This lesson is the first in an arc that addresses Act 2.2, the balcony scene. Close readings will focus on building student understanding of Romeo and Juliet as they influence each other’s character development, as well as building shared knowledge of some of the most iconic lines in the play
Read and analyze Romeo and Juliet, Act 2.2, lines 62–141 (from “How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore” to “this is but a dream, / Too flattering-sweet to be substantial”). In these lines, Romeo and Juliet declare their love for each other, despite Juliet’s protests that “[i]t is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden” (line 118). Note how Shakespeare uses the dialogue between Romeo and Juliet to develop a central idea.
- fain (adv.) – gladly
- compliment (n.) – formal expression of politeness
- light (adj.) – of little importance
- vow (v.) – make a promise, as to God or a saint
- swear (v.) – promise very strongly and sincerely
- idolatry (n.) – worship of a picture or object as a god
- peril (n.) – danger
- What is the significance of the following quote from Act 2.2, lines 43–44: “That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet”?
- How does Romeo’s statement, “Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye / Than twenty of their swords” develop a central idea (lines 71–72)?
- What is the impact of Juliet’s repetition of the word fain on the meaning of lines 88–89, “Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny / What I have spoke”? Why does Juliet say this?
- What is the impact of Juliet’s words “farewell, compliment” on the tone of her conversation with Romeo in the following lines?
- Why does Juliet say to Romeo, “Therefore pardon me” (line 104)?
- Why does Juliet tell Romeo, “O swear not by the moon” (line 109)?
- What is the impact of the repetition of the word swear in lines 109–116? How does this repetition develop a central idea?
- What do lines 107–120 suggest about Romeo and Juliet’s feelings about their relationship?
- What is “satisfaction,” according to Romeo?
- How does Shakespeare develop a central idea in this scene?