Presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, with marginal notes and explanations and full descriptions of each character.
About the Author
Date of Death:2018
Place of Birth:Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Place of Death:Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Read an Excerpt
Verona. A Public Place. Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with swords and bucklers
sampson. Gregory, o’ my word, we ’ll not carry coals.
gregory. No, for then we should be colliers.
sampson. I mean, an we be in choler, we ’ll draw.
gregory. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o’ the collar.
sampson. I strike quickly, being moved.
gregory. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
sampson. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
gregory. To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand; therefore, if thou art moved, thou runnest away.
sampson. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague’s.
gregory. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.
sampson. ’Tis true; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.
gregory. The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
sampson. ’Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids; I will cut off their heads.
gregory. The heads of the maids?
sampson. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maiden-heads; take it in what sense thou wilt.
gregory. They must take it in sense that feel it.
sampson. Me they shall feel while I am able to stand; and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.
gregory. ’Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Drawthy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.
Enter Abraham and Balthasar
sampson. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.
gregory. How! turn thy back and run?
sampson. Fear me not.
gregory. No, marry; I fear thee!
sampson. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
gregory. I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.
sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
sampson. I do bite my thumb, sir.
abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
sampson. (Aside to Gregory) Is the law of our side if I say ay?
gregory. (Aside to Sampson) No.
sampson. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.
gregory. Do you quarrel, sir?
abraham. Quarrel, sir! no, sir.
sampson. If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.
abraham. No better.
sampson. Well, sir.
gregory. (Aside to Sampson) Say “better”; here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.
sampson. Yes, better, sir.
abraham. You lie.
sampson. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow. They fight
benvolio. Part, fools! Put up your swords; you know not what you do.Beats down their swords
tybalt. What! art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
benvolio. I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me.
tybalt. What! drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!They fight
Enter several persons of both houses, who join the fray; then enter Citizens, with clubs and partisans
citizens. Clubs, bills, and partisans! strike! beat them down! Down with the Capulets! down with Montagues!
Enter Capulet in his gown, and Lady Capulet
capulet. What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!
lady capulet. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?
capulet. My sword, I say! Old Montague is come, And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Enter Montague and Lady Montague
montague. Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not; let me go.
lady montague. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.
Enter Prince with his Train
prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,— Will they not hear? What ho! you men, you beasts, That quench the fire of your pernicious rage With purple fountains issuing from your veins, On pain of torture, from those bloody hands Throw your mis-temper’d weapons to the ground, And hear the sentence of your moved prince. Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word, By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets, And made Verona’s ancient citizens Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, To wield old partisans, in hands as old, Canker’d with peace, to part your canker’d hate. If ever you disturb our streets again Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. For this time, all the rest depart away: You, Capulet, shall go along with me; And, Montague, come you this afternoon To know our further pleasure in this case, To old Free-town, our common judgment-place. Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. Exeunt all but Montague, Lady Montague, and Benvolio
montague. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
benvolio. Here were the servants of your adversary And yours close fighting ere I did approach: I drew to part them; in the instant came The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar’d, Which, as he breath’d defiance to my ears, He swung about his head, and cut the winds, Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss’d him in scorn. While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, Came more and more, and fought on part and part, Till the prince came, who parted either part.
lady montague. O! where is Romeo? saw you him to-day? Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
benvolio. Madam, an hour before the worshipp’d sun Peer’d forth the golden window of the east, A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad; Where, underneath the grove of sycamore That westward rooteth from the city’s side, So early walking did I see your son: Towards him I made; but he was ware of me, And stole into the covert of the wood: I, measuring his affections by my own, That most are busied when they ’re most alone, Pursu’d my humour not pursuing his, And gladly shunn’d who gladly fled from me.
montague. Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs: But all so soon as the all-cheering sun Should in the furthest east begin to draw The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed, Away from light steals home my heavy son, And private in his chamber pens himself, Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, And makes himself an artificial night. Black and portentous must this humour prove Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
benvolio. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
montague. I neither know it nor can learn of him.
benvolio. Have you importun’d him by any means?
montague. Both by myself and many other friends: But he, his own affections’ counsellor, Is to himself, I will not say how true, But to himself so secret and so close, So far from sounding and discovery, As is the bud bit with an envious worm, Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air, Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow, We would as willingly give cure as know.
benvolio. See where he comes: so please you, step aside; I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.
montague. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay, To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let’s away.Exeunt Montague and Lady
benvolio. Good-morrow, cousin.
romeo.Is the day so young?
benvolio. But new struck nine.
romeo.Ay me! sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast?
benvolio. It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?
romeo. Not having that, which having, makes them short. benvolio. In love? romeo. Out—
benvolio. Of love?
romeo. Out of her favour, where I am in love.
benvolio. Alas! that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof.
romeo. Alas! that love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will. Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing! of nothing first create. O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh?
benvolio.No, coz, I rather weep.
romeo. Good heart, at what?
benvolio. At thy good heart’s oppression.
romeo. Why, such is love’s transgression. Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast, Which thou wilt propagate to have it press’d With more of thine: this love that thou hast shown Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. Love is a smoke rais’d with the fume of sighs; Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes; Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears: What is it else? a madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. Farewell, my coz.Going
benvolio.Soft, I will go along; An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
romeo. Tut! I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.
benvolio. Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.
romeo. What! shall I groan and tell thee?
benvolio.Groan! why, no; But sadly tell me who.
romeo. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will; Ah! word ill urg’d to one that is so ill. In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
benvolio. I aim’d so near when I suppos’d you lov’d.
romeo. A right good mark-man! And she’s fair I love.
benvolio. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
Table of Contents
"A Pair of Star-crossed Lovers" vii
"The Fearful Passage of their Death-marked Love" ix
"These Violent Delights have Violent Ends" xi
About the Text xvi
Key Facts xxiii
Romeo and Juliet 1
Textual Notes 115
Scene-by-Scene Analysis 118
Romeo and Juliet in Performance: The RSC and Beyond 130
Four Centuries of Romeo and Juliet: An Overview 130
At the RSC 141
The Director's Cut: Interview with Michael Attenborough 157
David Tennant on Playing Romeo 166
Alexandra Gilbreath on Playing Juliet 173
Shakespeare's Career in the Theater 180
The Ensemble at Work 186
The King's Man 191
Shakespeare's Works: A Chronology 194
Further Reading and Viewing 197
Acknowledgments and Picture Credits 204
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am in High School, and we used this edition in class, and it was extremely helpful. Not only is it very clear to read, explains well the words you don't know, but it also gives an indepths explanations, on the puns, and etc. which enchances your understanding of the play and your reading experience.
I firmly believe that Romeo and Juliet is something everyone should read in their lifetime. It's a beautiful love story and though, yes, it all happened really quickly, it added to the passion of the whole thing. I will always, always, love this play, and I would reccomend it to anyone looking for a great and tragic love story!
Numerated footnotes and explanations on the opposite page made the text easy to follow. My only little complaint is that the tiny font of this series got annoying sometimes. To enlarge it on the nook color, you have to enlarge the page, which becomes bothersome when you have to swipe back-and-forth from one line to the next. All in all, a good version of Romeo and Juliet, whether for the scholar or casual reader.
I read Romeo and Juliet twice; once on my own and once for my freshman English class. It's a little bit hard to understand (make sure you get a copy with footnotes on old language), but an okay story in the end. I love the ending!
11/04/11Romeo & Juliet is a dramatic play and a beautiful story written by William Shakespeare. It is a tragic love story between two households that held a grudge against each other and is set in Verona, Italy, Elizabethan times. When Romeo saw Juliet, he fell in love with her instantly. Even though Juliet was a Capulet, Romeo took his chances and confessed his love for her. Like all love stories, she felt the same way about him, but this love was forbidden by both households. Juliet's cousin Tybalt, finds out the forbidden love between Romeo and Juliet. He kills Romeo's best friend Mercutio, and Romeo kills Tybalt out of rage. Because of such violence, Romeo is forced out of Verona's boundaries. Juliet is forced into a marriage with Paris, the Prince's friend. Knowing that, Juliet takes a sleeping potion that lasts for a few hours. Everyone grieved, thinking she was dead. Sadly, the message did not get to Romeo. Having Romeo thinking Juliet's dead, he takes a trip to the Apothecary, purchasing a tube of poison. He enters Juliet's room, and just as she wakes up, he drinks the poison and dies. Seeing Romeo dead, Juliet takes Romeo's dagger and stabs herself and dies. The death of the son and daughter of two families ended their grudge and from then on, the Montagues and Capulets were friends, not enemies.The Character that interested me the most was Romeo, as his personality and features changed throughout the story, and that is what makes me like him the most. At first, when he is introduced into the story, he is gloomy and lovesick about a girl named Rosalyn, but as time flashes, he sees Juliet and falls for her. This is when he changed and made a big effect on me as he suddenly forgot about Rosalyn and cared about nothing but Juliet. He started becoming more hasty in his actions as he slays Tybalt, and gets forced out of Verona. Another incident that made a big impression on me was when he found out that Juliet was dead, he did not check for himself, and instead he hastily purchased a vile of poison and drank it seeing Juliet lying unconscious. Although he was hasty and impatient, he was truly brave and his courage made him my favourite character throughout the story.The main theme of this story taught us about love and how it can affect a person's life, how it can change a person's characteristics. It also gives us a message not to be too hasty in our actions as we may regret it later on in life. It tells us not to give in on life because of one thing, as more good things will come. Letting one bad thing past is always better than stopping all the good things that are to come, this is the most important theme. It is conveyed through the language throughout the whole story. It is easily understandable if the reader is paying attention to every scene. Shakespeare's purpose of this text was to share some experiences he had in life, so that everyone that read his stories could understand him more and live life to the fullest.
Thanks to TV and movies, I knew the basic premise of this book before even reading it. Thus, when I read it I was not really impressed. To be fair, I skimmed through it, but nothing stood out that made me want to read it. Damn Hollywood.
Really easy to read
The Montagues and the Capulets have had a family feud. Their children, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, fall in love, but their families problems prevent them from being together (although they do get married in secret). The play was very romantic. Even though their families had problems, that did not stop them from being together and their deaths brought the Montagues and Capulets together (it stopped the feud). Even though the events may have happened quickly, it added some excitement to the whole thing. Romeo and Juliet were both so young and so in love that they could not live without each other. They sacrificed their lives for each other. Now that is true love. Although I did sometimes get confused on what the characters were saying the left handed page with translations did help a lot. All in all the love story of Romeo and Juliet is a must read!
Romeo & Juliet is an amazing book. It is a recommended reading for all ages. The love in this book showed me that star-crossed lovers will do anything for happiness. The book itself has many plot twists and surprises. I believe that Romeo & Juliet is an amazing book.
Romeo: Juliet is beautiful. Juliet: Romeo is handsom. That is basically all those two do and I love it.
Superior production of Romeo and Juliet. While entire cast was excellent, the Juliet actress brought new insight into this famous character with her confident yet understated performance. No melodrama, no unnecessary sound effects; the poetry of Shakespeare's language was performed as pure literary entertainment with great intelligence and depth. Looking forward to listening to more plays in the Arkangel series. Highly recommended for ages 17 and up.
I THOUGHT THAT THE BOOK/PLAY WAS GOOD BUT SAD
This is a time-saver for sure and will spare students a great deal of confusion. The layout is great, will help introduce younger readers to Shakespeare in a way they can relate to. Even Shakespeare veterans will learn a lot through helpful comments in the text (e.g., definitions, performance notes, historical commentary), although the tone is slightly patronizing.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in American Lingo It can’t be disputed that there is no substitute for the classic Shakespeare work, Romeo and Juliet. According to the book, Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare made clear by Garamond Press, other versions of this story existed before Shakespeare wrote his, and certainly this story moved through time with other versions . These included the 1957 West Side Story musical stage production and the 1961 film which garnered the Academy Award for best picture. This book offers a wealth of information about the history of the era, the traditions and customs of the times, the previous and post versions of Shakespeare work, a synopsis of the play, summaries of each act, explanations of the way the language was used, and a full translation of every set of lines into the American vernacular. This book is an excellent tool for any student assigned to read this work, and for anyone else who really wants to know what the characters in this story are saying.
I found this guide to Romeo and Juliet to be extremely useful. It eliminates the language barrier of a few hundred years or so and allows for a clear and complete understanding of the play. For me, the layout was most helpful. The old text is broken up into small fragments with the modern translation directly below it, allowing me easy transitions between the two translations. Another benefit is the definitions and explanations offered of words and phrases.
This book caught my attention from the very beginning. It opens with a mini history lesson about Shakespeare, his plays, and the people who acted in and watched his plays. I was able to read this book very quickly because of the way Shakespeare’s words are translated into modern English on the same page as the old English. I understand the story a lot more now! This book would be great for someone in school who is studying the story of Romeo and Juliet, and for those of us who have read it and needed a little more help understanding some of the phrases.
Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare Made Clear carefully breaks down Shakespeare’s tragedy into a language that modern readers can understand. It’s a helpful read if you’ve never read Shakespeare before or need a good refresher. The book also provides some interesting information about Shakespearean times.
In providing line-by-line “translations” as well as definitions, this edition of “Romeo and Juliet” thoroughly conveys meaning and context. Regardless of how each individual approaches reading this play, there are many rich attributes in this edition that contribute to a full understanding, including mini introductions to every act; commentary on staging and historical context; and useful summaries and insight.
Garamond Press has a hit. Having updated English next to the old is a huge advantage to the modern reader. This is ideal for students, or for someone who hasn't read Shakespeare or has trouble understanding his antiquated diction. The story of Romeo and Juliet is finally put into our modern love language, and all ages will be able to understand its deeper messages more clearly. Highly recommend.
I have read the story of Romeo and Juliet in the past. Reading this book has given me a whole new understanding. Explaining the language used in a more engaging manner, a historical approach, it helped make the story more comprehensible. This is definitely worth reading if you want to gain a full understanding and get a better feel for that time period.
Your secret weapon to unraveling the meanings behind Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is now within reach! Sometimes just in reading the written work by itself, we tend to miss so much of the meanings and the references and allusions hidden in between the lines. Without a modern day guide, we are only reaching half our potential for drawing as much as we can from Shakespeare’s timeless work. This accompanying guide to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet let’s you access the play very easily by presenting the original text side by side with the modern day translations. With everything from explanations of key phrases to decoding olden day colloquialisms, you won’t miss a beat with this guide!