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Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet Paperback – March 15, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


"Joseph Pearce's book on Romeo and Juliet stands like a lighthouse in the murk of modern literary criticism. His approach challenges the assumptions that govern popular 'scholarly' work on Shakespeare in our time. It is massively researched, convincing, intelligent, and (happily) interesting. I commend it highly to all possible readers." ---Thomas Howard, Author, Chance or the Dance?


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (March 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586176846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586176846
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Dunn TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you're like me, you read Shakespeare in high school or college, and don't remember much of it. Sure, you can rattle off a few famous lines like Hamlet's "To be, or not to be," or Romeo's "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks," but do you really remember much else about the plays? In fact, would you go so far as to say that you even understood them back then? Or was it just funny-sounding English with a lot of references that your teacher explained to you for you to believe because you didn't know any better? That's how I always felt, but when I saw Shakespeare on Love released from Ignatius Press, I figured I would give it a shot.

True love and tragic love are the recurring themes that youth are taught when reading Romeo and Juliet in high school or college. Joseph Pearce would beg to differ though. In his book Shakespeare on Love, Mr. Pearce looks to debunk these misconceptions on the "love" that teachers and students interpret in Romeo and Juliet by looking at the play from a Catholic perspective. "Why from a Catholic perspective?" you might be asking. According to Mr. Pearce, it is because Shakespeare was Catholic, as he demonstrated in his previous two works The Quest for Shakespeare and Through Shakespeare's Eyes.

The book starts off explaining the three ways one can read Romeo and Juliet. The first way is from a fatalistic perspective, in which fate kills Romeo and Juliet. The second way to read the book is from a romantic perspective, in which it is the feuding families are ultimately responsible for the young lovers' demise. The last way, and the way which Mr. Pearce says you should read it, is from a moral perspective, where the star-crossed lovers' choices lead to their death and the deaths of many others.
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Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet
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