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English : Romeo and Juliet : Shakespeare: Characters

Major Characters

Romeo - The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Though impulsive and immature, his idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family. and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love. Source: https://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/character/romeo/

Juliet - The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, Juliet begins the play as a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has none of the freedom Romeo has to roam around the city, climb over walls in the middle of the night, or get into swordfights. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her entire life and future to Romeo, even refusing to believe the worst reports about him after he gets involved in a fight with her cousin. Juliet’s closest friend and confidant is her nurse, though she’s willing to shut the Nurse out of her life the moment the Nurse turns against Romeo. Source: https://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/character/juliet/

Character Map

Character Review and Analysis

Review of each character's role in the play including defining quotes and character motivations for all major characters. Source: http://absoluteshakespeare.com/guides/romeo_and_juliet/characters/characters.htm

Critical essay by influential Shakespeare scholar and commentator William Hazlitt, discussing all you need to know on the characters of Romeo and Juliet. Source: https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hazlitt/william/characters-of-shakespeares-plays/chapter12.html

Minor Characters

Friar Lawrence - A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet. Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan. Source: https://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/character/friar-lawrence/

Mercutio - A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend. One of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays, Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions. Source: https://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/character/mercutio/

The Nurse - Juliet’s nurse, the woman who breast-fed Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life. A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches.

Tybalt - A Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured. 

Source: https://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/characters/

 

Additional resource on characters: https://www.shmoop.com/romeo-and-juliet/characters.html

Romeo and Juliet Minor Characters

Characterisation - Writer's workshop

When we study texts, character analysis is a key component. Characterisation - the way in which characters are described in a text - creates an image of the character for the reader. Join Australian authors Amra Pajalic, Angela Savage, Gabrielle Wang and Tony Wilson as they talk about the techniques of characterisation, narrative point of view and character function.