This editable 11-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 3, Scene 4, with an emphasis on Lord Capulet’s plan for Juliet to marry Paris. By engaging in this exercise, students will apply literary devices to the passage (dramatic irony and situational irony), analyze character motivations and development, explore complex vocabulary, discern meaning from unfamiliar phrasing, and make their engagement with the text more visible via annotations. A detailed answer key is included.
More specifically, this resource covers the following.
- Discerning meaning in unfamiliar or challenging phrasing: “Things have fall’n out”; “We have had no time to move our daughter”; “I will make a desperate tender of my child’s love.”
- Discerning tone: “These times of woe afford no time to woo.”
- Analyzing and articulating character intent: “These times of woe afford no time to woo”; “Do you like this haste?”; “We’ll keep no great ado…”
- Understanding and applying literary devices: situational irony; dramatic irony.
- Analyzing the author’s craft: Explaining the effect that textual details have on the reader.
- Paraphrasing what the text states explicitly: Articulating Lord Capulet’s plan for Juliet and Paris.
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.