Romeo and Juliet Literary Devices Lesson Plan

  • 19 pages
  • Subject: Character Analysis, Literary Devices, Metaphor, Lesson Plans and Educational Resources
  • Common Core Standards: RL.11-12.3, RL.11-12.4, RL.11-12.5

Additional Romeo and Juliet Resources

Product Description

Constructing Love with Metaphors in Romeo and Juliet act II, scene II

This lesson plan asks students to analyze the lovers’ first exchange in the famous balcony scene in order to determine how Juliet uses rhetoric to correct Romeo’s romantic discourse and ground his idealized love in reality. Students will closely examine Romeo and Juliet’s language in act II, scene II to notice the difference in the metaphors both characters use: Juliet creates more logical metaphors that advance her thought process and dialogue, whereas Romeo crafts metaphors that resemble unrealistic tropes of Petrarchan love poetry. Students will discuss their interpretations of these metaphors with their peers and determine to what extent Juliet converts Romeo’s unrealistic romantic love into real love. Upon completing this lesson plan, students will be able to analyze complex metaphors and use their analysis to evaluate the romantic relationship in Romeo and Juliet.

Skills: close reading, drawing inferences, textual interpretation, lexical analysis

Introduction to the Lesson

While Romeo and Juliet, one of the most famous Shakespearean tragedies in the Western canon, is heralded as the greatest love story ever told, this claim is controversial.

Romeo, the main romantic hero of this love story, claims to be in love with another woman at the beginning of the play. We meet a morose Romeo in act I, scene II bemoaning the lack of care his love Rosaline shows him and promising Benvolio that he will never fall in love with another woman. Romeo compares his love to a religion and swears that if he betrays his love for Rosaline, it will be heresy—a crime punishable by burning at the stake.

However, from the title, prologue, and general lore of the story, the audience knows that Romeo will spend most of the play in love with Juliet, not Rosaline. This contradiction seems to challenges the image of Romeo as the archetype of romantic love. Over the course of the play, Shakespeare uses subtle rhetorical shifts in the interactions between Romeo and Juliet in order to show the maturation of Romeo’s love. Juliet moves his love out of the realm of romantic fantasy in order to transform him from a fickle lover into the ideal romantic hero.

About This Document

Owl Eyes lesson plans have been developed to meet the demanding needs of today’s educational environment and bridge the gap between online learning and in-class instruction. The main components of each plan include the following:

  • An introduction to the text
  • A step-by-step guide to lesson procedure
  • Previous and following lesson synopses for preparation and extension ideas
  • A collection of handouts complete with answer keys

Each of these comprehensive, 60-minute plans focus on promoting meaningful interaction, analytical skills, and student-centered activities, drawing from the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and the expertise of classroom teachers.