This editable 10-question close reading and annotating resource helps students derive deeper meaning from William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. This worksheet features an abridged excerpt from Act 2, Scene 6. By engaging in this exercise, students will read to apply literary devices (with an emphasis on foreshadowing), develop their vocabulary, identify what the text says explicitly and implicitly, make their engagement with the text visible, and analyze character motivations. Specifically, students will demonstrate a greater understanding of Friar Laurence’s concerns about Romeo and Juliet’s union. An answer key with sample annotations is included. More specifically, this resource covers the following:
- Analyzing character and applying literary devices (foreshadowing): “So smile the heavens upon this holy act / That after-hours with sorrow chide us not.”
- Analyzing character and applying literary devices (foreshadowing): “Do thou but close our hands with holy words, / Then love-devouring death do what he dare-- / It is enough I may but call her mine.”
- Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “These violent delights have violent ends / And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, / Which, as they kiss, consume.”
- Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “The sweetest honey / Is loathsome in his own deliciousness / And in the taste confounds the appetite.”
- Discerning character motivations and applying literary devices (foreshadowing): “Therefore love moderately; long love doth so; / Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.”
- Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “Let rich music’s tongue / Unfold the imagined happiness that both / Receive in either by this dear encounter.”
- Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “But my true love is grown to such excess / I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.”
- Analyzing character: “Come, come with me, and we will make short work; / For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone / Till Holy Church incorporate two into one.”
This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions, letting students discuss, debate, and support their reasoning for answer choices. In the role of facilitator, I observe my students becoming more consistently engaged with the novel and taking greater ownership of their learning.
In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read complex texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.