Romeo & Juliet — Lesson 5

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Students begin a close reading analysis of Romeo and Juliet’s first encounter at the Capulet Ball (1.5.92–109). Students focus on Romeo’s initial overture to Juliet in lines 1.5.92–95. Slowing down the pace and unpacking Romeo’s first four lines will enable students to construct the complex foundational understanding necessary for their continued engagement with this multifaceted extended metaphor.


  1. shrine (n.) – any place devoted to some saint, holy person, or deity
  2. pilgrim (n.) – a person who journeys to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion
  3. devotion (n.) – earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
  4. palmers (n.) – any religious pilgrims
  5. purged (adj.) – cleansed or purified
  6. trespass (n.) – an offense, sin, or wrong


  • Watch Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (0:27:57–0:30:26).
  1. Which characters appear in this excerpt from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet?
  2. What happens in this portion of the film?


Read Act 1.5, lines 92–109 (from “If I profane with my unworthiest hand” to “Give me my sin again. / You kiss by th’ book”). Listen for how Shakespeare develops Romeo and Juliet in this scene.

Answer Questions

  1. To what is Romeo referring in the phrase “holy shrine”?
  2. How does Romeo “profane” Juliet’s hand? What might profane mean in this context?
  3. For what reasons does Romeo claim that he has “profane[d]” Juliet’s hand?
  4. How does Shakespeare use figurative language to describe Romeo’s feelings for Juliet?
  5. What images does Shakespeare use to describe Juliet’s hand and Romeo’s lips?
  6. What do these images suggest about how Romeo sees his relationship to Juliet?
  7. What word parts help you to make meaning of the word mannerly?
  8. What does Juliet mean by “mannerly devotion”?
  9. How does Juliet refine the metaphors in lines 96–99?
  10. Paraphrase line 96.
  11. Why does Romeo “wrong [his] hand,” according to Juliet in lines 98–99?
  12. How does Shakespeare develop Juliet through her response to Romeo?
  13. What does Romeo ask of Juliet in line 100?
  14. If “holy palmers” hold hands, as Juliet says, then what does Romeo imply through his reference to lips?
  15. How does Juliet’s response to Romeo further develop her character?
  16. How does Shakespeare use figurative language to develop the relationship between Romeo and Juliet in lines 106–109?

Quick Write

Respond briefly in writing to the following prompt:

  • How does Shakespeare use figurative language to develop the characters of Romeo and Juliet?

Look at your notes and the text to find evidence. Use this lesson’s vocabulary wherever possible and use the Short Response Rubric and Checklist to guide written responses.


  • How does Romeo’s initial attitude toward Juliet compare to his approach toward Rosaline?