This GCSE English Literature quiz is the second of two extract questions for Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It takes place in Act Four, Scene One, as the action of the play falls towards tragedy. In this passage, Juliet encounters a jubilant Paris at Friar Laurence’s cell, and must put on a brave face in order to conceal the real cause of her troubled mind. Juliet engages in seemingly playful conversation with Paris, while refusing to consent to his impression of her and of their future together. As always, remember to read the passage through more than once before answering the questions. Think about the way in which this passage relates to the themes of the play. Which details do you consider significant? How would you account for the language choices? Don’t forget: it’s a good idea to practise several extract questions, so be sure to try the Extract 1 quiz, as well!
How to answer an extract question in an exam:
Ensuring you always read through the given passage more than once will improve your ability to answer extract questions in exams. As you first read through, aim for a broad understanding of the passage and particularly how it relates to the question or questions which you will answer. Reading through a second time allows you to begin noting details and making annotations. Consider why the specific passage has been chosen. How does it relate to rest of the text? What is its place in the structure of the text? Does the passage introduce any significant characters or themes? What happens next? Are later events foreshadowed? If so, how? Note any developments which occur between the beginning and end of the passage. Why might the chosen extract end where it does instead of elsewhere? Is the final line significant?
Now think carefully about the question you have been asked to answer. Perhaps you will be discussing the mood and atmosphere of the extract, or a particular character. You might be asked to discuss dialogue, behaviour or feelings. You will also need to relate these details to the themes of the text. Remember to explain the passage’s immediate context: what events precede the extract? How do these events relate to those of the extract? Pay attention to detail, to setting and to characterisation. When writing, group related ideas together, but be sure to discuss the entire passage in your answer. Don’t forget to pace yourself. It’s important to leave enough time to write about the whole passage rather than covering one section in detail and neglecting the remainder of the extract!
Read the passage below carefully before answering the questions.
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FRIAR LAURENCE: Look, sir, here comes the lady toward my cell.
PARIS: Happily met, my lady and my wife.
JULIET: That may be, sir, when I may be a wife.
PARIS: That ‘may be’ must be, love, on Thursday next.
JULIET: What must be shall be.
FIRAR LAURENCE: That’s a certain text.
PARIS: Come you to make confession to this father?
JULIET: To answer that, I should confess to you.
PARIS: Do not deny to him that you love me.
JULIET: I will confess to you that I love him.
PARIS: So will ye, I am sure, that you love me.
JULIET: If I do so, it will be of more price,
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.
PARIS: Poor soul, thy face is much abused with tears.
JULIET: The tears have got small victory by that,
For it was bad enough before their spite.
PARIS: Thou wrong’st it more than tears with that report.
JULIET: That is no slander, sir, which is a truth,
And what I spake, I spake it to my face.
PARIS: Thy face is mine, and thou hast slandered it.
JULIET: It may be so, for it is not mine own.—
Are you at leisure, holy father, now,
Or shall I come to you at evening mass?
FRIAR LAURENCE: My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now,
My lord, we must entreat the time alone.
PARIS: God shield I should disturb devotion! —
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse ye.
] Till then, adieu, and keep this holy kiss. Exit
JULIET: O, shut the door, and when thou hast done so,
Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help!
FRIAR LAURENCE: O Juliet, I already know thy grief.
It strains me past the compass of my wits.
I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it,
On Thursday next be married to this County.
JULIET: Tell me not, friar, that thou hear’st of this,
Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it.
If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help,
Do thou but call my resolution wise,
[She draws a knife
And with this knife I’ll help it presently.
God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands,
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo’s sealed,
Shall be the label to another deed,
Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
Turn to another, this shall slay them both.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet