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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favourite
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...
Published on 2 Mar. 2010 by M. Dowden

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars page by page
An excellent page by page modern translation of Shakespeare. However, I wouldn't use these with pupils straight away, they must overcome their fear of Shakespeare which is the job of the teacher - not a translation
Published on 8 Feb. 2009 by Bex


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favourite, 2 Mar. 2010
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Arden Shakespeare, 3 Nov. 2007
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Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Romeo and Juliet" (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare makes total sense at last, 4 Mar. 2009
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N. E. Wood (Austria) - See all my reviews
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars A pair of star-cross'd lovers, 5 Jun. 2010
By 
EA Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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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.

Despite the simplicity of the story, Shakespeare spins it in a silken web of lush poetry ("O swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon/That monthly changes in her circled orb") and the famous speeches where Romeo and Juliet speak at night on a balcony. The mostly romantic play takes a dark turn towards the end, when only a few minutes might have changed the fates of "Juliet and her Romeo."

And Shakespeare seems rather fond of his characters here, depicting Romeo as a passionate young boy and Juliet as rather sweetly insecure young girl; there's also a fairly good cast of young men whose spirits are more elevated than their brains, and the kindly friar who rather naively hopes to use the kids to create peace.

But Shakespeare was also clearly aware that passionate teenage love is not necessarily the truest love ("Young men's love then lies/Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes"), and leaves you wondering what might have happened if Romeo and Juliet had lived.

Whether a gentle mockery of young love or a passionate, idealized romance, "Romeo and Juliet" is a timeless and lovely little play. Not the best of the Bard, but still quite good.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Well Presented, 14 Mar. 2008
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That's the point, 29 April 2004
This review is from: "Romeo and Juliet" (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series) (Paperback)
The Arden Shakespeare is a scholarly edition intended for students andthose doing research on Shakespeare. The extensive notes are very usefulfor those who study Shakespeare at degree level and above. Since moststudents already know the meanings of archaic words there is little needto explain them in the notes - which are not there to entertain but toinform. Don't buy it if you aren't studying Shakespeare, there are cheaperversions available for the casual reader.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect love tragedy, 20 Feb. 2004
By 
Ripple (uk) - See all my reviews
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Quite simply, you need this in your collection. Some of the most quotable (and misquoted) work ever produced. The story is well known to all, but the lyrical qualities only come through when you read this remarkable piece. If you want all the analysis surrounding it, then this is not the version for you (try Arden) but if you want the words - which are enough in themselves - then this is a well priced essential.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Help, 18 Feb. 2004
This book has helped my son tremendously. It is a must for anyone starting their GCSE course work. Delivery was prompt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wordsworth classics are excellent texts, 23 Nov. 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Wordsworth Classics do not try to be anything they are not, a feature I have liked about them for years. They contain the text in a basic paperback format and are produced at a very cheap price. For students at Key Stage Three or GCSE, these are excellent texts, allowing them to annotate, underline and highlight in the knowledge that "they are expendable". For play production, they are ideal. Concentrating students on the text is an excellent idea which forces them to think and consider the language and that is the Shakespeare.

There is an edition of this accompanied by a CD and it is the best reasonably-priced study CD I have encountered and much better than many higher priced competitors; not only is the content excellent but the software and programming is solid too, an essential feature of any study CD.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great study guide, 17 April 2012
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I'm currently doing an A Level in English and this is a great study guide.
The play is on the right hand page and the study notes, interpretations and references are on the left. You'll never get lost with this book.
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"Romeo and Juliet" (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series)
"Romeo and Juliet" (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series) by William Shakespeare (Paperback - 1 Mar. 1980)
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