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223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I
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223 Romeo & Juliet, Act I


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Act I, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Act I, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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  • 1. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare 1564-1616
    • Verona, Italy
    • Montagues & Capulets:
      • Generations of hate
      • Kids fall in love
      • Secret marriage
      • Suicide*
      • Families overcome the hate at tragic cost
        • * (Foreshadows the deaths of Romeo & Juliet)
  • 3. Act I
    • Purpose
      • Exposition of the play
        • Characters
        • Setting
        • Conflict
  • 4. Act I, scene 1
    • Old hatreds are rekindled between:
      • The servants of Capulets & Montagues
      • Tybalt and Benvolio
      • The Capulets & Montagues
    • Prince of Verona decrees:
      • “If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace” (I.1.94-95).
  • 5. Act I, scene 1
    • Romeo Montague is heart-sick because he’s been rejected by Rosaline.
    • He asks his friend Benvolio, “ …teach me how I should forget to think!” (I.1. 224)
    • Benvolio encourages, “By giving liberty unto thine eyes. Examine other beauties” (I.1.225-226).
  • 6. Shakespeare’s Purpose
    • Introduce the age-old feud between the Montagues & Capulets
    • Introduce Romeo as a romantic, moody teen who is sulking because of a breakup
  • 7. Act 1, scene 2
    • Paris, a young count, related to the Prince, asks Lord Capulet permission to marry his daughter Juliet.
    • Capulet asks Paris to wait until Juliet is a bit older than her present age – almost 14.
    • He then invites Paris to a party at his home to woo Juliet.
  • 8. Act 1, scene 2
    • Capulet asks his illiterate servant to deliver invitations to the party.
    • The servant happens upon Romeo and his pals, and asks them for assistance in reading the invitations.
    • Romeo sees Rosaline’s name on an invitation and decides to attend.
  • 9. Act 1, scene 2
    • Problem: The Capulets and Montagues are bitter foes.
    • Benvolio promises that he’ll assist Romeo in comparing Rosaline to other more beautiful women, and “. . .make thee think thy swan a crow” (I.2.89).
    • Romeo pouts that he’ll attend but have no fun .
  • 10. Shakespeare’s Purpose
    • Plot device:
      • Used to shape the love triangle, bringing Romeo, Juliet and Paris together
      • Used to bring Romeo into enemy territory – a Montague in the Capulet home
  • 11. Act I, scene 3
    • Lady Capulet asks her daughter, Juliet, to “check out” Paris as a potential husband.
    • Juliet obediently complies, but lets her mother know that marriage is not something she’s been thinking about.
  • 12. Act I, scene 3
    • We meet Juliet’s nanny, the nurse, who is especially protective of her.
    • We also find out that Juliet’s 14 th birthday is approaching – Lammas Eve.
  • 13. Shakespeare’s Purpose
    • The audience knows that Juliet is aware of Paris’ intent to marry her.
    • The audience also knows that there may be a brawl at the party because Romeo and his friends are infiltrating enemy territory.
  • 14. Act I, scene 4
    • Romeo, Benvolio, & Mercutio are about to crash the Capulet party.
    • Romeo vows he won’t have any fun because he’s depressed about Rosaline’s rejection:
    • “ I am too sore enpierced with his [Cupid’s] shaft to soar with his light feathers. . .under love’s heavy burden do I sink” (I.4.19-22).
  • 15. Act I, scene 4
    • A discussion ensues about love.
    • Romeo’s interpretation of love:
      • Emotional & Spiritual
    • Mercutio’s interpretation of love:
      • Physical & Bawdy
  • 16. Act I, scene 4
    • Romeo begins to tell his pals about an ominous dream he had.
    • Mercutio mocks him.
    • Romeo rebukes him, and then tells about his dream, which makes him reluctant to go to the party.
  • 17. Act I, scene 4
    • “ my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date with the night’s revels and expire the term of a despised life, closed in my breast, by some vile forfeit of untimely death” (I.4.106-111).
  • 18. Act I, scene 4
    • In other words,
      • Romeo feels Fate has predetermined that some event tonight will cost him his life.
  • 19. Shakespeare’s Purpose
    • Foreshadow Romeo’s death
  • 20. Act I, scene 5
    • Lord Capulet begins the party, inviting all to dance.
    • Romeo spies Juliet, and immediately falls heavily in love with her, instantly forgetting about Rosaline:
  • 21. Act I, scene 5
    • “ O, she doth teaches the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night as a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear –Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!” (I.5.45-48).
  • 22. Act I, scene 5
    • Tybalt, Lady Capulet’s nephew, spies Romeo, recognizes him as a Montague, and prepares to kill him.
    • Lord Capulet orders Tybalt to “endure” Romeo’s presence, remembering the Prince’s decree.
    • Tybalt obeys begrudgingly, but will seek revenge at another time:
  • 23. Act I, scene 5
    • Tybalt remarks after Lord Capulet has exited:
      • “ I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall*” (I.5.92-93)
  • 24. Act I, scene 5
    • The Infatuation
    • The Kiss
    • The Enemy
  • 25. Act I, scene 5
    • Romeo and Juliet’s attraction is immediately electric – love at first sight!
    • Yet, when they kiss they do not know each other’s identity.
    • Juliet’s nurse breaks the news to each.
  • 26. Act I, scene 5
    • Romeo’s reaction:
      • “Is she a Capulet? O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt” (I.5.118-119).
    • Juliet’s response:
      • “My only love, sprung from my only hate!... Prodigious of love it is to me that I must love a loathed enemy” (I.5.140-143).
  • 27. Shakespeare’s Purpose
    • Foreshadow the death of Mecutio at the hands of Tybalt
    • Introduce the conflict that sets the plot in motion.
      • Ironically Romeo & Juliet, whose families are embroiled in a bitter family feud, fall madly in love.