Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet Act II


For Day 1 see here

Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scenes I-VI

Watch a Stage Production of Act II, Scenes I-VI (40 mins)

We watched Act II from the Shakespeare’s Globe production of Romeo and Juliet:


Readers’ Theater (30 mins)

simply shakespeare

As another means of drilling the story deep into the children we carried out a reader’s theater performance of Act II.  This particular rewrite leaves a lot out but focuses on key scenes.  The scenes do not correspond with the actual scenes in the play.  To cover Act II from the actual play we needed to read scene six to scene nine from the book above:

Scene six: The Balcony Scene


Scene Seven: Romeo meets up with the Friar to arrange a marriage


Scene Eight: The Nurse arranges with Romeo to meet with Juliet


Scene Nine: Romeo and Juliet Marry (with T as Romeo and B as Juliet)


Literary Analysis (30 mins)

We did a quick recap of oxymora and puns before moving on to the next three literary devices Shakespeare used in abundance.  The children watched this video about comparative literary devices.  I really liked how she explained everything so much clearer than I ever could.  The video explains personification, similes and metaphors.

  • Personification

Personification is when living characteristics are given to non living objects.  In Act II, scene iii the friar says in lines 1-2

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light

The morning can’t smile, that’s a human trait; the night can’t frown as that too is a human trait

In the same scene, the friar again uses personification giving care the ability to use eyes, also giving it the label ‘his’, and giving it the ability to sleep which inanimate concepts or things of course can’t:

Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie;

Of course, the most poetic scene is that of Romeo in Juliet’s orchard in Act II. Here, Romeo speaks of the night and the day with images of the moon and the sun, which he personifies with this line:

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,  

Who is already sick and pale with grief  

That thou her maid art far more fair than she.

Romeo is saying that Juliet’s beauty shames the moon, who is jealous of her.

  • Similes/metaphors

We have done stacks of work with similes and metaphors.  Similes compare two things which are similar or like each other in some way and use the words as or like.  Metaphors are similar but they say something is something else, rather than saying it is like something else.

I asked the children to find two instances of simile and/or metaphor use in Romeo’s first sighting of Juliette, which they found easily enough:

Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear (simile)

So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows (metaphor)

  • Drumming it Home

Each child became either Mr Oxymoron, Miss Pun etc. They stood in a line and I asked them to introduce themselves to me.  For example ‘I am Miss Personification and I am a comparative device whereby I compare something not alive and give it features of something living.  For example, the wind whistles round the corner’


I then read out examples of each from the text we had read over the past couple of days and the person to whom the literary device applied to stood forward with their hands up.  I am such an adult!  I only thought linearly when I asked them to do this, only having one particular literary device in my mind for each quote:  Ribbet collagepuns1

The children far surpassed my expectations and often found more than one literary device.  I was blown away!

Ribbet collagepuns2

Break for lunch

Rewriting the Balcony Scene Text Message Style (30 mins)

I asked the children to get together and create a series of texts between Romeo and Juliet to represent their interaction during the famous balcony scene, using modern day texting language.  I got this idea from here, and used the print outs provided with the lesson:

Ribbet collagetext1

Ribbet collagetext2

Improvisation Activity (30 mins)

The balcony scene was included in one of the books I bought about the Globe theater:

shakespeares globe

I read the book out loud to them and then we set the theater up and using the puppets included with the book we has fun re-enacting the balcony scene:


Three people read the parts of narrator, Romeo and Juliet:


whilst two children operated the puppets:


This book, whilst being a great book to show what the globe theater looks like, was limited in its play factor.  The puppets could only be stuck through holes and bounded up and down.  I imagine if one did that for a while one would get very bored!  This wouldn’t have been one of our best improvisation activities.

Project Based Learning (60 mins)

The children continued with their project Based Learning.

Continuing with Day Three tomorrow…..


  1. You all are having so much fun. I wish an ocean wasn’t between us. I would love to be a member of your little homeschool. I love the texting balcony scene. What a fun idea.
    Blessings, Dawn

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