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Romeo and Juliet

William shakespeare.

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Suggested Essay Topics

1. How does the suicidal impulse that both Romeo and Juliet exhibit relate to the overall theme of young love? Does Shakespeare seem to consider a self-destructive tendency inextricably connected with love, or is it a separate issue? Why do you think so?

2. Discuss the relationships between parents and children in Romeo and Juliet . How do Romeo and Juliet interact with their parents? Are they rebellious, in the modern sense? How do their parents feel about them?

3. Apart from clashing with Tybalt, what role does Mercutio play in the story? Is he merely a colorful supporting character and a brilliant source of comic relief, or does he serve a more serious purpose?

4. How does Shakespeare treat death in Romeo and Juliet ? Frame your answer in terms of legal, moral, familial, and personal issues. Bearing these issues in mind, compare the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Mercutio, and Mercutio and Tybalt.

Romeo and Juliet SparkNotes Literature Guide

Ace your assignments with our guide to Romeo and Juliet ! 

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10 Heart-Stopping Topics for Your Romeo and Juliet Essay

“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

This clever quote from Romeo and Juliet sums up the drama in Romeo and Juliet’s relationship.

But if you’re struggling to find a topic for your Romeo and Juliet essay, you might feel the following quote sums up your own struggles: “For never was a story of more woe than this student trying to write a paper about Juliet and her Romeo.”

I get it. Sometimes the biggest challenge in writing a paper is choosing a topic.

If you’re fresh out of ideas for your paper, check out these 10 heart-stopping topics for your Romeo and Juliet essay.

Before You Pick a Topic for Your  Romeo and Juliet Essay …

romeo and juliet essay

A quick piece of advice: Before you choose a topic , make sure you re-read your assignment .

Do you have to write a literary analysis , a character analysis , an argument essay , or another type of essay?

Trust me, it makes a difference.

If you’re supposed to write a compare and contrast essay about the Capulets and Montagues and you end up writing a character analysis of Romeo, chances are your professor will notice. You also probably won’t be too happy with your grade.

Now that you’re sure of what kind of essay you’re writing, you can work on picking the perfect topic.

romeo and juliet essay

Topic #1: Fate— Romeo and Juliet as star-crossed lovers

Because the Capulets and Montagues (the families of Romeo and Juliet) are enemies, the stars are not aligned for Romeo and Juliet. Their relationship is doomed to fail.

Topic #2: Feminism

Women in the time of Romeo and Juliet are expected to follow orders. Men control society. Juliet, however, defies this role. She is flirtatious with Romeo, and the two even kiss. Juliet proposes marriage to Romeo and defies her parents’ wishes to marry another.

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Topic #3: Character analysis of Tybalt

Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, kills Romeo’s friend, Mercutio. Tybalt is an expert swordsman, full of machismo. He is violent, loves a good fight, and is filled with anger and hate.

Topic #4: Romeo and Juliet as romance or tragedy

There is plenty of evidence that the play is a romance. Romeo and Juliet fall in love and pine for each other. Both Romeo and Juliet will do whatever it takes to be together. They’re even willing to die for their love. This tragic ending, of course, makes a compelling case that this play is more tragedy than romance.

Topic #5: Comparison of love

At first, Romeo is in love with Rosaline, but Rosaline wants nothing to do with Romeo. She is simply unattainable, and in many ways, this makes her even more attractive to Romeo. When Romeo meets Juliet, though, he forgets about Rosaline and falls head over heels in love with Juliet. (Obviously, Juliet feels the same about Romeo.)

romeo and juliet essay

Topic #6: Young love

If you’ve ever been in love as a teenager (or thought you were in love), then you can relate to the young couple.

When Romeo and Juliet meet, they can think of nothing else. They defy their parents, ignore the age-old feud between the families, and do anything to be with each other. Teens today aren’t much different.

Topic #7: Parenting styles

The relationship between Romeo and his parents and Juliet and her parents is prominent throughout the play. Both sets of parents have strong opinions on how to raise children and believe their children should follow the rules they establish.

Topic #8: Romeo and Juliet as reality TV

Let’s face it, this play has the makings of an awesome reality TV show (except, of course, without that whole suicide scene at the end). Like any good reality show, Romeo and Juliet has fighting families, love triangles, male bravado, lies, deception, and police involvement.

Topic #9: Who is to blame?

You can argue that many people are to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Mercutio convinces Romeo to go to the ball. If Romeo didn’t attend the ball, he might not have met Juliet.

The Capulet and Montague families continue their bitter feud, forcing the young lovers to keep their relationship a secret.

Friar Lawrence marries Romeo and Juliet, keeps the relationship a secret, and offers the poison to Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet are at fault for their own deaths as they ultimately make their own decisions.

Topic #10: Analyze important scenes or quotes

There are plenty of memorable (and significant) scenes and quotes in Romeo and Juliet .

For example, the opening scenes demonstrate the long-standing feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. In the balcony scene , Romeo and Juliet profess their love to each other. Juliet states, “O Romeo, Romeo! — wherefore art thou Romeo?” and asks why Romeo has to be Romeo and why he has to be a Montague.

“Parting is such sweet sorrow”

romeo and juliet essay

Alas, good people, we have reached the end of our discussion of topics for thy Romeo and Juliet essay. But do not fear. If thou requires more assistance, the Kibin editors can help thee .

Need to get more inspired before you start your own  Romeo and Juliet  essay? You might find  How to Spot Personification in Romeo and Juliet helpful for other paper themes and ideas as well. Or check out these  Romeo and Juliet essay examples:

Our blog also has posts about other literary masterpieces, such as The Great Gatsby , Othello , and The Scarlet Letter .

If you need more writing help, check out these articles about prewriting , writing in third person , and  how to write an awesome opening to your paper .

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays .

essay prompts romeo and juliet

About the Author

Susan M. Inez is a professor of English and writing goddess based out of the Northeast. In addition to a BA in English Education, an MA in Composition, and an MS in Education, Susan has 20 years of experience teaching courses on composition, writing in the professions, literature, and more. She also served as co-director of a campus writing center for 2 years.

essay prompts romeo and juliet

William Shakespeare

Study Help Essay Questions

1.  Love manifests itself in a multitude of ways in the play. Compare and contrast Romeo's love for Rosaline with Romeo's love for Juliet. Consider love as it exists in the Capulet household. How does love operate between Lord and Lady Capulet, Juliet, the Nurse, and Tybalt?

2.  Some readers consider the final scene in which both Romeo and Juliet die to be triumphant. In addition to the families being reconciled, how is the final scene triumphant?

3.  Consider Lord Capulet's personality. How do his moods change and why? How does these mood swings affect Juliet, and how do they affect the course of the play?

4.  Compare and contrast Romeo's reaction to the news of his banishment with Juliet's reaction.

5.  Examine the role of Escalus, the Prince, as the play's figure of authority. How far is he to blame for what happens?

6.  Some critics have said that Shakespeare had to kill Mercutio as he was becoming such a compelling characters that he detracted from Romeo and Juliet. Do you agree? Why or why not?

7.  Light in its various forms recurrs throughout the play. How does light mirror the action? How does the author use light to describe the characters and the changes they undergo?

8.  As the Friar picks his herbs, he tells us that nature's tomb is also her womb and that what dies gives birth to new life. How do the Friar's words anticipate upcoming events? Do you think that the Friar proactively creates events that follow, or does he react to situations that are beyond his control? Explain.

9.  Juliet is a very young girl; however, she shoulders a great deal of responsibility and manages a series of very difficult situations. Discuss Juliet's maturity level and compare it to Romeo's. Compare Juliet early in the play with Juliet later in the play. How has she changed? When did she change? Why did those changes occur?

10.  The first Prologue describes Romeo and Juliet as, "A pair of star-cross'd lovers." Examine the way Shakespeare uses cosmic imagery in the play to emphasize the connection between Romeo and Juliet and their tragic deaths.

11.  Shakespeare makes the plot of  Romeo and Juliet  rely on the delivery of crucial messages. Explain the importance of these various messages and the problems with the messengers.

12.  Dreams often play an important part in Shakespearean dramas. At several points in the play, the characters have dreams. Sometimes they interpret them correctly, and other times they don't. Discuss these instances and how the characters' reactions to those dreams affect the action in the play. How do the characters interpret or misinterpret their dreams?

13.  The feud between the families seems to be an ever-present concern for the characters. How does the feud drive the action of the play. How do the various characters manifest the feud?

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Commaful Storytelling Blog

1001 Writing Prompts About Romeo and Juliet

March 18, 2021

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Romeo and Juliet are arguably the most popular and influential star-crossed lovers in literature. They are so well-known that even though it had been centuries since Shakespeare wrote the tragic play, people from around the world still make adaptations of it—from books and short stories to film and even web series. In fact, there was even a fantasy anime called Romeo x Juliet made in 2007, loosely based on the Shakesperian play. What’s more, there was also a British-American animated movie released in 2011 called Gnomeo and Juliet that portrayed the iconic couple as garden gnomes.  

The characters’ popularity is no surprise though because a lot of people enjoy stories that highlight eternal love even though they end in tragedy. 

If you are interested in making your own version of Romeo and Juliet, you might find these writing prompts helpful: 

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