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

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Skillfully read by Claire Higgins, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet will hold listeners spellbound as they become involved in the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues and in Romeo and Juliet's plight of love. Higgins' reading is very natural, and her voice is exceedingly pleasant to listen to. The cassette includes a plot summary, an introduction to Shakespeare by Leon Garfield, as well as supplementary information about Shakespeare and his writings by Dr. Rex Gibson, all read by Simon Russell Beale. This additional information is very worthwhile and will increase the listener's understanding of Shakespeare and why he continues to be important in literature. Peter Hutchins arranged the period background music. The technical qualities are excellent, and the teaching objectives are met. This program is appropriate for individual or group listening, and the additional information will provide an excellent springboard for discussion. A superior acquisition for both public and school libraries with audio collections.
Kathy Dummer, Newcastle Middle School, WY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This production of Romeo and Juliet featuring Kenneth Branagh and Sir John Gielgud is a superb contribution to the field of classics on cassette. The stunning performance by the Renaissance Theatre Company captures all the color and emotion of Shakespeare's eloquent tragedy of young love. With Samantha Bond as Juliet, Derek Jacobi as Mercutio, and Judi Dench as Nurse, the play, which is set in 16th-century Verona, contains some of the most passionate dialog ever written. An excellent musical score by Patrick Doyle accompanies the actors, as well as a full array of authentic sound effects. The pounding of hooves, the chiming of church bells, and the clashing of angry swords enrich this outstanding listening experience. A 24-page booklet complete with sketches and photos of the actors, a synopsis of the play, and background information is included in the package. Highly recommended for most libraries.
Gretchen Browne, Rockville Centre P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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: 5.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (600 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Newbia on June 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is only partially a review of the story, but mostly a review on how much I love the No Fear series. It's SO useful. You have Shakespeare on one page, and the 'translation' into modern English on one page. I understand Shakespeare so much better now. I thought I understood Shakespeare when I read version where you have a footnote at the bottom saying what 'grandshire phrase' or something means. I did get the gist of it, but now I understand what the characters are saying and feeling, and I get all the little jokes. I can appreciate Shakespeare now, which was impossible before (then again, I'm only 12, it's probably easier for other people).
Not to mention in other versions I would read a little bit, glance down at the footnotes, read, glance down, re-read to find the word in the footnote, et cetera and it was very tedious. Now I just read a page of Shakespeare and then a page of modern, or vice versa. I do vice versa because then I understand how the character feels before reading the lines out loud, making this version very useful for putting on the play.
There is one problem. In most editions, you have various essays and notes. They don't have this in here. I don't take of stars for this because I personally never read the essays, but some people might.
Anyway, the story itself. Shakespeare is very poetic, and you can appreciate it more if you know what he's talking about. How ever, I hate 'love at first sight' with a burning passion. If you get over that, the characters and plot are engaging.
I read this because I was in the play. But this edition is so good I'm going to read other Shakespeare plays for my own enjoyment.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By MsEnglishTeacher on June 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a high school English teacher looking at the different versions of classics texts available for Kindle (fire), so my review will not be for the play itself, but rather for the eBook--readability, layout, price, and other features.

This version of Romeo and Juliet is my favorite 99 cent version for several reasons. First, there are links to each act and scene. Next, the page layout is clean and easy to read with spaces between each speaker. Finally, the line formatting is in the correct iambic pentameter format, though there are no line numbers. There are no annotations or explanations, but none of the good 99 cent versions provide that either. Bottom line, easy to use!
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42 of 44 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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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By BookBuff9293 on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is what it says it is--a translation. It provides modern text opposite the page featuring the original text. For mere translational purposes, this book can't be beat.
It claims to include "plenty of helpful commentary," but I found such comments to be lacking! Act 1 has sixteen comments and Act 2 has twenty-three, but from here on out, the numbers dwindle. There are no comments in all of Act 5, only two in all of Act 3, and only three in Act 4. That's only forty-four comments for a book some two hundred pages long!
Perhaps there wasn't much cause for commentary, or some Acts (such as 3) were pretty short, but I would have liked some and felt it would have helped--plus SparkNotes made me expect a comment to be on every page! Naturally, I was disappointed by this, especially considering the book highlights this feature on its cover. Plenty of things my teacher clued my classmates and me in on weren't in the book.
For example, when Romeo buys the poison from the poor apothecary in Mantua, he gives the apothecary a "ducat." My teacher said a ducat is a gold coin; from the text I couldn't infer this, and there was no note from SparkNotes to explain for me.
The book also advertises its character analysis, which is in fact quite shallow and brief, providing little if any real insight.
I wasn't expecting some college-level examination of Romeo and Juliet, but I was expecting to receive what was promised on the book cover--and I didn't expect what was promised to be skimpy!
In addition, I swear some of the translations aren't correct. Just inferring from the text, I came up with more probable translations than the book did at times.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Miamigrrl on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a lifelong Shakespeare fan who has recently discovered the No Fear series of "translations" of the plays. Although I had considered myself comfortable with Elizabethan dialect, I've learned a lot from the No Fear
books. However, especially in Romeo and Juliet, one is struck by how the
pleasure in reading the play is in the language, not the plot. Side-by-side with modern English, Shakespeare's poetry is even more luminous.
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