Monday, December 31, 2012

SHAKESPEARE - Life in Shakespeare's London

Life in Shakespeare's London

This people, in a sense, was an ignorant people. Those of the highest rank were well and laboriously educated according to the contemporary standard; but the rank and file paid no attention to learning. They neither read, wrote, nor thought. One today is astonished at the ignorance of the then common people concerning public affairs. Compare a history like Holinshed's with a history like Fronde's or Grardiner's. You find in the former no exposition of principles, no attempt to sift tradition from fact, no sense whatever of the dignity of a thousand page folio in black letter. On the other hand, we read in Holinshed of a terrible storm that killed a dog in Essex, or of a cow that gave birth to a five-legged calf in Kent. Street parades, tiltings, trivial and momentous events alternately, mere gossip, above all, inspired utterances in the form of public proclamations from the crown — this is the sum and substance of Holinshed and Stow — and the people were well satisfied.

The matter-of-fact critic of today is too apt to condemn the Elizabethan dramatists for the credulity evinced by their characters. But such criticism is often misplaced. The Elizabethans were credulous people. The opening chapter of Kingsley's
 Westward Ho! relates a number of foolish inducements held out by Salvation Yeo and John Oxenham, two prospective sailors of the South Seas. But the inducements were not considered foolish then. Kingsley, in his charming way, points a little pleasantly at the inconsistency of English inscriptions upon the wondrous horn of ivory that had been picked up in the land of the Incas. Even here, the amusing sarcasm is slightly misplaced. The Elizabethans would not allow themselves to be troubled by such trifles. The golden city of Monoa was as real to them as Paradise or Hell. The chapter, in fact, is almost a literal transcript of a contemporary pamphlet, doubtless produced in perfect faith. Even Shakespeare, judged by our modern standards, may not have been a really sophisticated man; the ring of truth in Othello's tales to Desdemona may be due to a believing heart. 

There was going on all the time a rapid change in the social scale. The middle class was rising into prominence. It was no longer necessary to be born a peer in order to become a man of wealth and position. The story of Whittington was repeating itself every day; and, what is more to the point, the people were daily growing more and more proud of the fact.

As the age of Elizabeth was the golden time of literature, so it was the golden time of superstition. There was one Banks, a hanger-on of the Earl of Essex, who lived in the Old Bailey and who possessed a wonderful horse named Morocco shod with shoes of silver. This horse could dance to music, count, make answer to questions; do a thousand and one other tricks, among which was his reputed ascent of St. Paul's steeple. London looked upon Banks and his horse as little short of the supernatural; and in later years all London wept at the news from Italy, where both master and horse were burned to death on the charge of sorcery.

With this execution the Londoners could heartily sympathize, for they were superstitious to a degree incomprehensible at the present day. None was so ready as Sir Walter Scott himself to acknowledge that the fatal flaw in
 The Monastery was the demand put upon the credulity of an incredulous people by the introduction of the White Lady of Ayenal. Nothing so well illustrates this difference between the time of Shakespeare and our own as a comparison of the failure of The Monastery and of the success of Hamlet. A serious tragedy based upon a trivial motive is likely to degenerate into out and out farce. Had the audience of Shakespeare believed as we do in regard to superstition, both Hamlet and Macbeth would have probably missed the public approbation. We should certainly think a logic-loving philosopher or an iron-nerved general tainted in his wits, if he allowed his reason to be swayed by a shadowy apparition, or his intrigues to be governed by a trio of vanishing witches; yet Shakespeare was making use of the most powerful motive at his command. Doubtless every person in The Globe play-house shuddered at the appearance of Hamlet's ghost, for it was true, actually true to them, that this might be either Denmark's spirit or the very devil in a pleasing shape. 

John Stow, the annalist of England and author of the Survey of London was, next to Camden, the most famous antiquarian student of the age; yet this man, whose Survey is the great store- house of knowledge about Elizabethan London — learned, careful, and methodical — thus interprets the effect of a church struck by lightning:
"And here a note of this steeple: as I have oft heard my father report, upon St. James's night, certain men in the loft next under the bells, ringing of a peel, a tempest of lightning and thunder did arise, an ugly-shapen sight appeared to them, coming in at the south window, and lighted on the north, for fear whereof they all fell down, and lay as dead for the time, letting the bells ring and cease of their own accord; when the ringers came to themselves, they found certain stones of the north window to be razed and scratched, as if they had been so much butter, printed with a lion's claw; the same stones were fastened there again and so remain until this day. I have seen them oft, and have put a feather or small stick into the holes where the daws had entered three or four inches deep. At the same time certain main timber posts at Queen-hithe were scratched and cleft from the top to the bottom; and the pulpit cross in Paul's churchyard was likewise scratched, cleft, and overturned. One of the ringers lived in my youth, whom I have often heard to verify the same to be true."
The people not only believed in ghosts and witches, but in magic of every sort. Alchemy was a common hobby, and many a man of brain wasted his time and ruined his fortune in the vain search for the philosopher's stone long after the practice had been held up to ridicule upon the stage by Ben Jonson. 

Astrology, or astronomical fortune-telling, was so thoroughly a factor of the age that every one desired the casting of his horoscope. Leicester consulted Doctor Dee, the astrologer, to discover a propitious date for the Queen's coronation. The great Queen herself consulted him upon an occasion, instead of her family physician, in order to charm away the tooth-ache. Again, a waxen image of Elizabeth was picked up in one of the fields near London. Doctor Dee was immediately sent for to counteract by his charms the evil effect of this familiar kind of sorcery.

People, one and all, believed in fairies. The usual critical opinion, that the opening scenes of
 A Midsummer Night's Dream owe their arrangement to a desire to lead gradually from the real to the unreal, would have caused an Elizabethan to laugh, if not outwardly, in his sleeve. There is nothing unreal about the fairies of that delightful comedy except their size. Any one might not only have seen the pleasant fairies, but also the wicked, and might have become blind by the sight, if he did not take care to protect himself by charms. A grown man did not feel foolish in those days if when in the neighbourhood of a lonely and ghost-haunted wood at night he wore his coat inside out. There were innumerable superstitious rites performed at births, christenings, weddings, on certain days of the year, and in certain places; as, the churchyard, the cross-roads, etc. Every hour in the day, every article in the world — stone, plant, or animal — had its cluster of superstitions. 

The time was further characterised by a general freedom of manners. We often find personal ridicule and abuse, as well as praise, levelled at individuals from the stage. Different companies and rival play-wrights fought out their private battles on the public boards. A play of ancient setting, such as
 Hamlet, does not scruple to allude to current events of interest to Londoners. The mob in Romeo and Juliet rallies to the cry of the London 'prentice lads. The actors talked to people in the pit, who in turn pelted an unpopular player from the stage. There existed, likewise, a coarseness of speech in every-day talk that would be quite intolerable to-day. Queen Elizabeth swore like a trooper, spat at her favourites, or threw her slipper at the head of an obdurate councillor. The artificial refinement of our age requires the lines of many of Shakespeare's heroines to be curtailed; yet Beatrice and the like talk no more broadly than did that paragon of female excellence, "Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother." 

The great popularity of the stage at once suggests the chief characteristic of the age: artificiality. About the middle of the century appeared Lyly's
 Euphues. This book, a kind of tale, owed its great vogue to its quaintness of phrase, its antitheses, and its elaborate conceits. The book sold by wholesale. No one was considered fit to appear in public unless he could talk the fustian fashion of the Euphues. The book is intolerably dull to most of us, but the perusal of a few pages will repay the curious, as an object-lesson in the rubbish spoken by the cultivated Elizabethan courtier. 

Part of the Euphuistic training was the art of compliment. This habit was fostered by the vanity of the Queen. Elizabeth, so some of the foreigners who saw her tell us, possessed several undesirable characteristics, among others a hooked nose and black teeth, and there is no doubt that her skin wrinkled as she grew near seventy. Yet, to the very end of the great Queen's life, the obsequious courtier was welcome who would assure her that he is like to die if he is debarred the sight of that alabaster brow, of those cheeks of rose covered with the bloom of peaches, of those teeth of pearl. Besides the elaborate compliments to the Queen that were frequently introduced into plays and masques, a common custom was to set up a tablet to her honour in the parish church. Here is an example of their inscriptions:
"Spain's rod, Rome's ruin, Netherland's relief, Heaven's gem, Barth's joy. World's wonder. Nature's chief. Britain's blessing, England's splendour. Religion's nurse and Faith's Defender."
Gossiping was one of the favourite pastimes of the Elizabethans, and London was not yet too large for the practice to be thoroughly effective. Gossip started from the barber-shop and the tavern-table — the Elizabethan equivalent of the afternoon tea — and spread thence in every direction. Space prevents the enumeration of many of the indications of freedom of manner that are to be discovered in every direction. Grossip led to frequent quarrels, that were more hot and bitter because side arms were worn upon all occasions. The fine woman of the time would jostle with the rudest peasants in the pit of the bull-ring and the theatre. Wakes and fairs were of daily occurrence, in which every one joined, irrespective of previous acquaintance. During the yule-tide festivities all distinctions of class were considered as temporarily non-existent. Elizabeth showed herself so often and so intimately to the common people that they considered the acquaintance almost personal. So much for the happy-go-lucky spirit that characterised the time.
The extent of gaming is lamented by all the contemporary writers who have a leaning towards reform. Dicing, card playing, and racing, though to a less extent than the others, were practised upon every hand; while cheating was but too common. In former times it was considered almost a crime to take interest for money loaned, but by the reign of Elizabeth, this prejudice was so completely overborne that usury was practised by all the money lenders, who did not scruple to turn the screws upon the least occasion. 

The people were greatly addicted to showy dress, but show in dress was a mere bagatelle. Pageants of all sorts were planned upon the least occasion. Coronations, funerals, and progresses were always got up upon the most spectacular basis. The riding watches, the parades of civic officials in their gaudy robes of state, the Livery Companies upon the river in their brilliant barges, manned by oars-men in full livery, the Queen coming to St. Paul's in 1588, to render thanks for the victory over Spain — all such spectacles were provided with gorgeous pageants, triumphal arches, side-shows, and so forth, that would be weeks preparing.


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Shall I compare you to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
You are more lovely and more constant:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
Rough winds shake the beloved buds of May
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
And summer is far too short:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
At times the sun is too hot,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
Or often goes behind the clouds;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
And everything beautiful sometime will lose its beauty,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
By misfortune or by nature's planned out course.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
But your youth shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor will you lose the beauty that you possess;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
Nor will death claim you for his own,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
Because in my eternal verse you will live forever.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long as there are people on this earth,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
So long will this poem live on, making you immortal.

temperate (1): i.e., evenly-tempered; not overcome by passion.
the eye of heaven (5): i.e., the sun.
every fair from fair sometime declines (7): i.e., the beauty (fair) of everything beautiful (fair) will fade (declines).
Compare to Sonnet 116: "rosy lips and cheeks/Within his bending sickle's compass come."
nature's changing course (8): i.e., the natural changes age brings.
that fair thou ow'st (10): i.e., that beauty you possess.
in eternal lines...growest (12): The poet is using a grafting metaphor in this line. Grafting is a technique used to join parts from two plants with cords so that they grow as one. Thus the beloved becomes immortal, grafted to time with the poet's cords (his "eternal lines"). For commentary on whether this sonnet is really "one long exercise in self-glorification", please see below.
Sonnet 18 is the best known and most well-loved of all 154 sonnets. It is also one of the most straightforward in language and intent. The stability of love and its power to immortalize the poetry and the subject of that poetry is the theme.
The poet starts the praise of his dear friend without ostentation, but he slowly builds the image of his friend into that of a perfect being. His friend is first compared to summer in the octave, but, at the start of the third quatrain (9), he is summer, and thus, he has metamorphosed into the standard by which true beauty can and should be judged.
The poet's only answer to such profound joy and beauty is to ensure that his friend be forever in human memory, saved from the oblivion that accompanies death. He achieves this through his verse, believing that, as history writes itself, his friend will become one with time. The final couplet reaffirms the poet's hope that as long as there is breath in mankind, his poetry too will live on, and ensure the immortality of his muse.
Interestingly, not everyone is willing to accept the role of Sonnet 18 as the ultimate English love poem. As James Boyd-White puts it:
What kind of love does 'this' in fact give to 'thee'? We know nothing of the beloved’s form or height or hair or eyes or bearing, nothing of her character or mind, nothing of her at all, really. This 'love poem' is actually written not in praise of the beloved, as it seems, but in praise of itself. Death shall not brag, says the poet; the poet shall brag. This famous sonnet is on this view one long exercise in self-glorification, not a love poem at all; surely not suitable for earnest recitation at a wedding or anniversary party, or in a Valentine. (142)
Note that James Boyd-White refers to the beloved as "her", but it is almost universally accepted by scholars that the poet's love interest is a young man in sonnets 1-126.
Sonnets 18-25 are often discussed as a group, as they all focus on the poet's affection for his friend.
For more on how the sonnets are grouped, please see the general introduction to Shakespeare's sonnets.
For more on the theme of fading beauty, please see Sonnet 116.

SHAKESPEARE - SONNETS - How to analyse a Shakespearean Sonnet

How to Analyze a Shakespearean Sonnet

Writing an essay on a Shakespearean sonnet can be quite a challenge. The following are a few tips to help you start the process:

1. Find the Theme
Although love is the overarching theme of the sonnets, there are three specific underlying themes: (1) the brevity of life, (2) the transience of beauty, and (3) the trappings of desire. The first two of these underlying themes are the focus of the early sonnets addressed to the young man (in particular Sonnets 1-17) where the poet argues that having children to carry on one's beauty is the only way to conquer the ravages of time. In the middle sonnets of the young man sequence the poet tries to immortalize the young man through his own poetry (the most famous examples being Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 55). In the late sonnets of the young man sequence there is a shift to pure love as the solution to mortality (as in Sonnet 116). When choosing a sonnet to analyze it is beneficial to explore the theme as it relates to the sonnets around it.
Sonnet 127 marks a shift to the third theme and the poet's intense sexual affair with a woman known as The Dark Lady. The mood of the sonnets in this sequence is dark and love as a sickness is a prominent motif (exemplified in Sonnet 147). Often students will be asked to choose one sonnet addressed to the young man and one addressed to his mistress and analyze the differences in tone, imagery, and theme. Comparing Sonnet 116, with the theme of ideal, healthy love, to Sonnet 147, with the theme of diseased love, would be a great choice.
For a complete guide to the theme of each group of sonnets, please see the article The Outline of the Themes in Shakespeare's Sonnets.

2. Examine the Literary Devices
Shakespeare likely did not write his sonnets with a conscious emphasis on literary devices, and early editors of the sonnets paid little attention to such devices (with the exception of metaphor and allusion). However, in the era of postmodern literary theory and close reading, much weight is given to the construction or deconstruction of the sonnets and Shakespeare's use of figures of speech such as alliteration, assonance,antithesis, enjambment, metonymy, synecdoche, oxymoron, personification, and internal rhyme. Much modern criticism1 also places heavy emphasis on the sexual puns and double entendres in the sonnets (blood warm (2.14) being both blood and semen, etc). For more on this please see the commentary for Sonnet 75.
For examples of Shakespeare's use of antithesis and synecdoche, please see the commentary for Sonnet 12 and Sonnet 116.
For examples of Shakespeare's use of metonymy, please see the commentary for Sonnet 59.
For an example of Shakespeare's use of partial alliteration, please see the commentary for Sonnet 30. Notice the attention to alliteration and assonance in Sonnet 55.
For examples of Shakespeare's use of personification and extended metaphor, please see the commentary for Sonnet 55, Sonnet 65, Sonnet 73, Sonnet 2, and Sonnet 59.
For an example of Shakespeare's use of an elaborate metaphor known as a conceit, please see Sonnet 46.
For an example of what many consider to be one of Shakespeare's rare failed metaphors, please see the commentary for Sonnet 47.
Once you have identified such literary devices you can explore both how they contribute to a greater understanding of the theme and how they serve to give the sonnet movement, intensity, and structure.

3. Find a Copy of the Oxford English Dictionary
Researching the history of words Shakespeare used is a sure way to gain a greater understanding of the sonnets and will sometimes lead to new and fascinating commentary. Words that today have a specific meaning, such as hideous (see Sonnet 12) or gaudy (see Sonnet 1) often could have multiple meanings as the rapidly-changing language of the time was still heavily influenced by Old French and Middle and Old English. The OED is available online by subscription, as are a couple of free etymological dictionaries.
Do not be afraid to develop your own thoughts on the sonnets. A persuasive argument, backed by ample evidence, is always the key to a powerful essay.

ROMEO + JULIET - Test Yourself


In the Prologue, the __________________________________ is the voice that gives us the background for the play.
a) Chorus b) Characters c) Narrator d) Main Character
2. This story mainly takes place in _______________________________, Italy.
a) Mantua b) Venice c) Verona d) Paris
3. _______________________________ asks Lord Capulet if he may marry Juliet.
a) Romeo b) Paris c) Benvolio d) Tybalt
4. When Lady Capulet tells Juliet of the plans to marry Paris, How does Juliet feel about marriage?
a) She is ready to leave the house b) She is not old enough yet
c) She’ll marry only if it’s Romeo d) She is happy to marry a rich, powerful man.
5. Romeo and his friends escape detection at the party because they are wearing _____________.
a) Costumes b) boots c) masks d) rings
6. Juliet finds out that Romeo is a __________.
a) Capulet b) Prince c) Hottie d) Montague
7. Romeo finds out that Juliet is a __________.
a) Capulet b) Prince c) Hottie d) Montague
8. When Juliet finds out about Romeo’s last name, she says
a) "My only love sprung from my only hate." b) "To be or not to be? That is the question."
c) "That which we call a nose would still smell." c) "My only hatred is also love."
9. The _________ are throwing a huge feast.
a) Montagues b) Friars c) Royalty d) Capulets
10. Who asks his uncle to kick Romeo out of the party?
a) Benvolio b) Tybalt c) Mercutio d) Paris
11. What is the name of the woman (girl) who just broke Romeo’s heart at the beginning of the play?
a) Juliet b) Rosalind c) Susan d) Nurse
12. The Prince tells the fighters, "If you ever disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace."
a) True b) False
13. When Romeo meets Juliet for the first time, to what does he compare her?
a) A rose b) A dream c) A jewel d) A party
14. Benvolio gives Romeo the "Queen Mab" speech.
a) True b) False
15. How is Tybalt related to Juliet?
a) cousin b) uncle c) fiancĂ©’ d) dad
16. In the famous "balcony" scene, when Juliet says "Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?" 
(Act II, Sc. 2, line 33), what is she asking?
a) Where is Romeo? b) Where is the night?
c) Why don’t you like art? d) Why are you Romeo, a Montague?
17. Why does Romeo hate his own name?
a) Because his "name" is Juliet’s enemy b) Because, admit it, it sounds dumb
c) Because he wants to be Juliet’s cousin d) Because he would rather be named Rose
18. What do Romeo and Juliet plan to do the following day?
a) get married b) sneak out and go swimming
c) go on a picnic d) kill themselves
19. What is the name of Romeo’s spiritual advisor?
a) Friar Tuck b) Friar Chuck
c) Friar Lawrence c) French Friar
20. Why does the Friar finally agree to marry Romeo and Juliet?
a) He believes it will bring the families together again
b) He is about to quit being a priest anyway
c) He can see how much Romeo truly loves Juliet
d) He does not agree to marry them
21. Which member of the Capulet household is not only aware of the marriage, but is assisting with it?
a) Lady Capulet b) Paris c) Samson d) The Nurse
22. What is Friar Lawrence’s fear of marrying the couple?
a) He may get in trouble with the two families
b) They are not really in love
c) He cannot remember the wedding ceremony
d) Both a and b
23. In Romeo and Juliet, who speaks in rhyme?
a) servants b) the rich and the royalty c) teenagers d) the poor
24. William Shakespeare wrote most of his plays and sonnets in what rhyming pattern?
a) iambic pentameter b) imagery c) rhyming couplets d) puns
25. Choose the best set of words that fit into the blanks respectively.
"What’s in a _____________? That which we call a ____________ by any other word would 
smell as ____________.
a) rose; Montague; sweet
b) name; rose; sour
c) name; rose; sweet
d) rose; name; sweet
To which family do the following characters belong?
26. Romeo
a) Capulet b) Montague
27. Juliet
a)Capulet b) Montague
28. Benvolio
a) Capulet b) Montague
29. Tybalt
a) Capulet b) Montague
30. Nurse (with which family is she associated)
a) Capulet b) Montague
31. In Act III, Who wants to fight Romeo?
a) Benvolio b) Paris c) Tybalt d) Friar Lawrence
32. Romeo finally fights the above person in order to
a) defend himself b) defend Benvolio c) protect Mercutio d) avenge Mercutio’s death
33. Who dies in this act?
a) Tybalt
b) Mercutio
c) Romeo
d) A and B
34. The nurse’s description of the fight leads Juliet to believe that Romeo
a) is dead b) has abandoned her c) no longer loves her d) is still the Capulet’s enemy
35. Lady Capulet thinks her threat to send someone to poison Romeo will make Juliet
a) angry b) guilty c) frightened d) comforted
36. What does Capulet use in an attempt to get Juliet to agree to marry Paris?
a) Pleas b) threats c) tears d) promises

37. Why does Juliet tell the Nurse that her advice about marrying Paris has comforted her?
a) She no longer trusts the Nurse with her secrets
b) She feels soothed because the advice is practical
c) She is using sarcasm to show the Nurse her anger
d) She wants the Nurse to calm down before asking for help
38. Which of the following is an example of a soliloquy in Act III?
a) Juliet’s speech as she awaits Romeo
b) Benvolio’s speech describing the fight
c) Friar Lawrence’s "There art thou happy" speech
d) Romeo and Juliet’s dialogue as they say farewell
39. Which of the following events that occur in Act III would be considered a turning point for the play?
a) Romeo, Tybalt and Mercutio’s fight
b) Romeo killing Tybalt
c) Romeo’s banishment
d) all of the above
40. How does the turning point of the play effect the mood of the play after the above event(s) occur?
a) the mood is lighter, more happy
b) the mood is dark and sad
c) the mood is now adventurous and exciting
d) none of the above
41. What every day electronic item can we compare the birds that Juliet hears after her night with Romeo?
a) alarm clock b) hair dryer c) can opener d) pencil sharpener
42. Why do Juliet’s parents think she is sad?
a) Because of Romeo’s banishment
b) Because the Nurse isn’t her friend anymore
c) Because of Tybalt’s death
d) Because she must marry Paris
43. What does Lord Capulet threaten to do if Juliet does not agree to marry Paris?
a) disown her b) kill her c) beat her d) none of the above
44. What is Lord Capulet planning for Juliet?
a) Surprise her with a marriage to Romeo
b) Surprise her with a marriage to Paris
c) A 15th birthday party
d) An engagement party for Romeo and Juliet
45. Where does Romeo go after his banishment?
a) Verona b) Venice c) Paris d) Mantua
46. Whom does Juliet see at Friar Lawrence’s cell?
a) Romeo b) Friar John
c) Paris d) The Nurse
47. Which of the following best describes Juliet’s remarks to Paris in Friar Lawrence’s cell?
a)She lies to him.
b) She says truthful things to him.
c) She says things she believes are true but are not true.
d) She speaks truthfully but is not referring to him
48. Juliet’s mood when she asks for Friar Lawrence’s advice is 
a) optimistic b) desperate
c) confused d) guilty and shameful
49. The main point of Friar Lawrence’s plan is to
a) fake Juliet’s death
b) help Juliet kill herself
c) make Capulet change his mind
d) end the Capulet-Montague feud
50. When Juliet is speaking to Paris in Friar Lawrence’s cell, the following bit of dialogue occurs:
PARIS: Thy face is mine, and thou hast sland’red it.
JULIET: It may be so, for it is not mine own.
What is Juliet suggesting with this line?
a) She is putting on a fake face for Paris; she is not being herself.
b) She is ugly from crying all night long.
c) She hopes that when she and Paris marry, he will pay for a face lift. 
d) She wants Paris to dry her tears and make her happy by marrying her soon
51. Before she drinks the potion, Juliet fears all of the following EXCEPT that
a) it will not work at all
b) it will actually kill her
c) Romeo will not come for her
d) She will wake up early and go insane.
52. At which point does Juliet accomplish the first step of the plan?
a) When she drinks the potion.
b) When she asks the Nurse and her mother to let her sleep alone.
c) When she tells Paris that she loves him
d) When she tells her father that she WILL marry Paris.
53.The scene that involves the Capulet’s making wedding preparations is in the play for
a) comic relief b) dramatics
c) anger d) the actors to change clothes
54. .Who first finds Juliet after she has taken the potion?
a) Lady Capulet b) Lord Capulet
c) the Nurse d) Romeo
To what family do the following characters belong?
55. Paris
a) Capulet b) Montague c) Other
56. Prince Escalus
a) Capulet b) Montague c) Other
57. Romeo’s Father
a) Capulet b) Montague c) Other
58. Juliet’s Mother
a) Capulet b) Montegue c) Other
59. Friar Lawrence
a) Capulet b) Montague c) Other
60. Lord Capulet moves the wedding date from Thursday to Wednesday.
a) True b) False
61. What happens to Juliet at the end of Act IV?
a) she dies b) everyone thinks she is dead
c) she falls into a coma c) she runs away to be with Romeo
62. What is the name of Romeo’s servant?
a) Benvolio b) Samson c) Gregory d) Balthasar
63. What news does Romeo’s servant bring to Romeo in Mantua?
a) That Juliet is dead b) That the Friar has a plan, and Romeo should wait 
c) That Romeo needs to buy poison c) That Tybalt is dead
64. An apothecary is someone who makes and sells drugs using natural elements.
a) True b) False
65. What does Romeo buy from the Apothecary?
a) A newspaper b) Cocaine c) Heroine d) Poison
66. Who was supposed to deliver the letter to Romeo?
a) Friar John b) Friar Lawrence c) Balthasar d) Paris
67. What is the actor doing when the script says [aside]?
a) The actor brings the person he is talking to and whispers in his ear
b) The actor stands right next to the person he is talking to
c) The actor says this line to the audience only
d) none of the above
68. What kind of animal do Romeo and his servant ride to Verona?
a) Goose b) Horse c) Goat d) Donkey
69. What happens to someone who sells deadly drugs in Mantua?
a) Put in jail b) Put to death c) Pay a fine d) Banishment
70. Who is at Juliet’s tomb when Romeo arrives there?
a) Paris b) Mercutio c) Tybalt d) Lady Capulet
71. What does Romeo give to his servant to give to his father?
a) A rose b) a ring c) a suicide letter d) a thank you letter
72. What does Romeo tell his servant he is going to do in the tomb?
a) Get a ring from Juliet’s finger
b) Look at Juliet’s face one last time
c) Kill himself
d) Both a and b
73. Who dies in the Capulet’s tomb?
a) Paris
b) Romeo
c) Juliet
d) All of the above
74. What is Paris’s last request?
a) For the two families to get along, at last
b) To be buried next to Juliet
c) For Romeo to be killed
d) For Romeo to be arrested
75. How does Juliet die?
a) She kisses Romeo and gets some of his poison on her lips
b) She drinks the rest of the poison
c) She stabs herself with Romeo’s knife
d) She shoots herself with Romeo’s gun
76. Paris thinks that Romeo is going to do something to the bodies in the Capulet’s tomb.
a) True b) False
77. The Prince decides to blame Friar Lawrence and punish him for everything that happens to the young lovers.
a) True b) False
78. Romeo and Juliet are called star-crossed lovers because
a) it is their fate that they should not be together
b) they were destined to die and be cast in the sky as stars
c) their paths keep crossing but they never get to meet each other
d) they both love astronomy
79. All of the following prove that Romeo and Juliet are "star-crossed lovers" EXCEPT…
a) Their families have always hated each other
b) The letter that should have been delivered couldn’t because of a quarantine
c) Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished
d) Mercutio and Benvolio are always joking with Romeo
80. What does Lord Montague tell Lord Capulet he will do in honor of Juliet?
a) put up a golden statue b) put up a picture in his home of the two teenagers
c) put up a cement statue d) print a public apology in the Verona Meridinal
81. In the end of the play, what happens between the Capulets and the Montagues? 
a) They reunite and become friends again
b) They fight
c) They kill each other
d) The Montagues agree to move to Mantua since they are not wanted in Verona
82. Romeo and Juliet was written by
a) William Shakespeare
b) Irving Berlin
c) Dr. Seuss
d) Carin Wilson
83. What type of play is Romeo and Juliet?
a) Comedy b) Tragedy c) Action d) Mystery
84. Where was the group that came to VC to perform a mixture of Shakespeare plays from?
a) University of Louisiana at Lafayette b) LSU
c) Northwestern State University d) Northeastern State University
85. What is the last line of Romeo and Juliet?
a) "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?"
b) "That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."
c) " For never was a story of more woe, Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."
d) "Farewell, parting is such sweet sorrow."
86. The following could be considered themes of Romeo and Juliet EXCEPT:
a) Love
b) Hate
c) Love vs. Lust
d) Theft
87. What change of events would make a better ending for this play?
a) If the Capulet’s and Montagues got along the whole time
b) If Romeo would have never killed Tybalt.
c) If Friar Lawrence delivered the letter to Romeo as he should have
d) All of the above

88. How does Mrs. Wilson feel about Shakespeare?
a) She LOVES his work b) She hates to teach it
c) She HATES his work d) She would rather teach The Odyssey again
89. During the time you have been studying Romeo and Juliet, Mrs. Wilson provided many different opportunities for you to see Shakespeare.
a) True b) False
90. Shakespeare’s plays can be related to many modern day movies, songs, poems, stories and real life events.
a) True b) False
Put the following events in order. Begin with number 1, being the first thing that happened and 10 being the last thing.
91. Romeo and Juliet meet.
92. Juliet fakes her death.
93. Romeo’s heart is broken by Rosalind.
94. Juliet stabs herself. 
95. Romeo kills Tybalt.
96. Romeo buys a poison. 
97. Juliet’s Father threatens to disown Juliet if she does not marry Paris.
98. Juliet’s family gives a feast.
99. Romeo is banished.
100. Romeo and Juliet marry.

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