Who is to blame for the tragic events of Romeo and Juliet? It can be argued that many of the characters in the play could take responsibility for the final outcome of the story, and each has a role to play in the outcome.
For each character listed below, write how they could be responsible for the tragic events of the play:
- Prince Escalus
- Friar Lawrence
- Lord Capulet
- Lady Capulet
- Lord and Lady Montague
Once completed, cast the roles of the characters above, with one student from the class playing each role. The rest of the class forms a jury. Ask each character to sit on a ‘hot seat’, a single seat placed at the front of the classroom, before the jury.
Members of the jury can then ask them questions about the role they played in the story, and whether they could have helped avoid the tragic outcome. Characters must defend themselves and respond to accusations, using their knowledge of the story and other characters. Use quotes and examples from the play to strengthen your case.
Following the above activities, play the judge and write your findings and opinion of who is to blame in a report, following the jury inquest. This should be your personal opinion, in the form of a judge’s ruling. Your report should indicate which of the characters are to blame and in what ways, and may include excusing the behaviour of some characters who you believe should not be held accountable.