Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two teenage "star-cross'd lovers" whose untimely deaths ultimately unite their feuding households. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal "young lovers." (From Wikipedia) William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 - died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely ...
Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two teenage "star-cross'd lovers" whose untimely deaths ultimately unite their feuding households. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal "young lovers." (From Wikipedia) William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 - died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623 two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry." In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.
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This book is filled with scholarship on Shakespeare and his play Romeo and Juliet. It is not even laid out nicely with the notes on one page and text on another. I had to buy this copy for a class, but would not purchase it again if given the choice.
May 31, 2012
High School Requirement
If you are reading this for school, check out SparkNotes or Cliff's Notes for a translation you can understand. Especially the No Fear Shakespeare on Spark Notes.
Apr 1, 2010
Not one of Shakespeare's more original plays
Romeo and Juliet, despite being one of the most popular of Shakespeare's plays, is neither his most well-written or his most original. It is well known that the story was based on an older one by an Italian writer (who probably got his from another Italian writer), so the fact that it is not terribly original is unsurprising. The writing style, however, is also somewhat lacking; many sections are halting because of the changes in rhyming patterns that Shakespeare decided to use, which makes them harder to read. The characters, especially Romeo, were not very easy to connect with; this will change according to opinion, though, and fans of romance will probably like them better than I. All in all, this play does not have the smooth and interesting feel of Shakespeare's later works, but may still appeal to those who like the "star-crossed lovers" theme.
Feb 15, 2010
Having both read this play, and seen it several times, I can't say that I was impressed. Everything goes exactly wrong; it lacks realism, and, though the language is, well, Shakespearean, the story is not supportive. If you like Shakespeare, you will probably like this work; however, there are much better Shakespearean works that just lack the press that this one has.
Oct 12, 2007
I realize "Romeo and Juliet" are most people's favorite. The story is not as intense as "Macbeth" or "Hamlet". In fact the story is rather dull. It is difficult to care about two characters who are self centered. This soap operish plot is not fun to read.
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