Romeo and Juliet [NOOK Book]

Overview

Star-crossed Romeo and Juliet are Shakespeare's most famous lovers. A staple of high school reading lists, the tragedy especially resonates with young adult readers who, like Romeo and Juliet, have experienced the exhilarating and perilous phenomenon of being "in love". Given the tragic ending of the play, what does Shakespeare illustrate about his teen protagonists: Are they the hapless victims of fate, or are they responsible for the poor choices they make? Is their love the "real thing", or is it ...

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Romeo and Juliet

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Overview

Star-crossed Romeo and Juliet are Shakespeare's most famous lovers. A staple of high school reading lists, the tragedy especially resonates with young adult readers who, like Romeo and Juliet, have experienced the exhilarating and perilous phenomenon of being "in love". Given the tragic ending of the play, what does Shakespeare illustrate about his teen protagonists: Are they the hapless victims of fate, or are they responsible for the poor choices they make? Is their love the "real thing", or is it self-indulgent passion run amok? These are some of the ever relevant questions discussed in this critical edition of Romeo and Juliet.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"We can more easily decide between Shakespear and any other author, than between him and himself. Shall we quote any more passages to shew his genius or the beauty of Romeo and Juliet? At that rate, we might quote the whole."
Children's Literature - Rita Monteiro
The romantic tragedy Romeo & Juliet, one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, continues today in feature films, opera, ballet, comic books and contemporary news reports of honor killings. The plot is well-known. It has no surprises. Yet, the pure flame of magnetic love, lit at first sight, between this beautiful couple, skilled at poetic flirting, and swept up by irresistible force in their first kiss, continues to attract audiences in the 21st century. Shakespeare writes his poetic dramas for a live audience presented by artists of the spoken word. Skilled actors draw the audience to participate in the dramatic action, awakening their imagination and eliciting a broad spectrum of responses. Powell creates a graphic novel form of the original play with Cabrera, a national prize winning sequential comics/cartoons artist, and Gonzalez, an artistic, graphic novel colorist. Powell retains the dramatic structure (five acts) of Shakespeare's play, with a brief original quotation to highlight the theme of the action. Cabrera and Gonzalez bring alive the opulent lifestyle of the Montagues and Capulets, the parents of Romeo and Juliet, and wealthy merchants of the noble class in the 14th century Italian city of Verona. Cabrera's framed drawings unfold as in a film. A medieval cityscape: palaces, gardens, churches; the luxurious fabrics of richly decorated costumes; uniformed retainers, masked balls, feasts, and lightning duels; all reflect authentic period research. Gonzalez uses rich colors to intensify states of mind and emotion. For example, the table of contents is stark black, the color of mourning, against which crisp, white letters stand out. A few drops of crimson color, sprinkled blood, appear in the left hand corner of the page. They seep, growing like a river of blood, covering both pages of Act I, spilling out onto the cobbled and violent streets of Verona. This color scheme is repeated at the announcement of each act, accentuating and echoing the hurtling destruction caused by the Montague/Capulet feud. This edition includes excellent notes on William Shakespeare, the history of the play, Shakespearean language with examples, discussion questions, and writing prompts. There are also notes on this retelling's author and illustrators. One earnestly wishes to feast on the visual splendors and colors of the other titles in the "Shakespeare Graphic Novels" series: Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. These books will make beautiful gifts, especially for young people interested in printing, dramatic performance and stagecraft, illustration, animation, and film. They are also useful additions to a library, particularly for those who studying the Fine Arts. One quibble, there is a spelling error of the word "feud" on the first page. Reviewer: Rita Monteiro
eNotes.com - eNotes Study Guide
Romeo and Juliet, which ranks among Shakespeare's most popular and well-known plays, is considered by some critics to be the first and greatest example of romantic tragedy written during the Renaissance.
absoluteshakespeare.com - Absolute Shakespeare
There is the buoyant spirit of youth in every line, in the rapturous intoxication of hope, and in the bitterness of despair. It has been said of ROMEO AND JULIET by a great critic, that "whatever is most intoxicating in the odour of a southern spring, languishing in the song of the nightingale, or voluptuous in the first opening of the rose, is to be found in this poem."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300138283
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: Annotated Shakespeare Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 571,530
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the third child of eight.
When he was eighteen, William married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older. They had three children.
From 1858 to 1592, there are no records mentioning Shakespeare, but it is possible that he was employed as a schoolmaster.
By 1592, several of Shakespeare's plays were on the London stage and in 1594, he formed his own playing company, being awarded a patent in 1603 by the King himself.
By 1598, he began to sell copies of his plays and in 1599, he constructed the Globe Theatre.
He wrote his last known play in 1613 and died on April 23, 1616. He is buried at Holy Trinity Church.
The famous plays that he wrote are too numerous to name here, but include "Hamlet," Romeo and Juliet," and "Macbeth."
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Read an Excerpt

Act One

SCENE ONE

Verona. A Public Place. Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers

sampson. Gregory, o’ my word, we ’ll not carry coals.

gregory. No, for then we should be colliers.

sampson. I mean, an we be in choler, we ’ll draw.

gregory. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar.

sampson. I strike quickly, being moved.

gregory. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.

sampson. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

gregory. To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand; therefore, if thou art moved, thou runnest away.

sampson. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.

gregory. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.

sampson. ’Tis true; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

gregory. The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.

sampson. ’Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids; I will cut off their heads.

gregory. The heads of the maids?

sampson. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maiden-heads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

gregory. They must take it in sense that feel it.

sampson. Me they shall feel while I am able to stand; and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

gregory. ’Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.

Enter Abraham and Balthasar

sampson. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.

gregory. How! turn thy back and run?

sampson. Fear me not.

gregory. No, marry; I fear thee!

sampson. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.

gregory. I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.

sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

sampson. I do bite my thumb, sir.

abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

sampson. (Aside to Gregory) Is the law of our side if I say ay?

gregory. (Aside to Sampson) No.

sampson. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.

gregory. Do you quarrel, sir?

abraham. Quarrel, sir! no, sir.

sampson. If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.

abraham. No better.

sampson. Well, sir.

gregory. (Aside to Sampson) Say “better”; here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.

sampson. Yes, better, sir.

abraham. You lie.

sampson. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow. They fight

Enter Benvolio

benvolio. Part, fools! Put up your swords; you know not what you do.Beats down their swords

Enter Tybalt

tybalt. What! art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.

benvolio. I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me.

tybalt. What! drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!They fight

Enter several persons of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs and partisans

citizens. Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down! Down with the Capulets! down with Montagues!

Enter Capulet in his gown, and Lady Capulet

capulet. What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!

lady capulet. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?

capulet. My sword, I say! Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter Montague and Lady Montague

montague. Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not; let me go.

lady montague. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.

Enter Prince with his Train

prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,— Will they not hear? What ho! you men, you beasts, That quench the fire of your pernicious rage With purple fountains issuing from your veins, On pain of torture, from those bloody hands Throw your mis-temper’d weapons to the ground, And hear the sentence of your moved prince. Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets, And made Verona’s ancient citizens Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, To wield old partisans, in hands as old, Canker’d with peace, to part your canker’d hate. If ever you disturb our streets again Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. For this time, all the rest depart away: You, Capulet, shall go along with me; And, Montague, come you this afternoon To know our further pleasure in this case, To old Free-town, our common judgment-place. Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. Exeunt all but Montague, Lady Montague, and Benvolio

montague. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?

benvolio. Here were the servants of your adversary And yours close fighting ere I did approach: I drew to part them; in the instant came The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar’d, Which, as he breath’d defiance to my ears, He swung about his head, and cut the winds, Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss’d him in scorn. While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, Came more and more, and fought on part and part, Till the prince came, who parted either part.

lady montague. O! where is Romeo? saw you him to-day? Right glad I am he was not at this fray.

benvolio. Madam, an hour before the worshipp’d sun Peer’d forth the golden window of the east, A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad; Where, underneath the grove of sycamore That westward rooteth from the city’s side, So early walking did I see your son: Towards him I made; but he was ware of me, And stole into the covert of the wood: I, measuring his affections by my own, That most are busied when they ’re most alone, Pursu’d my humour not pursuing his, And gladly shunn’d who gladly fled from me.

montague. Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs: But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the furthest east begin to draw The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed, Away from light steals home my heavy son, And private in his chamber pens himself, Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, And makes himself an artificial night. Black and portentous must this humour prove Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

benvolio. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?

montague. I neither know it nor can learn of him.

benvolio. Have you importun’d him by any means?

montague. Both by myself and many other friends: But he, his own affections’ counsellor, Is to himself, I will not say how true, But to himself so secret and so close, So far from sounding and discovery, As is the bud bit with an envious worm, Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air, Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow, We would as willingly give cure as know.

benvolio. See where he comes: so please you, step aside; I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.

montague. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay, To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let’s away.Exeunt Montague and Lady

Enter Romeo

benvolio. Good-morrow, cousin.

romeo.Is the day so young?

benvolio. But new struck nine.

romeo.Ay me! sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast?

benvolio. It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?

romeo. Not having that, which having, makes them short. benvolio. In love? romeo. Out—

benvolio. Of love?

romeo. Out of her favour, where I am in love.

benvolio. Alas! that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof.

romeo. Alas! that love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will. Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing! of nothing first create. O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh?

benvolio.No, coz, I rather weep.

romeo. Good heart, at what?

benvolio. At thy good heart’s oppression.

romeo. Why, such is love’s transgression. Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast, Which thou wilt propagate to have it press’d With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. Love is a smoke rais’d with the fume of sighs; Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes; Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears: What is it else? a madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. Farewell, my coz.Going

benvolio.Soft, I will go along; An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.

romeo. Tut! I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.

benvolio. Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.

romeo. What! shall I groan and tell thee?

benvolio.Groan! why, no; But sadly tell me who.

romeo. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will; Ah! word ill urg’d to one that is so ill. In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.

benvolio. I aim’d so near when I suppos’d you lov’d.

romeo. A right good mark-man! And she’s fair I love.

benvolio. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.

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Table of Contents

Samuel Johnson: From The Plays of William Shakespeare
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: From The Lectures of 1811-1812, Lecture VII
H. B. Charlton: From Shakespearian Tragedy
Michael Goldman: 'Romeo and Juliet': The Meaning of Theatrical Experience
Susan Snyder: Beyond Comedy: 'Romeo and Juliet'
Sylvan Barnet: 'Romeo and Juliet' on the Stage and Screen

NEWLY ADDED ESSAYS:
Marianne Novy: Violence, Love, and Gender in 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 234 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(118)

4 Star

(75)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 233 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am in High School, and we used this edition in class, and it was extremely helpful. Not only is it very clear to read, explains well the words you don't know, but it also gives an indepths explanations, on the puns, and etc. which enchances your understanding of the play and your reading experience.

    48 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2006

    A must-read for everyone!

    I firmly believe that Romeo and Juliet is something everyone should read in their lifetime. It's a beautiful love story and though, yes, it all happened really quickly, it added to the passion of the whole thing. I will always, always, love this play, and I would reccomend it to anyone looking for a great and tragic love story!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    Romeo and Juliet Book Review

    I thought this was a good book, but I needed some explanation on the difficult Shakespearean dialect. I liked the plot and the characters, the only thing was that this story was a legend of sorts that Shakespeare simply wrote down; it wasn't his original idea. Other than that, I thought that it was well done.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2013

    A great classic Shakespeare tale of love and tragedy, but this b

    A great classic Shakespeare tale of love and tragedy, but this book takes each part, and translates it into modern, easy-to-read English. What struck me while reading is how little people have changed in 500 years, obsessed with sex appeal, status, and envy of their neighbors.




     

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2011

    can not download completely

    It continues to shut off while I open a new page! Nothing seems to work.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2004

    Okay

    I read Romeo and Juliet twice; once on my own and once for my freshman English class. It's a little bit hard to understand (make sure you get a copy with footnotes on old language), but an okay story in the end. I love the ending!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Good format

    Numerated footnotes and explanations on the opposite page made the text easy to follow. My only little complaint is that the tiny font of this series got annoying sometimes. To enlarge it on the nook color, you have to enlarge the page, which becomes bothersome when you have to swipe back-and-forth from one line to the next. All in all, a good version of Romeo and Juliet, whether for the scholar or casual reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2011

    This book is Corrupted, don't buy

    This book is corrupted, DON'T BUY it.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    Tragic Tale of Young Love

    Romeo and Juliet is a great way to get hooked on reaing Shakespeare. This play is about the tragic tale of two lovers who's parents are enemys and the parents raise their children to despise eachother. But little do they know that their children have fallen in love till death do them part. The ending is both happy and sad.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    It was very good!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Not a huge fan of the size, but the binding is simply beautiful.

    Not a huge fan of the size, but the binding is simply beautiful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    I enjoyed reading Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Made Clear). Gar

    I enjoyed reading Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Made Clear). Garamond Press has done a good job of creating an informative and readable guide to Shakespeare’s play. I learned some interesting background information on Shakespearean England as well. This would be especially helpful for students who want a modern-day explanation of Romeo and Juliet. The one thing I would have done differently is create footnotes instead of using in-text notes. This would have made the text even easier to follow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    Don't understand Shakespeare's play ? This review will spell it

    Don't understand Shakespeare's play ? This review will spell it all out for you in easy terms. It not only tells you in the chapter summary what each act is about but it also explains the characters, the words and why they were used and the history of the town and culture of the people. It also explains the dialect of the time and what the slang or pun terms of the words mean. Throw away your cliff notes, this review is way better than notes, its as if there is someone right next to you talking to you about what the play means in easy detail. Definitely worth buying!!
    marjoriea

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    This is a time-saver for sure and will spare students a great de

    This is a time-saver for sure and will spare students a great deal of confusion. The layout is great, will help introduce younger readers to Shakespeare in a way they can relate to. Even Shakespeare veterans will learn a lot through helpful comments in the text (e.g., definitions, performance notes, historical commentary), although the tone is slightly patronizing. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 2, 2013

    This little booklet provides a hearty synopsis of a dense and so

    This little booklet provides a hearty synopsis of a dense and sometimes confusing masterpiece. It’s pretty much a godsend for anyone reading a Shakespeare drama for the first time while also being a fun and informative (but maybe light) read for folks who are familiar with the work. Worth keeping side-by-side while you’re reading the play itself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    This semester I was assigned Romeo and Juliet in my introduction

    This semester I was assigned Romeo and Juliet in my introduction to Shakespeare class. I wanted to do well so I asked a friend of mine who has previously taken this course to give me some advice. Very simply she said, “Read Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Made Clear); it’s a great supplemental text and will help you understand Shakespeare so well it will be like night and day!” She was right because after getting this book I’ve understood all the underlying messages, poetry and themes so well that I have aced my essay recently! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Romeo and Juliet (Shakespear Made Clear) was written for folks t

    Romeo and Juliet (Shakespear Made Clear) was written for folks that do not pick up Shakespeare to read for pleasure on a quiet 
    afternoon.  This book was written for the vast majority of us that find Shakespeare a chore, not a joy.  The author not only provides clear,
    succinct  translations of the text as it was originally written, but provides brief, entertaining descriptions of the culture, setting, and history of eatre
    theatre in the 1500's.  I strongly recommend this book for anyone struggling with the Elizabethan language and the sonnet form.
    I think you will be pleasantly surprised and may find yourself actually reading Shakespeare on a quiet afternoon.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Shakespeare Made Clear¿s ¿Romeo and Juliet¿ contains Shakespeare

    Shakespeare Made Clear’s “Romeo and Juliet” contains Shakespeare’s full original text. Alongside the original, there is a modern day translation that clarifies what’s going on for the 21st century reader.

    It also comes with an in-depth analysis of the play’s themes, characters, and scenes, along with a specific overview of the story and important facts.

    If you haven’t read the play, or you’ve read it a million times, this guide will surely provide new insight and pleasant reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Shakespeare¿s Romeo and Juliet in American Lingo It can¿t be dis

    Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in American Lingo
    It can’t be disputed that there is no substitute for the classic Shakespeare work, Romeo and Juliet. According to the book, Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare made clear by Garamond Press, other versions of this story existed before Shakespeare wrote his, and certainly this story moved through time with other versions . These included the 1957 West Side Story musical stage production and the 1961 film which garnered the Academy Award for best picture.
    This book offers a wealth of information about the history of the era, the traditions and customs of the times, the previous and post versions of Shakespeare work, a synopsis of the play, summaries of each act, explanations of the way the language was used, and a full translation of every set of lines into the American vernacular.
    This book is an excellent tool for any student assigned to read this work, and for anyone else who really wants to know what the characters in this story are saying.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    I found this guide to Romeo and Juliet to be extremely useful. I

    I found this guide to Romeo and Juliet to be extremely useful. It eliminates the language barrier of a few hundred years or so and allows for a clear and complete understanding of the play.  For me, the layout was most helpful. The old text is broken up into small fragments with the modern translation directly below it, allowing me easy transitions between the two translations. Another benefit is the definitions and explanations offered of words and phrases. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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