English Literature / Drama GCSE: Romeo and Juliet - Act 2, Scene 2 - Juliet's soliloquy (workshop)

Mariah Gale and Sam Troughton explore the problem of Romeo’s name and Juliet’s solution

Should Romeo change his name, or marry her so that she can change hers?

This short film is from the BBC series, Shakespeare Unlocked.

Teacher Notes

This short film contains a useful dissection of Juliet's soliloquy, examining the language used and how she comes up with her logical solution.

In the workshop the actor playing Juliet tries delivering her speech directly to Romeo. Ask students to consider how this would change what Juliet says;

  • Why does Shakespeare write the speech as a soliloquy?
  • What does it allow Juliet to say?
  • Juliet analyses the idea of what Romeo's name represents. How does this forensic examination add to our sense of her character?
  • She seems very far from simply a love-struck girl, and is thinking through the consequences of her feelings carefully. How does this contrast with Romeo's words and actions later in the same scene?
  • What changed when Juliet delivered her speech directly to Romeo? How did it differ from speaking out to the night? What changed in the meaning?

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching GCSE English literature and drama in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/ 5 in Scotland.

More from Shakespeare Unlocked - Romeo and Juliet

Act 2, Scene 2 - Lovers unite (workshop)
Act 2, Scene 2 - Romeo's soliloquy (workshop)
Act 2, Scene 2 - The Balcony
Act 3, Scene 1 - Death of Mercutio (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 1 - Spoiling for a fight (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 1 - The Fight
Act 3, Scene 5 - Juliet is abandoned (workshop)
About the 2011 RSC production