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Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 2004 edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743477111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743477116
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 6.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—their older daughter Susanna and the twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent, not in Stratford, but in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright, but as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Sometime between 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare is thought to have retired from the stage and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616.

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King's New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this book very much, and I think any reader will like it also.
Mark D. Thill
Anyways, this was the first Shakespeare book I have ever read, and it is probably the same for all high school students.
Y. Lin
The way all the characters express themselves,the way Shakespear combines hate and love in the same story.
Ramiro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By John Boland on December 4, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Of course this is an immortal story that has been read for centuries and at least one beautiful motion picture has been based on it. But, I guess I'm a "dunce" because I never could understand much of the dialogue. "What he say?" was my reaction to much of it. But, I discovered these Folger Shakespeare Library editions that have the dialogue as written by Shakespeare in Elizabethan English on the right side of the page and the "translations" and explanations on the left. Wow! That format makes it very easy to enjoy this book without going to a dictionary every 90 seconds or so! And, for teachers, I think they'll be overjoyed when they see the positive results they could get in class! If you have any opinions about this edition please email boland7214@aol.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Lovejoy on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
As an experienced high school English teacher, I always advise my students and their parents to purchase a Folger's edition of Shakespeare's plays. The notes, summaries, and other commentary serve the novice Shakespearean reader well and make the classical allusions and denotations of unfamiliar and common words and phrases from the Elizabethan age much easier for 21st Century readers to understand.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Karina A. Suarez VINE VOICE on April 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At least that's what I feel should have been a worthy epitaph for these two ill-fated lovers. I read this classic work of fiction because I've never read anything by Shakespeare before. Being a romantic, I found it appealed to me as one unfathomable story of doomed love, and may I say the ending could not have been any other, even if it hadn't been a fictitious story. I agree with Ms. Paster, who in this edition gives a final, parallel account of the story in comparison to modern times; when she says that Romeo and Juliet's only way out to consumate their love was through death, because they had trespassed socially acceptable conventions of the era, and not just due to a family feud. This is true especially of Juliet, who, because she was a woman, had the least advantages and the most pressures to be married to someone previously chosen and approved by her father. She defies the world - literally - and runs to the arms of her Romeo to be married in secret. I cannot imagine the terrible strain and fear a woman would have gone through in the 1500's should she choose to follow her heart in such a way. I find Juliet, in this sense, a true pioneer of women's rights. She definitely risks it all, defying even her own father (the man who would "owned" her until she got married). The passage where he confronts her about her arranged marriage to Count Paris has to be one of the cruelest speeches in classic literature. She certainly would have to make use of a humongous supply of nerve to defy convention.
Romeo, on his behalf, is truly besotted with Juliet. He admires her beauty more than her courage and, like most men when in love, shows himself a pathetic spectacle. However, he loves her and cannot live without her. He only has eyes and, what's really important, heart for her.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 31, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Romeo and Juliet is a wonderful read. I loved reading every minute of it. The summaries and the explanatory notes help you understand everything about it. This is a great book and I would recommend you read this as an introduction to Shakespeare. I did and I am now going to start A Midsummer Night's Dream. Read this book! You'll love every minute of it!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nadine Mitchell on February 20, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Folger edition of Romeo and Juliet is very easy to read. The many notes and illustrations make it enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Maria on June 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In one of Shakespeare's most famous and beloved plays, true love is thwarted at the cruel hands of fate.

The Capulets and the Montagues have been rivals for years. However, this doesn't stop Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague from falling in love with one another. And so the timeless and beautiful story of Romeo and Juliet begins.

Both the play and the romance of the two main characters take off almost unrealistically quickly; the play is set only over the course of a few days. But what a few days it is. Shakespeare expertly captures the naive and innocent viewpoints of the two teenagers and his language is always metaphorical and flawless.

I found this version of the play extremely helpful, as it was the first Shakespeare play I had read and I wasn't yet accustomed to the unique language of the era. On one side of the page is the actual text of the play and on the opposite side is a list of words and phrases that modern-day citizens may not be accustomed to. This greatly increased my comprehension level of the book, and is a definite asset to anyone who isn't yet "Shakespeare-savvy". Happy reading!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Britney on June 4, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll admit that the only reason I purchased this book was so that I didn't have to carry around my twenty pound Literature book. I purchased ths particular copy because it had many of the same interpretations as my Literature book did, so I could carry this little two ounce book around instead.

For all instances, it worked very well. I could read this book along with the movie and follow along flawlessly. I could read the interpretations along the left binding and see exactly what people meant when I couldn't figure it out.

I did, however, have two problems, which is why this is only a four-star review. The first thing I noticed was that even if there were little explanations on the left side, the right side didn't give you a clear indication of what was being translated. You had to actually be confused enough to look to the page on the left, and then you had to find line numbers, which I found extremely irritating.

Another thing I found annoying was that only the bare minimum was actually translated. On further inspection of our ninth-grade Literature book and this book, I found that the Literature book actually went into more detail, with examples, alternate word orders, etc.

Overall, this is an especially great book to purchase if your English teacher suddenly sticks you with Romeo and Juliet two weeks before the end of school. And even if she didn't. :D

But if you're only at the age of fourteen or fifteen, try to stick with your Literature book. I didn't have any trouble, but there are definitely MORE modern interpretations in your Lit book, solely to help with the fact that you're not at a senior or college level yet.

Even if you're only purchasing to get rid of the back strain, you won't regret it.
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