Romeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareIn Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud.
In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers’ final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers.
The authoritative edition of Romeo and Juliet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
*Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
*Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
*Scene-by-scene plot summaries
*A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
*An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
*An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
*Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
*An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet : Play History The best information regarding the date of Romeo and Juliet comes from the title page of the first Quarto , which tells us that the play "hath been often with great applause plaid publiquely, by the right Honourable the L. Moreover, "[m]any critics have placed it as early as , on account of the Nurse's reference in I. But the earliest performance of Romeo and Juliet actually documented was in , staged by William Davenant, the poet and playwright who insisted that he was Shakespeare's illegitimate son. The play has remained extremely popular throughout the centuries, but, strangely, producers in the seventeenth century found it necessary to take great literary license with Shakespeare's original work. In some productions, Romeo and Juliet survive their ordeal to live happy, fulfilled lives. Otway transformed the play to revolve around two opposing senators, Metellus and Marius Senior, who are fighting for political control.
The Background to the Story
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career 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. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but expanded the plot by developing a number of supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris.