Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

by William Shakespeare
4.2 192

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Overview

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

"For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo."
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. 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.

Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare's original.

Shakespeare's use of his poetic dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.

Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera. During the English Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Davenant. David Garrick's 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and Georg Benda's operatic adaptation omitted much of the action and added a happy ending. Performances in the 19th century, including Charlotte Cushman's, restored the original text, and focused on greater realism. John Gielgud's 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare's text, and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama. In the 20th century the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as George Cukor's comparatively faithful 1936 production, Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version, and Baz Luhrmann's 1996 MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016256641
Publisher: Lions Gate Classics
Publication date: 07/18/2011
Series: Lions Gate Classics , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 696 KB

About the Author

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616)[nb 1] 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".His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, two epitaphs on a man named John Combe, one epitaph on Elias James, 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 brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had 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 a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, 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 physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 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 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works 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. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as "not of an age, but for all time."

Customer Reviews

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Romeo & Juliet 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 192 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This edition is 78 pages long, which doesn't include the entire play and the text is unclean. Do not get this, get a different version. I wasted a dollar buying this version and I'm confused to why there aren't any other reviews like mine.
sparkypan More than 1 year ago
For everyone who gave Romeo and Juliet, the low ratings given were obviously submitted by petulant unappreciative teens who don't know a literary masterpiece when it's thrown in their face! I am sixteen years old and I love this play and this book. All you people who gave low ratings, you obviously didn't take the time to comprehend the story, and that's disappointing because your ignorance deprives you of one of the most thrilling tales of all time.
RIAH-the-WORMI More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I'm twelve and I totally understood it. It is one of the best books I have ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Little hard. Kind of hard to interpret all those huge words. But a very good story, from what i understood.
Lit_Genius More than 1 year ago
The tragic love story! This amazing piece of writing, by William Shakespeare, shows a tragic love-story in which two young lovers are troubled by the hate their families have against each other. The book is intended for young adults, while Shakespeare probably wrote this book to bring about a new concept of a romantic-tragic story. Romeo and Juliet is a book worth reading and buying because it shows a unique concept that was well developed and written, and is worth all 5 stars. This book is basically about Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet. These two love each other so much that they are willing to forget their families' feuds to get together in any way possible. Throughout the story, these two lovers face numerous problems that lead to many vital decisions; and some of them go wrong. They have few friends and many people who are against the couple's love. By looking at: the mood's effectiveness, the role of each character, the ideas put in by Shakespeare himself, and the organization of the numerous events throughout this play, you can easily see that this story is able to create the proper picture in the readers' minds. Romeo and Juliet, obviously, were the main characters of the whole story itself. The whole story revolves around them and how they meet and end up loving each other so much that they do numerous things to try get together. The three main characters throughout the play are: Romeo, Juliet, and Friar Lawrence (who plays a vital role of a type of counselor in the story). The story can be described as a tragedy/romance/poetry, which has a very classical type of writing to describe how love was restricted in the time periods between 18th and 19th centuries. This story takes place in an elegant city called Verona, and all the parts of the book take place within 4-6 days! This book has been able to deliver its purpose because readers from every passing generation have read this book and the concept of love has become less of an issue today. Shakespeare probably had one question on his lips while writing this story: 'Why not?' That's the same response that parents have today when their children tell them about the person whom they want to marry. One myth that shares a similar concept to the one this book holds is the ancient Greek myth of Pyramus and Thisbe. With all due respect to William Shakespeare, this piece of writing is worth reading, not only because it is a classic, but also due to the fact that it brings out and describes a unique idea that is definitely worth it all in lots of people's eyes. Some of the reasons why this book is recommended are because it shows: two brave lovers who were defiant enough to cross the line when needed, how the two lovers had only few friends for help, how lots of good and bad plans were made to make situations much weirder, and how all that was being done was for the sake of love and its rights. This book may be viewed poorly by many modern readers, but what everybody needs to see is how such a different idea had brought change, not only in the thinking of people, but also helped mould out a better community. By reading this book you are only earning and not losing anything!
ClassicReaderBW More than 1 year ago
Highly Reccomended! First of all I found no issues with formatting and all of the navigation links work as inteneded. This was a very good book and I enjoyed this book throughout. I feel that there is alot to learn from this book. Shakespeare's connotation and diction really help the reader to understand and evaluate the interests of William Shakespeare himself. The reader can really see the chemistry between Romeo and Juliet because Shakespeare is so descriptive in his writings. Juliet's fate was determined ultimatly through fate. It was fate that brought Romeo and Juliet together, and it was fate that made their families enemies. Other characters in his play that comtributed to Juliet's demise would be Juliet's Nurse, Friar Lawrence, Capulet, and pretty much every other chacacter in his play. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was a very good book and I would highly recomend it! :)?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Decided to read the book on my nook before I have to read it in paperback for school and being able to look up the definiton of words with a single touch made is SO much easier to read. A beautiful book with a sad ending. 5 stars =)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book people 16 or up should read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to know that Shakespesre is and artist of liturature. His way with words, the intricity of each line is spectacular if not perfect. His beuatifully composed pieces are not to be criticized. If you are brave enough to take on and read this script by an international hero, read it carefully and well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Romeo and juliet is romantic and dramatic it is a great book and really good book and really cheep if you like dramatic and romantic books you should read romeo and juliet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this in junior high. I read it again in 10th grade. Both times I found it ridiculous. Why read this in school? The only lessons this play teaches are that apparently you can fall in love with someone you barely know, and that committing suicide is a romantic tragedy. I don't inderstand how this story was ever relevant at any time. I hope that some day this is taken out of the school curriculum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an awsome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i looked up romeo and juliet a whole lot of book poped up as romeo and juliet... which one should i pick!?!?!?!?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this story! Its true that at some parts it is difficult to understand, but you can see the main idea of that part. The only part that i had trouble understanding was that that they commit suicide. Who commits suicide just because the person that you love is dead? Thats not really a good reason to actually kill yourself. Other than that, i love this book! I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS is not a chatroom people only say things about the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have heard it is a good book and im 15 and cannot wait to read it in class next week sad thing is ill have to interpert the dialogue
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice romsntic novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 11 and I LOVED this book!!! I reccomend you see the movie first before you read the book though (Rome & Juliet starring Claire Danes and Leonardo Di Caprio is my fav) Very sad at the end though :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this thoughtfully and taking my time turned this play from something assigned by school to one of my favorite love stories...well...ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am ten, and I understood this perfectly. Amazing. How does this man spin tales of such power and meaning?? No matter what version you read, the story still touches you. I am also a dancer, and ever since I discovered the story in both book, play, and ballet format, I have been entranced by it. It's my favorite story. I cry when I think of it. My favorite characters are, surprisingly, not Romeo and Juliet, but Tybalt and Mercutio, but that's just me. Thhe book is beautiful, and the play just as good. I would also reccommend renting or buying the ballet version of this and seeing it (especially the duel scenes. ) The Bolshoi and the Royal Ballet have both done amazing productions of the ballet. I cannot express how much this book means to me and how much of an impact it makes in my life. I would give this book every star in tthe sky. I love the story, which touches me so much that I will sit on my bed at night and imagine the story over again and again. The scenes where characters die make me cry. All I can say is that if I only had one book for the rest of my life,this would be it!!!!!!
KKaisl35 More than 1 year ago
This amazing piece of writing, by William Shakespeare, shows a tragic love-story in which two young lovers are troubled by the hate their families have against each other. The book is intended for young adults, while Shakespeare probably wrote this book to bring about a new concept of a romantic-tragic story. Romeo and Juliet is a book worth reading and buying because it shows a unique concept that was well developed and written, and is worth all 5 stars. This book is basically about Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet. These two love each other so much that they are willing to forget their families' feuds to get together in any way possible. Throughout the story, these two lovers face numerous problems that lead to many vital decisions; and some of them go wrong. They have few friends and many people who are against the couple's love. By looking at: the mood's effectiveness, the role of each character, the ideas put in by Shakespeare himself, and the organization of the numerous events throughout this play, you can easily see that this story is able to create the proper picture in the readers' minds. Romeo and Juliet, obviously, were the main characters of the whole story itself. The whole story revolves around them and how they meet and end up loving each other so much that they do numerous things to try get together. The three main characters throughout the play are: Romeo, Juliet, and Friar Lawrence (who plays a vital role of a type of counselor in the story). The story can be described as a tragedy/romance/poetry, which has a very classical type of writing to describe how love was restricted in the time periods between 18th and 19th centuries. This story takes place in an elegant city called Verona, and all the parts of the book take place within 4-6 days! This book has been able to deliver its purpose because readers from every passing generation have read this book and the concept of love has become less of an issue today. Shakespeare probably had one question on his lips while writing this story: 'Why not?' That's the same response that parents have today when their children tell them about the person whom they want to marry. One myth that shares a similar concept to the one this book holds is the ancient Greek myth of Pyramus and Thisbe. With all due respect to William Shakespeare, this piece of writing is worth reading, not only because it is a classic, but also due to the fact that it brings out and describes a unique idea that is definitely worth it all in lots of people's eyes. Some of the reasons why this book is recommended are because it shows: two brave lovers who were defiant enough to cross the line when needed, how the two lovers had only few friends for help, how lots of good and bad plans were made to make situations much weirder, and how all that was being done was for the sake of love and its rights. This book may be viewed poorly by many modern readers, but what everybody needs to see is how such a different idea had brought change, not only in the thinking of people, but also helped mould out a better community. By reading this book you are only earning and not losing anything!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The play Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare and it took place in Verona, Italy in the 1600’s. The reason why it was based on the genre tragedy is because the two star-crossed lovers ended in a tragedy. The feud between the Capulets and the Montagues went on for a very long time, which lead to the misfortune. Capulets and Montagues were forbidden to be with each other. Which made Romeo and Juliet’s love become impossible to be socially accepted. The Capulets and Montagues constantly fought in the streets of Verona. When the family would sadly lose another member of their family they would become furious and seek for revenge on the man with his fellow citizen’s blood on his hands. The Prince Escalus tried to bring peace in the streets of Verona by cautioning anyone that would disturb the streets again will suffer the consequences. All people wanted was to stop the conflict between the rival families and live in peace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love every part of this story. The classical true love and romance sends happy chills down your spine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much ! I would highly recommend reading it and also watch the movie, both are absolutely and i guarantee you will love it to