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Romeo and Juliet (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Pocket Editions) Hardcover – 7 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble (7 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435149351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435149359
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 0.9 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

This is undoubtedly the greatest love story ever written, spawning a host of imitators on stage and screen, including Leonard Bernstein's smash musical West Side Story, Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet filmed in 1968, and Baz Luhrmann's postmodern film version Romeo + Juliet. The tragic feud between "Two households, both alike in dignity/In fair Verona", the Montagues and Capulets, which ultimately kills the two young "star-crossed lovers" and their "death-marked love" creates issues which have fascinated subsequent generations. The play deals with issues of intergenerational and familial conflict, as well as the power of language and the compelling relationship between sex and death, all of which makes it an incredibly modern play. It is also an early example of Shakespeare fusing poetry with dramatic action, as he moves from Romeo's lyrical account of Juliet--"she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" to the bustle and action of a 16th-century household (the play contains more scenes of ordinary working people than any of Shakespeare's other works). It also represents an experimental attempt to fuse comedy with tragedy. Up to the third act, the play proceeds along the lines of a classic romantic comedy. The turning point comes with the death of one of Shakespeare's finest early dramatic creations--Romeo's sexually ambivalent friend Mercutio, whose "plague o' both your houses" begins the play's descent into tragedy, "For never was a story of more woe/Than this of Juliet and her Romeo". --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

many students will no doubt relish the fullness of Professor Levenson's notes. Indeed, they may often be particularly grateful for the care with which she directs readers to even fuller discussions to be found elsewhere (The Review of English Studies, Vol.52, No.207)

Professor Levenson provides an excellent and often very thought-provoking account of performance history, and many of her most interesting discussions and annotations relate to questions of staging, traditional, unusual, or possible (The Review of English Studies, Vol.52, No.207)

excellent decision to include the whole of the Q1 text as well as Q2 (The Review of English Studies, Vol.52, No.207) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have always loved this tale of doomed love, there is just something so haunting and tragic about it that will make even a grown man cry. As with many of Shakespeare's works this is not an original idea but is based on an Italian ballad, but whereas that ballad has been forgotten what Shakespeare did with it will be with us forever. I could spend a few paragraphs giving a brief synopsis of this play, but what would be the point? People who have never read it or seen any performance of it know the basic storyline.

This story appeals to people from all walks of life with its tale of forbidden love between two teens. Juliet obviously lusts after Romeo in no way that a teen fiction love story these days does. That in our modern world the two obviously consummate their love adds a certain frisson as strictly speaking Juliet is under age, but that thankfully hasn't sent the censor to start editing it.

Really delving into what love and subsequently lust means this play should be a standard on the curriculum and could be used as a starting point for sex education. Shakespeare really showed here what being in love feels like as no one has ever done before or since and he speaks to our psyche and our emotions that make this drama so memorable. Really this is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
In some respects I think it'd be rather presumptuous of me to attempt to review Shakespeare. Someone so well known and influential wouldn't benefit from my opinions on their work, plus there are more scholarly and concise reviews out there. But I can comment on these Arden versions. Of all the Shakespeare I've read I've always found the Arden copies to be well laid out and to have excellent commentary and notes on the text. They really add to your understanding of Shakespeares outstanding plays and introduce you to the depth in his work. They have superb paper quality and are bound well, withstanding repeated readings and intensive study. For your collection of Shakespeare you can't do much better than Arden publications, some are quite hard to get hold of but it's worth the effort.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By N. E. Wood on 4 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used to think I understood the original text, but with the Sparknotes modern text alongside the original I realised just how much I had been missing. I never realised Mercutio was quite so rude! Generally I would only want the modern translation as a guide to help with understanding, but this is the exception. While not quite Shakespeare at his best it's pithy and in keeping with the spirit of the original and could certainly be used on its own to give a good flavour of Shakespearean theatre without the misunderstandings. I would certainly buy other books in this series.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Two teenagers from rival families fall in love, marry secretly, and take their own lives rather than live without each other. Despite the teenage melodrama, "Romeo and Juliet" remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring and popular plays, even if it wasn't his best -- lots of death, teen lovers and enchanting dialogue.

In the city of Verona, the Montagues and Capulets are locked in a deadly feud. Then a Montague teen named Romeo, infatuated with a Capulet girl named Rosaline, sneaks into a party to see her.... but instead encounters another Capulet girl named Juliet, and the two immediately fall in love. Since their families hate each other, their love must be expressed in secret.

Hoping to unite the two families, the kindly priest Friar Lawrence assists the two in marrying in secret. But then Juliet's cousin Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel, leading to the death of two men -- and Romeo's exile from Verona. Even worse, the Capulets have decided to marry Juliet to Count Paris -- leading to a desperate plan that goes horribly awry.

This edition also has Jacqueline Ritten's "Juliet's Story: A Retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," a rather nice if excessively "teenagerish" short story that tells of Juliet's memories and inner thoughts.

"Romeo and Juliet" is a play that is hard to pin down -- some see it as the poetry-laden embodiment of romantic love, while others view it as Shakespeare's witty jabs at fickle teenage infatuation and how melodramatic the kids are (Juliet is only thirteen!). But whatever you think it is, it's undeniable that it's a beautifully written, often-wrenching story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a weighty tome, giving much more than just the standard text. The introduction alone is 125 pages long. It is well worth a read, split into several relevant sections including Shakespeare's use of the Petrarchan love imagery and his adaptation of the Sonnet form into the play. It also deals with the play in production, which is also very helpful.

The play itself has a full commentary with a glossary and notes on editing and textual differences with other versions of the play. At the end what is known as the 'bad' quarto of the play has also been reprinted. This is believed to be a version of the play which was written down by some players themselves from memory. As such it has differences and errors to the version which is usually printed, known as Quarto 2. It is useful to compare and contrast ideas and editorial decisions, and is handy for the committed student of Shakespeare.
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