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 4, Scene 1, with an emphasis on the formulation of a stratagem by Friar Laurence. By engaging in this exercise, students will apply literary devices to the passage (foreshadowing), analyze character motivations and development, explore complex vocabulary, discern meaning from unfamiliar phrasing, and make their engagement with the text more visible via annotations. Materials are delivered in Word Document, Google Document, and PDF formats. A detailed answer key is included.
More specifically, this resource covers the following.
- Discerning meaning in unfamiliar or challenging phrasing: “Walk in thievish ways”; “another deed.”
- Discerning tone: “It strains me past the compass of my wits.”
- Analyzing and articulating character intent: “If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help / Do thou but call my resolution wise”; “O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris…”
- Understanding and applying literary devices: foreshadowing.
- Drawing logical inferences: why Friar Laurence, in his role as a priest, would be motivated to assist Juliet.
- Paraphrasing what the text states explicitly: Articulating Friar Laurence’s plan for Romeo and Juliet to reunite.
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.