Week 5- Romeo and Juliet (Act 1)

Below is a selection of tasks for you to work through over the next 5 periods. You will need to work hard to complete each one but you may select the order that you do these in.

The Plot Timeline

Create a timeline of events so far in the play. You can do this electronically, in your book or on a piece of A3 paper found at the back of the room.

Make sure you include only the highlights of the first act- the significant events.

For an additional challenge, find a quote from the play to help you summarize that event and write it on your timeline with the event description.

Translate Me!

Below is a copy of the lines from the Chorus at the end of Scene 5, Act 1. Re-write this in your own words. You can do this You can do this electronically or in your book.

For an additional challenge, you should try to re-write any of the language devices that Shakespeare uses (rhyme, metaphor, pun, simile) in your re-write.

Now old desire doth in his deathbed lie,
And young affection gapes to be his heir.
That fair for which love groaned for and would die
With tender Juliet matched, is now not fair.
Now Romeo is beloved and loves again,
Alike bewitchèd by the charm of looks,
But to his foe supposed he must complain,
And she steal love’s sweet bait from fearful hooks.
Being held a foe, he may not have access
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear.
And she as much in love, her means much less
To meet her new beloved anywhere.
But passion lends them power, time means, to meet,
Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.
Costume Design
We have seen that the film has given Romeo and Juliet costumes to wear to the ball, however, when you think about their characters so far in the play, do you think they really would have worn those outfits in the 1500s?
Your task is to design the costumes that the characters in the play would have worn to the ball in the original setting of the play. Think carefully about colours (for more on colour symbolism look here.
You should draw your costumes, including clothing and accessories for both Romeo and Juliet. Look back at Act 1 for clues on what to include in your design. You should complete this task in your book.
Romeo and Juliet- The Kiss
Explain your reaction to Romeo and Juliet’s kiss in scene 5. Did it surprise you? Why/why not? Consider your what your reaction might have been a few hundred years ago. Do you think it might have been different? Why/why not?
You should complete this task in paragraph form in your book.
Research Task
Conduct some research into how people in the 1500s lived. You should aim to look into their beliefs, their everyday life, what they did for entertainment, gender roles and marriage. 
Once you have researched, you can put together a visual presentation (Prezi, PowerPoint etc.) with your findings. All work should be in your own words and if you can, cite some of your sources at the end of the presentation.
You should also include a slide in your presentation that identifies anything that you find in your research that you have already come across in the play. How much of “real life” did Shakespeare capture?
Plot Questions
Need some help getting your head around some of the action? Still struggling with the language used to express events? This is the activity for you.
Below is a list of questions you can answer, either electronically or in your book, to make you go back and read important sections of the text again. This will help develop your understanding of how the language expresses the actions in the text!

Posted by Renee Plunkett

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

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