Ms. Danielle Taklender » Home






The following selections may be included in your final examination:

The Odyssey

Romeo and Juliet

"I Have a Dream"

Info. about the Globe Theater

"The Seven Ages of Man"

"The Interlopers"

"Pride (In the Name of Love)"

"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

from "Silent Spring"

"The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls"

"Siren Song"


"The Bells" (Honors)



Be prepared with your final project.

The following selections may be included in your final examination:



Julius Caesar

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Freshman Wheel

Be prepared with your final project and song selection.  You will be presenting.

Freshman Romeo and Juliet Essay Topics

Please choose 3 VERY different questions to answer for your final project:

1.  Explain the rules of marriage during the fourteenth century.  (This requires outside research.)

2.  Compare the love that Romeo feels for Juliet to the love that he felt for Rosaline.

3.  Trace how fate brought the two lovers together.

4.  What effect does the accelerated time scheme have on the play's development?  Is it plausible that a love story of such magnitude could take place so quickly?  Was it love from the first sight?

5.  Name the two other people in the play who know about the love between Romeo and Juliet and explain how they help the lovers achieve their goals.

6.  Compare and contrast the characters of Romeo and Juliet.  How do they develop throughout the play?  What makes them fall in love with one another?

7.  Compare and contrast the characters of Tybalt and Mercutio.  Why does Mercutio hate Tybalt?

8.  Write a character sketch of Juliet emphasizing her internal conflict.

9.  How does the suicidal impulse that both Romeo and Juliet exhibit relate to the overall theme of young love?  Does Shakespeare seem to consider a self-destructive tendency inextricably connected with love, or is it a separate issue?  Explain the reasons for the suicides of Romeo and Juliet.  Did they have another choice?

10.  Discuss the relationships between parents and children in Romeo and Juliet.  How do Romeo and Juliet interact with their parents?  Are they rebellious in the modern sense?  How do their parents feel about them?

11.  Was it a sign of fate that the children of two hostile families fall in love?  Was it reasonable and efficient from the side of the parents to prohibit young people to date?

12.  Apart from clashing with Tybalt, what role does Mercutio play in the story?  Is he merely a colorful supporting character and brilliant source of comic relief, or does he serve a more serious purpose?

13.  Mercutio is considered to be one of Shakespeare's great creations, yet he is killed relatively early in the play.  What makes Mercutio so memorable a character?

14.  Why did Shakespeare choose such a tragic ending for his heroes?  What endings of this play can you propose?

15.  Friar Lawrence serves many dramatic purposes in the play.  Examine the Friar and his role in Romeo and Juliet.

16.  Examine the role of women in Romeo and Juliet.

17.  Romeo and Juliet are referred to as star-crossed lovers.  Discuss the concept of predetermined destiny and how it relates to the play.

18.  Many references are made to time in the play.  Discuss the passage of time throughout Romeo and Juliet.

19.  What set Romeo and Juliet apart from Shakespeare's other great tragedies?  In particular, what differentiates the young lovers from other Shakespearean heroes like Othello, Macbeth, and Hamelet?  (The requires outside research.)

20.  Juliet's suitor, Paris, is compared throughout the play to Romeo.  Examine carefully the similarities and differences between the two young men who love Juliet.

21.  Describe and analyze the different types of love portrayed in the play.  In your opinion, was Lord Capulet a good father?  Support your statement.

22.  Explain the role of disorder and hatred in Romeo and Juliet and give its consequences.

23.  Explain in detail how Romeo and Juliet both mature during the course of the play.  Cite examples from their speech or actions that illustrate your position.

24.  How have the deaths of Romeo and Juliet affected the entire city of Verona?

25.  Discuss the role of chance or coincidence in the play.  How did it affect the ending of the play?

26.  What role does fate play in Romeo and Juliet?

General Essay Outline

Here is a basic, general outline for essays in this class:


Introduction Paragraph:

  • Attention Grabber (1 sentence, no questions or fragments)
  • Transition (1-2 sentences, connect AG to background)
  • Background (1-2 sentences that give a general plot overview and define any uncommon words)
  • Statements of Organization or SOO (1 per body paragraph; state your main ideas to support your thesis)
  • Thesis (1 sentence)


Body Paragraphs:

  • Topic Sentence (1 sentence paraphrased from SOO; main idea of the paragraph)
  • Introduce Quotation (1-2 sentences; lead reader from topic sentence to the quotation by explaining the context of the quotation)
  • Quotation with Citation (Length varies; make sure to cite with p.# in parentheses)
  • Explanation of Quotation (1-2 sentences if needed; explain what the quotation means)
  • Analysis (5-8 sentences; explain how this quotation and topic relate to your thesis in depth)

Conclusion Paragraph:

  • Restate Thesis (1 sentence; paraphrase with more detail)
  • Restate SOOs (1 per body paragraph; paraphrase with more detail)
  • "So What?" (Explain how this essay and the novel upon which it's based are relevant to the world at large)

Specifics may vary depending on assignment.  Follow all in-class instructions.