There is a great deal of exciting and descriptive vocabulary in Act Two of William Shakespeare's ''Romeo and Juliet.'' Help your students break down these words and understand their meaning on a deeper level.
A Tale of Two Lovers
Imagine…you finally meet the person who steals your heart. You cannot wait to spend all of your time with this person. Then, you are heartbroken to hear that this person is the sworn enemy of your family. What do you do? Do you honor your family or follow your heart? This is the case in William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. This story chronicles the tragic tale of two young people from feuding families who fall in love.
In Act One, we learn of the longstanding feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, and we witness the initial meeting of the star-crossed lovers. Act Two describes their plan to marry and the involvement of their friends in their scheme. Let's examine some of the vocabulary in Act Two.
Act Two Vocabulary
Let's start at the beginning, with the vocabulary we can find present from Scene 1:
Conjure: (verb) To make something appear as if by magic.
Jest: (verb) To make a comment that pokes fun at someone or something.
Discourse: (verb) To speak through the use of words.
Now, let's take a look at Scene 2:
Impute: (verb) To attribute or ascribe a certain trait to something or someone.
Procure: (verb) To find for a specific purpose.
Strife: (noun) Conflict or lack of harmony.
Wanton: (noun) Spoiled or overly-pampered child; this word is also often used as an adjective to describe a promiscuous or loose woman.
Vile: (adjective) Morally reprehensible, evil, or immoral.
Now, let's look at the vocabulary we find in Scene 3:
Vice: (noun) An immoral habit or practice.
Predominant: (adjective) Having power or authority over someone or something.
Distempered: (adjective) Given to physical or mental derangement.
Intercession: (noun) The act of pleading for another person.
Okay, let's now take a look at the vocabulary found in Scene 4:
Lamentable: (adjective) Sad, regrettable, or unfortunate.
Saucy: (adjective) Rude or full of foul language.
Fain: (adverb) Happily, with contentment.
Sententious: (noun) Beautiful or lofty association or saying.
And now, let's look at Scene 5's vocabulary:
Perchance: (adverb) Perhaps or maybe.
Jaunt: (noun) Small journey.
Poultice: (noun) Soft material applied as medical treatment.
Coil: (noun) Fuss or disturbance.
Shrift: (noun) Religious confession.
To close this out, let's look at the vocabulary from Scene 6:
Chide: (verb) To scold or correct.
Countervail: (verb) To respond with the same power or force.
Loathsome: (adjective) Hateful or causing feelings of hate.
Gossamers: (noun) Spider webs.
Blazon: (verb) To describe with beautiful words.
Okay, let's review the basics of what we've learned about the varied vocabulary we saw in Romeo and Juliet's second act. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, which chronicles the tragic tale of two young people from feuding families who fall in love, has many beautiful words and phrases carefully chosen by William Shakespeare to paint the picture of these tragic lovers. This list of words from Act Two includes only some of those descriptive words to help you follow their story. As you read the play, you may see more unfamiliar words that you will want to explore on your own, so make sure you look back on the extensive list of vocabulary words and their definitions that we explored in this lesson.