Living in Fear: Evaluating Juliet's Fears in Act 4, Scene 3

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SWBAT cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences by reading Act 4, scene 3 and evaluating Juliet's fears.

Big Idea

Juliet faces her fears when she takes Friar Lawrence's potion. How would you feel in her position?

Getting Started

15 minutes

At the beginning of class, we will share the homework, which was to select a literary device from Act 4 scene 2 and discuss its effectiveness (RL.9-10.4). This assignment is good practice. My students are good at pointing out literary devices, but they have more trouble discussing how it impacts our understanding of the test. This kind of analytical thinking transcends the English classroom and is therefore important, but there is also a section on their end-of-text test, which acts as a real-time assessment and helps motivate. It will also help with today's lesson, as we will read about Juliet's fears and think about the reality of them.


Take a look at some examples: example 1, and example 2.

Juliet's Fears

40 minutes

In Act 4, scene 3, Juliet will follow-through on the plan my students are already questioning. Last class, they talked through every other option Juliet has besides the potion, because they are not convinced that Friar Lawrence's potion is the best course of action. I hope to use their skepticism to my advantage. Juliet, too, questions whether she should drink the potion and relays her fears about its effects. We will review their doubts quickly before reading, so that they can better identify with Juliet's state of mind. While reading, we will stop often to discuss her fears and evaluate them, citing specific lines to support our conclusions (RL.9-10.1 and SL.9-10.1). Here's a brief look at the class. Students take notes in their notebooks or on sticky notes in their texts.


I plan to spend a significant amount of time reading and understanding this scene, so that students are prepared for the next class, wherein they will write an open response on Juliet's fears regarding the potion.

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

In the last few minutes of class, I will give students time to write any notes they failed to write down during the discussion. These notes-- specifically Juliet's fears-- will help students as they write the open response next class. While I haven't provided the specific essay question yet, I did tell them that we are working toward a one-page response and that their notes will help them.