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Literary Terms Romeo and Juliet: By William

Literary Terms Romeo and Juliet: By William

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Literary terms
 Romeo and Juliet:
by William Shakespeare Name________Josef_____________________ 
Setting
: a story¶s time, place, and background

Example: Although no specific date is given, most scholars say the action of the play probably takes placearound 1200 or 1300 A.D., when Italian families were feuding.

Where does the play take place?
V
erona, Italy
Foreshadowing
: events which hint of things to come

Example: In the Prologue to Act 1, the Chorus foreshadows what will happen in the play. One thing that willhappen is that a feud will be renewed violently, as ³civil blood makes civil hands unclean´ (4).

What is another event that is foreshadowed in this speech by the Chorus?Romeo and Juliet falling in love witheach other 
Oxymoron
: bringing together two contradictory terms as in ³wise fool´ or ³feather of lead´

Example: In Act 1, Scene 1, line 181, Romeo uses several oxymora (the plural of ³oxymoron´) to describe therelationship of love and hate. He says, ³O brawling love, O loving hate.´

What is another oxymoron that Romeo uses in this speech?Line 181, Love is smoke raised with the fume of  sighs; 
Allusion
: reference to historical or literary figure, event, or object

Example: In Act 1, Scene 1, line 217, Romeo says that Rosaline ³hath Dian¶s wit.´ He is alluding to Diana,goddess of chastity, who opposed love and marriage. In other words, Rosaline thinks like Diana and will not fall inlove with Romeo.

What other allusion is made to a myth or legend in lines 216 and 217?In line 217,Benvolio says Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste
Pun
: a play on words based on the similarity of sound between two words with different meanings

Example: In Act 1, Scene 4, lines 14-16, Romeo is feeling sad, so he does not want to dance. He says to theothers, ³You have dancing shoes / With nimble soles. I have a soul of lead / so stakes me to the ground I cannotmove.´

Which two words are used to make a pun in these lines?Shoes, soles 
 
 Imagery
: representation in words of a vivid sensory experience

Example: In Act 1, Scene 5, lines 55 and 56, Romeo uses imagery to describe Juliet¶s beauty when he says, ³Soshows a dove trooping with crows / As yonder lady o¶er her fellows shows.´

What comparison is Romeo making here?He¶s comparing dove to a crow 
Point-of-view
: perspective of the person who is telling the story

Example: In Act 1, Scene 5, Tybalt is upset that Romeo, a Montague, has come to his Uncle¶s party. Hesays, ³I¶ll not endure him´ (85). His point-of-view is that an enemy should not be allowed to attend the party.

Write a line from Capulet that shows he has a different point-of-view from that of his nephew Tybalt.Capuletsays to let him stay 
Paradox
: a statement that might seem to contradict itself but is nevertheless true; for example, ³less is more.´

Example: In Act 1, Scene 5, line 152, Juliet expresses a paradox when she speaks of Romeo, saying, ³My onlylove sprung from my only hate.´ This seems to be a contradictory statement, because love and hate are opposites.

How is Romeo both Juliet¶s love and her hated enemy?Because they love each other, but one is capulet and theother is montague 
Rhyme
: similar sounds between the ends of two words

Example: In the Prologue to Act 2, the Chorus speaks in a sonnet, a form of a poem. thefirst four lines contain alternating rhymes: Now old desire doth in his deathbed lie, And young affection gapes to be his heir. That fair for which love groanedfor and would die, With tender Juliet matched, is now not fair.

Find four more rhyming lines in the second prologue.
Metaphor
: an implied comparison between two unlike things

Example: In Act 2, Scene 2, line 3, Romeo uses a metaphor, saying, ³Juliet is the sun,´meaning that Juliet is bright and beautiful.

What is another metaphor that Romeo uses for Juliet in this scene (see line 29)?You are as glorious as an angeltonight.
Soliloquy
: a speech an actor gives as though talking to himself or herself 

Example: Romeo starts his famous soliloquy about Juliet with the words, ³But soft, whatlight through yonder window breaks´ (II.ii.2). He is speaking to himself about Juliet.
 
 

What words does Juliet use to start her famous soliloquy about Romeo?O Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thouRomeo
Aside
: words spoken by an actor supposedly heard only by the audience

Example: Romeo uses asides as he is listening to Juliet¶s soliloquy in Act 2, Scene 2. In line 27, he says, ³Shespeaks.´ He is not talking to Juliet, the only other person on stage. Only the audience is intended to hear this line.

What is the other aside in this scene? Look for the word
aside
in brackets, as a stage direction.Should I listen for more, or should I speak now?
Hyperbole
: a figure of speech in which the truth is exaggerated for emphasis or humorous effect

Example: In Act 2, Scene 2, line 140, Juliet says that her ³bounty is as boundless as thesea.´ In other words, she says what she has to offer Romeo is wider than the ocean.

How does Juliet extend this hyperbole in the next line (141)?The more I have, for both are infinite. 
Simile
: a direct comparison of unlike things using ³like´ or ³as´

Example: In Act 2, Scene 6, lines 8-10, Friar Lawrence uses a simile to warn Romeoabout being too passionate too soon.He says: ³These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which, as theykiss, consume.´

What similarity does Friar Lawrence find between hasty, passionate love and fire and gunpowder?He comparesthem all
Protagonist
: the main character in a piece of literature

Example: In this play, Romeo is one protagonist.

Who is the other protagonist in the play?Juliet
Antagonist
: the person or force opposing the main character 

Example: Tybalt is one antagonist in the play, because he opposes Romeo, who is a protagonist.

Who or what is another antagonist? Explain why you think this person or force is an antagonist.Capulet is anantagonist, because he is opposed to the Montagues.
Theme
: the main idea of a piece of literature

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