Themes. Aside from types of love and the question of guilt, there are other major themes present in this Shakespearean tragedy.

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1 Romeo and Juliet Themes Aside from types of love and the question of guilt, there are other major themes present in this Shakespearean tragedy. fate vs. chance the role of women individual and society secrecy manipulation of time

2 Theme #1: Fate vs. Chance In your group, discuss the different ways that fate is brought up in Romeo and Juliet. How is fate different from chance? What do the different members of your group believe about fate vs. chance? Are the things that happen in our lives a matter of fate? (it s already written in the stars?) Formulate a theme statement about fate based on Romeo and Juliet. Remember that the theme is the main idea or message from a piece of literature. You might begin with the phrase, In Romeo and Juliet, the role of fate is important because...

3 Theme #2: The Role of Women In your group, discuss the role of women in the culture of Verona, Italy, in the 1300s that you have observed, based on reading Romeo and Juliet. How much power or control do the females actually have in their lives? Consider Juliet, Lady Capulet, and the Nurse. Who seems to have the most power? Who has the least power? Formulate a theme statement about the role of women based on Romeo and Juliet. Remember that the theme is the main idea or message from a piece of literature. You might begin with the phrase, In Romeo and Juliet, the role of women is varied because...

4 Theme #3: Individual vs. Society In your group, discuss the how various individuals in the play Romeo and Juliet had to battle against society (or society s expectations for them). You may want to consider the rules of society for Verona, Italy, in the 1300s. This was a patriarchal society (fathers were in charge of families). You may also want to consider that it was Prince Escalus job to maintain order (he represented society ). How did his failings affect the people in the play? Formulate a theme statement about the role of individuals vs. society based on Romeo and Juliet. Remember that the theme is the main idea or message from a piece of literature. You might begin with the phrase, In Romeo and Juliet, the role of the individual is affected by society s rules by...

5 Theme #4: Secrecy In your group, discuss the various ways that the theme of secrecy affects the characters in Romeo and Juliet. Remember that even wellintended deceptions and secrets can be destructive. Think of at least three examples of secrecy or deception in the play. Formulate a theme statement about the effects of secrecy based on Romeo and Juliet. Remember that the theme is the main idea or message from a piece of literature. You might begin with the phrase, In Romeo and Juliet, secrecy has a powerful impact because...

6 Theme #5: Manipulation of Time In your group, discuss why you think Shakespeare has the events of Romeo and Juliet happen so quickly. Is he making any statement about how time is measured differently when two people are in love? You may also want to think of the effects of haste (doing things too quickly). Consider just a few of the vast number of expressions we have that relate to time : * a race against time * in the nick of time * only a matter of time * just in time * time is on our side * time is running out * time heals all wounds * there s no time to lose Formulate a theme statement about the effects of time/haste based on Romeo and Juliet. Remember that the theme is the main idea or message from a piece of literature. You might begin with the phrase, In Romeo and Juliet, time is important because...

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