The greatest love story in English, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a play of star-crossed lovers who take a valiant stand against social convention, with tragic consequences. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited with notes by T.J.B. Spencer, and an introduction by Adrian Poole. 'What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any ...
The greatest love story in English, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a play of star-crossed lovers who take a valiant stand against social convention, with tragic consequences. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited with notes by T.J.B. Spencer, and an introduction by Adrian Poole. 'What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet'. The city of Verona, torn apart by the violent feud between the families of Montague and Capulet, is a powder keg waiting to explode; the Prince of Verona, seeking to restore order, has declared any breach of the peace punishable by death. But for the young Montague Romeo, and his lover, the Capulet Juliet, the enmity of their families is immaterial. Meeting in secret, the two lovers gradually spiral towards disaster as their respective families edge closer towards open warfare. A play that has inspired films as diverse as Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet, Romeo and Juliet is a dazzling combination of passion and hatred, bawdy comedy and high tragedy. This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Romeo and Juliet, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote some of the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love-poetry in English. If you enjoyed Romeo and Juliet, you might like A Midsummer Night's Dream, also available in Penguin Shakespeare. "Romeo was your first "rebel without a cause." (Baz Luhrmann, director of Romeo+Juliet).
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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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