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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Act 4
Interactive Literature Selections

Investigate, Inquire, and Imagine, page 390


1a. Whom does Juliet meet when she goes to see Friar Lawrence? What is going to happen on Thursday?

2a. What is Friar Lawrence's new plan? How does it differ from the old one?

3a. What does the Nurse discover when she goes to wake Juliet on her wedding day?


1b. How does Juliet feel about the prospect of marrying Paris? How do you know? What does her refusal to marry Paris reveal about her?

2b. Why was it necessary for Friar Lawrence to change his plan?

3b. What consequences have Juliet's actions had for her relationship with her parents? Do her parents share any of the blame for this unfortunate outcome? Why, or why not?


4a. Compare Juliet's fears about the Friar's plan in act 4, scene 3, lines 24-58, to her feelings in act 4, scene 1, lines 78-89. How have her feelings changed? Also compare Capulet's feelings when he believes Juliet to be dead, in act 4, scene 5, lines 35-40 to the threat he made when Juliet refused to marry Paris in act 3, scene 5, lines 190-195. How have his feelings changed?


4b. Why have Juliet and Capulet had such changes of heart? What is the common thread between these two cases?


5a. How would you assess Friar Lawrence's actions at this point in the play? Has he always acted kindly? wisely? Explain.


5b. Can you predict what the outcome of the play would have been, thus far, if Friar Lawrence had not become involved? Should he have gotten involved? In our culture we refer to bystanders who involve themselves in a problem with good results as "Good Samaritans." We call those who get involved and produce bad results "meddlers" and other, more negative, terms. What do you feel is the proper role of a bystander who becomes aware of a problem in the lives of others? What factors determine whether or not one should get involved?

Understanding Literature, page 391

Plot and Climax. What suspense does the reader feel at the end of the scene? What is the reader wondering about at the end of the act? What character echoes some of the reader's worries about the possible outcome of Friar Lawrence's plan?

Foreshadowing. What lines from Capulet in act 4 echo or repeat Juliet's line from act 1? In what ways has Juliet's statement turned out to be prophetic, an example of foreshadowing?

Writer's Journal, page 391

1. Assume the role of Friar Lawrence and write a personal letter to Romeo, explaining the plan to free Juliet from marriage to Paris. Refer to the Language Arts Survey, "Writing a Personal Letter."

2. Imagine that you are the playwright. Brainstorm with a partner about a possible outcome for this play. Then write a plot summary of the plot of act 5 as you would write it.

3. Imagine that you are Paris, overcome with grief at the "death" of your fiancée, Juliet. Write a poem or a prose eulogy about your love for her and your feelings about her death, to be read at her funeral. As an extra challenge, if you elect to write a poem you might want to write it in the form of an Elizabethan sonnet. Review the definition of a sonnet in the Handbook of Literary Terms.

Integrating the Language Arts, page 391


Nouns of Direct Address. A noun of direct address says the name of the person or group spoken to. In the sentence, "Charlie, you lazy bum, get up!" "Charlie" is the noun of direct address. Use each of the following vocabulary words in a sentence with a noun of direct address. The vocabulary word may serve as, but does not have to be, the noun of direct address.

1. inundation

2. shroud

3. prostrate

4. pilgrimage

5. loathsome

6. peevish

7. receptacle

8. slander

9. resolution

10. condemned

Study and Research & Collaborative Learning

Problem Solving and Decision Making. At the beginning of act 4, Juliet faces the decision of whether to marry Paris and please her parents or honor her marriage to Romeo and follow Friar Lawrence's plan. Review the Language Arts Survey 5.1, "Making Decisions and Solving Problems." Next, working in pairs, brainstorm other possible options for Juliet. Then create either a criteria analysis chart or a pro and con chart on your own paper to arrive at a decision.

1. How else might she deal with her problem?

2. What solution do you propose for Juliet?

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