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Examination Questions on Romeo and Juliet

1. What is the dramatic function of Mercutio's Queen Mab speech?

2. Why the disagreements of the Servingmen?

3. What has been accomplished in Act I?

4. What is the dramatic purpose of Romeo's witticisms in 2.1?

5. What is the dramatic purpose of Friar Laurence's first soliloquy?

6. Why has Shakespeare introduced Romeo in love with Rosaline, and again, in II. 3, directed the attention of the spectator to that fact?

7. Why has Shakespeare ended Mercutio's dramatic life so early in the play?

8. When is the climax of the play reached?

9. What is the dramatic purpose of repeated references by Juliet to suicide?

10. Why is Romeo and Juliet a tragedy?

11. Who is Queen Mab (mentioned by Mercutio). Is she an original character from Shakespeare, or did she come from another source?

12. How long did it take Shakespeare to write the play Romeo and Juliet?

13. How many quartos of Romeo and Juliet were produced?

14. How old is Juliet?

15. Do the tragic events of the drama, as of human life, frequently result from mistakes, negligence, unforeseen or uncontrollable events?

16. At the time this drama was written was there a law in Mantua against the sale of poisons, the penalty for violating which was death?

17. What news does Balthasar bring from Verona? What change, immediate, radical, is wrought in Romeo by this news?

18. Why did Shakespeare introduce the conversation between Peter and the musicians?

19. Where else does Shakespeare compare the eyelids to windows?

20. What is the main theme of Romeo and Juliet?

21. What are some of the additions in the Second Quarto?

22. In what way does this play differ from most of the tragedies?

23. What is the personality and function of Friar Laurence?

24. Which of Shakespeare's characters is most like the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet?

25. What are the Nurse's most important dramatic functions?

26. What other tragic elements are there in the play besides the fate of the hero and heroine?

27. Is the conclusion of the drama in strict accord with Poetic Justice?


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 How to Pronounce the Names in Romeo and Juliet
 Introduction to Romeo
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 Introduction to Mercutio
 Introduction to Friar Laurence
 Introduction to The Nurse
 Introduction to Paris
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 Shakespeare on Fate
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 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
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 How many plays did Shakespeare write?

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 Shakespeare Timeline: Part 1 (1558-1599)
 A Shakespeare Timeline: Part 2 (1600-1604)
 A Shakespeare Timeline: Part 3 (1605-1616)
The Friar and Juliet. From An Illustration of Shakespeare by Branston, 1800.