Romeo and Juliet

Includes questions specifically asking about this Shakespeare play. Questions about the movie version should be placed under "Movies." Questions about Shakespeare should be placed under his category under Authors and Poets.

22,446 Questions
William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

Who or what is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

It is difficult to understand why this is such a persistent question. Surely in a world where lawsuits can be brought against anyone, blaming them for any misfortune, we can now understand that blame is not an objective concept, nor a particularly useful one. It is quite possible to build a case that EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE PLAY is to blame for Romeo and Juliet's deaths, as follows:

1. Juliet. She shouldn't have taken up with a man who hangs around her backyard trying to peek into her window, but should have listened to her parents. She should not have gone along with Friar Lawrence's crazy scheme, or pushed him into proposing it.

2. Romeo. He shouldn't have poisoned himself just because Juliet is dead. His commiting suicide drove Juliet to commiting suicide. If he hadn't gone for suicide, they'd both be alive.

3. Friar Lawrence. Once he knew that his message to Romeo had miscarried, there's no way he should ever have left Juliet's side. He got her into this situation but didn't have the guts to see she got out of it. In addition, it was irresponsible to marry these two people who had just met without the consent of their parents.

4. Friar John. What was he doing, messing around in a plague house? Didn't he know that the message he was carring meant life or death??

5. The Nurse. If you are someone's advisor, give them reasonable advise. Counselling bigamy is ridiculous. If the Nurse hadn't alienated Juliet, she might have approached the issue more calmly and found a solution that wasn't so crack-brained.

6. Capulet. Trying to force his daughter to marry someone she could not marry caused her to take the actions which brought about her death and Romeo's.

7. Montague and Capulet. They had the power to end the feud and reconcile but they did not make the move to do it. If they had, they might have found themselves to be the parents of a happily married couple.

8. Lady Capulet. When you are a mother, you have a responsibility to your children. You can't just brush them off. Lady Capulet was never "there for" Juliet, so Juliet felt abandoned and alone.

9. Tybalt. Here's a guy who was looking for trouble. He wanted to start a fight with Romeo even though Capulet told him not to. The result? He and Mercutio die, Romeo is banished, and Juliet is on her own. If Romeo had been with her, there would have been no suicides.

10. Mercutio. He had no business getting into Romeo's fight. If he had left it alone, Tybalt would not have dared to kill Romeo and might have got into trouble for trying to start a fight.

11. The Prince. He admits it himself--if he had clamped down harder and earlier on street brawling Tybalt would not have tried to start a fight in the market.

12. Samson, Gregory, Abram et al. Have you noticed that it isn't Capulet and Montague who start the fights? No, it's their servants, their wife's relatives (Tybalt) and their friends (Mercutio) who start the thumb-biting. If everyone else wasn't trying to perpetuate the feud, maybe Montague and Capulet would have been able to end it. As it is, they end up being dragged into these conflicts to vindicate those who are "on their side".

13. Benvolio. Not much to blame, perhaps, but who was it that wanted Romeo to go to the party where he would be shown swans that would make Rosaline look like a crow? Also, his efforts to stop Tybalt from fighting with Mercutio were pathetic.

14. The Illiterate Servant. What was he doing, showing the guest list to the first dude he sees walking up the street? If he'd used some sense and asked a Capulet, there would have been no party-crashing and no tragedy.

15. The Apothecary. Selling poisons is illegal and wrong, and it doesn't matter how poor you are.

16. Paris. If you are going to marry someone, don't you think it's a good idea to talk frankly to them and find out if they really want to marry you? He was just as responsible for forcing Juliet into the unwanted marriage as Capulet.

17. Balthazar. He should have made sure of his facts by talking to the friar before blabbing to Romeo.

18. Rosaline. If she hadn't been so cold to Romeo, then maybe he wouldn't have gone after Juliet.

19. Romeo and Juliet seperately. They are ultimately responsible for their own deaths; they both committed suicide, after all.

Pointing the finger of blame is very, very easy, and does not help us or anyone in the least. At the end of the play, we do not see the characters blaming each other. The message is reconciliation and forgiveness

In addition to those who want to blame some person for the tragedy, there are also those who want to blame some larger intangible concept. Frontrunners for this distinction are:

1. The Family Feud. The star- crossed lovers were doomed from the start entirely because of their families hatred of one another.

2. Fate. The Prologue suggests this when it calls them "star-crossed lovers" and talks about "their death-mark'd love"

3. Lack of perspective. They were young, and they couldn't see past their fear of living without each other to make the right choice to go on living. If they could have done that, they probably would have ended up together in the end

4. Love. The love between Romeo and Juliet not only gave them happiness, it caused them pain and heartache, and eventually their lives.

5. Impetuousness. If they had only waited then time would have kept them apart and alive.

6. Society. A conveniently vague concept which can encompass everything else. Could be another way of saying "Everybody".

Perhaps it is very human to want to point the finger at something, but it is hard to know how saying "They died because of Fate" or "They died because of Love" really helps our understanding of the play.

Romeo and Juliet

Is twilight based on Romeo and Juliet?

Stephenie Meyer said her books are based on some of the literary classics. Each novel in the Saga was based loosely on another book. Twilight was inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin New Moon was based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Eclipse was based on Wuthering Heights by Emilie Bronte

Breaking Dawn was based on A Midsummer's Night Dream by William Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

What does she hangs upon a cheek of night mean?

It's a metaphor. Romeo is comparing Juliet to an earring which dangles against a person's cheek. The person's skin, like the night, is dark, and Juliet shines in the dark the way a jewelled earring might shine against the skin of a dark-skinned person. It is surely one of Shakespeare's most beautiful and evocative metaphors.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

Metaphor from Romeo and Juliet balcony scene?

"What light from yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun."

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

Was the story of Romeo and Juliet just a case of bad luck?

I think that was the impression Shakespeare was trying to give by calling them "star-crossed lovers" in the Prologue and also calling their love "death-marked", by having Romeo call himself "Fortune's Fool", and by having the characters have premonitions from time to time. After all, if you really want to blame someone for something you will always be able to find some reason to do so (ask a personal injury lawyer). People like to blame Romeo or Juliet or Friar Lawrence or everybody in Verona for what happened, but really they couldn't help falling for each other and once they did, things were more likely than not to go wrong.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

In Romeo and Juliet what does the tut mean?

The word "Tut" doesn't really have a meaning. It's just said sometimes,

as an expression of disapproval. Saying "tut, tut" is like saying "naughty, naughty" or "shame, shame" to someone.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

What is Benvolio's relationship to Romeo?

In Act I Scene 1, Montague, in his second line, says "Speak, nephew, were you by when it began". The nephew he is talking to is Benvolio. If Benvolio is the nephew of Romeo's father, Benvolio and Romeo must be first cousins.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

What is the city of publication in Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo and Juliet, the play by William Shakespeare, was first published in London, England. I know of no other meaning for "city of publication".

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

What is Act 2 scene 4 line 80 of Romeo and Juliet?

Mercurio: "God ye good-den, fair gentlewoman."

Romeo and Juliet

Where did Romeo get banned?

he isn't sent anywhere, just banished, but friar Laurence suggests him to go to mantua.

Romeo and Juliet

What is an example of a cliche in Romeo and Juliet?

"A rose by any other name" may be a cliche now, but it wasn't when Shakespeare invented it.

Romeo and Juliet

What poison does Romeo take?

It is never mentioned what poison he takes. However, some scholars think it was aconitine. Check out the Wikipedia page on it if you're curious about where it comes from and the symptoms.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

How is Romeo's attitude towards love?

Romeo sees love in a wistful and dreamlike way he often plunges into deep depressions over woman as seen in the beginning of the play

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

What is a iambic pentameter in Romeo and Juliet?

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

(Iambic pentameter is a line with 10 syllables)

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

Who discovered Juliet's seemingly dead?

the nurse (her servant)

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

When did we start using Did in questions For example Saw you him today Romeo and Juliet Act I Scene I would today be Did you see him today?

The question forms using the auxiliary verb "to do" were already well-established in Shakespeare's day. He had the option of using either form.

For example, he chose to have Polonius in Hamlet say "What do you think of me?" as opposed to "What think you of me?". And Lady Macbeth says to Macbeth "Why did you bring the daggers from the place?" not "Why brought you the daggers from the place?"

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

How does Juliet feel bout getting married to romeo?

Juliet is the one who raises the question of marriage ("If that thy bent of love be honorable, thy intention marriage"), and this is the same night she met Romeo. She wants Romeo very badly (we see this in her "Gallop apace" soliloquy) but she will not have him without a marriage first. So it is fair to say that she is more desperate to marry him than he is to marry her. Not that he has any objection, but the marriage thing is her idea, not his.

Romeo and Juliet

Is Romeo and Juliet an example of drama?

Yes, it's a play and plays are drama.

Romeo and Juliet

What are some of Juliet's character traits?

Usually brave, romantic, and sometimes adventurous.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

What tragedy did Shakespeare experience with his own son the same year he wrote Romeo and Juliet?

Shakespeare's son Hamnet died at the age of 11 in 1596 but most scholars think Shakespeare had already written Romeo and Juliet by that time, probably one or two years earlier. The first published version of the play came out only a few months after Hamnet's death and was presumably performed a number of times before being published, making 1596 unlikely as the year it was written.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

Where in Romeo and Juliet does it say absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Noplace. This is not a quote from Romeo and Juliet. It was said by the Roman poet Sextus Propertius.

Romeo and Juliet

Soliloquy in Romeo and Juliet Act 1?

A soliloquy is when, usually in a play, one of the characters, usually one of the main, speaks aloud his/her thoughts. Shakespeare was quite famous for these types of lines. one of the most famous ones is: "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?" I'm not sure wheater this is in Act I though. If it's for an assignment I'm sorry I couldn't find one for Act I.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

What town did Juliet Capulet live?

Verona, Northern Italy.

Romeo and Juliet

Who does Tybalt kill in a sword fight?


William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

Why does lady Capulet call Romeo a villain?

Lady Capulet wants Romeo dead because he killed Tybalt. She also thinks that Tybalt's death is causing Juliet all this grief so she wants him to be banished but in reality its Romeo's banishment that makes Juliet depressed.


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