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Romeo and Juliet (Penguin Shakespeare) [Mass Market Paperback]

William Shakespeare , Adrian Poole
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 April 2005 Penguin Shakespeare

The greatest love story in English, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a play of star-crossed lovers who take a valiant stand against social convention, with tragic consequences. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited with notes by T.J.B. Spencer, and an introduction by Adrian Poole.

'What's in a name? That which we call a rose,

By any other name would smell as sweet'

The city of Verona, torn apart by the violent feud between the families of Montague and Capulet, is a powder keg waiting to explode; the Prince of Verona, seeking to restore order, has declared any breach of the peace punishable by death. But for the young Montague Romeo, and his lover, the Capulet Juliet, the enmity of their families is immaterial. Meeting in secret, the two lovers gradually spiral towards disaster as their respective families edge closer towards open warfare. A play that has inspired films as diverse as Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet, Romeo and Juliet is a dazzling combination of passion and hatred, bawdy comedy and high tragedy.

This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Romeo and Juliet, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote some of the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love-poetry in English.

If you enjoyed Romeo and Juliet, you might like A Midsummer Night's Dream, also available in Penguin Shakespeare.

'Romeo was your first "rebel without a cause" '

Baz Luhrmann, director of Romeo+Juliet

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141012269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141012261
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.8 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623.

(The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

Product Description

About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright of the 16th and 17 centuries, now widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the word's pre-eminent dramatist.

Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Adrian Poole is Reader in English & Comparative Literature and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. His publications include Shakespeare and the Victorians and Tragedy: Shakespeare and the Greek Example.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Passion, hatred, comedy & high tragedy" it says on the back. Star crossed lovers, balconies and funny costumes really got the cobwebs blown out of it when Baz Luhrman took on the project in film version - to unfortunate critical failure, and now the books are trying to shake themselves up to reflect modern readers requirements and expectations similarly by "Bringing Shakespeare to life for a new generation".

This series of 32 books was part of a relaunch by Penguin in 2005, covering most of the well known and lesser known plays by Mr Will. With this publisher you get "accessible & authorative version" & the most up to date critical interpretations according to Penguin, who are renound for this kind of work so you can rely upon it. They're not that expensive either considering what you're getting (a lot in addition and the name) and they stand out as probably the best all round option.

Outside they have newly designed modern covers, appealing maybe to students (13-20ish) a bit more so which is a good thing as they're hard to engage at the best of times - perhaps not surprisingly if they have nothing geared to interest them specifically. Convey the context of love and family disaproval and it's timeless. It'd be used in either English, Drama or Film (Media) etc. Internally they're clear and split into acts as you'd expect so suitable for general adult readership - even more so for theatre goers? or perhaps for those put off many years earlier themselves.

The technical bit: The three editors have a string of academic/literary/Shakespear qualifications between them. Inside there's the play, a general introduction to Will's life and Elizabethan theatre, and a chronology of Shakespear's works (with sub discussion of the dates issue).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penguin Shakespeare's are reliable 13 Mar 2014
By Fairy Godmother TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
We needed the text for a drama group production and were asked to get this one so everyone had the same text. I'm always a fan of the Penguin editions - good typeface, nice simple layout and pocketable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for. 18 Feb 2014
By Izza
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just what I was looking for. The delivery was fast and it was good to be able to collect it from a collect+ store.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered the product so that I could use it for my school work. I am an actor and need to make a lot of annotations on the page in order to work well. Luckily the annotations were on Mercutio's part and not Juliet's but it is frustrating to receive a product that is clearly pre-owned when the brief said that it was very good and made no mention of the annotations. In addition to this, the front pages had stickers and markings for the Chelsea library and this covered some of the back aswell. Not too bothered because I was still able to use the bits I needed but surprised at the quality.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 30 Oct 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
As described
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