Romeo and Juliet: Act IV

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 11335

In this world-and-time-shrinking age of instant communication, writing letters seems outmoded. What would Romeo and Juliet say if they were writing today? Learn verbal irony, then write that letter!


Literary Studies

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

You have read the first three acts of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Watch the following portrayal of Juliet being told she must marry Paris.

Image - Video

  • With Juliet being forced into this marriage and Romeo banished from Verona, what is to become of their secret marriage?

Read Act IV to find out!

statue of Juliet in Italy

In Act III, you see Romeo and Juliet's tragic first day as a married couple.

Only hours after secretly marrying Juliet, Romeo kills Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, in a duel after Tybalt kills Romeo's relative, Mercutio. As a result, the Prince of Verona banished Romeo from the city.

Romeo was able to sneak onto the Capulet's property to spend the night with Juliet, his new wife, but he had to leave before dawn to flee to Mantua, a nearby city, to begin exile.

Meanwhile, Juliet's parents informed her that she would marry Paris on Thursday.

  • Why then does Juliet say she can only trust Friar Lawrence, the man who is going to perform the wedding ceremony to Paris?

What a mess!

Before reading Act IV, it is necessary to define some vocabulary from the scene because Shakespeare was known for using a wide vocabulary in his plays.

Look up and record the definitions for the words listed below using or another dictionary of your choice. Then, write a sentence for each word, using it correctly within the sentence's context.

Act IV Vocabulary

  inundation gleek behoove culled
  prorogue bier orison mandrake
  surcease environed charnel abate


  • Are you ready to begin reading Act IV?

You may use your own copy or this revised version of Romeo and Juliet that normalizes the spelling of words and includes line numbers.

Remember to read the act aloud so you can hear the dialogue rather than just reading it silently.

After you read Act IV, Scene 3, watch the video below featuring a rendition. Consider following along with the text beginning with line 16.

Image - Video

Once you've finished reading Act IV, move to the Got It? section to check your comprehension of this act.

Image - Button Next