Romeo and Juliet: A Guide to the Play


Since its first performances around 1596 and its earliest editions (1597, 1599), Romeo and Juliet has remained one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. The reasons are not far to seek, as the play centers on a subject of perennial interest: romantic love. This reference guide examines every aspect of Shakespeare's creation: the transformation of the story from its sources, the use of the arts of language in both prose and verse, the dramatic structure and its significance, and the most significant themes and their development. In addition, a chapter on the textual history of Romeo and Juliet reviews past and current theories, and a chapter on performances from Shakespeare's time to ours analyzes important productions both on stage and on film. Psychoanalytical, feminist, and gender criticism are also considered as alternative critical approaches along with myth and archetypal criticism. Finally, the volume contains a current selected, annotated bibliography. Thus the book is the fullest and most comprehensive study of Romeo and Juliet to appear in years and is of value to students approaching the play for the first time and to scholars seeking a lucid synthesis of current information.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1998


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