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Paris' love for Juliet also sets up a contrast between Juliet's feelings for him and her feelings for Romeo.

The formal language she uses around Paris, as well as the way she talks about him to her Nurse, show that her feelings clearly lie with Romeo. Beyond this, the sub-plot of the Montague—Capulet feud overarches the whole play, providing an atmosphere of hate that is the main contributor to the play's tragic end. Shakespeare uses a variety of poetic forms throughout the play. He begins with a line prologue in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet , spoken by a Chorus. Most of Romeo and Juliet is, however, written in blank verse , and much of it in strict iambic pentameter , with less rhythmic variation than in most of Shakespeare's later plays.

Friar Laurence, for example, uses sermon and sententiae forms and the Nurse uses a unique blank verse form that closely matches colloquial speech. For example, when Romeo talks about Rosaline earlier in the play, he attempts to use the Petrarchan sonnet form.

Petrarchan sonnets were often used by men to exaggerate the beauty of women who were impossible for them to attain, as in Romeo's situation with Rosaline. Early psychoanalytic critics saw the problem of Romeo and Juliet in terms of Romeo's impulsiveness, deriving from "ill-controlled, partially disguised aggression", [85] which leads both to Mercutio's death and to the double suicide. That hatred manifests itself directly in the lovers' language: Juliet, for example, speaks of "my only love sprung from my only hate" [90] and often expresses her passion through an anticipation of Romeo's death.

Feminist literary critics argue that the blame for the family feud lies in Verona's patriarchal society. When Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo shifts into this violent mode, regretting that Juliet has made him so "effeminate". The feud is also linked to male virility, as the numerous jokes about maidenheads aptly demonstrate. Other critics, such as Dympna Callaghan, look at the play's feminism from a historicist angle, stressing that when the play was written the feudal order was being challenged by increasingly centralised government and the advent of capitalism.

At the same time, emerging Puritan ideas about marriage were less concerned with the "evils of female sexuality" than those of earlier eras and more sympathetic towards love-matches: when Juliet dodges her father's attempt to force her to marry a man she has no feeling for, she is challenging the patriarchal order in a way that would not have been possible at an earlier time. A number of critics have found the character of Mercutio to have unacknowledged homoerotic desire for Romeo.

As Benvolio argues, she is best replaced by someone who will reciprocate. Shakespeare's procreation sonnets describe another young man who, like Romeo, is having trouble creating offspring and who may be seen as being a homosexual. Goldberg believes that Shakespeare may have used Rosaline as a way to express homosexual problems of procreation in an acceptable way.

In this view, when Juliet says " The balcony scene was introduced by Da Porto in He had Romeo walk frequently by her house, "sometimes climbing to her chamber window", and wrote, "It happened one night, as love ordained, when the moon shone unusually bright, that whilst Romeo was climbing the balcony, the young lady A few decades later, Bandello greatly expanded this scene, diverging from the familiar one: Julia has her nurse deliver a letter asking Romeo to come to her window with a rope ladder, and he climbs the balcony with the help of his servant, Julia and the nurse the servants discreetly withdraw after this.

Nevertheless, in October , Lois Leveen speculated in The Atlantic that the original Shakespeare play did not contain a balcony. Leveen suggested that during the 18th century, David Garrick chose to use a balcony in his adaptation and revival of Romeo and Juliet and modern adaptations have continued this tradition.

Romeo and Juliet ranks with Hamlet as one of Shakespeare's most performed plays. Its many adaptations have made it one of his most enduring and famous stories. Scholar Gary Taylor measures it as the sixth most popular of Shakespeare's plays, in the period after the death of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd but before the ascendancy of Ben Jonson during which Shakespeare was London's dominant playwright.

The First Quarto, printed in , says that "it hath been often and with great applause plaid publiquely", setting the first performance before that date. The Lord Chamberlain's Men were certainly the first to perform it. Besides their strong connections with Shakespeare, the Second Quarto actually names one of its actors, Will Kemp , instead of Peter, in a line in Act Five.

Richard Burbage was probably the first Romeo, being the company's actor, and Master Robert Goffe a boy the first Juliet. All theatres were closed down by the puritan government on 6 September Upon the restoration of the monarchy in , two patent companies the King's Company and the Duke's Company were established, and the existing theatrical repertoire divided between them. This was a tragicomedy by James Howard, in which the two lovers survive.

Romeo and Juliet

Otway's version was a hit, and was acted for the next seventy years. For example, Garrick's version transferred all language describing Rosaline to Juliet, to heighten the idea of faithfulness and downplay the love-at-first-sight theme.

The earliest known production in North America was an amateur one: on 23 March , a physician named Joachimus Bertrand placed an advertisement in the Gazette newspaper in New York, promoting a production in which he would play the apothecary. Garrick's altered version of the play was very popular, and ran for nearly a century. Her portrayal of Romeo was considered genius by many. The Times wrote: "For a long time Romeo has been a convention.


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Miss Cushman's Romeo is a creative, a living, breathing, animated, ardent human being. Professional performances of Shakespeare in the midth century had two particular features: firstly, they were generally star vehicles , with supporting roles cut or marginalised to give greater prominence to the central characters. Secondly, they were "pictorial", placing the action on spectacular and elaborate sets requiring lengthy pauses for scene changes and with the frequent use of tableaux.

Forbes-Robertson avoided the showiness of Irving and instead portrayed a down-to-earth Romeo, expressing the poetic dialogue as realistic prose and avoiding melodramatic flourish. American actors began to rival their British counterparts. The first professional performance of the play in Japan may have been George Crichton Miln's company's production, which toured to Yokohama in In the 20th century it would become the second most popular, behind Hamlet.

In , the play was revived by actress Katharine Cornell and her director husband Guthrie McClintic and was taken on a seven-month nationwide tour throughout the United States.

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The production was a modest success, and so upon the return to New York, Cornell and McClintic revised it, and for the first time the play was presented with almost all the scenes intact, including the Prologue. The new production opened on Broadway in December Critics wrote that Cornell was "the greatest Juliet of her time", "endlessly haunting", and "the most lovely and enchanting Juliet our present-day theatre has seen". His efforts were a huge success at the box office, and set the stage for increased historical realism in later productions.

I've always felt that John missed the lower half and that made me go for the other But whatever it was, when I was playing Romeo I was carrying a torch, I was trying to sell realism in Shakespeare. Peter Brook 's version was the beginning of a different style of Romeo and Juliet performances. Brook was less concerned with realism, and more concerned with translating the play into a form that could communicate with the modern world. He argued, "A production is only correct at the moment of its correctness, and only good at the moment of its success.

Throughout the century, audiences, influenced by the cinema, became less willing to accept actors distinctly older than the teenage characters they were playing. In an interview with The Times , he stated that the play's "twin themes of love and the total breakdown of understanding between two generations" had contemporary relevance. Recent performances often set the play in the contemporary world. For example, in , the Royal Shakespeare Company set the play in modern Verona.

Switchblades replaced swords, feasts and balls became drug-laden rock parties, and Romeo committed suicide by hypodermic needle. Neil Bartlett's production of Romeo and Juliet themed the play very contemporary with a cinematic look which started its life at the Lyric Hammersmith, London then went to West Yorkshire Playhouse for an exclusive run in Romeo sneaks into the Capulet barbecue to meet Juliet, and Juliet discovers Tybalt's death while in class at school.

The play is sometimes given a historical setting, enabling audiences to reflect on the underlying conflicts. For example, adaptations have been set in the midst of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict , [] in the apartheid era in South Africa, [] and in the aftermath of the Pueblo Revolt. In the 19th and 20th century, Romeo and Juliet has often been the choice of Shakespeare plays to open a classical theatre company, beginning with Edwin Booth 's inaugural production of that play in his theatre in , the newly re-formed company of the Old Vic in with John Gielgud , Martita Hunt , and Margaret Webster , [] as well as the Riverside Shakespeare Company in its founding production in New York City in , which used the film of Franco Zeffirelli 's production as its inspiration.

The best-known ballet version is Prokofiev 's Romeo and Juliet. It has subsequently attained an "immense" reputation, and has been choreographed by John Cranko and Kenneth MacMillan among others. In , Michael Smuin 's production of one of the play's most dramatic and impassioned dance interpretations was debuted in its entirety by San Francisco Ballet.

This production was the first full-length ballet to be broadcast by the PBS series " Great Performances : Dance in America"; it aired in Dada Masilo, a South African dancer and choreographer, reinterpreted Romeo and Juliet in a new modern light. She introduced changes to the story, notably that of presenting the two families as multiracial. At least 24 operas have been based on Romeo and Juliet. It is occasionally revived. The play influenced several jazz works, including Peggy Lee 's " Fever ".

This version updated the setting to midth-century New York City and the warring families to ethnic gangs. Romeo and Juliet had a profound influence on subsequent literature.

Romeo and Juliet - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Before then, romance had not even been viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy. Romeo and Juliet was parodied in Shakespeare's own lifetime: Henry Porter 's Two Angry Women of Abingdon and Thomas Dekker 's Blurt, Master Constable both contain balcony scenes in which a virginal heroine engages in bawdy wordplay. For example, the preparations for a performance form a major plot arc in Charles Dickens ' Nicholas Nickleby. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most-illustrated works.