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This text is part of a series in which the standard Shakespearean texts have been slightly abridged to enhance student understanding of the essential ...Show synopsisThis text is part of a series in which the standard Shakespearean texts have been slightly abridged to enhance student understanding of the essential story lines, characters and themes. The text is primarily designed for years 9 - 11 in the New Zealand curriculum, although it may be used at any level in English or drama classes. The author's aim is to make Shakespeare more accessible as the original texts are often regarded as too long and involved for many students. The abridgements take out just enough to make the play manageable and enjoyable, yet remain meaningful and "true" to the originals. Each title in the series has a different introduction, so that if different plays are used at different levels there is minimal repetition of supporting information. In one there may be an introduction to the Globe Theatre, while in another the introduction may be on Elizabethan society. This variation in treatment aims to ensure the series has the widest possible application in schools at all levels. The series is structured as follows to ensure the texts are effective with all students: each text is designed to be a complete unit; the abridged version is accompanied by "Word Banks" designed to give definitions and explanations of some of the more difficult words and phases; each text is followed by a series of activities designed to allow students to become confident with the text; character and theme information is presented in a student-friendly manner; and each text concludes with a collection of activities which are designed for teachers to form an individual programme best suited to their students' needs.Hide synopsis
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.
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.
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.
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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