Cover image for Romeo and Juliet
Title:
Romeo and Juliet
Author:
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Edition:
Modern Library edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Modern Library, 2001.
Physical Description:
xvii, 101 pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780679642206
Format :
Book

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PR2831 .A1 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Presents Shakespeare's tragic tale of star-crossed lovers and feuding families.


Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Choice Review

Targeting novice readers of Shakespeare, "The Sourcebooks Shakespeare" series presents the Bard's plays as a ground for lively debate and discussion. Each release includes a general introduction; the text of the play itself; a series of essays on the play, written by scholars who eschew technical vocabulary; and an audio CD of various performers reading selected scenes and speeches from the play. In the case of the Othello volume the recordings include rare gems performed by Paul Robeson and F. Scott Fitzgerald; the Romeo and Juliet CD features performances by Joseph Fiennes, Claire Bloom, Albert Finney, Judi Dench, and Fiona Shaw. The text of both plays is presented in an appealing font size with lots of blank space surrounding the dialogue. Notes occupy a facing page, and they are helpful without being overwhelming. Scenes or speeches performed on the CD are marked with a text box that indicates how to locate the track. Neither volume clarifies how the editors arrived at "the text," which will be a drawback to teachers who want to engage students with questions of textual bibliography. Photos of past productions aim to help students visualize the scenes. With all this helpful commentary, however, student readers have little need to project the text imaginatively. For example, in narrating the Othello CD, Sir Derek Jacobi prefaces most tracks with a summary of the scene to follow and frames each with an interpretation. The quality of these two volumes differs somewhat. In happy contrast to the edition of Othello, the essays in the Romeo and Juliet volume do not lose sight of the fact that the play text requires active, critical reading. Facsimile pages from promptbooks of famous productions, e.g., J.P. Kemble's 1814 mounting of the play, point the reader to directors' revisions of the play as they produce it. Those with limited background in reading early modern plays will appreciate this very "friendly" Shakespeare series. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; secondary students; general readers. M. A. Bushman Illinois Wesleyan University


Booklist Review

The whole of the classic romantic tragedy is presented here in sequential art format, with two additional degrees of abridgement (Plain Text and Quick Text) also available, each featuring identical artwork. Readers frustrated by the subtleties of how to read stage plays will be greatly helped by the way in which this book clarifies the distinction between spoken dialogue and what a character is thinking. Expressive faces and postures and distinguishing features among main characters will help keep the cast straight in readers' minds, and well-pointed speech balloons with amply sized type show exactly who says what. Rich coloring in the period costumes and scenery, splashed across glossy pages, further contribute to the visually engaging quality of this graphic novel, and help it stand tall in the crowded field of adapted classics.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Another cool book-and-disc combo, these editions of the bard's beloveds offer the full illustrated text with an audio CD sporting numerous key scenes. A great idea. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-These full-text editions of the plays have clear, thoughtful annotations. Both volumes begin with the same good introductory essay about Shakespeare's life and times and include an essay that gives a voice coach's perspective on the Bard. What truly distinguishes these titles from other books, however, is the emphasis on the plays in performance. Each volume includes a discussion of a famous production and an analysis of the play in popular culture, as well as a section entitled "The Cast Speaks," which contains interviews with actors and actresses from modern productions who share their ideas about the characters and their motivations. Black-and-white photographs from contemporary stage productions and movie adaptations of each play are included. The really exciting feature of these editions is the audio CD that features recordings of famous actors such as Kenneth Branagh, Paul Robeson, and Kate Beckinsale performing scenes. The CDs include multiple readings of the same scene by different performers, which would be extremely useful for instructors who want their students to think about differing interpretations of the lines, as well as for instructors who would simply like their students to hear Shakespeare spoken by actors who have had training in speaking blank verse. Good purchases for schools in which these plays are a part of the curriculum.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

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. Excerpted from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

William Hazlitt
Introductionp. vii
Romeo and Julietp. 1
Notesp. 91
Glossaryp. 95
About the Introducerp. 103