Commonly Missed Questions Balcony Scene Analysis
Question # 3 Zeffirelli leaves these lines out. In fact, he cuts lines 3-9. Read those lines aloud with your partner. Why do you think Zeffirelli omits these? Possible Responses: • The lines are unnecessary because their meaning is repeated in lines below • The images of the sick moon don’t establish the right mood to start of the scene
Question # 4 When Romeo says that Juliet’s “eye discourses” he is using this type of figurative language? Personification In what way do Juliet’s eyes discourse? Possible Response: It’s as if they call out to him; they speak to him or move him to speak or respond.
Question # 7 Summarize what Juliet means in lines 38-49 when she says these famous lines: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet.” Think about it relates to Romeo and their situation. Juliet means that it not the name of something that matters; the qualities of that something are important.
Question #10 Juliet expresses her fear that Romeo will be murdered if he is caught there. What is his response to this fear in lines 75-78? He says that the night will hide him How does he personify night in his response? Night possesses a “cloak” to hide Romeo
Question #11 Explain Juliet’s speech in lines 85-106. (HINT: Think back to the film clip. What does the audience see that Juliet doesn’t see when she’s at her balcony speaking? How would you feel if this happened to you?) She’s embarrassed that Romeo overheard her and hopes that Romeo doesn’t think she’s too easily won. She’ll play hard to get if he wants, but it’s pointless because he’s already heard her confess her love to him.
Question 12 Why does Juliet not want Romeo to swear to the moon? The moon is constantly changing through its phases and she doesn’t want his love to be inconstant. What does she want him to swear on instead? She wants him to swear by himself because she worships him as a god. How does this relate to the comparisons Romeo made earlier? Relates to the divine imagery used to talk about their love in Act 1, Scene 5 and it reflects the angelic description of Juliet earlier in Act 2, Scene 2
Question #13 What does Juliet compare her love to in line 119? She compares it to lightning In what way is her love like this? It’s sudden and intense; we also know that it won’t last long, it’s fleeting, because they will die too soon (dramatic irony)
Question #15 What is Romeo’s fear in lines 139-141? He’s afraid this night is only a dream; it’s too good to be true. How does this relate to the Queen Mab scene? Possible responses: The dream will end violently; dreams are false, as Mercutio says, and do not hold truth.
Questions 16 and 17 In lines 177-182, Juliet says she wishes Romeo were her a pet bird. What does Juliet say is the problem with this image of Romeo in line 184? She’s worried that she would love him too much and smother him to death.
Question 18 Explain the oxymoron in these famous lines “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow / That I shall say good night till it be morrow” (2.2.185-6). An oxymoron is a pair of contradictory terms. Saying goodnight is sweet because it delays the parting and allows them to see each other for a moment longer, but it’s sorrow because it means they will eventually have to separate.
Question 19 Summarize what Romeo says he will do in lines 186-190. Romeo is going to see his priest (Friar Lawrence) to tell him of the good news and to seek his help and advice. Zeffirelli cuts these lines from the scene. Why do you think these lines might not be necessary in a film even though they might be important on an Elizabethan stage? In a film it will be clear that he’s going somewhere. You can show him traveling to see Friar Lawrence. However, on the stage you wouldn’t be able to change scenery that quickly, so the audience would have to know that’s where the next scene would be set.