April 28 2017

It is arguable that in Juliet, Shakespeare created a new model for the romantic heroine, courageous and resourceful, someone whose personality would be at home in the 21st century.

Tonight please read “Juliet Trumps Laura,” which is attached to our class homework calendar and is also in the google file, “9H 2015-16 documents shared with students.” Then, consider that article, our class activity, and most importantly the text itself to respond to the following question:

What can you learn about Romeo and Juliet from what they say and do and the way that they react and respond to each other. What does this repartee between Romeo and Juliet demonstrate about each of their characters and about their future relationship? Remember to use evidence from the text to support your answer.

This is a deceptively complicated question, so take time to consider the question, the sonnet, and the article “Juliet Trumps Laura” carefully.

R&J blog #8
April 27 2017

My only love sprung from my only hate!

Tonight you have a choice!  You must paraphrase and analyze one of the short speeches below AND comment on your classmates responses to the other speech, the one you did not choose.  After you paraphrase your chosen passage, analyze it carefully.  Please follow the SOAPSTone model, where you discuss the speaker, the occasion, the audience (to whom the lines are spoken, not the audience of the play), the purpose, and the tone.   Be sure also to think about characterization, plot development, and theme.   In addition, you must comment on one of your classmates’ analyses of the other short speech.  Naturally, you are welcome to comment as well on the analyses of the speech you chose for your response.


If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a kiss.


Go ask his name – if he is married,

My grave is like to be my wedding bed…..

My only love sprung from my only hate!

Too early seen unknown, and is known too late!

Prodigious birth of love it is to me

That I must love a loathed enemy.

R&J blog #7
April 25 2017

“If love be rough with you, be rough with love.”

Tonight, you should read Act I, scene iv: the Montague boys are out on the town about to go crash Capulet’s party.

After you read the whole scene, carefully paraphrase lines 16-28 here.    A paraphrase is a translation into your own words of the poem or speech.   A paraphrase is NOT a summary.  You should think of it as a word for word translation.  That said, you may use some of the same words, just so long as it would be completely clear to a person reading your translation today.  I recognize that this is the first time I am asking you to do a paraphrase and I know the temptation will be to find one online.  Please avoid this temptation!   Do your own best with the information you get on the verso.  Remember, the idea is to learn from the experience, not necessarily to get it perfectly right the first time.

After you write the paraphrase, write a response.  Mercutio here is giving Romeo advice about his love life.  What is the gist of this advice?  How is it similar to or different from Benvolio’s advice to Romeo?  What does this advice tell us about Mercutio?

As always, please check your writing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  Please also respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

R&J blog #5
April 24 2017

But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

This weekend, please read Act I, scene ii, and then comment here.   Some questions you may want to consider are:

  • Critics often discuss Act I (all five scenes) as the exposition for the entire play.  What have we learned here that may be important to the development of the plot, characters, themes, motifs, etc.?
  • This is just one scene, but it has two distinct parts.  Why would Shakespeare put these two mini-scenes together in one scene?  What does this structure tell us?
  • Choose a passage and analyze its meaning and importance to the scene and play as a whole.
  • Discuss an aspect of the scene the confuses, surprises, or interests you.

As always, please edit your work carefully following the rules of standard written English and remember to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

R&J blog #4
April 21 2017

Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.

Romeo and Benvolio

Tonight, please finish reading Act I, scene i, (pp.17-25).  Then write a response here.  Consider the following question:

What do you think we are supposed to learn about the character of Romeo based on his conversation with Benvolio? Consider his speech, lines Act I, scene i, lines 181-185:

Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;

Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;

Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.

What is it else? A madness most discreet,

A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.

Be sure to use many text-based details in your response and to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

R&J blog #3
April 20 2017

Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground, / And hear the sentence of your movèd prince.

Tonight you should read the first four pages of Act I, scene i, of Romeo and Juliet,  (lines 1- 105).  Please be sure to check out the verso (the left side of the page) for the summary of the scene and extra information about specific words, as you read.  Also, be sure to ANNOTATE, but keep it useful for you as we discussed in class.   Be sure to note special parts of the text that you found interesting, unusual, or surprising;  please also keep a list of questions you would like to bring up with the class.

Then, write your response here.   For the response you MAY want to consider the following questions:

  • How does the fight start?  develop?  conclude?
  • What does this tell us about the overall conflict?
  • How does this part of scene i establish the setting for the play?
  • What predictions or theories do you have based on the events so far?
  • How was reading the play different from the movie version we saw together?
  • How did seeing the movie version first change your understanding of the text?
R&J blog #2
April 19 2017

“…the two hours’ traffic of our stage.”

Tonight, you will do some additional analysis about word choice in the prologue of Romeo and Juliet, but first please do the following activity. You will need your copy of the prologue and three different colored pens or three highlighters.

  1. With one color, underline all words having to do with love.
  2. With a second color, underline all words having to do with hate or fighting.
  3. With a third color, underline all words having to do with two or pairs.

Once you have completed this activity, please write an analysis of your findings by answering the following question:

In the Prologue, what relationship does Shakespeare establish between love and hate and the number or idea of two? How do his specific word choices illustrate this relationship? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

R&J blog #1