Romeo and Juliet: Essay Topics
1) Discuss the character of Romeo and his infatuation with Rosaline. Does this weaken the credibility of the love he feels for Juliet?
2) Friar Laurence serves many dramatic purposes in the play. Examine the Friar and his role in Romeo and Juliet.
3) Mercutio is considered to be one of Shakespeare's great creations, yet he is killed relatively early in the play. What makes Mercutio so memorable a character?
4) Examine the role of women in Romeo and Juliet.
5) Romeo and Juliet are referred to as "star-cross'd lovers". Discuss the concept of predetermined destiny and how it relates to the play.
6) Discuss Juliet's soliloquy that opens Act 3, Scene 2, paying particular attention to its poetic merits and relevance to the overall play.
7) Many references are made to time in the play. Discuss the passage of time throughout Romeo and Juliet.
8) What sets Romeo and Juliet apart from Shakespeare's other great tragedies? In particular, what differentiates the young lovers from other Shakespearean heroes like Othello, Macbeth, and Hamlet?
9) Mercutio gives a wonderful monologue on Queen Mab in Act 1, Scene 4. Examine this passage and discuss its literary qualities. Of what significance is Mercutio's speech to the overall play?
10) Juliet's suitor Paris is compared throughout the play to Romeo. Examine carefully the similarities and differences between the two young men who love Juliet.
Daily Life in Shakespeare's London
Life in Stratford (structures and guilds)
Life in Stratford (trades, laws, furniture, hygiene)
Stratford School Days: What Did Shakespeare Read?
Games in Shakespeare's England [A-L]
Games in Shakespeare's England [M-Z]
An Elizabethan Christmas
Clothing in Elizabethan England
Queen Elizabeth: Shakespeare's Patron
King James I of England: Shakespeare's Patron
The Earl of Southampton: Shakespeare's Patron
Going to a Play in Elizabethan London
Ben Jonson and the Decline of the Drama
Publishing in Elizabethan England
Religion in Shakespeare's England
Alchemy and Astrology in Shakespeare's Day
Entertainment in Elizabethan England
London's First Public Playhouse
Shakespeare Hits the Big Time