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Shakespeare & Beyond

Order It: Juliet’s “What’s in a name?” speech


Julia Marlowe as Juliet on the balcony
Julia Marlowe as Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1888. Folger Shakespeare Library.

One of the most famous scenes from Romeo and Juliet is the”balcony scene” in Act 2. Although a balcony is never explicitly mentioned, Juliet appears up above at a window, with Romeo listening to her, at first unseen, in the garden below.

Before revealing himself, Romeo eavesdrops on Juliet as she says some of the play’s most well-known lines about her love for Romeo and the obstacle presented by the feud between their families, the Capulets and the Montagues.

She begins with “Ay me” and then “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” But what comes next?

Take this quiz and see if you can correctly order the lines in Juliet’s speech.

⇒ Related | Olivia Hussey: The Girl on the Balcony
Olivia Hussey was just fifteen when Franco Zeffirelli cast her in the 1968 film Romeo and Juliet. Hear an interview with the actress.