9780812969214

Romeo and Juliet

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780812969214

  • ISBN10:

    0812969219

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-08-25
  • Publisher: Modern Library

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Summary

"The permanent popularity, now of mythic intensity, ofRomeo and Julietis more than justified," writes eminent scholar Harold Bloom, "since the play is the largest and most persuasive celebration of romantic love in Western literature." William Shakespeare (1564-1616) based his early romantic tragedy on Arthur Brooke's 1562 poem The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. Shakespeare's resulting masterpiece, in turn, has inspired countless retellings around the world in mediums that include literature, dance, stage, and screen. "It is Shakespear all over, and Shakespear when he was young," declares William Hazlitt (1778-1830), acclaimed British essayist and critic, in his exuberant Introduction to this Modern Library edition. "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. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventurid piteous overthrows, Do with their death bury their parents' strife." --Prologue From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale and Berg Professor of English at New York University, has authored over twenty books of literary and religious criticism. His recent works include New York Times bestsellers, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, and How to Read and Why. He lives in New Haven and New York.


From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
"A Pair of Star-crossed Lovers"p. vii
"The Fearful Passage of their Death-marked Love"p. ix
"These Violent Delights have Violent Ends"p. xi
About the Textp. xvi
Key Factsp. xxiii
Romeo and Julietp. 1
Textual Notesp. 115
Scene-by-Scene Analysisp. 118
Romeo and Juliet in Performance: The RSC and Beyondp. 130
Four Centuries of Romeo and Juliet: An Overviewp. 130
At the RSCp. 141
The Director's Cut: Interview with Michael Attenboroughp. 157
David Tennant on Playing Romeop. 166
Alexandra Gilbreath on Playing Julietp. 173
Shakespeare's Career in the Theaterp. 180
Beginningsp. 180
Playhousesp. 182
The Ensemble at Workp. 186
The King's Manp. 191
Shakespeare's Works: A Chronologyp. 194
Further Reading and Viewingp. 197
Referencesp. 200
Acknowledgments and Picture Creditsp. 204
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Act One

SCENE ONE


Verona. A Public Place. Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers

sampson. Gregory, o’ my word, we ’ll not carry coals.

gregory. No, for then we should be colliers.

sampson. I mean, an we be in choler, we ’ll draw.

gregory. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar.

sampson. I strike quickly, being moved.

gregory. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.

sampson. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

gregory. To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand; therefore, if thou art moved, thou runnest away.

sampson. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.

gregory. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.

sampson. ’Tis true; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

gregory. The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.

sampson. ’Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids; I will cut off their heads.

gregory. The heads of the maids?

sampson. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maiden-heads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

gregory. They must take it in sense that feel it.

sampson. Me they shall feel while I am able to stand; and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

gregory. ’Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.

Enter Abraham and Balthasar

sampson. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.

gregory. How! turn thy back and run?

sampson. Fear me not.

gregory. No, marry; I fear thee!

sampson. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.

gregory. I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.

sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

sampson. I do bite my thumb, sir.

abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

sampson. (Aside to Gregory) Is the law of our side if I say ay?

gregory. (Aside to Sampson) No.

sampson. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.

gregory. Do you quarrel, sir?

abraham. Quarrel, sir! no, sir.

sampson. If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.

abraham. No better.

sampson. Well, sir.

gregory. (Aside to Sampson) Say “better”; here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.

sampson. Yes, better, sir.

abraham. You lie.

sampson. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow. They fight

Enter Benvolio

benvolio. Part, fools! Put up your swords; you know not what you do.Beats down their swords

Enter Tybalt

tybalt. What! art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.

benvolio. I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me.

tybalt. What! drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!They fight

Enter several persons of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs and partisans

citizens. Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down! Down with the Capulets! down with Montagues!

Enter Capulet in his gown, and Lady Capulet

capulet. What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!

lady capulet. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?

capulet. My sword, I say! Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite

Excerpted from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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