Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library) Info

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In 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


Essay by Gail Kern Paster

The Folger Shakespeare Library in
Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of
Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars
from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public
throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances
and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library):

2

May 18, 2008

Romeo and Juliet, abridged.

ROMEO: I’m Romeo, and I used to be emo and annoying but now I’m so totally in luuuuurve and it’s AWESOME.

MERCUTIO: Okay, three things: One, there’s only room in this play for one awesome character and it’s me, bitch. Two, you’re still emo and annoying. Three, didn’t you say that exact same stuff yesterday about Rosaline?

ROMEO: Who?

*meanwhile, Juliet prances around her room and draws hearts on things and scribbles “Mrs. Juliet Montague” in her diary over and over. Romeo and Juliet, abridged.

ROMEO: I’m Romeo, and I used to be emo and annoying but now I’m so totally in luuuuurve and it’s AWESOME.

MERCUTIO: Okay, three things: One, there’s only room in this play for one awesome character and it’s me, bitch. Two, you’re still emo and annoying. Three, didn’t you say that exact same stuff yesterday about Rosaline?

ROMEO: Who?

*meanwhile, Juliet prances around her room and draws hearts on things and scribbles “Mrs. Juliet Montague” in her diary over and over. Because she is THIRTEEN. How old is Romeo supposed to be? Let’s not talk about that, k?*

CAPULET: Good news, Juliet! I found you a husband!

PARIS: Hello, I’m a complete tool.

JULIET: Daddy, I don’t want to marry that apparently decent and unflawed guy! I’m in love with Romeo Montague – we met yesterday and it was HOT.

CAPULET: I WILL BE DAMNED IF I SEE MY ONLY DAUGHTER MARRIED TO THE ONLY SON OF THE MAN WHO IS MY MORTAL ENEMY FOR REASONS TOO UNIMPORTANT TO SPECIFY IN THIS PLAY!

JULIET: *stamps foot, runs off to her room to watch High School Musical again and sulk*

TYBALT: Hey Romeo, your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

MONTAGUE POSSE: Oh, snap.

MERCUTIO: YOU TAKE THAT BACK!

TYBALT: MAKE ME!

ROMEO: No! You can’t fight him, Mercutio because I already married his cousin!

TYBALT: I KEEL YOU!

*Romeo attempts to stop the fight and fails miserably*

MERCUTIO: FUCK YOU ALL! *dies*

ROMEO: Okay, forget what I said about not fighting. I KEEL YOU!

TYBALT: *dies*

PRINCE: I’ve had enough of your shit, Emo McStabbypants. You’re banished.

ROMEO: Waaaaaahhhhhh! I’m banished and Juliet is going to marry another guy and it’s not fair WHY DOES GOD HATE ME?

FRIAR LAURENCE: Jesus Christ, not this again. Okay, if you promise to grow a pair, I’ll help you and your wife out. Here’s the plan: she takes a potion that’ll make her go into a coma, and then she’ll get put in the family tomb and then you’ll sneak back into town, break into the tomb, wait until she wakes up, and then the two of you escape and live happily ever after! It’s perfect!

AUDIENCE: …the hell?

*Shockingly, the plan fails. Romeo goes back to the tomb (pausing to kill Paris just for good measure), but he thinks Juliet’s dead and drinks poison and dies, and then like two seconds later she wakes up and sees that Romeo isn’t mostly dead like she was, he’s dead, so she stabs herself.*

MONTAGUE: Wow, we are awful parents.

CAPULET: I have an idea – let’s make solid gold statues of our dead children to commemorate their love and serve as a constant reminder of the fact that our only children killed themselves because we were such uncaring parents.

*they actually do this.*

SHAKESPEARE: Beat that, Stephenie Meyer.

THE END.

Read for: 9th grade English

BONUS: courtesy of The Second City Network. Every Shakespeare heroine needs a sassy gay friend ...more
1

Aug 27, 2008

I'm not sure what annoys me more - the play that elevated a story about two teenagers meeting at a ball and instantly "falling in love" then deciding to get married after knowing each other for one night into the most well-known love story of all time, or the middle schools that feed this to kids of the same age group as the main characters to support their angst-filled heads with the idea that yes, they really are in love with that guy/girl they met five minutes ago, and no one can stop them, I'm not sure what annoys me more - the play that elevated a story about two teenagers meeting at a ball and instantly "falling in love" then deciding to get married after knowing each other for one night into the most well-known love story of all time, or the middle schools that feed this to kids of the same age group as the main characters to support their angst-filled heads with the idea that yes, they really are in love with that guy/girl they met five minutes ago, and no one can stop them, especially not their meddling parents!

Keep in mind that Juliet was THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. (Her father states she "hath not yet seen the change of fourteen years" in 1.2.9). Even in Shakespeare's England, most women were at least 21 before they married and had children. It's not clear how old Romeo is, but either he's also a stupid little kid who needs to be slapped, or he's a child molester, and neither one is a good thing.

When I was in middle school or high school, around the time we read this book, I remember a classmate saying in class that when her and her boyfriends' eyes met across the quad, they just knew they were meant to be together forever. How convenient that her soulmate happened to be an immensely popular and good-looking football player, and his soulmate happened to be a gorgeous cheerleader! That's not love at first sight, that's lust at first sight. If they were really lucky, maybe as time went on they would also happen to "click" very well, that lust would develop into love (it didn't), and they would end up together forever (they didn't). But if they saw each other at a school dance, decided they were "like, totally in love," and then the next day decided to run off and get married, we shouldn't encourage that as a romantic love story, we should slap the hell out of them both to wake them up to reality.

For what it's worth, my cynicism doesn't come from any bitterness towards life or love. I met my wife when we were 17, and we've now been together almost 10 years, married for a little over 2. Fortunately for me, she turned out to be awesome. If we had decided the day after meeting each other that we were hopelessly in love and needed to get married immediately, we would have been idiots, and I hope someone who I trusted and respected would have slapped me, hard. If we were 13 at the time, that would be even worse. Enlightened adults injecting this into our youth as a classic love story for the generations, providing further support for their angst-filled false ideas of love and marriage, is probably worst of all. ...more
4

Nov 15, 2008

THIS!
This is what happens when you jump into a Rebound Relationship.
So, when the story opens, Romeo is desperately in love with Rosaline. But since she won't give up the booty has sworn to remain chaste, he's all depressed and heartbroken.
Annoying emo style!



His friends, tired of his constant whining, give him a Beyoncé mixtape.
He takes her words to heart, and her lyrics begin to mend his broken soul.



His boys drag his sad ass to a party, and across a crowded room, Romeo spies his next THIS!
This is what happens when you jump into a Rebound Relationship.
So, when the story opens, Romeo is desperately in love with Rosaline. But since she won't give up the booty has sworn to remain chaste, he's all depressed and heartbroken.
Annoying emo style!



His friends, tired of his constant whining, give him a Beyoncé mixtape.
He takes her words to heart, and her lyrics begin to mend his broken soul.



His boys drag his sad ass to a party, and across a crowded room, Romeo spies his next victim...er, his really-really for real this time True Love.



Meet 13 year old Juliet. Who is 13.



And how old is Romeo? Well, he's old enough to kill Juliet's cousin in a sword fight, so...yeah. Probably not 13.
But since he's such a punk little pussy - what with the whining, sobbing, and spouting off crap poetry - I'm going to assume he's not much older than she is and say 15 or 16.
If I'm wrong, don't correct me. It'll help me sleep tonight.



Tragically, Juliet is a Hatfield, and Romeo is a McCoy. Their families have been feuding over a McCoy pig that was killed during a Hatfield moonshine run decades ago. Totally true. I swear.
Needless to say, tensions are still running high.
So. Shhhhh. They gotta keep their love on the down low.
And it is love, dammit! I mean, they've stared at each other a whole bunch, and had, like, two conversations.



This time around, Romeo isn't going to make the same mistake as before, and let the new girl of his dreams slip through his fingers...
Fuck, yeah! Time to get married!
Because marriage will solve all your problems. No, really.
Pinkie promise!



And we all know what happened next, right?!



Well...Ish.
You know, I can't help but wonder what that first encounter would've been like if they'd met when they were older?

Romeo: Hey baby, Heaven must be missing an angel. Mind if I crawl up to your balcony tonight?



Juliet: The fuck?!



*taser crackles...Romeo screams*

Anyhoo, this isn't a romance, it's a cautionary tale.
And a pretty funny one at that! I originally gave it 3 stars, but I had to bump it up for making me giggle so much. Between Romeo & Juliet both crying, moping, and twirling around like a tweenage girls and the rest of the cast flailing around to accommodate these idiots, this was waaaaaay better than I remembered it.



I listened to this on Playaway, so I got to have the audio version with a full cast of characters, sound effects, and music. Loved it! Totally recommend going this way if you're planning on trying out Shakespeare. ...more
5

May 12, 2007


Two things struck me during this re-reading:

1) From the first scene of the play, the sexual puns are drenched in metaphorical violence (drawing your weapon, laying knife aboard, forcing women to the wall, etc.), creating a stark contrast with the purity of Romeo and Juliet's love and language, and

2) Mercutio, the Nurse and Old Capulet are something totally new both in Shakespeare and also in English drama, that is, characters who are not only realistic but whose language completely reflects
Two things struck me during this re-reading:

1) From the first scene of the play, the sexual puns are drenched in metaphorical violence (drawing your weapon, laying knife aboard, forcing women to the wall, etc.), creating a stark contrast with the purity of Romeo and Juliet's love and language, and

2) Mercutio, the Nurse and Old Capulet are something totally new both in Shakespeare and also in English drama, that is, characters who are not only realistic but whose language completely reflects their thought processes to the point where they take on a life of their own. Shakespeare would create many other such characters, but these three are the first. ...more
5

May 18, 2011

The people who dislike this play are the ones who view common sense over being rational, and prefer to view the world in a structured way. One of the main arguments that come across is the 'meeting, falling in love, and dying all in a weekend when Juliet is but 13'. We all must die in the end, so wouldn't you want to in the name of love than of an awful disease?
Perhaps the two lovers weren't truly in love, but their last living moments were spent believing so, so what does it matter? How can The people who dislike this play are the ones who view common sense over being rational, and prefer to view the world in a structured way. One of the main arguments that come across is the 'meeting, falling in love, and dying all in a weekend when Juliet is but 13'. We all must die in the end, so wouldn't you want to in the name of love than of an awful disease?
Perhaps the two lovers weren't truly in love, but their last living moments were spent believing so, so what does it matter? How can one truly know if one is in love? Is it a feeling? In that case, what is a feeling? If you believe you are in love, then you may as well be, contrary to what others might say.
The argument with the 'weak' plot; Shakespeare didn't invent Romeo and Juliet. It was infact a poem which is constantly being adapted over time. Shakespeare did add in some aspects but the meeting in the ballroom, Tybalts death, the sleeping draught and such were already in the poem.

I personally love this play, purely because it's an escape from this modern world. I'm not saying I like the treatment of women, nor the fighting, but it's like a different world that i'm never going to experience, and reading it through Shakespeare's gorgeous writing makes Verona seem all the more romantic. ...more
5

Jun 07, 2008

Romeo and Juliet = The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
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 Romeo and Juliet = The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
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. The 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 expanded the plot by developing a number of 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. The text of the first quarto version was of poor quality, however, and later editions corrected the text to conform more closely with Shakespeare's original.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1996 میلادی
عنوان: رومئو و ژولیت؛ ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: علی اصغر حکمت؛ مقایسه با لیلی و مجنون نظامی در 248 ص؛
عنوان: رومئو و ژولیت؛ ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: هدایت کاظمی؛ تهران، هنر، 1356؛ در 225 ص: موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 16 م
مترجم: علاء الدین پازارگادی؛ تهران، علمی و فرهنگی، 1375؛ در 223 ص؛ چاپ دهم 1385؛ شابک: 9789644451676؛ چاپ چهاردهم 1392؛
مترجم: فواد نظیری؛ تهران، نشر روایت، 1375؛ در 191 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، ثالث، 1377، شابک: 9646404332؛ چاپ بعدی 1380، چاپ هفتم 1394؛ در 191 ص؛ شابک: 9789646404335؛ چاپ هشتم 1395؛
مترجم: هوشنگ آزادی ور؛ نشر مرداد، 1379؛ در نه و 147 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، رشدیه؛ 1395؛ در 184 ص؛ شابک: 9786009168576؛
مترجم: مریم رسولی؛ تهران، اردیبهشت، 1390؛ در 223 ص؛ شابک: 9789641710882؛
مترجم: مریم نظری؛ مصطفی اکبری؛ قم، نوید ظهور، 1393؛ در 144 ص؛
مترجم: شیما طیبی جزایری؛ تهران، گیسا، 1393؛ در 82 ص؛ برای نوجوانان
ترجمه های دیگری نیز با همین عنوان چاپ شده، که بازنگاری نویسندگان، از اثر: «ویلیام شکسپیر» است، که به فارسی ترجمه شده اند
تراژدی «رومئو و ژولیت»، روایت داستان دو دلداده ی عاشق، و از نخستین آثار استاد سخن «ویلیام شکسپیر» است؛ ایشان کششی به آثار عاشقانه دوران باستان داشتند. درونمایه، براساس داستانی ایتالیائی ست، که به صورت شعر، و با عنوان: «تاریخ باستانی رومئو و ژولیت»، اثر: «آرتور برووک»، در سال 1562 میلادی، و به صورت نثر، در سال 1591 میلادی، توسط: «ویلیام پینتر»، نوشته شده اند. «شکسپیر»، در نگارش اثر خویش، از هر دو اثر سود برده، و شخصیتهای «مرکوشیو» و «پاریس» را نیز دیگر کرده، اثر ایشان، نخستین بار در سال 1597 میلادی، به چاپ رسیده است. چکیده: قهرمانان نمایشنامه، دختر و پسری، از دو خانواده ی بزرگ و رقیب، در شهر «ورونا» هستند، که با یکدیگر دشمنی، و اختلاف دیرینه دارند. رومئو، که از خاندان: «مونتگیو» است، به امید ملاقات با «رزالین»، دختری که «رومئو» دلباخته اش شده، به ضیافت «لرد کپیولت» می‌رود؛ آنجاست که «رومئو»، دختر «لرد کپیولت»، «ژولیت» را ملاقات، و «رزالین» را فراموش می‌کند و ... ...؛ ا. شربیانی ...more
5

Jul 07, 2016

Why didn’t they just run away together? It would have saved a lot of heart ache.


4

Dec 31, 2017

Happy 2018, everyone! I thought I would get the year off on the right track by reading my first book for classics bingo in the group catching up on classics...and lots more. One of the squares on this year's board is to read a book published before the 18th century, and, because Romeo and Juliet is one of this month's group reads, I decided to mark off this square early. Way back in ninth grade, I read Romeo and Juliet. I happened to have a teacher who assigned us outside of the box assignments Happy 2018, everyone! I thought I would get the year off on the right track by reading my first book for classics bingo in the group catching up on classics...and lots more. One of the squares on this year's board is to read a book published before the 18th century, and, because Romeo and Juliet is one of this month's group reads, I decided to mark off this square early. Way back in ninth grade, I read Romeo and Juliet. I happened to have a teacher who assigned us outside of the box assignments such as writing letters between the primary characters or keeping Juliet's diary. Thus, this Shakespearean tragedy remains more memorable to me than some of the other dramas I have read over the years. Yet, the play still warranted a reread through adult eyes so here I am, beginning 2018 by reading Shakespeare.

I will be the first to admit that I although I enjoy reading through modern drama, usually Pulitzer winners, Shakespeare is tough for me. The language I am able to slog through; however, most plots are dull and leave me with much to be the desired. The only dramas I enjoy enough to want to reread is The Merchant of Venice and MacBeth for their strong, female protagonists. Which, brings me back to Romeo and Juliet. Most people know the basis of the story, one that has been retold so many times that it is part of western vernacular. My favorite version of Romeo and Juliet is the musical Westside Story. The song that begins "when you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way" sets the tone for the entire musical: the Jets and Sharks just flat out don't like each other but they are loyal to members of their own gang until their last dying day. This plot comes right out of Romeo and Juliet which features the Montagues and Capulets of Verona who have been feuding for time eternal. Like its more modern counterpart, the Montagues and Capulets just flat out don't like one another no matter the circumstances. It has always been thus and no member of the leadership of either family has done anything to lessen the feud.

All these feelings of ill will change on one special night when young Romeo Montague is smitten with Juliet Capulet at a masked ball. The two instantly fall in love and do everything in their power to hide their romance from their feuding family members, parents included. I can understand why this is the play often assigned to fourteen year olds because what young teenager has not been smitten and thinks that he/she is in love. Combine this with the aspect of star crossed lovers who are going against the prevailing trends of society, and there are many directions that a teacher can go in while discussing this with students. Boys will like enjoy the dueling between members of the Montagues and Capulets and perhaps also the innuendo imagery that Romeo uses to describe Juliet whereas, perhaps, girls will swoon over the descriptions of Romeo and how he does everything in his power to marry and be with Juliet for all eternity. Reading through adult eyes and admittedly 21st century eyes, I enjoyed the plot myself as well as descriptions of Juliet. The star-crossed lover unique aspect of this play allowed me to read it quicker than I would with other Shakespearean drama that I find tedious to get through at best.

Despite the imagery and the storyline, Shakespeare's language was still a bore for me to read. The planning and plotting and long soliloquies made for heavy reading. The story of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet and the consequences of their relationship could be completed in one to two acts. Yet, then the story would not be a Shakespearean five act timeless classic. Perhaps because I am reading this drama during the 21st century where people need information before it happens makes plays with more speaking than action too slow at times for modern readers. Even with modern literature, unless it is quality literary fiction, I find it sluggish to get through slow moving novels with little plot movement, and prefer those novels with shorter chapters. After rereading a number of Shakespearean plays over the past few years I have come to realize that unless there is a lot of plot development-- feuding, fighting, falling in love, illicit marriage, more fighting-- that it is a challenge for me to get through the text. Lucky for me that Romeo and Juliet contains the elements of a quality story so it is only the text that challenges me, not the story itself.

Shakespeare's story of star-crossed lovers remains timeless classic that has been redone many times over. Romeo and Juliet have made appearances in some form on Broadway plays to Hollywood movies including a modern version starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo. Without stretching one's imagination all that much, Romeo and Juliet even resurface in the Star Wars story during the prequel trilogy. Their imagery is everywhere in modern society and by telling of two feuding groups as a backdrop, Shakespeare created a tale that could relate to people across many places and times, from school groups to rival governments. Now that I got through my first book of the year I am excited to get a jump start on bingo and my other challenges, both in groups and personal ones. Whether I read another Shakespeare remains to be seen because at the end of the day, if there are no feuds, fights, star-crossed lovers, and other elements of a modern story, Shakespeare's long soliloquies are not really my taste.

3.75 stars ...more
5

Jun 12, 2012

‘in fair verona, where we lay our scene..’

i went to verona this past weekend and there is a very special experience that comes from reading a story in the same place where it is set. the city has a very romantic feel to it, but its a gentle and quiet romance. which is completely different from the urgent and desperate love between romeo and juliet.

we could argue for days about whether or not romeo and juliet were actually in love with each other (let alone old enough to know what love is) ‘in fair verona, where we lay our scene..’

i went to verona this past weekend and there is a very special experience that comes from reading a story in the same place where it is set. the city has a very romantic feel to it, but its a gentle and quiet romance. which is completely different from the urgent and desperate love between romeo and juliet.

we could argue for days about whether or not romeo and juliet were actually in love with each other (let alone old enough to know what love is) but, for me, my focus isnt the story. its how its told. the writing in this is so lovely (even when tybalt gets called a saucy boy lololol). i think shakespeare is a genius and the way his characters express love and longing and desire in this is really something else.

‘come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night;
give me my romeo; and, when i shall die,
take him and cut him out in little stars,
and he will make the face of heaven so fine
that all the world will be in love with night.’
maybe i just fell under the spell of city, or maybe shakespeares words really do have a profound effect on the reader, but i enjoyed this play and these star-crossed lovers. and its true what the prince says, ‘for never was a story of more woe than this of juliet and her romeo.’

↠ 4.5 stars ...more
5

Feb 19, 2009

Every emo fourteen year old's dream. In bullet-point form:

• fall in love with hot boy/girl (delete as appropriate) that parents can't stand;

• tender words and some sex - gotta find out what that's like;

• major tragic incident that really wasn't your fault, you were provoked;

• everyone's mad at you;

• die beautiful death in loved one's arms;

• parents finally understand how much they cared about you and are sorry they didn't treat you better when you were alive.

So how did Shakespeare manage to Every emo fourteen year old's dream. In bullet-point form:

• fall in love with hot boy/girl (delete as appropriate) that parents can't stand;

• tender words and some sex - gotta find out what that's like;

• major tragic incident that really wasn't your fault, you were provoked;

• everyone's mad at you;

• die beautiful death in loved one's arms;

• parents finally understand how much they cared about you and are sorry they didn't treat you better when you were alive.

So how did Shakespeare manage to turn this heap of crap, which even Zac Efron would think twice about, into one of the most moving stories of all time? If you still need proof that he was a genius, look no further.
...more
5

Sep 15, 2016

It is always so satisfying to read a book you've heard so much about throughout your life. You should have seen how excited I got when Juliet started saying "Romeo, o Romeo"!
5

Apr 11, 2017

"Never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo "...........The ultimate love story, 400 years old, you may ask why? William Shakespeare's narrative , the poetry, a tragic saga drenched in beauty, the words are magical , a reader will be entranced by its imagery , no one could be better...really a long exquisite poem disguised as a play set in the 14th century of the Renaissance, in Verona, Italy during the turbulent age of petty kingdoms , fierce wars and passionate times. The "Never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo "...........The ultimate love story, 400 years old, you may ask why? William Shakespeare's narrative , the poetry, a tragic saga drenched in beauty, the words are magical , a reader will be entranced by its imagery , no one could be better...really a long exquisite poem disguised as a play set in the 14th century of the Renaissance, in Verona, Italy during the turbulent age of petty kingdoms , fierce wars and passionate times. The short but interesting lives, young marriages and early exists, the atmosphere thick with unseen calamities...Romeo , a Montague, loves Juliet, a Capulet...that is a big problem, the two teenagers don't care or understand the long lasting bloody feud, between their families. Hate is not them, passion is...the opposite...a great love consumes the immature couple , after just a few hours of knowing each other they impulsively decide on a secret marriage. Romeo had gone with his friends to a perilous, masquerade party given annually by Juliet's father, at his house, the sumptuous feast is strictly off -limits to their archenemies the Montagues, of course this makes for a rather tantalizing challenge, brave or moronic , the youths want some excitement...The Montague stranger immediately falls in love with this supposedly loathsome girl , of the rival evil clan, the daughter of the leader , the couple are smitten... not knowing their true identities, yet nothing matters to Romeo and Juliet, even after the revelations ... except feelings, too much so it will cause heartache. Then reality sets in ...Mercutio a good friend of Romeo's, is slain in a tawdry street brawl, by Tybalt Juliet's cousin...the lover of hers seeks revenge and kills the Capulet. Now what...Juliet must decide, stay loyal to the family or continue to be a wife, their secret marriage performed by Friar Lawrence, he naively believed the joining of the two would end the foolish conflict...Nevertheless blood flows again, even the Prince in the city cannot stop the animosity, his threatened harsh penalties, including death, does nothing to calm the situation. Romeo is banished forever from town, the distraught daughter of a Capulet is told to marry Count Paris a relative of the ruler Prince Escalus ...How can a 14- year-old girl, not quite a woman, cope. Her adoring servant, who raised her, yet an uneducated nurse, tells Juliet to marry Paris and forget her first wedding...Will she... Friar Lawrence has a dangerous plan... the only hope for the pair, it could result in a happy solution ....A story that will be read again and again...love is always in fashion , especially the kind that engulfs every walking minute in a young life...they know nothing else. ...more
5

Jan 27, 2013

Excellent! I can't believe I've waited so long to read this classic play! Having only surmised the story of ROMEO AND JULIET and not even seen the movie (yet) I now know Romeo was a Montague and Juliet a Capulet, two houses at odds. I know about the disastrous duels, the secret marriage, the surprise suitor and the botched plan; and then there's the fatal ending..... I even had that wrong, and OMGOSH they were so young!

I enjoyed actually reading Juliet's melodramatic expressions of love....."O

Excellent! I can't believe I've waited so long to read this classic play! Having only surmised the story of ROMEO AND JULIET and not even seen the movie (yet) I now know Romeo was a Montague and Juliet a Capulet, two houses at odds. I know about the disastrous duels, the secret marriage, the surprise suitor and the botched plan; and then there's the fatal ending..... I even had that wrong, and OMGOSH they were so young!

I enjoyed actually reading Juliet's melodramatic expressions of love....."O Romeo Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" and "Good-night, good-night! parting is such sweet sorrow....That I shall say good-night till it be morrow." But, IMHO, none were better than this one......

"Give me my Romeo. And, when I shall die

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun."

Bring on more Shakespeare! Unforgettable read!

Update: March, 2016

Oh Boy! Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 movie version of Romeo and Juliet is excellent! Just like reading the screenplay. Loved it!

Thank you GR friends Sara, Lisa and Jonetta for the recommendation!

...more
4

Feb 11, 2013

True confessions time: I've read Romeo and Juliet at least once, maybe more (probably it was in one of my college English courses) and mostly thought, great poetry, but GAH! silly kids! idiotic people! I've seen it on stage once or twice -- one production cast Romeo's family entirely with black actors and Juliet's family with white ones, to bring the feuding a little closer to home, I guess. It was interesting, but still, didn't really move me. I'm sure I teared up during the final scene, but True confessions time: I've read Romeo and Juliet at least once, maybe more (probably it was in one of my college English courses) and mostly thought, great poetry, but GAH! silly kids! idiotic people! I've seen it on stage once or twice -- one production cast Romeo's family entirely with black actors and Juliet's family with white ones, to bring the feuding a little closer to home, I guess. It was interesting, but still, didn't really move me. I'm sure I teared up during the final scene, but I'm easy to manipulate emotionally that way. Books and movies make me cry All. The. Time. It's not a major achievement.

And then I saw the movie Shakespeare in Love (on cable TV, years after it was in the theaters). The movie has Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow doing numerous scenes from R&J together, not to mention a little Dame Judi Dench on the side, which always helps, and I totally ate it up. The actors were amazing, and it hit me right in the heart.

So all of that is to say that yes, Shakespeare is a genius, but sometimes it just takes the right set of actors in one of his shows to make you love it emotionally as well as intellectually. Which reminds me of my favorite actors ever in a Shakespeare production, Oberon and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream ... but that's a different story. ...more
4

Jan 07, 2012

Review
As I looked over my previously read books and searched for one that was missing a review, Romeo and Juliet stood out to me. But then I thought about it... who doesn't know about this play? Who hasn't read it in school sometime in the past? Who hasn't watched a movie version or seen some sort of take on the classic tortured romance story? And why on earth would anyone care to read another review, let alone my review, on it? Exactly. So... don't look for much here as I'm sure most Review
As I looked over my previously read books and searched for one that was missing a review, Romeo and Juliet stood out to me. But then I thought about it... who doesn't know about this play? Who hasn't read it in school sometime in the past? Who hasn't watched a movie version or seen some sort of take on the classic tortured romance story? And why on earth would anyone care to read another review, let alone my review, on it? Exactly. So... don't look for much here as I'm sure most everyone has read it already. And I'm not that funny to even make reading my opinions worth it. That said... a few shared thoughts about what I've learned from this play:



1. Parents exist to torture their children. It's a simple fact. If your child wants X, it is your responsibility to keep X away from him/her.



2. Love will always end in disaster. Don't attempt it without proper back-up.



3. Even though someone looks dead, they probably aren't. Kill them again just to be sure.



4. Your bros or girls don't always have your back.



5. Magic powders are the cure for everything. Always trust what you don't understand. And just inhale it like the world is about to end.



In all sincerity, I do like the play a lot. I've enjoyed countless interpretations. I think parts of it are brilliant and parts of it are pure illogical nonsense. Every TV show and movie has their own re-appropriation to tell. Not everything can be perfect when it comes to love. But this play certainly teaches a lot of lessons and provides a lot of bumps. And this reader still goes along for the ride...



About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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2

Jun 01, 2007

"Hey! I'm eatin' here!"

So you're at a nice outdoor cafe one day, eating your lunch, and all of a sudden some fool kids come running through the square with their swords out (apparently they've got some strong Second Amendment advocates in Verona) and insist on skewering each other right there in front of you in the square! And seriously all you want to do is just eat your (damn fine, not that anyone asked you) pasta and get back to work before your lord finds some excuse to fire you. But nooooo, "Hey! I'm eatin' here!"

So you're at a nice outdoor cafe one day, eating your lunch, and all of a sudden some fool kids come running through the square with their swords out (apparently they've got some strong Second Amendment advocates in Verona) and insist on skewering each other right there in front of you in the square! And seriously all you want to do is just eat your (damn fine, not that anyone asked you) pasta and get back to work before your lord finds some excuse to fire you. But nooooo, instead you've gotta deal with a whole lot of screaming, panicky, dangerous crowds rubbernecking around (and betting on) these rich kids fighting over who knows (or cares) what and there's no way you're gonna get back in time.

Yeah.. that's about the read I got from Shakespeare on this play. This is an excellent deconstruction of the elements that make up major Greek tragedies, breaking it down into parts and fitting them into modern day (or it was then) society. Shakespeare was a great adapter of older tales retold to suit his own purposes, and here, it shows.

So there's this Greek story, right? It's set up on this grand scale, with major, crashing chords that are played over and over throughout the tale. There's the Greek chorus, of course, at the beginning and then somewhere in the middle to remind us what it is we're watching. There's a good deal of sky imagery to go along with this invoking of the old gods- moons, suns, clouds, night, stars, dreams, even the otherworldly fae("Juliet is the sun," "the lark the herald of the dawn" "take him and cut him into little stars", the Queen Mab speech, tons of other examples). By the same token, the gods of the Underworld are equally called to witness- lots of death, grave, earth imagery as well (examples: too many to count). These extreme terms are then often juxtaposed next to each other ("wedding bed/grave" is probably the most frequently used, for obvious reasons) throughout the course of the tale.

Through this, Shakespeare shows you just how seriously his main characters take everything that's going on. Especially Romeo and Juliet, of course, but also all the other family members of the Capulets and Montagues (with the exception of Mercutio). Everything is on a Grand Scale. Everything is the Most Important Thing Ever! Nothing could be more Lofty!....

Until Shakespeare quite strongly states his opposition to that idea.

He thrusts this Grand Tragedy into the midst of a bustling, thriving city, where the participants must brush elbows with and be interrupted by the every day facts of life. He uses each stupid mistake to show us all the ways the end we know is coming could have been and should have been averted, were it not for the stupidest thing that could possibly happen happening in every single scenario. I ended up thinking this after seeing all those scenes of servants at the Capulet house preparing for parties, servants running about the city with messages, escorting Nurse on her errands, inserting a plague that prevented the letter from getting to Romeo. While the two teenage idiots are upstairs enacting this farce, life is happening all around them, and they are just way way too self-centered to see it. Juliet is a bit more aware than Romeo, though. She understands the conflict between the two families, what it will likely mean for them, what she needs to do to get what she wants, and how to accomplish it. And yet... even she is so centered on the fulfillment of what she wants she can barely pause to think of others. There's a great little moment when Nurse comes back from seeing Romeo in the square and Juliet is really impatient to hear what he had to say. Nurse is all 'I'm old! I'm out of breath, give me a second!' Juliet doesn't seem to really care if she dies on the spot, so long as she gets the information she wants, and then Nurse says, accidentally, the words that I think explain this whole play:

Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a
courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I
warrant, a virtuous,--Where is your mother?

EXACTLY. She's THIRTEEN, you guys. That's exactly what he SHOULD have said when he met her, and didn't. You know why? 'Cause Romeo's a virgin who really really would prefer not to be. He tells the Friar that he likes Juliet instead of Rosalind now because she loves him back and will presumably have sex with him whereas Rosalind would not. Friar's great response: "O, she (Rosalind) knew well/Thy love did read by rote and could not spell."

Just another case of why True Love Waits is a poor plan! If only Romeo had himself a girlfriend, this whole thing could have been avoided.

This play displays the soul of adolescence. Both positive and negative. Negative seems to be more promiently on display at first. The characters are self-centered, impatient, convinced that if what they want doesn't come true the way they want it to, the whole world will end. There's also another big adolescent theme: masks. Teenagers spend a lot of time trying to figure out what face they want to wear to the world, what they want to present themselves as, so it makes sense that there's tons of masks, hiding (lots of hiding) and subterfuge going on here.

What's interesting to me though is that it also shows the other side of adolescence, the part that's thinking about growing up, but can't quite leave behind his childish things. One major example of this to me the influence of several characters on Romeo- Mercutio and the Friar, even Benvolio. It seems to me that they're starting to get through to the guy in the short time he's there. Especially Mercutio. He gets him to go to the party, gets him to laugh and joke again, and manages to give him some fine counsel into the bargain. I witnessed a lot of echoes of Mercutio coming out in Romeo... they just don't seem to quite take hold. For instance there's Mercutio's magnificent Queen Mab speech, which he follows up with: "True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind"

Ie, don't take all these heart burnings so seriously, kid! Romeo does appear to consider this later, though he does dismiss it. Similarly, the Friar's long speech about manhood (ie, his great smackdown of how why Romeo is terrible) seems to get to him, even Benvolio's urgings that he'll find someone else to love at the banquet seem to have worked (if not quite in the way he intended). He just couldn't quite get there. Juliet herself... well, I think we see a lot of the mature woman that she could have become- but she doesn't have a woman's experience or resources yet and she ends up giving up rather than having the opportunity to grow. Which, funnily enough, her father predicts in the first act when Paris asks for her hand in marriage with: "Younger than she are happy mothers made," and the dad answers with, "And too soon marr'd are those so early made." Of course, he then proceeds to do the opposite of his own advice, but I don't think that undermines the message.

Elizabeth mentioned in her review that she thought there were a lot of comedic elements in this play. I agree- what with the servant characters, the stupid mixups, and that raillery that takes place between the minor members of the family, and that one Romeo/Mercutio scene before the Nurse interrupts them. My closest guess is that was Shakespeare saying, "Look! I could be writing this! But instead, you people want to see this stupid stupid tale enacted stupidly, so I can't! I can write this soapy crap if you want me to, but this isn't who I am."

Or, as Mercutio says:
"Why, is not this better now than groaning for love?
now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art
thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature:
for this driveling love is like a great natural,
that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole."

And yet... for all of that annoyance, that satire, that social criticism, that biting realism... for all of that, Shakespeare still gives this tale a beautiful sympathy, putting gorgeous words into the mouths of his leads. He makes Romeo and Juliet people, people you can envision and who you know, people you don't want to see die, in spite of all their errors right there in front of you. He respects the beauty in the craziness, explores it in wonder. He was, after all, a storyteller, and if this was a story to affect people, it deserved to be told and told as well as he knew it to be in him to do, with a understanding that extends from his characters to the audience that wanted to see it.

It is worth reading. Even if you think you've heard it all before. After all, even if you don't like it it is "not so long as (it) is a tedious tale." ...more
4

Dec 05, 2010

In terms of language and style, Romeo and Juliet might possibly be the best of all Shakespeare's work. It's crammed full of some of the most beautiful poetry I've ever had the pleasure of reading. But the story of lust-filled teens sacrificing themselves because of an extreme burst of instalove? Never really been my cup of tea.
4

Jul 21, 2014

Okay so I just watched the "new" Romeo and Juliet movie (the one with Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld) and thought "you know what I could really use a re-read of this".

Ha such a good idea; one of my best. First off all I could think about the whole time I was reading it was Douglas Booth staring at me like this while he told me I smelled like roses and was the sun...


5

Jan 27, 2018

My first reaction when the read was over is why on earth it took me this long to read this beautiful work of Shakespeare having it physically with me all this long. Perhaps, I thought I didn't really need to read since I know the story from the movie adaptations I have watched. How foolish I have been! I had no idea what I had missed for this long.

I have never enjoyed Shakespearean writing as much as I did in this play. It is passionate, lyrical and humorous. It is amazing that you find all My first reaction when the read was over is why on earth it took me this long to read this beautiful work of Shakespeare having it physically with me all this long. Perhaps, I thought I didn't really need to read since I know the story from the movie adaptations I have watched. How foolish I have been! I had no idea what I had missed for this long.

I have never enjoyed Shakespearean writing as much as I did in this play. It is passionate, lyrical and humorous. It is amazing that you find all these in a tragedy; only a great master can accomplish that feat. The story is both romantic and tragic, as we well know. But what is incredible is that the play is a "beautiful" tragedy.

This is one of the most outstanding plays that I have read. I loved it very very much. I haven't read many Shakespearean tragedies, only other being King Lear. And in my mind no tragedy could outmatch the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet which will undoubtedly be my favourite Shakespearean tragedy. ...more
3

Aug 05, 2018

Being one of the most famous plays through all time, Romeo and Juliet still captivates readers and audiences around the world. This is a fine example of the fact that time doesn't really have to change us. We can still understand and identify with great stories from a long time ago. Romeo and Juliet is a play that centers around forbiddem love between two young, rebellious people. But the play is much more than that.
4

Apr 30, 2017

This great book (drama of course) I read in a single night. Naturally, an English graduate seldom can remain away from Shakespeare and his realm. However, even as an individual, before I began my studies seriously, Shakespeare and some of his creations were on the list 'to be read'. Romeo and Juliet is a play, to be clear at the beginning. Yes, as critics (modern ones) claim, this is perhaps the most 'unlikely' play which does not synchronise with the reality as others by the same dramatist. This great book (drama of course) I read in a single night. Naturally, an English graduate seldom can remain away from Shakespeare and his realm. However, even as an individual, before I began my studies seriously, Shakespeare and some of his creations were on the list 'to be read'. Romeo and Juliet is a play, to be clear at the beginning. Yes, as critics (modern ones) claim, this is perhaps the most 'unlikely' play which does not synchronise with the reality as others by the same dramatist. Nevertheless, let's give the 'play' its due - it surely does create that sensation which Shakespeare wanted to. The ephemeral romance between the 'first sight lovers' and the enemies sworn to suck the blood out of their lives... everything went on perfectly to (at least) create the star of today's Hollywood - Leo!
The book has its merits as well as the demerits. Shakespeare is the vacuum. You can keep your experiments going on... I would like to rather appreciate him for his creation this time. I enjoyed reading the play and truly did! ...more
5

Sep 07, 2012

ROMEO AND JULIET: THE MUSICAL (A BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN PRODUCTIONS EXTRAVAGANZA)

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

"Bruce Springsteen mixes Shakespeare’s best known romance with electric guitars, pianos, keyboards and saxophones." (Rolling Stoned)

"Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, cars, bikes, gangs, bangs, brawls, literature, blood, sugar, death, magik, kitchen sinks, meatloaf, clowns. It’s got everythnig." (Grauniad)

"E-Street Bard." (Village Voyce)

"Star-crossed Lovers Killed by Loose Windscreen." (Notional ROMEO AND JULIET: THE MUSICAL (A BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN PRODUCTIONS EXTRAVAGANZA)

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

"Bruce Springsteen mixes Shakespeare’s best known romance with electric guitars, pianos, keyboards and saxophones." (Rolling Stoned)

"Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, cars, bikes, gangs, bangs, brawls, literature, blood, sugar, death, magik, kitchen sinks, meatloaf, clowns. It’s got everythnig." (Grauniad)

"E-Street Bard." (Village Voyce)

"Star-crossed Lovers Killed by Loose Windscreen." (Notional Enquirer)

"The Boss Updates Big Willie" (The Unyun)

"Bruce Shakesteen or William Springspeare: You Decide!" (Variete)

"I Haven't Seen It. Have You Seen My Backlog of GR Notifications?" (Paul Bryant)

"Like." (Bird Brian)

"Well everybody better move over, that's all/He's running on the bad side/And he's got his back to the wall/Tenth avenue freeze-out, tenth avenue freeze-out" (Richard)

"This show sets the bar very high, almost out of reach of regular top-shelf drinking patrons." (Bruce Shakespeare, The Australian Shakespearience Dinner and Floorshow)




CHORUS:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

BRUCE:

The midnight gang's assembled
And picked a rendezvous for the night
Man there's an opera on the turnpike
There's a ballet being fought in the alley

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.

BRUCE:

Outside the street's on fire
In a real death waltz
Between what's flesh and what's fantasy
And the poets down here
Don't write nothing at all
They just stand back and let it all be

PRINCE:

If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.

BRUCE:

In the quick of the night
They reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand
But they wind up wounded
Not even dead
Tonight in Jungleland

CHORUS:

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows,
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.

Enter Romeo, still love-sick for Rosaline.

ROMEO:

Rosaline, jump a little higher
Senorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain't no liar
Rosaline, you're my stone desire

MERCUTIO:

True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind.

BRUCE:

In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway Italian dream
At night we ride through the mansions of glory in suicide machines

Romeo, still pining for Rosaline, discovers Juliet and becomes newly infatuated.

ROMEO:

Juliet, let me in, I wanna be your friend,
I want to guard your dreams and visions

Bruce realises he has competition for Juliet’s love and wants to elope without her parents’ permission.

BRUCE:

Together we could break this trap
We'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back

Romeo pleads even harder, now he has learned about his rival, Bruce.

ROMEO:

I gotta know how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
Babe, I want to know if love is real
Oh, Juliet, can you show me

Juliet learns that Romeo comes from a rival family.

JULIET:

My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!

Juliet falls for Romeo regardless.

JULIET:

What ’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Juliet decides she must confront Bruce and tell him they are not meant to be.

JULIET:

Bruce, the angels have lost their desire for us
I spoke to them just last night
and they said they won't
set themselves on fire
for us anymore

Bruce persists, trying to hold onto the memory of their love.

JULIET:

I'm really sorry, Bruce
I've gotta set you loose
I know you've got a beat up old Buick
And dreams of something better for me
But, frankly, I just can't see it
My vision for me can't be achieved
In the back seat of a second hand Fiat
While your friends hang around drinking Corona

BRUCE:

You say you don't like it
But girl I know you're a liar
'Cause when we kiss
Ooooh, Fire

Juliet grows weak and almost falls.

BRUCE:

What is wrong, my love?

JULIET:

I have the worst headache.

BRUCE:

Here take some of these now, and again when you feel the pain coming on.

Bruce gives her a small glass bottle of non-prescription drugs. Blue tablets.

JULIET:

How many should I take?

BRUCE:

No more than two every four hours.

Juliet takes three tablets immediately.

JULIET:

It hurts me to say but you gotta know it
There’s no point in remaining coy
I can’t marry you, Bruce.
I could never be happy with a boy
From Long Branch, New Jersey
No amateur actor or drama queen
No busboy, bellhop or dead ringer
For De Niro or a film student from Pomona
Not for me, your guitar-slinging outlaw singer
I crave more than an Asbury Duke or an E Street Loner.

Romeo looks dashing in his open-necked shirt and film director scarf. Juliet has never seen anything like him.

The love between Romeo and Juliet grows in leaps and bounds.

JULIET:

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

ROMEO:

Beneath the city two hearts beat
Soul engines running through a night so tender
In a bedroom locked
In whispers of soft refusal
And then surrender.

JULIET:

I long for a real hot-blooded man
An alpha male of the highest order
A man of another world from here
Someone from across the border

I don't just mean New Jersey
Or Philadelphia, PA
You see, I love a Prince from far Verona
With a flash suit and money to burn,
A mansion and a real fast car
A smart haircut and a leather-coated boner

He’s waiting for me now
I've got him in my view
He's the rising son
Of the House of Montague

ROMEO:

Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

CHORUS:

Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.

Juliet feels no relief for her headache. She opens the bottle and takes another two tablets. It’s only an hour since her last dose.

JULIET:

I want to be a star
Of the stage and screen
I don't want a bit part
Or a role that’s obscene

I've had enough of men who work
All week for minimum wages
I want to be remembered
Through time eternal...and for ages and ages

My love’s a director who makes serious films
Not just action flics designed to wow
Even his money men are all agreed
“Romeo, Romeo, we’re for art now”

The moment he cast his eyes on me
He sat me down and cast me on his couch
He said he’d get my photo in the magazines
And we’d drive around all night in limousines

Romeo and Juliet resolve to escape in Romeo’s car.

JULIET:

Just so I could live in this promised land
I turned my back on Bruce’s traveling band
No more Buicks or Fiats for this Capulet
Dear husband, I pledge to be your wife, Juliet
So I can feature in a film cameo
In the front seat of your Alfa, Romeo.


Tybalt chases them on a motor bike. He crosses suddenly into Romeo's path and clips the front edge of the car. He loses control of his bike and falls to the thundering road. Romeo can't avoid running over the top of Tybalt and killing him. Still, Romeo rolls his car three times while taking evasive action, and both Romeo and Juliet are knocked unconscious when their heads hit the side door panels.

ROMEO:

I dreamt my lady came and found me dead (in that order).

Juliet wakes first, only to look over to the driver’s seat, where she sees Romeo. She can’t tell if he is alive or dead. She realises that her headache has now become extreme. If she can treat her pain, she can try to help Romeo.

She touches her forehead where it hit the inside of the car door and pulls her hand away, covered in blood that still seems to be flowing profusely. Tears form in her eyes and her eyesight becomes blurry. She reaches into her purse and takes another four tablets, in the hope that it will kill her pain. She lapses into unconsciousness.

Shortly afterwards, Romeo awakes and finds Juliet still beside him. There is blood everywhere and a white froth has descended from her lips and dried on her chin.

ROMEO:

O my love! my wife!
Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
Thou art not conquer'd; beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not advanced there.

Romeo wipes the froth from her lips and gives her one last kiss. He lifts the left leg of his trousers and pulls out his knife.

ROMEO:

O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
Here's to my love!

Romeo drags the knife across his throat. He drops the knife and holds his hand to the artery in his neck. He continues to feel the slow, regular pumping of his heart, until it pumps no more.

Now, Juliet wakes again. Still groggy, she looks over to Romeo. Convinced by the abundance of blood that he has died, she shakes the rest of the tablets in the bottle into her hand and swallows them eagerly.

JULIET:

O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

She kisses Romeo and dies.

PRINCE:

Never was a story of more woe
Than this of Bruce, Juliet and her Romeo.

Bruce lives alone and works his day job, almost like an automaton. His only salvation is the time he spends in his beat up old Buick. Every night, he drives the streets of Verona, haunted by the love he felt for Juliet and the guilt that it was the pills he gave her that took her life. Sometimes, through the tears in his eyes, he imagines that he sees her walking down the street, only to lose sight of her as she slips quietly down an alleyway.

BRUCE:

You're still in love with all the wonder she brings
And every muscle in your body sings as the highway ignites
You work nine to five and somehow you survive till the night
Hell all day they're busting you up on the outside
But tonight you're gonna break on through to the inside
And it'll be right, it'll be right, and it'll be tonight

And you know she will be waiting there
And you'll find her somehow you swear
Somewhere tonight you run sad and free
Until all you can see is the night.


APOLOGIES:

Please don't sue me, Boss.

How can I possibly argue that your lyrics deserve to be on the same page as Shakespeare, unless I shamelessly misappropriate them in the pursuit of parody, pastiche, spoof, send-up or lampoon?

This isn't damning with faint praise. This is no piss-take. This is a full-on homage, a big hurrah, a laud almighty. I say, more kudos to the Boss!

As the literary theorist Linda Hutcheon puts it (as quoted by my WikiLawyer), "parody...is imitation, not always at the expense of the parodied text."

I already have multiple copies of your albums on both CD and vinyl, even the boring ones. I don't need any more, until you release 50th anniversary editions with bonus disks I don't already have. [I really hope I'm still around in 2045, so I can be the first to buy "The Ghost of Tom Joad Uncut".]

If that doesn't convince you it's not worth suing me, Brucewad, I won't have any money left to support this great music industry of ours that is being killed by illegal downloads.

Please get your lawyers to spare my humble upload.

And if they do come looking for me, they'd better be pretty damned fit, coz tramps like us, baby we were born to run. ...more
5

Jun 14, 2007

The first time I read Romeo and Juliet (my freshman year of high school), I hated it. I had always heard it built up as a great love story, a great romance- and I didn't see it at all. To me, it seemed a pretty pointless story about a couple of idiotic teenagers in lust. The ridiculous essays I was forced to compose about it certainly didn't help.

My senior year of high school, however, my drama teacher selected it as our spring play. I was stage manager, and I was horrified when he told me. I The first time I read Romeo and Juliet (my freshman year of high school), I hated it. I had always heard it built up as a great love story, a great romance- and I didn't see it at all. To me, it seemed a pretty pointless story about a couple of idiotic teenagers in lust. The ridiculous essays I was forced to compose about it certainly didn't help.

My senior year of high school, however, my drama teacher selected it as our spring play. I was stage manager, and I was horrified when he told me. I pleaded for anything but R & J. But as I worked through the lines with my actors, and saw the scenes slowly put together, I came to realize the power and the beauty of the play.

Yes, they are somewhat idiotic teenagers in lust: but the sweeping passion of adolescence, with all its power and impatience, is something worth looking at in itself.

I don't know why English classes always seem to assign R & J to teenagers- I think it's a play that is actually much better appreciated by those who are past their own early adolescence. Because now, I love it. ...more
4

Nov 10, 2019

Rating: 4
I can’t believe I actually liked this! I don’t know why I went into it believing it would be hard to read and boring, but it was so easy and fun to read even though it is a tragedy. So many witty lines and people being too dramatic, I loved it. Rating: 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I can’t believe I actually liked this! I don’t know why I went into it believing it would be hard to read and boring, but it was so easy and fun to read even though it is a tragedy. So many witty lines and people being too dramatic, I loved it. ...more
5

Feb 18, 2017

What I thought about this book in middle school:
I don't get it. What?

What I thought about this book in high school:
This is stupid. What?

What I thought about this book in college:
Okay, so two kids meet once, "fall in love", and then commit suicide over each other in just four days? IDIOTS.

What I thought about this book after finishing it today, aged 44:
Wow. Shakespeare is a GD genius.

What I didn't realize until today, after reading it a few times and watching several movie adaptations, is What I thought about this book in middle school:
I don't get it. What?

What I thought about this book in high school:
This is stupid. What?

What I thought about this book in college:
Okay, so two kids meet once, "fall in love", and then commit suicide over each other in just four days? IDIOTS.

What I thought about this book after finishing it today, aged 44:
Wow. Shakespeare is a GD genius.

What I didn't realize until today, after reading it a few times and watching several movie adaptations, is that this story isn't about young, stupid love at all. First of all, these characters are people I know. Romeo is my friend Mike, Juliet is my friend Jess, the nurse is my mom telling her embarrassing stories all the time, and Mercutio is my friend Chris. Chris "that's what she said" Chris.

Yes, love is in there. But what I saw when reading it again this time is that everyone has their own ideas of what love is. Romeo and Juliet are in passionate, crazy, how-you-feel-about-someone-the-first-few-weeks-of-a-relationship love. The nurse has a more practical idea of love. Juliet's mom thinks love is based on what you can get from someone. Juliet's father thinks love is being obedient. Mercutio thinks love is only a means to a sexual end. Paris thinks love is something you can earn or demand from someone.

But much more than love, this story is about life. It is about the people in our lives, how we deal with them, how they each have their own agenda without knowing or even caring about anyone else's agenda, how life fucks around with us and knocks us down, and how your destiny will hunt you and get what it wants from you no matter how you try to avoid it.

I particularly liked Shakespeare's use of day and night/light and dark. Romeo describes Juliet as the sun, and Juliet describes Romeo as stars. They see each other as sources of light. But they must sneak around to see each other, and can therefore only meet up at night when it is dark. In order for them to see each other's light, there must be some darkness. Damn it, Shakespeare. *swoon*

There are many other great themes and symbols in here, more than I could possibly go into in a review. The bottom line is that Romeo and Juliet is now my second favorite Shakespeare play, just behind Hamlet. The balcony scene alone is worth the time it takes to read the entire book.

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon who is already sick and pale with grief that thou, her maid, at far more fair than she.

Damn it, Shakespeare. *double swoon*




...more

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