Romeo and Juliet Essay Prompts
1. Write an essay analyzing how the feud between the Montagues and Capulets leads to the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. What theme or message about human nature and society is expressed through the tragic end?
2. Write an essay in which you analyze how Romeo and Juliet are themselves responsible for their own their tragic deaths. Consider the advice that Friar Lawrence gives Romeo: “They stumble that run fast.” How is this true in the world of the play? What theme is conveyed through Romeo and Juliet’s story?
3. Discuss the role of fate in the presentation of Romeo and Juliet’s love. How much is foreshadowed throughout the play, and how much are the events portrayed as predetermined? Is any good brought about as a result of their tragic deaths? Connect your argument to theme.
4. In Act 4, Scene 5, Capulet says,
All things that we ordained festival,
Turn from their office to black funeral:
Our instruments to melancholy bells,
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
And all things change them to the contrary.
5. Discuss how these lines are appropriate not only to the specific moment at which they are spoken, but also as a commentary on the play as a whole. Connect your argument to theme.
6. Analyze either the character of the Nurse as a foil to Juliet or Mercutio as a foil to Romeo. What purpose do these characters serve in the play? Connect your argument to theme.