Originally published in 1993. Presenting excerpts and articles on the themes and characters from the most famous story of young lovers, this collection brings together scholarship relating to the language, performance, and impact of the play. Ordered in three parts, the chapters cover analysis, reviews and interpretation from a wide ranging array of sources, from the play’s contemporary commenters to literary critics of the early 1990’s. The volume ends with an article by the editor on the action in the text which concludes the final section of 8 pieces looking at the story as being a product of Elizabethan Culture. It considers the attitude to the friar, to morality and suicide, the stars and fate, and gender differences. Comparisons are made to Shakespeare’s source as well as to productions performed long after the Bard’s death.
Introduction John F. Andrews Part 1: The Language and Structure of Romeo and Juliet 1. from Shakespeare Mark Van Doren 2. from An Approach to Shakespeare D. A. Traversi 3. Form and Formality in Romeo and Juliet Harry Levin 4. from Shakespeare’s Wordplay M. M. Mahood 5. Romeo and Juliet: Comedy into Tragedy Susan Snyder 6. Romeo and Juliet: A Formal Dwelling James L. Calderwood 7. Romeo and Juliet: Patterns and Paradigms Marjorie Garber 8. Romeo and Juliet: The Sonnet-World of Verona Ralph Berry Part 2: Romeo and Juliet in Performance 9. The Visual Artistry of Romeo and Juliet James Black 10. Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet Jack Jorgens 11. from Shakespeare in Perspective Dame Peggy Ashcroft 12. from The Guild Shakespeare Julie Harris 13. Nurse in Romeo and Juliet Brenda Bruce 14. Juliet’s Nurse: The Uses of Inconsequentiality Stanley Wells 15. On the Dancing in Romeo and Juliet Philip C. McGuire 16. ‘West Side Story’ and the Modern Appeal of Romeo and Juliet Robert Hapgood 17. Absent Bodies, Present Voices: Performance Work and the Close of Romeo and Juliet’s Golden Story Barbara Hodgdon Part 3: Romeo and Juliet as a Product of Elizabethan Culture 18. To Love Extreamely, Procureth Eyther Death or Danger Franklin M. Dickey 19. Shakespeare’s ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ J. W. Draper 20. Romeo and Juliet and the Art of Moral Navigation Douglas L. Peterson 21. The Problematic Friar in Romeo and Juliet James C. Bryant 22. Coming of Age in Verona Coppélia Kahn 23. Violence, Love, and Gender in Romeo and Juliet Marianne Novy 24. Language and Sexual Difference in Romeo and Juliet Edward Snow 25. Falling in Love: The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet John F. Andrews