Junior Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
Home learning focus
Learn how to analyse Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
This lesson includes:
William Shakespeare grew up in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. His family were rich so he went to a good school and grew up to be a playwright. He wrote different types of plays – histories, tragedies and comedies.
Watch this video to learn more about William Shakespeare, including where he came from and how he became famous.
One of Shakespeare's most famous plays is a tragedy called Romeo and Juliet. Watch the animation below, and then read the plot summary underneath:
A summary of Romeo and Juliet
Two powerful families, the Montagues and the Capulets, in Verona in Italy have been feuding for so long that they can’t remember why they started fighting in the first place!
Two teenage members of the families, Romeo (Montague) and Juliet (Capulet), fall in love at a party, but have to keep it a secret because of their feuding families. They even get married without telling them!
In a street fight Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin) kills Mercutio (Romeo’s close friend). In revenge Romeo kills Tybalt and he is banished from Verona.
Aided by Friar Laurence, Juliet plans to rejoin Romeo and a scheme is hatched to convince everyone that she has died.
She sends a letter to Romeo to tell him of the plan, but her message never reaches him. Romeo finds Juliet and she appears lifeless. Thinking she really is dead, Romeo kills himself. Juliet wakes up, finds Romeo lying beside her and takes her own life.
Finally, the two families are reunited, due to the tragic events.
You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.
Check your understanding. Can you order the key events in Shakespeare’s life?
Think about the ending of the Romeo and Juliet - could it have finished differently?
At the ending of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet fakes her death and lies in a tomb waiting for Romeo so they can run away together. Romeo doesn't receive the message, so thinks Juliet has actually died. He goes to Verona and sees Juliet in her tomb, thinking she is dead. He drinks poison and she wakes up to discover Romeo is dead. Juliet kills herself with his dagger.
The Capulet and Montague families vow never to argue again.
Write an alternative ending for the story from the point where Romeo is banished from Verona.
Remember! You can always go back and watch the video again OR read the summary of the play if you need help.
Watch this video for a more detailed look at the play. Listen carefully to the task at the end of the video!
Can you create a news report for the Newsround website about Romeo and Juliet?
You will need to give the background behind Romeo and Juliet's story. Talk about the feuding families, and don't forget an eye-catching, snappy headline.