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English : Romeo and Juliet : Shakespeare: Additional Resources

Conversation starters for Romeo and Juliet

Love manifests itself in a multitude of ways in Romeo and Juliet. How does Romeo’s love for Rosaline compare to Romeo’s love for Juliet? Within the Capulet household, how does love operate between Lord and Lady Capulet, Juliet, the Nurse, and Tybalt? We first meet Paris in Act I, Scene 2, in which he asks Capulet for Juliet’s hand in marriage. Why is Capulet initially reluctant to say yes to Paris? When in the play does Capulet mind? Why does he eventually change his mind? Source: cliffsnotes

Early Printed Text

Romeo and Juliet was first printed in 1597 (Q1) as a quarto that is markedly different than any subsequent early printing: it is shorter, the wedding scene is radically different, and the language widely differs in the last three acts. The play appeared as a quarto in 1599 (Q2) in a text that seems to have had a different source than the one behind Q1; this version of the play was reprinted in 1609 (Q3) and in 1623 (Q4). The play is included in the 1623 First Folio, with a text that differs from Q3 beyond what we would expect typesetters to change. Most modern editions, like the Folger, are based on Q2. Source:


Romeo and Juliet Essay questions

Romeo and Juliet Essay Questions

1. In what way do Romeo and Juliet break gender conventions? How do these roles fluctuate throughout the play?

At the beginning of the play, the young lovers' behavior reverses common gender conventions – Romeo acts in a way that his friends call feminine, while Juliet exhibits masculine qualities. Romeo is by no means an archetypal Elizabethan man; he is disinterested in asserting his physical power like the other male characters in the play. Instead, Romeo chooses to stew in his pensive melancholy. On several instances, Romeo's companions suggest that his introspective behavior is effeminate. On the other hand, Juliet exhibits a more pronounced sense of agency than most female characters in Shakespeare's time. While the women around her, like her mother, blindly act in accordance with Lord Capulet's wishes, Juliet proudly expresses her opinion. Source:

Interactive Study Guide

Dive into the rich world of Shakespeare with our full-text, interactive editions of his plays. myShakespeare replaces traditional footnotes with multimedia resources for the 21st-century student. Source:

Engaging Learners in a Digital World

Teacher Idea

Students look closely at key scenes from Romeo and Juliet. They extend their knowledge of Shakespeare, explore themes, characters and his use of language and dramatic technique, perform key speeches and scenes, and transform a scene to email.

This Teacher idea is based on R11474 Transforming Shakespeare: 'Romeo and Juliet' - unit of work, available on the Resources page. Carolyn McMurtrie describes how she helped year 9 students from various cultural backgrounds connect with Shakespeare. They transformed parts of the play into their own vernacular, and explored the themes of the play from a 21st-century teenage perspective. Source:


This lecture on Romeo and Juliet tackles the issue of the spoiler-chorus, in an already-too-familiar play. 

Penguin Teacher Guide to Romeo & Juliet

This Penguin Romeo & Juliet Teacher's Guide   is divided into several parts:

  • brief literary overview, including a synopsis and commentary on the play
  • suggestions for teaching the play, including activities, discussion questions, and essay topics to be used
  • before, during, and after reading of the play
  • ideas to extend the students’ learning beyond the play, including ways to address its themes, ideas for teaching literary analysis, techniques for using the play as a bridge to other works, and ways to use the play as part of an interdisciplinary study. Source:

Transforming Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

Unit description
In this unit, students closely analyse key scenes from the play Romeo and Juliet and consider the
characters, themes, issues and the power of the language. Students revisit their prior knowledge of
Shakespeare, analyse his use of language and dramatic techniques, perform key speeches or scenes, and
transform a scene to a modern form of communication (email). Source:

The Library is open 8.00 to 4.30 Mon-Thurs, 8.00 to 3.30 Fri. Extended hours for Year 12 students: 8.00 - 5.30 Mon-Thurs. We also have a selection of games available to play during recess and lunch. Only games from the Library are to be played.