monday, Nov 16

Here are the answers to the first 2 questions to Analyze the Text on page 360.  I have answered them using the RACE format.  I want you to answer one of the last 3 questions using the same format.


Analyze the Text, page 360 

To Interpret is to explain in your own words.  The question asks you to interpret a line of Mercutio’s. 

After he is wounded in the fight with Tybalt, Mercutio says three times, “A plague on both your houses” (3.3.85, 93, 99).  With these words, Mercutio indicates that he blames the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets for his death. When he asks for a “plague” to fall on both families, he is asking for revenge.  It is like he is saying he wants them to suffer for what they did to him.  Even though it was Tybalt who struck him with a sword, Mercutio understands that the fight was between the two families, not just between the two men. The fact that he said these words three times, emphasizes strength of his feelings. If there had been no feud, maybe there would have been no fight and no death. 


To evaluate is to rate importance. 

Romeo’s attack on Tybalt is motivated by revenge and grief.  While he is acting impulsively, Romeo’s grief over his best friend’s death is deeply felt, motivating him to challenge Tybalt.  As Tybalt returns to the scene after Mercutio’s death, Romeo cries out, “Either thou or I, or both, must go with him" (3.1.122). He feels deeply that Mercutio’s death must be revenged with another death, either his or Tybalt’s.  He is announcing his intention to get revenge but is realistic enough to know that he may not succeed; he may be the one who dies with Mercutio.  Once again Romeo proves his loyalty; when he loved Rosaline, he loved deeply even when she did not return his love.  When he loves Juliet, he understands he is risking his life to be with her. As he is leaving her after their wedding night, he says, “I must be gone and live, or stay and die” (3.5.11) and then again, “let me be ta’en, let me be put to death” when she begs him to stay with her (3.5. 17). And when he realizes his friend is dead, he wants someone to pay for his unnatural death.  Given Romeo’s loyalty to his friends and family and his history of impulsive behavior, it is believable that he would want revenge for Mercutio’s death.