• Romeo and Juliet: suggestions for group discussions


    Romeo and Juliet: suggestions for group discussions


    Verna Brown

    Formerly of UNISA


    (Originally published in CRUX, February 1992)


    The following are some multiple-choice questions that can be set for group discussions.  Note that more than one answer may be appropriate  – the aim of the exercise is to stimulate discussion.


    A             Romeo and Juliet’s love was doomed because:

    1              fate was against them.

    2              they were caught out by coincidence.

    3              they were caught up in a violent society.

    4              they wanted too much, too soon.

    5              their love was too intense.


    B             Romeo should have:

    1              been light-hearted like his friends and avoided trouble.

    2              cut himself from his peers as they denigrated his love.

    3              explained his position to them and asked for their support.

    4              refused to fight on behalf of Mercutio.

    5              sent Mercutio to woo Juliet by proxy.


    C             Juliet was viewed by her parents:

    1              as a treasure to be protected.

    2              as a potential source of grandchildren.

    3              as no more than a child.

    4              as a disobedient adolescent in need of discipline.

    5              as a sexual pawn in the marriage market.


    D             The Capulets:

    1              did their best for their child within society’s standards.

    2              treated Juliet as a marketable property.

    3              were to be congratulated on having produced a wonderful human being.

    4              were more concerned about their status than their child.

    5              were victims of a generation gap.


    E              Juliet’s nurse proved inadequate as a confidante because she:

    1              had sex on the brain.

    2              was too conventional.

    3              thought that one man as good as another.

    4              had always indulged Juliet.

    5              enjoyed the vicarious excitement of the intrigue.


    F              The servants of the Montagues and Capulets:

    1              were obliged to defend their employees’ honour

    2              should have refused to take sides.

    3              should have reported abuses to the authorities.

    4              should have handed in their notice.

    5              should have investigated the possibility of a ‘third force’.


    G             Verona’s society was violent because:

    1              duelling was fashionable.

    2              people were allowed to carry arms.

    3              young men were indolent and hot blooded.

    4              territories had not been properly demarcated.

    5              the revenge instinct was strong.


    H             The Duke, to stop the violence, should have:

    1              imposed the death sentence on offenders.

    2              forbidden the carrying of arms and traditional weapons.

    3              forced the Capulets and Montagues to attend a peace conference.

    4              acknowledged his incompetence and given up his title.

    5              invited a delegation from Rome to devise a solution for Verona.


    I               We are moved by the story because:

    1              we identify with the young lovers.

    2              they express themselves eloquently.

    3              it need never have happened.

    4              we mourn the tragic waste of two young lives.

    5              society had not changed.

    Categories: Volume 3