Welcome to your Romeo and Juliet Character Analysis Wiki

How many people do you know of who lived in Verona, Italy in the 14th century? I suspect you know only two, named Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. They are by far the most famous citizens of Verona, from the 14th century or from any century. And they're not even real people!
How did Shakespeare create these two people -- these two characters from the play Romeo and Juliet -- such that they are as real to people who are acquainted with them as friends or relatives? There's something magical in that creation, especially since all Shakespeare was working with were words and action. Out of those minimal materials, characters were created who are still with us 400 years after their creation.
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT81ZCnltvmDbSXjtF1MEE0IboYXgLBltelQOv30O8huBzJOMWZgw
Of course, Shakespeare performed only part of the magic. To words and actions there must be added one more crucial ingredient before the character comes to life: a talented actor. When the actor embodies the words and the action on stage, then something truly unique and magical happens.

As we read Romeo and Juliet, we have Shakespeare's words and plot, but we do not have that final ingredient, the talented actor to perform for us. If we're going to bring these characters to life, we then need to replace the actor with our own crucial ingredients: our minds and our imaginations.

On these Wiki pages, you will do your part in bringing to life the major characters of Romeo and Juliet, using your thinking skills and your creativity.You have been assigned to a group and your group has been assigned a character from the play.

Your group will create a page for your character that will grow in complexity as your knowledge of the character grows through reading and discussing the play.

First Assignment

First Impression. How does Shakespeare introduce your character? In the first scene in which your character appears, look closely at his or her first several speeches. What is the impression that your character makes on you and your group (i.e., on the audience)?
  • Create an area on your character's page and title it "First Impressions."
  • Write brief quotations from those opening speeches (with act/scene/line references) that are particularly significant in forming the first impression of the character.
  • What are your first impressions? Use adjectives and phrases to thoughtfully and imaginatively describe those first impressions.
  • Add a visual that helps to convey and reinforce what you have said in your words.

Due date for this assignment: No later than two days after we have read the scene in class in which your character first appears.

On-Going Assignment

I am what I say. Our words are the windows to our personality. (Our personalities are complicated, and we can certainly say a lot of "out of character" things, depending on the situation and perhaps on our level of stress!) For characters in a play, words are practically the only way we get to know who they are. (But if the playwright is a good one, he/she knows that neither a real person nor a fictional character is always consistent.)

  • Create an area on your character's page and title it "I am what I say."
  • Carefully, creatively, and clearly organize this area so that you can add the following for eachscene in which your character appears:
    • One or more significant quotations (1-3 lines) that help to reveal something about your character's character.(Write out the lines in full.) Each quotation should be followed by
      • A paraphrase of the quotation, translating it into modern, easily understood English.
      • A short (2-3 sentence) commentary on the significance of the quotation (what it shows about the character's personality, thought-processes, decision-making, or significant role in the action).
    • Informal notes on the scene as a whole: what your character did or said; important plot elements; significant or interesting language, etc.

These character quotations and notes should be entered onto your character's page soon after (within two days) the day we cover the scene in class. By the end of the play, your group should have recorded at least the number of quotations derived from this formula: no. of students in group x 4. (For example, if there are three members in the group, you should end up with at least 12 significant quotations.)

Final Assignment

This assignment needs to be completed and posted to your character's page on this Wiki by the date of your final test on Romeo and Juliet (5th period, June 10). Your work will be shown to the class on that day.

The Assignment: Find a way to visually represent your character in all the complexity that you have found in him/her as you read the play and did the first two Wiki assignments. This visual representation should be placed at the "bottom" of your character's page.

  • a collage of photographs
  • original art
  • words in creative and expressive forms: Word Art, Wordle (http://wordle.net), etc.
  • sculpture (photographed)
  • a video

Extra Credit: an audio component (words or music)

Assignment Assessment

All three Wiki assignments must by finished by the day of your final test on Romeo and Juliet (5th period, Monday, June 10). Total points for this assignment: 100. I will assess your page as it appears at the time of the final test. All members of the group will be given the same score unless I have been given reason to think that there were significant disparities in the contributions to the wiki page among the group members.

Assessment Checklist

Possible Points
Assignment 1: First Impressions (20 points)
Thoughtful and insightful description of first impressions of character is given, backed by appropriate brief quotations from character’s opening scene(s).

A visual is included that helps to convey and reinforce the first impression described in words.
Assignment 2: I Am What I Say (40 points)
Page includes the required number of quotations

Quotations are carefully chosen to help reveal various sides of the character.

Quotations are fully and accurately paraphrased.

Each quotation is followed by commentary on what the quotation reveals about the character’s personality.

A brief note is included for each scene in which the character appears, briefly summarizing what the character did and said, etc.
Assignment 3: Final Assignment (20 points)
The group has found a way to visually present the character that is creative and also accurately and clearly captures the complexity of the character.
General: Organization, Neatness, and Clarity (10 points)
The group uses layout, font, color, etc. to enhance the page’s visual appeal, clarity, and readability.
General: Writing Mechanics (10 points)
Group has edited the page so that there are no errors in capitalization, punctuation, or spelling