Thanks for a great class, today. I know it was a lot of me talking so I appreciate your patience and engagement. As we move through the unit, it will be less-and-less of me-driven and more-and-more you-driven.
Anyone who is curious about the requirements and marking for the plot timeline assignment should click here. I recommend reading a summary of Act I to see where your character pops up and then using that as a starting point. You do not have to read the entire first act (although it would certainly help you later on).
We dove right into the plot of Act I, Scenes 1-4 today. We focused on the Queen Mab speech, which is one of Shakespeare’s most critically acclaimed speeches. It is heavy on poetry and light on substance/plot action. Remember that as we move to other speeches that will have a lot more to do with the plot.
There are a lot of characters introduced in the first Act; 14 in total. They can be hard to keep track of but you can always refer back here to figure out who is who.
- Lord and Lady Montague: Romeo’s parents. Lord Montague is the OG of this feud between families.
- Romeo: A young nobleman of Verona. The Romeo.
- Mercutio: Romeo’s cousin. A calming, practical influence on Romeo’s group of friends.
- Benvolio: Romeo’s BFF. A bit of a pot-stirrer.
- Friar Lawrence: Romeo’s confidante*
- Lord and Lady Capulet: Juliet’s parents. Lord Capulet is the other OG of this feud. Lady Capulet is very interested in getting Juliet married as soon as possible.
- Juliet: A young lady of Verona. The Juliet.
- Tybalt: Juliet’s cousin. Another pot-stirrer; he likes to cause trouble.
- Nurse: Juliet’s confidante*
- Peter: A servant in the Capulet household
- Escalus, Prince of Verona: He arrives in Scene 1 and lays down the law. There is to be no more public brawling between the Montagues and the Capulets. He means business.
- Paris: Cousin of Escalus. He is very interested in marrying Juliet.
- Confidante: Someone with whom you share secrets. There is a great deal of deception in this play but Romeo totally trusts Friar Lawrence and Juliet totally trusts the Nurse.
- Nurse: Remember that the Nurse is not like a nurse at a hospital. She would have raised Juliet from a baby. She is like a second mother to Juliet and she is the one person that Juliet completely trusts.
- Ages: Remember the issues of age that we discussed in class. Keep this in mind when we’re discussing the characters.