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Romeo and Juliet Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1992
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|Mass Market Paperback, August 1, 1992||
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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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Top Customer Reviews
A lot of times with Shakespeare you want a heavily annotated edition. For depth and detail, I'd grab this Arden edition one before the Folger. The annotations are far more detailed. They offer variant readings of the line and a wealth of contextual info. Folger tends to content itself with a swift modern rephrasing and moves on.
If you want a detail and just a basic gloss on the language, then you might prefer Folger.
Or perhaps get both. Then you could compare readings, &c.
Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any annotated edition that works well in Kindle (that I could discover). Paper still works, though.
The Kindle version is pretty much flawless - it's copied from a good source and doesn't have any glaring transcription errors as some free e-books do.
If you want a good introduction to Shakespeare, or even just want to branch out from his dramatic plays - give it a try. It's a free book - what can go wrong?
A deadly case of sibling rivalry launches the story, involving two sets of brothers—Oliver and Orlando, and Dukes Senior and Frederick. Orlando and Frederick are banished from the court to the forest of Arden by their evil, usurping brothers. Both manage to find solace in the woods, Orlando in his love for Rosalind, with whom he is deeply smitten and driven to carve poetry on trees; and Frederick, who discovers life away from the court to be strangely liberating. “Are not these woods more free from peril than the envious court?” And, “Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head; and this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”
Rosalind--as engaging a character as Shakespeare ever created--is likewise smitten with Orlando, and is likewise banished to the forest, in the company with her cousin Celia, and Touchstone the clown. In the forest they encounter shepherds, goatherds and the like, as well as Orlando. Now dressed as a boy and calling herself Ganymede, Orlando does not recognize Rosalind. As Ganymede, Rosalind and Orland become friends, allowing her to guide Orlando in the art of love. Complicating matters is a shepherdess named Phebe who falls in love with Ganymede. Touchstone, meanwhile meets and woos a country wench named Audrey. Then there is Oliver’s melancholy friend, Jacques, who recites one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Meanwhile, the evil brothers, Oliver and Duke Frederick see the errors of their ways and recant. Oliver comes to the forest and falls in love with Celia, Rosalind reveals her true identity, and as the play comes to a close, four couples are poised to be married: Rosalind and Orlando, Oliver and Celia, Touchstone and Audrey, and Phebe and Silvius. Confusing? It is, a bit.
The heart of the story, that which focuses our attention throughout, is the romance between Rosalind and Orlando. In telling their story, Shakespeare shows us that friendship is not only possible but necessary if marriage is to foster true happiness and the continued growth of both individuals. Marriage between equals was an outgrowth of the Protestant Reformation taking place in Elizabethan England while Shakespeare was writing his plays. Marriage was no longer arranged by parents, but was a choice between consenting individuals. “For Shakespeare marriage was not simply a cliche for ending the action,” writes Germaine Greer in her pithy little book “Shakespeare: An Introduction.” No, indeed. “He was profoundly interested in the paradox of creating a durable social institution out of the volatile material of lovers’ fantasies.” Further on she writes, “The Protestant reformers believed with utter seriousness that husbands and wives could and should help each other to heaven; ill-assorted unions on the other hand were a diurnal occasion of grave sin.” Further, she says: “We have become so used to marriage as a central theme for serious literature that it is not easy for us to estimate Shakespeare’s originality in developing the idea of the complementary couple as the linchpin of the social structure . . . He projected the ideal of the monogamous heterosexual couple so luminously in his matings that they irradiate our notions of compatibility and co-operation between spouses to this day.”
Final note: I favor the Pelican Shakespeare editions over all others for their clean text, slim size and informative introductions which, in this case, is the work of Frances E. Dolan, of Miami University, Ohio. While I didn’t quote her, I found her informed views helpful in understanding the play’s nuances. Five stars.