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Romeo and Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare) Paperback – Apr 15 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: SparkNotes; Study Guide ed. edition (April 15 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586638459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586638450
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

This is undoubtedly the greatest love story ever written, spawning a host of imitators on stage and screen, including Leonard Bernstein's smash musical West Side Story, Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet filmed in 1968, and Baz Luhrmann's postmodern film version Romeo + Juliet. The tragic feud between "Two households, both alike in dignity/In fair Verona", the Montagues and Capulets, which ultimately kills the two young "star-crossed lovers" and their "death-marked love" creates issues which have fascinated subsequent generations. The play deals with issues of intergenerational and familial conflict, as well as the power of language and the compelling relationship between sex and death, all of which makes it an incredibly modern play. It is also an early example of Shakespeare fusing poetry with dramatic action, as he moves from Romeo's lyrical account of Juliet--"she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" to the bustle and action of a 16th-century household (the play contains more scenes of ordinary working people than any of Shakespeare's other works). It also represents an experimental attempt to fuse comedy with tragedy. Up to the third act, the play proceeds along the lines of a classic romantic comedy. The turning point comes with the death of one of Shakespeare's finest early dramatic creations--Romeo's sexually ambivalent friend Mercutio, whose "plague o' both your houses" begins the play's descent into tragedy, "For never was a story of more woe/Than this of Juliet and her Romeo". --Jerry Brotton --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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 5 2010
Format: Paperback
Two teenagers from rival families fall in love, marry secretly, and take their own lives rather than live without each other. Despite the teenage melodrama, "Romeo and Juliet" remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring and popular plays, even if it wasn't his best -- lots of death, teen lovers and enchanting dialogue.

In the city of Verona, the Montagues and Capulets are locked in a deadly feud. Then a Montague teen named Romeo, infatuated with a Capulet girl named Rosaline, sneaks into a party to see her.... but instead encounters another Capulet girl named Juliet, and the two immediately fall in love. Since their families hate each other, their love must be expressed in secret.

Hoping to unite the two families, the kindly priest Friar Lawrence assists the two in marrying in secret. But then Juliet's cousin Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel, leading to the death of two men -- and Romeo's exile from Verona. Even worse, the Capulets have decided to marry Juliet to Count Paris -- leading to a desperate plan that goes horribly awry.

"Romeo and Juliet" is a play that is hard to pin down -- some see it as the poetry-laden embodiment of romantic love, while others view it as Shakespeare's witty jabs at fickle teenage infatuation and how melodramatic the kids are (Juliet is only thirteen!). But whatever you think it is, it's undeniable that it's a beautifully written, often-wrenching story.

Despite the simplicity of the story, Shakespeare spins it in a silken web of lush poetry ("O swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon/That monthly changes in her circled orb") and the famous speeches where Romeo and Juliet speak at night on a balcony.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
i read this book a few times while in high school and picked up on a few of the plays on words. then my high school did it as a play (as most other high schools do) and i was an usher/concession stand type person and had to sit through it many times. what it was truly about started to sink in after all of those viewings. in the play romeo is seventeen and juliet is fourteen. before they even meet romeo is lovesick over his dear rosalyn, but once he sees juliet at the party he immediately takes a liking to her. he bases all of his feelings on her physical beauty. they never really get to know eachother. they lust after one another and rebelliously marry eachother. then they kill themselves only as overdramatic teenagers, who think the world revolves around them and that they know everything, can. this is not a great love story. it's two teenagers who have crushes on one another taking it to the extreme.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book in school and in my opinion the story may be good but the vocabulary was very difficult. You can't read without a dictionary. I had to read like five times a line because I didn't understand a word. It's a very dramatic and romantic play. I like tragedies but this play is very detailed and has a lot of scenes. I would like some day to read the same story but in actual English. If it weren't because of the literature teacher didn't help us understand I think nobody would have understood a thing. It's a very good story. I would recommend to read it but not in old English. Shakespeare's words are weird but romantic and may be too nice for his time. He is very creative and plays a lot with the characters.
It's funny how two different teenagers and from families who hated each other could have love one another. At the end they would have died if instead they had had hated each other because of the quarrel. This tragedy is weird and something different from all of the other plays, and I think that may be that's why It's still famous now a days.
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