Does Shakespeare Create a Dramatic Conclusion in Act 5, Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Shakespeare Create a Sense of Tragedy in the Final Scene of ‘Romeo and Juliet’?
  • How Does Shakespeare Create Drama and Tension in ‘Romeo and Juliet’?
  • How Does Shakespeare Create Sympathy for Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Are Romeo and Juliet Relevant to Life Today?
  • How Are Adults Presented in Romeo and Juliet?
  • Are Romeo and Juliet Responsible for Their Deaths?
  • How Are the Relationships in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Represented and Developed?
  • Did Romeo and Juliet Ever Have Control Over What Happened to Them or Was It All Fate?
  • How Are the Main Themes Presented in the Opening Sequence of Baz Luhrman’s Film Romeo and Juliet?
  • Does “Romeo and Juliet” Deserve to Be Considered Pop Culture in the Elizabethan Era?
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  • Does the 1996 Film Romeo and Juliet Have the Same Dramatic Impact on the Audience as the Original Play?
  • How Did Shakespeare Introduce the Characters: Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Act One Scene One Provide an Effective Opening to ‘Romeo and Juliet’?
  • How Does Bas Luhrman’s Staging of Key Scenes “Romeo and Juliet”?
  • How Does Baz Luhrmann Gain Sympathy for Romeo and Juliet and Engage the Interest of a Modern Audience?
  • How Does Baz Lurhmann Make Romeo and Juliet More Accessible to a Modern Audience?
  • How Does Conflict Manifest Itself in Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Fate Affect Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Fate Lead to the Tragic Conclusion of Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Lord Capulet Change Through the Course of the Play Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Love Change the Lives of Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Do Shakespeare Introduce Romeo and Juliet’s Relationship?
  • How Does Shakespeare Make Romeo and Juliet Dramatically Effective?
  • How Do Juliet’s Decisions Affect Her Growth and Her Relationships in Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Shakespeare Portray Ambiguity in the Play Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Shakespeare Portray Love in Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Does Shakespeare Present Conflict at the Start of Romeo and Juliet?
  • How Did Hate Cause Major Events in Romeo and Juliet?
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Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996)

By baz luhrmann, romeo and juliet (film 1996) essay questions.

How do Romeo and Juliet variously relate to and theorize questions concerning the nature of fate and free will?

Romeo tends to be a more passive subject under the ruling notion of fate. When he has a premonition, he asks the fates to "guide his sails," knowing that he is not in control. He must sometimes be riled into taking action to try to overcome the circumstances of his life, as Mercutio urges him to do when he tells Romeo to "be rough with love." Juliet, on the other hand, seems less content to be merely a player in the drama the fates have in store for her. She rejects others' ideas about her own life, and is often impatient or discontent with having to wait for Romeo or conform to a plan. She asks Fortune to "be fickle," when Romeo leaves her balcony for the last time, indicating that she feels uncomfortable with the idea of fate.

What images, lines, and motifs point to the cyclical nature of violence in Verona?

The opening montage of the film suggests that this is far from the first time that violence has broken out among the Montagues and Capulets. The banality of the nightly newscast that delivers the prologue emphasizes how ordinary and common such violence has become. The line "from ancient grudge break new mutiny," in particular indicates the chronic nature of the rivalry. Luhrmann uses "circular" images often to represent violence and chaos: Sampson shoots a sign in the gas station scene that spins around haplessly in the gunfire; the Montague boys are constantly twirling their revolvers around in their hands; spiraling fireworks signal the uptake of Romeo's drug trip. Only Father Laurence can imagine this self-sustaining cycle ever breaking, which generates the symbol of the dove.

How does Mercutio's Queen Mab speech characterize the human phenomenon of dreams and dreaming?

Mercutio's Queen Mab speech is about the deranging and euphoric effects that magic, illusion, and dreams can have on the human spirit. Luhrmann's film uses the line "she comes in shape no bigger than an agate stone on the forefinger of an alderman," to refer to the fact that Mercutio is handing Romeo an ecstasy pill. For Mercutio, dreams are both ecstatic and terrifying—they can "gallop through lovers' brains," in euphoria, or they can give soldiers traumatic nightmares. Dreams are inconstant, volatile, unreliable, and precious; Mercutio himself often embodies these qualities, luring Romeo's good spirits forth with his alluring character at the same time that he retains a dark, foreboding essence.

How does the setting of the masquerade ball impact Romeo and Juliet's first meeting?

The idea of the masquerade is a pivotal medium through which Romeo and Juliet are able to meet. The party's setting, which demands that everyone don costumes, is what enables Romeo and the Montague boys to surreptitiously gain access in the first place. It is not until Romeo removes his mask later in the party that Tybalt recognizes him, and Fulgencio's ire luckily prevents Romeo from encountering Tybalt's wrath. The masquerade ball enables Luhrmann to imagine costumes that capture the essence of each character—for Juliet, he chooses the angel, literalizing Romeo's line in the balcony scene: "She speaks! O, speak again, bright angel!" As the plays' bearers-of-death, Tybalt is a devil, and the Capulet boys skeletons. Crucially, Romeo tears off his mask in the scene in which he meets Juliet. The visual analogy of their first encounter--seeing "through" the aquarium glass and water--suggests that they are penetrating the layers of the masquerade, and able to glimpse each other's true essences.

Many characters in the play talk of being "satisfied" or "unsatisfied." Choose an example and explain what the problem is to which the character is responding, and the solution that they are proposing.

In the balcony scene, Romeo calls after Juliet, "O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?" as she is about to run back upstairs. The line resonates ambiguously at first as perhaps an impertinent imposition on Romeo's part, asking Juliet for more than she is willing to concede sexually. Danes's reading of the line, "What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?" is suspicious enough to take umbrage at this potential imposition. Romeo's rejoinder, that he wishes to ask for a vow in marriage, reveals what sort of matrimonial satisfaction he was invoking. Later, in a much different scene, Romeo refuses to duel Tybalt. Knowing that Tybalt will not relent, Romeo presses Tybalt's gun to his forehead and cries, "Be satisfied! Be satisfied!" Here Romeo is tendering his life to Tybalt, knowing that his sense of male honor will not survive Romeo's continued existence. Thus, satisfaction can refer to either romantic love or destructive violence.

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Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996) Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996) is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

What does benvolio's gun say

The camera zooms on Benvolio's engraved gun's name, “sword.”

What role does religion play in Baz Luhrmann's 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet?

Religious themes and imagery saturate the film, present in nearly every scene. The title of the film, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, itself incorporates a cross into the title in place of the word "and." In the title card "A pair of star...

Where does the opening fight scenes take place?

The opening fight scenes take place on the streets of Verona Beach.

Study Guide for Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996)

Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996) study guide contains a biography of Baz Luhrmann, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996)
  • Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996) Summary
  • Character List
  • Director's Influence

Essays for Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996)

Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996) literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996).

  • Romeo and Juliet: A Film Study
  • Appropriating Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • Media Sensationalism in Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
  • Mercutio in Two Romeo and Juliet Films
  • Religious Imagery in Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet

Wikipedia Entries for Romeo and Juliet (Film 1996)

  • Introduction
  • Differences with the film and the original play

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    1 In what way do Romeo and Juliet break gender conventions? How do these roles fluctuate throughout the play? At the beginning of the play, the young lovers' behavior reverses common gender conventions - Romeo acts in a way that his friends call feminine, while Juliet exhibits masculine qualities.

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    1. How does the suicidal impulse that both Romeo and Juliet exhibit relate to the overall theme of young love? Does Shakespeare seem to consider a self-destructive tendency inextricably connected with love, or is it a separate issue? Why do you think so? 2. Discuss the relationships between parents and children in Romeo and Juliet.

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    Questions & Answers Do Romeo and Juliet have sex? Who is Rosaline? Why does Mercutio fight Tybalt? How does Romeo convince the reluctant Apothecary to sell him poison? Why do Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio go to the Capulets' party? Who seems less impulsive and more realistic—Romeo or Juliet? Why does Friar Lawrence decide to marry Romeo and Juliet?

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    Themes Characters Symbols Quotes Love and Suffering In Romeo and Juliet, love is not the tranquil, perfect state we often think of. Instead, it is chaotic and dangerous, linked to violence in both language and action. This is most apparent in the tragedy's climax, when the "star-crossed lovers" take their own lives.

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    Romeo and Juliet don't talk about their experience in terms of their marriage or its permanence, however, focusing instead on the intensity of their feelings in the moment: Juliet longs for Romeo to stay for just a few more moments, denying the fact that dawn is coming, and Romeo says that he would rather stay and be put to death than leave.

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    Thinking she is dead, Romeo kills himself by drinking poison. Juliet wakes and finding Romeo dead, she plunges the sword into her breast. Extra Facts. 1) The original title of the play was 'The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet'. 2) There is no balcony in the famous "Balcony Scene".

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  21. Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet, play by William Shakespeare, written about 1594-96 and first published in an unauthorized quarto in 1597.An authorized quarto appeared in 1599, substantially longer and more reliable. A third quarto, based on the second, was used by the editors of the First Folio of 1623. The characters of Romeo and Juliet have been depicted in literature, music, dance, and theatre.

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    Quick Quizzes Essays Further Study Buy Now Shakespeare's play about the doomed romance of two teenagers from feuding families is the most famous love story ever written. First performed around 1596, Romeo and Juliet has been adapted as a ballet, an opera, the musical West Side Story, and a dozen films.