Romeo and Juliet Essay

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Essay Question
Compare Romeo’s feelings for
Rosaline in Act 1 Scene 1 and for
Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2.
Rosaline
• She doesn’t love Romeo back - .
•The effect that Romeo’s love for Rosaline
has is negative - he is so upset that he
walks around in the woods at night and
shuts himself away in the daytime.
• He is described and crying and sighing.
• Montague says that no good will come
of it.
• Rosaline brings darkness - sad mood,
night time, Romeo shutting sunlight out
and making ‘an artificial night’
Juliet
• She returns Romeo’s love – ‘purged’
• They get married - are committed to one
another.
• Romeo’s love for Juliet overcomes many
obstacles.
• He is willing to give up his life for her - this
is more than just money or sex.
• He praises her beauty - ‘I never saw true
beauty til this night’
• Juliet brings light - she is ‘the sun’ and a
‘bright angel’ – in contrast to Rosaline who
brings darkness.
• He speaks as if they’re already married.
• He’s in love with Juliet, rather than the
idea of being in love.
• Willing to change his identity and sacrifice
his family ties for Juliet.
• Romeo thinks it’s too good to be true – he
thinks it could all be a dream.
• He says he would travel the widest sea for
Juliet.
Compare Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline in Act 1
Scene 1 and for Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2.
• Use your notes on Romeo to make a point to
open each paragraph with.
• Use a quotation (evidence) for each.
• Explain it in detail for L6 and 7
Basic plan
• Introduction
• Romeo’s love for Rosaline – Act 1 Scene 1
• Romeo’s love for Juliet – Act 2 Scene 2
• Conclusion
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Remember! To reach Level 7/8 you
must:
Refer to cultural context – comment
upon social/cultural attitudes of the
time.
Make links (thematic?) with other
texts
Explain the effect upon the audience
Keep a firm focus on the question
that you are answering
Introduction
• This essay compares how…
• What is Romeo like at the beginning of the play in
Act 1 Scene 1?
• How does he change – how does he feel about
Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2?
• Refer to Cultural Context (Level 7)
e.g. beliefs and practices of the time, such as
marriage and relationships, gender roles, wealth
and family, fate and destiny, magic and superstition,
religion …
Act 1 Scene 1 - Rosaline
Make points about…
• Romeo avoiding his friends
• The metaphor about the bud and the worm
• The oxymorons Romeo says that show his mixed
emotions
• Romeo’s emotions – darkness, feeling ‘sick’, mad,
grief, death …
In order to reach Level 7 you must EXPLAIN IN
DETAIL
Example:
P: In Act 1, scene 1, Romeo thinks that he’s in love
with Rosaline, a girl who has sworn to stay chaste.
E: This is evident when he says to Benvolio: ‘out of
her favour where I am in love.’
E: Romeo feels very frustrated that he can’t have
Rosaline and this is making him feel ill and very
miserable. It could be argued that it is actually lust
that Romeo feels, rather than love because he tells
Benvolio that she will not ‘ope’ her lap’ for him.
L: The word ‘love’ suggests that Romeo thinks that
it is the real thing, true love, yet it could be a more
sexual love, especially when we know that he
forgets Rosaline so quickly.
Analyse language for Level 7
• Why does Romeo use the words ‘purged’ and
‘vexed’ to describe love?
• Explain the ‘bud bit with an envious worm’
image. Contrast with what Juliet says about their
love.
• What references to darkness can you find in lines
125-137 – what does this tell you about the effect
of Romeo’s love for Rosaline on Romeo?
• Analyse the celestial references (hyperboles?) in
Act 2 Scene 2 – what do they reveal about Juliet
(links to light and heaven).
Act 2 Scene 2 - Juliet
Remember, you’re comparing – so lots of comparative connectives in contrast, on the other hand, however. Can you think of any more?
Make points about …
• Celestial Imagery
• Romeo being ‘high’ on love – aroused, enthusiastic …
• Risk-taking, reckless – Romeo personifies Love
• Juliet’s concerns – she worries he may think her easy, she fears he
may be ‘inconstant like the moon’
• Marriage proposal
Romeo also takes serious risks to see Juliet…
He uses celestial imagery to describe Juliet…
He says love helped him climb over the wall…
AND LOTS MORE THINGS - LOOK FOR THEM!!
‘Romeo & Juliet’ Essay
Learning Outcome
By the end of this lesson I will be able to write a
conclusion for my essay that:
• links the play to the culture at its time
• makes links with other texts
Key words
Cultural context
Textual links
Conclusion
In conclusion, there are many differences
between Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline and
Juliet…
• Summarise how Romeo’s feelings/mood and
behaviour changes from one key scene to the
next.
• Include your own personal opinion about
Romeo.

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