Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
(Folger Shakespeare Library)

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Most know the rough storyline of the lovers, but Romeo and Juliet holds much more romance, many more fights, and much more tragedy than you would have ever expected.
-Teen Ink

Synopsis

"Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,"

With these first lines, Shakespeare’s timeless play of young love and untimely death begins; as in life, it is sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, always poignantly beautiful. While our emotions are moved by the imagery and rhythms of Shakespeare’s verse, our minds are delighted by the sharpness of his insights into life, death, and the human condition.

Written in the mid-1590s, the play is regarded as one of the Bard’s earliest masterpieces. To make Romeo and Juliet more accessible for the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary of the more difficult words, as well as convenient sidebar notes to enlighten the reader on aspects that may be confusing or overlooked. In doing this, it is our intention that the reader may more fully enjoy the beauty of the verse, the wisdom of the insights, and the impact of the drama.

 

About William Shakespeare

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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.
 
Published June 3, 2016 by Nick Hern Books. 162 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Children's Books, History, Romance, Arts & Photography, Comics & Graphic Novels, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Romeo and Juliet
All: 8 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 3

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Doves_and_Ravens on May 21 2014

Most know the rough storyline of the lovers, but Romeo and Juliet holds much more romance, many more fights, and much more tragedy than you would have ever expected.

Read Full Review of Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shak...

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by iTeenLoveQuotes on May 21 2014

So many topics are in place in Romeo and Juliet and many of them even occur today. William Shakespeare understood that humans are complex, and in Romeo and Juliet he explores how fate, hatred, forbidden love, and death can affect a persons’ life.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by YasminaTabbal on May 21 2014

I don’t want to conclude by saying that it was the most creative thing I’ve read, or my new favorite, because that’s what I say after finishing every book I read, so I’m going to say that Romeo and Juliet is a beautiful story that I really enjoyed, and that no one but Shakespeare was ever able to create such empathy in me.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by JesusandHisLawyers on May 20 2014

Don’t stick up your nose to this play, because you are missing out on a intricately crafted, meaningful story that is really just the narrative of human’s emotional relationships to others and how that seeps into and affects our lives.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Mathew Paul on Jul 26 2011

This is a love story with a great deal to teach us and is still very relevant even today. The story is much more than a love story...

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Book Review Circle

Good
Reviewed by Amrita Dutta on May 21 2014

Shakespeare was fully aware that he was working with a plot that was clichéd even in his own time – today it is even laughable. But the brilliance of a story lies in the story-telling.

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https://www.commonsensemedia.org

Above average
on Sep 04 2014

Shakespearean language can be challenging to read, especially at first, and newcomers would do best with a well-annotated edition that explains difficult words and constructions.

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Impressions In Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Annette on Feb 17 2011

I felt that there was definitely sensuousness in some of the words that were used, which would make sense since this is a love story not just a tragedy.

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