DISCUSSION: Not all the characters listed above are used in Glendale Centre

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2 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. Verona is home to two feuding noble houses, the Montagues and the Capulets. Because of the constant brawling between members of these families, the Prince of Verona has issued a decree that anyone caught dueling will be put to death. Against this backdrop of tension, young Romeo of the house of Montague has recently become infatuated with Rosaline, a niece of Capulet. Romeo quickly forgets Rosaline, however, when he and his friends disguise themselves and sneak into a masquerade ball at Capulet's house. During the party, Romeo catches his first glimpse of Juliet, Capulet's daughter. In one of Shakespeare's most memorable scenes, Romeo hides in the garden below Juliet s balcony and declares his love for her when she appears. The two young lovers, with the aid of Friar Laurence and Juliet s Nurse, make plans to be married in secret. Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, later discovers that Romeo has attended the ball, and he sets out to teach the young Montague a lesson. Romeo is challenged by Tybalt, but tries to avoid fighting since he is now married to Juliet (making Tybalt a kinsman). Mercutio, Romeo's best friend, accepts Tybalt's challenge and is killed in the ensuing fight. Enraged, Romeo slays Tybalt in turn. As a result of this bloodshed, the Prince banishes Romeo from Verona for his actions. Romeo has time to spend one night with Juliet before he leaves, though he hopes to be reunited with her once the Capulets learn that they are man and wife. Upon Romeo s departure, Juliet becomes inconsolable. Thinking she is sad about the death of her cousin Tybalt, The Capulets arrange for Juliet to marry Paris, a cousin to the Prince. Juliet refuses, angering her parents, who threaten to disown her if she does not marry Paris. Juliet pretends to have repented so that she can visit Friar Laurence, who devises a desperate plan to avoid her parent's wishes. He gives Juliet a drug that will make her seem dead for forty-two hours; while she is in this state, Friar Laurence will send word to Romeo of the situation so that he can rescue her from her tomb. Unfortunately, the letter from Friar Laurence is never delivered and Romeo instead hears second-hand news that Juliet has died. Grief-stricken, Romeo purchases poison and travels to Juliet's tomb to die at her side. Meanwhile, Friar Laurence has discovered to his horror that his letter did not arrive, and he means to take Juliet away until he can set things right. At the tomb, Romeo encounters Paris, who mourns for Juliet. Romeo kills Paris, then enters the tomb, goes to Juliet s body and drinks his poison. Juliet soon after awakens only to find the lifeless body of her beloved Romeo lying beside her. Juliet takes the dagger from Romeo's belt and kills herself. Upon this scene, the Prince arrives along with the Friar and Montague and Capulet parents demanding to know what has happened. Friar Laurence relates to all the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet's secret marriage and their senseless suicides. The Montagues and Capulets, when faced with the bloodshed their feud has caused, vow to put an end to the quarrel between their two houses. A glooming peace this morning with it brings; The sun for sorrow will not show his head. Go hence to have more talk of these sad things, Some shall be pardoned, and some punished, For never was a story of more woe, Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

3 Romeo, a young man from Verona Montague, Romeo s father Lady Montague, Montague s wife Benvolio, Romeo s cousin and friend Abraham, Montague s servant Balthasar, Romeo s servant Juliet, a young lady from Verona Capulet, Juliet s father Lady Capulet, Capulet s wife Tybalt, Juliet s cousin Juliet s Nurse Peter Samson Capulet s servants Gregory Escalus, Prince of Verona Mercutio, Romeo s friend Paris, a young nobleman related to the Prince Friar Laurence, a Franciscan monk Paris Page Friar John, a Franciscan monk An Apothecary Citizens of Verona Masquerade Guests Guards Watchmen Attendants Chorus DISCUSSION: Not all the characters listed above are used in Glendale Centre Theatre s production of Can you remember one or more of the characters who appeared in our version of Romeo and Juliet? Why did the character(s) stand out? Were certain characters easier to understand than others, and if so, why? Give specific examples of what the character did or said that made them memorable. Why do you think certain characters did not appear in the scene?

4 Let s focus on the vocabulary of one of the most important passages from Shakespeare s Romeo and Juliet, the Prologue. 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. dignity (n.) honorable status loins (n.) reproductive organs fatal (adj.) causing death overthrows (n.) ruins, downfalls doth (v.) (archaic) does strife (n.) angry fight *prologue (n.) an introduction civil (adj.) relating to ordinary citizens; polite or courteous misadventured (adj.) misfortunate or ill-fated piteous (adj.) deserving of pity; sad PERFORMANCE: 1) Review the list of vocabulary words above. Ask students to use their bodies to pantomime (express or represent by extravagant and exaggerated mime) definitions for the words, first as individuals then in small groups 2) Distribute copies of the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet. Have students listen to the GCT! Masterful Reading* of The Prologue while they follow along with their on copy, noting the new vocabulary words they have just learned. 3) Arrange students in small groups, and have students create a Silent Scene based on the Prologue. Students must identify what is happening in the Prologue, which details are important enough to include and identify the setting and characters. An excellent scene will have a clear beginning, middle and ending and will clearly demonstrate the text in a way that is easy for students and teacher to understand. 4) Discuss why the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet is such an important part of the play.

5 1. What is the theme of Romeo and Juliet? What evidence from the beginning, middle and end of the play demonstrate that theme? Do any specific scenes or characters aid the theme more than others? Give specific examples from the text and/or performance. 2. In the Prologue, what relationship does Shakespeare establish between love and hate? How do his specific word choices illustrate this relationship? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 3. How does Romeo change throughout the play? What events are most significant in changing Romeo and why? Give specific examples from the text and/or performance. 4. The story of Romeo and Juliet has been the inspiration for lots of different media. Can you list examples of movies, books, songs or television shows that have utilized the Romeo and Juliet? What did they have in common with Shakespeare s play? How did they differ? 5. Do you think Romeo and Juliet is a play that is still relevant in today s society? How would the characters in Romeo and Juliet interact in modern times? Would they be Facebook friends? How would their relationship play out via social media? Romeo and Juliet: The Tomb Scene by Joseph Wright of Derby (1790)

6 At the end of Shakespeare s Romeo and Juliet, the lead characters do not exactly live happily ever after, hence the reputation for being Shakespeare s greatest tragedy. This is your chance to change that! Write an alternative ending for the play in the same format as Romeo and Juliet (Using dialogue and stage directions). You can choose to start your alternative ending at any point in the story, but your new ending should fit within the structure of the play and the period it would have been performed. Bonus points for using IAMBIC PENTAMETER. What s Iambic Pentameter, you ask? Watch the video clip* to see cast members from Glendale Centre Theatre s explain this poetic device Did you watch? Excellent! So to recap: Iambic Pentameter has TEN syllables in each line and FIVE pairs of alternating unstressed and stressed syllables The rhythm in each line sounds like: ba-bum / ba-bum / ba-bum / ba-bum / ba-bum Each pair of syllables is called an iambus. You ll notice that each iambus is made up of one unstressed and one stressed beat (ba-bum). Diagram the Iambic Pentameter in the following lines of dialogue JULIET Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I ll no longer be a Capulet. Now do you think you could write your alternate ending to Romeo and Juliet entirely in Iambic Pentameter? What about just the closing lines? Challenge yourself to include Iambic Pentameter at least once in your script.

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