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Guided Notes for Romeo and Juliet: An Introduction

Lecture Questions
Fill in the blanks by listening to and viewing the lecture.

Romeo and Juliet was written by __________________________________.

The English Renaissance was a __________________________ and __________________________

Most of Shakespeares plays fall under three genres:

List two characteristics of a Shakespearean tragedy.

Class Discussion
Take very brief notes for each question as you actively engage in the class discussion.

1. Is tragedy a popular genre in contemporary movies, literature, art, and

2. Based on your prior knowledge, what makes the story of Romeo and Juliet a
tragedy? If you are not familiar with the story, what can you speculate will
happen in the plot based on the information you were given in regards to
Shakespearean tragedies?

Listen to the audio of the Prologue and follow along in your text. Be prepared for

Class Discussion
Take brief notes for each question as you actively engage in the class discussion.

1. What is your first reaction to Shakespearean language? What problems do
you expect to encounter as you read a full-length play in this language?

2. Try to summarize what the prologue is telling us. Based on your initial
reading, what do you think are the main points? What do you know?

Comprehending and Analyzing The Prologue
As we break down the Prologue for deeper understanding, underline or highlight
significant words and phrases. It would also be a good idea to write notes in the

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.

Class Discussion
Watch the modern-day version of the Prologue and take notes as you actively engage
in class discussion.

1. What stylistic choices did the director make in order to convey the significant
points of the Prologue?

Lecture Questions
Based on the character diagram presented in the lecture (this information is not given
in the Prologue), fill in the blanks with the appropriate answers.

The names of the two feuding families are __________________________ and


Romeo belongs to the __________________________ family and Juliet belongs to the

__________________________ family.