Just a brief post to share a couple of important revision resources.
Firstly, I’ll share the knowledge organiser for Romeo and Juliet (download here). This gives you an outline of the plot, key characters, key themes and some key literary devices employed by Shakespeare
You can use this document to create flashcards and complete self-quizzes. Remember, you must have a good knowledge of the plot so you can discuss the context of quotations, character’s actions and the structure of the play.
Also, this sheet with key quotations is really useful for revision. (Key Quotes Sheet)
There are several ways you could use this to revise:
- Focus on one theme in Blood Brothers. Use the key quotes document to select quotations which link to this theme.
- Look at a past paper (there are lots here) Use the key quotes sheet to make an essay plan for this question.
- Create flashcards for key characters, selecting 3-4 key quotations for each character. Make sure you elaborate on each quotation, explaining why it is important.
- Use the sheet to make mind maps on each character.
For Romeo and Juliet, you will be asked an essay question based on the themes or characters in the text. This means, you have to develop an in-depth knowledge of the whole play. You could be asked about fate, love, violence, Tybalt, Juliet, Friar Laurence. Any character or theme could be part of the exam.
The good news is, you will always have an extract to start from. So, a large part of your answer can include analysing this extract and exploring the extract in relation to the question.
Have a look at this example:
Romeo and Juliet conflict Question
In this question, the main theme you are being asked to discuss is ‘conflict’ and have an excellent extract to start from. The question is deliberately very open, and there are lots of different ways you could approach it. This means there is no one ‘correct’ answer.
You could get full marks discussing:
- Juliet’s conflict with her family.
- The violence between the Montagues and Capulets.
- The conflict between parents and children.
- The deaths of Tybalt, Mercutio and Paris.
- The conflict between individuals like Romeo and Juliet and what society expects of them.
What the examiners want you to demonstrate is an in depth knowledge of the play and the ability to explore interesting ideas. Remembering some quotes will certainly help, but these can even be individual words.
Why not have a go at the essay? Start by making a mind-map of every part of the play that links to conflict. Which type of conflict would you focus on? What quotes might you learn to help you?
When studying Juliet’s character, it’s hard not to appreciate how clever she is at manipulating her words. She manages to appease her parents, without clearly stating her opinion. She talks about her relationship with Romeo with clever and fascinating metaphor. At points, she openly lies to her family.
Have a look at this collection of quotes. How does Juliet use ambiguity, double meanings and imagery? What do these lines tell you about the power of her language, despite her young age?